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Angelina Grimké & Sarah Grimké

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FEBRUARY 20, 1805–OCTOBER 26, 1879 & NOVEMBER 26, 1792–DECEMBER 23, 1873

Sarah Moore Grimké and Angelina Emily Grimké were sisters born in  Charleston, South Carolina, in 1792 and 1805. They were abolitionists and women’s rights activists. Their father was a wealthy Southerner who owned slaves that he cruelly mistreated. Horrified at the violence they had seen growing up, the sisters moved to Philadelphia in the 1820s and became Quakers. The Grimkés found the Quakers’ stance opposing slavery and supporting the rights of Black people too moderate. Frustrated, the sisters became increasingly radical, each speaking and writing about the evils of slavery and the oppression women faced. The Grimkés spoke in front of audiences made up of both men and women, which was scandalous at the time. After Angelina married a Presbyterian man and Sarah showed her support by attending the wedding, the Quakers expelled both sisters from the Society of Friends. Though less publicly active after 1840, both women continued to support the rights of women and black Americans for the rest of their lives.

Controversial in their own time, the Grimké sisters are now remembered as two of the most important members of the early American women’s rights movement. Their public work helped redefine acceptable roles for women and inspired many of the next generation of women’s rights activists. Sarah died in 1873 at age 81, and Angelina died in 1879 at age 74.

*This is an educational listing. If you would like to purchase Votes for Women products, below are links to our puzzles and flash cards! 

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