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Angelina Grimke Weld

Image of Angelina Grimke Weld

Image from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C., LC-USZ61-1609

Abolitionist Angelina Grimke Weld (1805-1879) spoke out against slavery alongside older sister and fellow abolitionist Sarah Moore Grimke.

Influenced by her sister and lifelong partner in the abolitionist cause, Weld converted to Quakerism. She joined the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1835. She spoke out publically against slavery and her strong abolitionist beliefs ultimately created a schism between Weld and the Society of Friends. Weld refocused her efforts on the American Anti-Slavery Society where she served as an agent in 1836. She worked as part of a group that presented antislavery petitions to state legislators and the U.S. Congress.

The sisters wrote letters, which were published in the press and reissued as pamphlets, on the topic of equal rights for women. Weld gave the opening day address at the 1838 Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in Philadelphia. Anti-abolitionists rioted outside the hall and eventually burned down the building by the time the convention had reached its third day.

In 1839, Weld and her sister published a document entitled Slavery As It Is, which presented testimony to the evils of slavery collected from southern sources. Both sisters also taught at Eagleswood Academy, a coeducational and racially integrated school located within the utopian community of Raritan Bay Union. The school was run by Weld’s husband, Theodore.


Lerner, Gerda. The Grimké Sisters from South Carolina: Pioneers for Women’s Rights and 

Abolition. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Lumpkin, Katharine D. The Emancipation of Angelina Grimké. Chapel Hill: The University of 

North Carolina Press, 1974.

Lahr, Angela. “’Bowed in the Dust’: Guilt and Conscience in the Life of Angelina Grimké 

Weld.” The Historian 77, no. 1 (2015): 1-25.

Nelson, Robert K. “’The Forgetfulness of Sex’: Devotion and Desire in the Courtship 

Letters of Angelina Grimke and Theodore Dwight Weld.” Journal of Social History 

37, no. 3 (2004): 663-679.


Questions to Explore

What did Weld and her sister rite in the letters that were published in the press?

What was Weld’s opening day address about a the 1838 Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women?

How was the document Slavery As It Is received by the public? Did it help?

Additional Resources

Grimké Angelina Emily Samuel J May and National Woman’s Rights Convention. 1853. Letter from Angelina Grimke Weld to the Woman’s Rights Convention Held at Syracuse Sept. 1852. Syracuse N.Y: Masters’ Print. https://worldcat.org/title/3563919.

Berkin Carol. 2010. Civil War Wives : The Lives and Times of Angelina Grimké Weld Varina Howell Davis and Julia Dent Grant 1St Vintage Civil War Library ed. New York: Vintage Books. https://worldcat.org/title/503042151.

Nelson Robert K and William L. Clements Library. 2004. “The Forgetfulness of Sex” : Devotion and Desire in the Courtship Letters of Angelina Grimke and Theodore Dwight Weld. Place of publication not identified: publisher not identified. https://worldcat.org/title/166641088.

Browne Stephen H. 1999. Angelina Grimké : Rhetoric Identity and the Radical Imagination. East Lansing Mich: Michigan State University Press. https://worldcat.org/title/44957270.