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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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Shifting Alliances, 1849–1853

Shifting Alliances, 1849–1853

(p.147) 6 Shifting Alliances, 1849–1853
Radical Friend

Nancy A. Hewitt

University of North Carolina Press

In 1849, Harriet Jacobs joined Posts’ household after Nell returned to Boston, and Sojourner Truth befriended Amy in 1851. The Posts invited black and white friends to their home, and Amy helped organize an interracial dinner during a WNYASS convention. Still aiding a flood of fugitive slaves, the Posts became increasingly involved in woman’s rights, spiritualism, temperance, and the Congregational Friends. Susan B. Anthony settled in Rochester in 1849 and joined Amy in woman’s rights and temperance efforts. As Isaac became absorbed in spiritualism, Amy travelled to antislavery and woman’s rights conventions, visited William Nell in Boston, and toured fugitive communities in Canada. While honing her skills as a conductor across movements, Post also confronted her limits. In 1849 Julia Griffiths arrived from Scotland to aid Douglass’s work. More attracted to political abolitionism and affluent supporters than to radical activists, Griffiths nonetheless hoped to gain Post’s support. Instead, as Douglass grew closer to Griffiths, he became more critical of Post. The gulf widened when Griffiths organized the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society and Douglass embraced political abolitionism. Still, Post remained close with Nell, Jacobs, and Truth, who shared her spiritualist and women’s rights views as well as her radical abolitionism.

Keywords:   Congregational Friends, Frederick Douglass, fugitive slaves, Julia Griffiths, Harriet Jacobs, William Nell, Sojourner Truth, spiritualism, temperance, woman’s rights

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