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Amy Post to Frederick Douglass and Martin R. Delany, August 22, 1848

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AMY POST TO FREDERICK DOUGLASS AND MARTIN R. DELANY

Rochester, [N.Y.] 22 Aug[ust 1848].

DEAR FRIENDS DOUGLASS & DELANY—

Permit me, through the medium of your paper, to say to the Anti-Slavery friends everywhere, that we are at work in Rochester for the cause of the oppressed. We meet once a week to sew, knit, read, and talk for the cause,1Organized in a number of towns and cities in western New York, ladies’ sewing circles helped broaden the base of the Western New York Anti-Slavery Society. The circles adopted the fundraising and charity methods used by churches. The Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Sewing Circle held a fundraising bazaar at the town’s Minerva Hall on 20 and 21 December 1848. The group advertised for donations and volunteers to staff tables, asking residents to “devote what they can spare, either of money or of the fruits of their labor,” to help raise money to fight slavery. NS, 10 November 1848; Hewitt, Women’s Activism and Social Change, 150, 172–73. and prepare for our Bazaar, which is to come off the 20th of December next.

The pleasure of meeting once a week with the free and cheerful spirits of such men and women as are engaged in this holy and unselfish cause, is sufficient recompense for the loss in our labors at home, without looking for a deeper and more enduring compensation, which always follows right action. Indeed, I can scarcely wait from one Thursday to another, without seeing the devoted few who are in the habit of meeting on that day at the Anti-Slavery Rooms, so strongly have the ties of friendship become cemented. Oh, the blessedness of Anti-slavery !—it not only makes friends at home, but the veriest friends of strangers. Even the broad Atlantic forms no barrier to this expansive work of reciprocal righteousness; for we see a noble band of trans-Atlantic women, warm friends of our beloved and devoted Frederick Douglass, not only sympathizing, but co-operating with us in carrying out our intended plan for supplying articles for the Rochester Bazaar;2Douglass’s supporters in England, including the sisters Julia and Eliza Griffiths, Mary Howitt, Eliza Nicholson, and Anna Richardson, coordinated efforts to solicit donations worth over £82 from a number of British women for the Rochester Bazaar of 1848. Miss Cash of Coventry, Miss Ellis of Bristol, and Miss Dixon of Sunderland sent boxes of donated goods, in addition to the one sent by the Griffiths sisters. Another box contained donations from the Hoyland, Moore, and Peacock families of Manchester. That box also contained donations from the Jennings family of County Cork and the McIntyre family of Belfast, Ireland. Two additional boxes of British donations from Carlisle arrived too late for the bazaar. NS, 12 January 1849. verily, their names have become dear to us. The friends, too, in our own villages of Henrietta, Darien, and Port Byron, are at work,3Some of those aiding the bazaar from the surrounding region included C. G. Hamblin of Port Bryon and Hannah MacIntyre of Darien. In the Henrietta area the Latting, Maltby, Robinson, Kirby, Hazelton, and Campbell families supplied donations or offered help for the bazaar, while Mr. Ellis read an antislavery poem. NS, 12 January 1849. and I trust, in many other places from whom we have not yet heard. Let each of us seek to aid in some way, and the gathering together of our substance and handiwork in December, will be highly beneficial to the cause. Sisters, remember the silent yet watchful throbbings of each bondman’s heart. They should touch responsively every soul, and lead us to re-dedicate ourselves to the work of their complete emancipation.

Yours faithfully,

A. P.

PLIr: NS, 1 September 1848.

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Date

August 22, 1848

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