Vault A75, Lad.Ant., Unit 1


Ladies' Anti-Slavery SocietyEXTENT: Five items in one folder.

ORGANIZATION AND ARRANGEMENT: Arranged chronologically.

HISTORY: Women's anti-slavery organization, established in 1837 in Concord, Mass., at the house of Mrs. Samuel Barrett. Mary Merrick Brooks (Mrs. Nathan Brooks) was a key member of the Society. (Mrs. Brooks was known for making and successfully selling a variety of pound cake — "Brooks Cake" — to raise money for the anti-slavery cause.) Meetings were held at members' homes. In 1857, the membership included Mrs. Brooks, Mrs. John Thoreau, Mrs. Minot Pratt, Mrs. R.W. Emerson, Mrs. E.R. Hoar, Mrs. Simon Brown, Mrs. Lucy Brown, Mrs. A.B. Alcott, Mrs. W.S. Robinson, Mary Rice, Sophia Thoreau, Ellen Emerson, and Martha Bartlett, among others.

SCOPE AND CONTENT: Records consist of five manuscript items: notice of tea and dancing party (Dec. 12, 1853); three notices regarding meetings, addressed to Mrs. John Barrett (1862 Nov. 11, from Mary Merrick Brooks; 1863 Sept. 29, from Maria Pratt; 1864 Dec. 30, from Mary Merrick Brooks); and announcement of anti-slavery fair on Wed. Aug. 3, [1859?], at Shepherd's Hall (from A. Tewksbury, A. Tolman, M.J. Stacy, M.M. Brooks, E. Bellows, and S.E. Thoreau).

SOURCE OF ACQUISITION: 1853 notice of tea and dancing party: presented to the Concord Antiquarian Society by Mrs. Leslie O. Anderson, 1950 Mar. 20 (formerly CAS B-320); deposited in the CFPL by the Concord Antiquarian Society, 1971; given to the CFPL, 1974.

Petrulionis, Sandra Harbert. “’Swelling That Great Tide of Humanity’: the Concord, Massachusetts, Female Anti-Slavery Society” (New England Quarterly, vol. 74, no 3(Sept. 2001)).

Petrulionis, Sandra Harbert. To Set this World Right: the Antislavery Movement in Thoreau's Concord (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006).

RELATED MAERIALS: Franklin Benjamin Sanborn Papers (Vault A35, Sanborn, Unit 1); Helen Thoreau antislavery scrapbook (Vault A45 Thoreau Unit 1); Middlesex County Anti-Slavery Society records (Vault A75, Mid.C.A., Unit 1 ); and other collections. William Munroe Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library, Concord, Mass.

NOTE: Accounts of some of the Society’s meetings and information about members and activities, are found in some issues of The Liberator.

PROCESSED BY: LPW, June 6, 1996.  Finding aid prepared by LPW and RCH, May 7, 2014.



Manuscript notice of tea and dancing party, 1853 Dec. 12.

Announcement of anti-slavery fair on Wed. [1859?] Aug. 3 at Shepherd's Hall, from A. Tewksbury, A[dams] Tolman, M[artha] J[ones] Stacy, M[ary] M[errick]  Brooks, E[Ephraim Hartwell] Bellows, and S[ophia] E[lizabeth] Thoreau.

Manuscript  notice regarding meeting to Mrs. John Barrett, from Maria Pratt, 1862 Nov. 11.

Manuscript  notice  regarding meeting to Mrs. [John] Barrett, from M[ary] M[errick] Brooks, 1863 Sept. 29.

Manuscript  notice  regarding meeting to Mrs. [John] Barrett, from M[ary] M[errick] Brooks, 1864 Dec. 30.


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Not to be reproduced in any form without permission of the Curator of the William Munroe Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library.


Mountedd 7 May 2014.    rcwh.

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