Civil Rights and Protests

Slavery and Anti-Slavery

Were any anti-slavery societies founded by women?

The Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society is an example of an anti-slavery society founded by African-American women, sometimes called “females of color,” in 1832. This was the first women’s anti-slavery society in the United States. It was established in Salem, Massachusetts, and, although its constitution made no specific reference to slavery, it called for mutual improvement and the promotion of the welfare of colored people. In 1834 the society dropped its founding name—the Female Anti-Slavery Society of Salem—and became the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society. Membership was racially mixed and the constitution declared slavery a sin, called for its abolishment, declared that people of color had a right to a home in America, and noted the duty of its members to elevate the slaves’ condition and become their friends and equals.


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