Module 04: How Did Abolitionism Lead to the Struggle for Women 's Rights?

Evidence 7: Announcement for the Fifteenth National Anti-Slavery Bazaar, 1848

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Similar to the Circular Announcing an Anti-Slavery Fair Organized by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, the advertisement below enabled abolitionist women to raise money in support of their cause. The fairs combined the sale of donated items imported from Europe as well as handmade goods made by the women involved, thereby giving women's domestic work a political purpose. Some fairs raised money to sustain organizations, newspapers, or paid staff; others passed the money on to aid freed slaves. Like the petition campaigns, anti-slavery fairs also served a second purpose: to raise awareness of the abolitionist issue.

Question to Consider

  • What does the document suggest about the skills women gained from participating in and organizing anti-slavery fairs?


The Fifteenth National Anti-Slavery BAZAAR
Faneuil Hall, Boston
? Will open on Wednesday, December 20, at 10 o'clock, A.M.

The variety, beauty and elegance of the exhibition will be far greater than any former year, owing to increased exertions of members of the committee now in Europe, and to the generous donations of friends of the Cause, both at home and abroad.

Among the most rare and beautiful of the objects of taste and art, are a selection of fine groups and statuettes in biscuit, and porcelain, with many choice specimens of smaller objects, ornamented with flowers. . .a very great variety of silk-crocheted and beaded ladies' bags and purses. . ., glove and ribbon boxes, Jewel cases, &c. . . .

Paisley and Edinburgh shawls, of every variety, and of a beauty and fineness never imported in trade— scarfs of the clan tartans for ladies and gentlemen. Every variety of knitted and netted scarfs, neck ties, polkas, cephalias, and opera caps. Ladies silk and satin aprons, plain and richly embroidered; children's dresses, of every variety of material. Infants' cloaks and bonnets, of remarkable beauty. Splendid Afghan blanket. Every variety of toilette, sofa, carriage and elbow cushions. Silk patch work, table, piano and sofa covers. . . .

At the Worcester, Lynn, Plymouth, and other tables [representing anti-slavery societies from other towns in Massachusetts] may be found a great assortment of useful articles, knit woolens and shoes. . . .

An immense cheese, from the Ladies Garrisonian Anti-Slavery Society of Austinburgh, Ohio, may be found at the Refreshment table.

The Liberator 18.50 (15 Dec 1848).

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