Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society

Conflict: Civil War

Preamble to the Constitution of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society

Preamble to the Constitution of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society

The Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society is just what you’d expect it to be: an all-female abolitionist group dedicated to immediate emancipation in the United States. Founded in 1833, the group believed that slavery was “a direct violation of the laws of God, and productive of a vast amount of misery and crime” and they put forth every effort to help in the cause of abolishing slavery entirely, appropriating funds “to the dissemination of truth on the subject of slavery, and the improvement of the moral and intellectual character of the colored population.”

The society was established to combat the rising apathy toward slavery, both from the public and from the group’s own members. They determined to fight mightily against the institution of slavery now that the “long, dark night is rapidly receding, the light of truth has unsealed our eyes, and fallen upon our hearts, [and] awakened our slumbering energies.” The creation of a female anti-slavery society also dramatically increased the involvement of women in Boston’s abolitionist movement.

After seven years of dedicated work, including one event where they helped free a slave girl that had been brought to Massachusetts by her southern owners during a visit, the BFASS group was eventually splintered by factionalism and infighting. The nationally renowned society dissolved in a cloud of confusion and bitterness.

Excerpt from a letter to Anna Warren Weston, one of the leaders of the BFASS, from Frederick Douglass, regarding him stopping in Massachusetts to speak on behalf of the abolitionist movement

Excerpt from a letter to Anna Warren Weston, one of the leaders of the BFASS, from abolitionist Frederick Douglass, regarding him speaking in Massachusetts

For more about this intrepid group of women, you can read the Report of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, the Annual Report of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, or find some extra information on this Wikipedia page. This site also tells more about Anna Warren Weston and other founders of the society. You can also find more letters like the one above, including some from those involved in abolitionist movements outside of Boston, in the Anti-Slavery Manuscripts Collection on Fold3.