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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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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 22 February 2020

Coming Together, 1862–1872

Coming Together, 1862–1872

(p.230) 8 Coming Together, 1862–1872
Radical Friend

Nancy A. Hewitt

University of North Carolina Press

The eruption of Civil War led activists who had pursued distinct strategies to coalesce around support for emancipation and aid to escaped slaves. Rochester’s competing networks of women abolitionists worked together to support the labors of Harriet Jacobs and Julia Wilbur in the contraband camps of Alexandria, Virginia. With the Post children grown, former household workers and widowed friends filled the Post home; and family and fellow activists visited regularly. The outbreak of war ignited intense debates among Progressive Friends, in which Amy participated. None of the Post sons enlisted. In 1863, Amy worked with the Women’s Loyal National League, which petitioned Congress to emancipate all slaves. That December, she visited Jacobs and Wilbur in Alexandria, writing Isaac of the horrible conditions there. After the war, the Posts worked with Truth to assist newly-freed blacks. When suffragists divided over the Fifteenth Amendment, Post insisted on universal suffrage but refused to join either newly-formed women’s suffrage organization. Consumed with caring for sick relatives in the early 1870s, she was devastated when Isaac died in May 1872. By November, however, she rallied to join dozens of women trying to register and vote in Rochester.

Keywords:   Civil War, contraband camps, Fifteenth Amendment, Harriet Jacobs, Progressive Friends, Sojourner Truth, universal suffrage, Julia Wilbur, Woman’s Loyal National League, women’s suffrage

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