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Sarah Moore Grimké and her much younger sister Angelina Emily Grimké, known as the Grimké sisters, were two of the 14 children of a Southern plantation owner and prominent judge. Their father owned hundreds of slaves, but Sarah grew up hating slavery. She wanted to attend university like her brother but was not permitted by her parents. In 1819, she moved to Philadelphia, where she joined the Society of Friends, or Quakers; Angelina joined her a few years later. Sarah and Angelina spent their lives as educators, writers, and early anti-slavery and women's rights advocates. They traveled and lectured about their first-hand knowledge of the evils of slavery, which brought abuse and ridicule for their activism. They were among the American first women to act publicly in social reform movements. In 1836, Sarah wrote An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States. Her series of letters published in 1837 in the New England Spectator were later collected under the title Letters on the Equality of the Sexes (1837). The two sisters edited American Slavery as It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses, a collection of stories from southern newspapers written by their editors. Sarah never married. After Angelina's 1838 marriage to Theodore Weld, a fellow abolitionist, Sarah moved with them to Belleville, New Jersey, where they opened a school. They supported President Lincoln during the U.S. Civil War with letters and speeches.
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