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Angelina Grimké, American Abolitionist
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Angelina Emily Grimké Weld (February 20, 1805 - October 26, 1879) was an American political activist, abolitionist and supporter of the women's suffrage movement. Nicknamed "Nina," young Angelina was very close to her older sister Sarah Moore Grimké, who, at age thirteen, begged her parents to allow her to be Angelina's godmother. They consented, and the two sisters maintained a very intimate relationship throughout their lives. In 1829, she addressed the issue of slavery at a meeting in her church and stated that all slaveholding members of her congregation openly condemn the practice. Because she was such an active member of the church community, her audience respectfully declined her proposal. This incident led to her official expulsion from the Presbyterian church. Convinced that the South was not the proper place for her or her work she relocated to Philadelphia where she joined the local chapter of the Religious Society of Friends. She began to attend anti-slavery meetings and lectures, and later joined the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1835. In 1836, she wrote her famous An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South, which is often considered by scholars one of the best manifestations of Grimké's sociopolitical agenda. In 1838, she began to tour the Northeast, giving abolitionist and feminist lectures in churches. Her lectures were critical of Southern slaveholders, but also argued that Northerners tacitly complied with the status quo by purchasing slave-made products and exploiting slaves through the commercial and economic exchanges they made with slave owners in the South. After the lecture tour, Grimké remained a passionately active abolitionist and suffragette, until her marriage to Theodore Weld and failing health led her to lead a more domestic lifestyle. She died in 1879 at the age of 74.
June 1st, 2013
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