Halbersleben, Karen I. Books

Women's Participation in the British Antislavery Movement, 1824-1865
1993 0-7734-9294-1
As was true of many 19th-century reforms, the anti-slavery movement drew upon women's perceived special attributes: her moral superiority, her role as guardian of the purity of family and society, her spiritual standing in the religious community. Drawn together by their moral conviction of the evil of slavery, middle-class women from around Great Britain forged an active role for themselves in combatting chattel slavery. Their involvement was of great significance, allowing middle-class woman to work outside her home in a sphere of activity that encouraged her to exercise her initiative and translate moral principle into effective action. The crusade also established the mechanisms of organization and the rhetoric of emancipation which later female reformers would draw upon in the movement for their own rights.