Antislavery Petitions from Women, 1835–1849
These antislavery memorials are representative of the vast number of petitions sent by women to Congress. They urged Congress to end the slave trade and slavery in Washington, D.C., and not to admit new slave states into the Union. Signers included African American abolitionists Sarah Douglass and Charlotte Forten and women’s rights advocates Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth McClintock.
Records of the U.S. House of Representatives and Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration
Women Petition Against Slavery
Lacking the right to vote in national elections, women sought to influence Congress through their constitutional right to petition. Congress received hundreds of thousands of petitions from women that addressed all aspects of the antislavery issue, including the slave trade, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, expansion of slavery in the territories, and slavery in the nation’s capital. Many of the petitioners framed their arguments in moral and religious terms.