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Sarah Mapps Douglass, Faithful Attender of…
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Sarah Mapps Douglass, Faithful Attender of Quaker Meeting: View from the…

by Margaret Hope Bacon

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This book is a short biography (34 pages) of Sarah Mapps Douglass (1806-1882), an African American Quaker who lived most of her life in Philadelphia. It discusses the treatment of Sarah and her mother, Grace Bustill Douglass, by the Philadelphia Friends; African Americans were required to sit on the back bench! It also describes the life of Sarah and her activism, especially in regards to her improving the lives and treatment of African Americans.

Sarah Mapps Douglass led a full life. She was a teacher for over 50 years. Moreover, she was active in the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society which included both black and white women. She also founded a Female Literary Society, which supported William Lloyd Garrison’s Liberator. Garrison published the Constitution of the literary society in The Liberator as well as some of Douglass’s addresses and letters. She was friends with the Grimke Sisters (Sarah and Angelina), who on one occasion sat with Grace and Sarah on the back bench at Friends Meeting. She also received support for improving Friends’ treatment of African Americans at Meetings for Worship from the White Sisters (Rebecca White and Hannah White Richardson), who also helped support her school.

Douglass was also interested in women’s health. She attended the newly founded Female Medical College of Pennsylvania in the early 1850s, and lectured on physiology from the late 1850s through the rest of her life.

A very interesting, heavily footnoted story of a courageous woman. ( )
  sallylou61 | Apr 22, 2011 |
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