Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Chapman, Maria W. (fl. 1837) Right and Wrong in Boston. Annual report of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Soc.

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06860 Author/Creator: Chapman, Maria W. (fl. 1837) Place Written: Boston Type: Book Date: 1837 Pagination: 120 p. 16.8 x 11.5 cm

Summary of Content: Subtitle: "Annual report of the Boston Female Anti-slavery Society, with a sketch of obstacles thrown in the way of emancipation by certain clerical abolitionists and advocates for the subjection of women." Printed by Isaac Knapp. 16mo. Rebound. Women formed their own anti-slavery societies in Philadelphia, Boston, Andover and elsewhere. The report chides clergy for hobbling anti-slavery efforts and digresses from anti-slavery to address "the sphere of women," a major issue in that year. In 1837, the societies held a national convention in New York and were widely ridiculed in the press. The right of the Grimke sisters to speak in public had been questioned in New York, and ministers had argued for the importance of women being dependent. Maria Chapman's three pages on the subject of "a woman's sphere" are among the most early printed statements on women's equality in the U.S. "[Woman] is fettered in body and in mind by commentators and translator and partial reasoners, but by revelation never. What is the sphere and duty of woman, it rests with each one for herself to determine...." Dumond p. 29, NAW 1: 324, Women's Writing p. 162, Blockson 9158. Not in Sabin.


Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: Woman AuthorWomen's HistoryReform MovementAbolitionSlaveryMorality and EthicsReligionCivil Rights

Sub Era: Age of Jackson

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources