Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Abigail Kelley Foster (1811-1887) began her career as a teacher in Massachusetts. In 1837, she abandoned teaching for the anti-slavery cause, for which she was denounced by both the public and clergy. In 1840, she was appointed to the executive committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society. She was disowned by her Meeting, Uxbridge Monthly Meeting (MA) for her anti-slavery stance and "impropriety". She m. Stephen Foster in 1845, also an anti-slavery worker. In 1850, Abby Kelley Foster attended the first large women's rights conventions and from that time, she led the movement of women who refused to pay their taxes unless they were enfranchised.
Stephen Symonds Foster (1809 - 1881) was also an abolitionist and reformer. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1838. While at Dartmouth he served a jail sentence rather than perform military duty. Foster was a close friend of William Lloyd Garrison, and like Garrison he denounced the Constitution and was ready to dissolve the Union. He accompanied his colleague on several lecture tours and became equally well known as an agitator, not only in New England, but throughout the Northern states. His career was as a lecturer on anti-slavery themes and he wrote the pamphlet, The Brotherhood of Thieves; or a True Picture of the American Church and Clergy (1843). He also advocated for women's suffrage, he was a temperance worker, an advocate of world peace, and a supporter of the rights of labor. His refused to pay taxes while women were denied suffrage. (Information from the Dictionary of Quaker Biography; Dictionary of American Biography in Biography Resource Center (online))
Photocopies of letters by and to Abby Kelley Foster (1811-1887) and her husband, Stephen S. Foster (1809-1881, along with some manuscripts. Originals of these materials are located at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA.
Letters from Kelley are organized chronologically; letters to her are organized alphabetically by sender.
Gift of Margaret Hope Bacon, 1980 and by purchase, 1984.
Processing history is unknown. Reboxed and finding aid revised by Katherine Hong, April 2022.
- Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).
unidentified letters to and by others
unidentified letters to and by others; manuscripts other than letters.