During the 1830s, the anti-slavery movement began to splinter along various lines. While most originally favored a gradual emancipation followed by swift colonization of former slaves, others were growing more radical. The idea of immediate abolition was beginning to grow. The Grimke Sisters, Angela and Sarah, were at the forefront of this movement.
That they were women caused still another rift. Even in such progressive movements as abolitionism, there was a push back against women taking political roles. This rift grew more prominent with the increasing popularity of these two fiery sisters.
“As a Southerner I feel that it is my duty to stand up here tonight and bear testimony against slavery. I have seen it – I have seen it. I know it has horrors that can never be described. I was brought up under its wing: I witnessed for many years its demoralizing influences, and its destructiveness to human happiness.” – Angelina Grimke
In this piece, we’ll look at Angelina Grimke’s 1838 speech in Philadelphia, on the night anti-abolitionists burned down Pennsylvania Hall.