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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Sarah Grimké (1792–1873). Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, and the Condition of Woman. Boston: I. Knapp, 1838. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (005.01.00)
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Women Speak Out to Challenge Prejudice

In the 1830s, over the objections of male antislavery proponents, abolitionist Sarah Grimké linked the issues of slavery and women’s status. She was criticized and threatened for “promiscuously” speaking in public, especially to mixed-sex audiences. Grimké defended her right to speak freely and challenged biblical justifications for women’s inferior position in her 1838 book Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, and the Condition of Woman, considered the first systematic discussion of women’s rights by an American woman.

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