Antislavery Movements

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The Beinecke Library holds several important abolitionist newspapers from various time periods and geographic locations, including the Alton Observer, American Citizen, Charter Oak, Emancipator, Liberator, Philanthropist, National Anti-Slavery Standard, and True American. Other newspapers, including the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Reporter, American Missionary, Anti-Slavery Reporter and Aborigines’ Friend, and British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Reporter, are available through Orbis.

The papers concern Barbara D. Simison’s projected edition of the letters of Lydia Maria Child, and consist of research correspondence with other scholars and with libraries and Simison’s annotated working transcripts of Child’s letters. In addition, the collection contains 15 autograph letters by Lydia Maria Child, including an ALS to Richard Fletcher describing the Samaritan Asylum for Colored Orphans; 3 ALS to Oliver Johnson concerning publishing projects and Civil War politics; and an ALS to James Redpath in support of a woman sculptor’s effort to secure the commission for a statue of John Brown.

Darrach moved to Kansas Territory in 1855. About fifty letters dated at Osawatomie, 1855-1856, contain a detailed narrative of the lives of settlers and events of the Kansas border war, including discussion of elections and constitutional conventions; events in Lawrence and other fighting between free soil and slavery advocates; and the killings at Pottawatomie by John Brown and the subsequent sack of Osawatomie.

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The papers consist of correspondence, newspaper clippings of a historical and religious nature, journals, and other papers of the Bacon family. Included are sermons and writings of Leonard Bacon, and papers and journals of Leonard Woolsey Bacon and Benjamin Wisner Bacon. Leonard Bacon was actively involved in colonization, missionary, and antislavery movements throughout his career. His brother, David Francis Bacon, served as a medical professional in Liberia.

Correspondence, writings, speeches, diaries, clippings, printed matter, sermons, and other papers of two centuries of Beecher family members. The papers relate principally to Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), popular 19th century clergyman and orator, and members of his family. Among those represented are his father, the Reverend Lyman Beecher (1775-1863), clergyman; his brothers, Edward Beecher (1803-1895), educator and antislavery leader, and Thomas Kinnicut Beecher (1824-1900) and Charles Beecher (1815-1900), both clergyman and antislavery activists; and his sisters, Harriett Elizabeth (Beecher) Stowe (1811-1896), author, Catherine Esther Beecher (1800-1878), pioneer educator and writer on ‘domestic economy,’ and Isabella Homes (Beecher) Hooker (1822-1907), well-known suffragist.

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