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Radical FriendAmy Kirby Post and Her Activist Worlds$
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Nancy A. Hewitt

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469640327

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469640327.001.0001

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Worldly Associations, 1836–1841

Worldly Associations, 1836–1841

(p.65) 3 Worldly Associations, 1836–1841
Radical Friend

Nancy A. Hewitt

University of North Carolina Press

Rochester’s boomtown atmosphere attracted a diverse population and allowed Isaac Post to open an apothecary shop to support his still growing family. As importantly, the Posts engaged new groups of activists even as they immersed themselves in Hicksite debates over abolition, Indian rights, women’s rights, and the appropriateness of Friends participating in worldly (that is, cross-denominational) social movements. Locally, antislavery efforts were led by local blacks and by white evangelicals. Amy signed her first antislavery petition in 1837; and she and Isaac attended antislavery conventions where national leaders spoke. In 1840, they joined evangelical, Hicksite and Orthodox Friends in founding the Western New York Anti-Slavery Society (WNYASS). The WNYASS, auxiliary to the American Anti-Slavery Society, was interracial and mixed-sex. In January 1842, William Lloyd Garrison spoke at its annual convention and stayed with the Posts. That February, Amy helped organize a worldly antislavery fair. The funds were intended to help fugitives seeking refuge in Canada, suggesting that she and Isaac were also involved in the underground railroad. Clearly Amy Post’s activist worlds were expanding, complicating her relationship to the Hicksite meeting and opening up new possibilities for transforming society.

Keywords:   abolition, antislavery fairs, antislavery petitions, black abolitionists, evangelical activists, Hicksite Friends, Indian rights, Orthodox Friends, Western New York Anti-Slavery Society, William Lloyd Garrison

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