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Angelina Emily Grimké Weld (20 February 1805 – 26 October 1879) was an American politician, lawyer abolitionist and suffragist.


Early years

Grimké was born in Charleston, South Carolina, to John Faucheraud Grimké, an aristocratic Episcopalian judge who owned slaves. She was very close to her sister Sarah Moore Grimké.


Despite the influence of their father, both sisters became abolitionists and joined the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Philadelphia. In 1835, Angelina wrote an anti-slavery letter to Abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison, who published it in The Liberator. When her anti-slavery "An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South" was published in 1836, it was publicly burned in South Carolina, and she and her sister were threatened with arrest if they ever returned to their native state. At this point, Grimké and Sarah began to speak out against slavery in public. They were among the first women in the United States to break out of their designated private spheres; this made them somewhat of a curiosity. Grimké was invited to speak at the Massachusetts State Legislature in 1837, and testified February 1838, becoming the first woman in the United States to address a legislative body.[1] In 1838, the Grimké sisters gave a series of well-attended lectures in Boston.

Personal life

Grimké was married 14 May 1838 to Theodore Dwight Weld,[2] an abolitionist leader and suffragist. Although she had hoped to continue her work for the abolitionist cause, in 1839 Grimké eventually gave up public speaking because of failing health. Sarah moved in with her and also retired from public life. Still, both sisters remained privately active as abolitionists and suffragists and also came to operate a boarding school. There they taught the children of several noted abolitionists, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They were even responsible for the advanced education of the three black sons of Henry Grimke (1801-1852), who was their brother. The sisters paid for Archibald Henry Grimke and Rev. Francis Grimke to attend Harvard. Archibald became a lawyer and later an ambassador to Haiti and Francis became a Presbyterian minister.


  1. ^ Miller, 316
  2. ^ Miller, pp 314, 325
  • Downing, David C. (2007). A South Divided: Portraits of Dissent in the Confederacy (First edition ed.). Nashville: Cumberland House. ISBN 9781581825879. 
  • Lerner, Gerda (1971). The Grimke Sisters From South Carolina: Pioneers for Women's Rights and Abolition (First edition ed.). New York: Schocken Books. ISBN 0805203214. 
  • Miller, William Lee (1995). Arguing About Slavery. John Quincy Adams and the Great Battle in the United States Congress. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-3945-6922-9. 

External links

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