Letters to Catherine E. Beecher, in Reply to an Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism


Letters to Catherine E. Beecher, in Reply to an Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism

Call Number

E 449 .B419

Date of Publication


Collection Size

1 bound volume; 130 pages


Open under the rules and regulations of the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections



Historical Note

Angelina Grimké was an American abolitionist, political activist, and women’s rights advocate. She born on February 20, 1805, the last of 14 children, to John Faucheraud Grimké and Mary Smith Grimké in Charleston, SC. Her father was a wealthy planter, lawyer, politician and judge. He was a lifelong slave holder and did not believe women should be educated. Angelina’s brothers shared their lessons with their sisters. Angelina was forthright and opinionated from childhood. She and her older sister Sarah taught their family’s slaves and she avidly spoke against slavery. Angelina and Sarah moved to Philadelphia as adults and became outspoken abolitionists and promoters of racial and gender equality. She died on October 26, 1879 in Hyde Park Massachusetts.



Letters to Catherine E. Beecher is a collection of letters published in 1838 by Angelina Grimké in response to Beecher’s views on abolition and her “general views in relation to the place woman is appointed to fill by the dispensations of heaven.” Beecher believed women should take a subordinate role. Grimké’s response was to offer objections to Beecher’s arguments and “throw before thee my own views” which make it clear that she supported racial and gender equality. The volume contains 13 letters Grimké titled:

  • Fundamental Principles of Abolitionists
  • Immediate Emancipation
  • Main Principle of Action
  • Connection Between the North and South
  • Christian Character of Abolitionism
  • Colonization
  • Prejudice
  • Vindication of Abolitionists
  • Effect on the South
  • 'The Tendency of the Age Towards Emancipation' Produced by Abolition Doctrines
  • The Sphere of Woman and Man as Moral Beings the Same
  • Human Rights not Founded on Sex
  • Miscellaneous Remarks, Conclusion

Additional Notes

Handwritten in the front of the volume: "Emily H. Packard; Leicester Junction, Vermont; Jan 1890"


Winthrop Library purchased the volume from Kowalczyk in 1959 for $3.00


Isaac Knapp




Women's Rights, Women's History, Antislavery movements, Slavery, Abolitionism, Personal Correspondence, Catherine E. Beecher


Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Social Justice | Women's History

Letters to Catherine E. Beecher, in Reply to an Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism