More on Stephen Foster (1809-91):
During the Civil War, Foster was the most prominent of fifteen abolitionists who signed the antiwar "Standing Protest of the New England Non-Resistant Abolitionists." He was married to the better-known Abby Kelley, a founder of the women's movement. Kelley was subsequently written out of feminist history by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton because of her Garrisonian hostility to voting, which continued even after the Civil War ended, while the feminist movement generally became almost exclusively obsessed with women's suffrage.
More details on Stephen Foster can be found scattered in Dorothy Sterling, AHEAD OF HER TIME: ABBY KELLEY AND THE POLITICS OF ANTISLAVERY (New York: W. W. Norton, 1991); Lewis Perry, RADICAL ABOLITIONISM: ANARCHY AND THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD IN ANTISLAVERY THOUGHT (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1973); and Richard H. Sewell, BALLOTS FOR FREEDOM: ANTISLAVERY POLITICS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1837-1860 (New York: W. W. Norton, 1976).
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David T. Beito - 4/28/2007
How did he stand on other issues such as economics and property rights? Abby Kelley certainly deserves more attention. Has anyone studied the reasons for the shift pro-suffrage feminism after the Civil War? the irony, of course, is that women's suffrage became more popular, votes for blacks became less so (among whites). Interestingly, my sense is that Stanton was pretty individualist on other issues but could be wrong.
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