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Grimké, Angelina Emily

Angelina Emily Grimké (grĬm´kē), 1805–79, American abolitionist and advocate of women's rights, b. Charleston, S.C. Converted to the Quaker faith by her elder sister Sarah Moore Grimké, she became an abolitionist in 1835, wrote An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South (1836) in testimony of her conversion, and with her sister began speaking around New York City. She developed into an orator of considerable power and was invited (1837) to lecture in Massachusetts. Her three appearances before the Massachusetts legislative committee on antislavery petitions early in 1838 constituted a triumph. The same year she married Theodore Dwight Weld, also an active abolitionist. Ill health after her marriage led her to abandon the lecture platform, but she continued to aid Weld in his abolitionist work and maintained a lasting, lively interest in the cause to which they had contributed so much.

See C. H. Birney, The Grimké Sisters (1885, repr. 1969); G. H. Barnes and D. L. Dumond, ed., Letters of Theodore Dwight Weld, Angelina Grimké Weld, and Sarah Grimké, 1822–1844 (2 vol., 1934); G. Lerner, The Grimké Sisters from South Carolina (1967, repr. 1971); K. D. Lumpkin, The Emancipation of Angelina Grimké (1974); M. Perry, Lift Up Thy Voice: The Grimké Family's Journey from Slaveholders to Civil Rights Leaders (2001).

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Grimké, Sarah Moore

Sarah Moore Grimké, 1792–1873, American abolitionist and advocate of women's rights, b. Charleston, S.C. She came from a distinguished Southern family. On a visit to Philadelphia, Sarah joined the Society of Friends. She converted her younger sister Angelina to the Quaker faith, and the two moved to the North permanently in Jan., 1832. Angelina became an abolitionist in 1835 and in turn converted Sarah. These two timid daughters of an aristocratic slaveholding family became the first women who dared to speak in public for the black slave and then for women's rights. Sarah wrote An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States (1836), urging abolition, and Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman (1838). In 1838 the sisters persuaded their mother to give them, as their share of the family estate, slaves, whom they immediately freed.

See bibliography under Grimké, Angelina Emily.

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