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Liberty Bell anti-slavery annuals

[]Congregationalists were quite active in the abolition movement, so we have a pretty extensive collection of anti-slavery materials here at the library. One thing we're short on, though, is a publication called The Liberty Bell. We only have the first volume from 1839. Luckily, our neighbors at the Mass State Library have more 14 more volumes in their Special Collections.

The Liberty Bell [is] an annual gift book first published in 1839 by the American Anti-Slavery Society and edited by Maria Weston Chapman. These ornate publications were sold at the annual Boston Anti-Slavery Bazaar, a fair founded by Lydia Maria Child and Louisa Loring and sponsored by the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society.

Each volume of The Liberty Bell contains poems, essays, and other pieces, as Weston described, "from those whose names are dear to the abolitionists." Contributions such as these were made by New England and European literary figures and abolitionists including Lydia Maria Child, Harriet Martineau, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lucretia Mott, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Russell Lowell, and Alex de Tocqueville, among many others.

Just like our collections, the materials at the State Library are available to anyone who wants to use them. These books can provide valuable information to people interested in women's history in publishing, the abolitionist movement, early 19th-century New England society, and a number of other topics. Stop in to see them, and come by to visit us at the Congregational Library while you're in the neighborhood.


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