Beacon Street Diary blog

New NEHH collections - two North Shore groups

The latest additions to our New England's Hidden Histories program come from groups in the North Shore region of Massachusetts that had strong opinions on the issues of the time. One forged a local fellowship of churches that has lasted to the modern day. The other achieved its purpose and disbanded. Take a look and see what you can find.

The original manuscripts in these collections are owned by our project partners, the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.


Essex North Association, Mass.

The Essex Middle Association, which would later become the Essex North Association, was formed in Rowley, West Parish (now Georgetown) in 1761. Noteworthy members included Rev. John Cleaveland, who ministered Chebacco Church in Ipswich for 52 years. The Association weighed in on various social issues throughout its long history, including slavery and the temperance movement.


Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society

The Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society (SFASS) was formed in 1834. The preamble to the SFASS's constitution stated its three principles: that slavery should be immediately abolished; that people of color, enslaved or free, have a right to a home in the country without fear of intimidation, and that the society should be ready to acknowledge people of color as friends and equals. The majority of SFASS membership was comprised of wives and daughters of the members of the Anti-Slavery Society of Salem and Vicinity (ASSSV), who were drawn largely from Salem's middle and professional classes. Early activities of the society included distributing clothes to freed blacks in the area, supporting the National Anti-Slavery Bazaar at Faneuil Hall, organizing a sewing school for black girls, and aiding fugitive slaves in Canada.


Special Thanks

These digital resources have been made possible in part by the Council on Library and Information Resources, through a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the Council on Library and Information Resources.

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