Papers of Maria Weston Chapman, 1839-1843, undated
Letters of abolitionist Maria Weston Chapman.
- Chapman, Maria Weston, 1806-1885 (Person)
Language of Materials
Materials in English.
Access. Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Maria Weston Chapman as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Collection contains three letters written by Maria Weston Chapman discussing anti-slavery activities, including the Boston Anti-Slavery Bazaar and the Liberty Bell. One letter is addressed to Catherine and Henrietta Sargent.
Maria Weston Chapman was born on July 25, 1806, to Warren and Anne (Bates) Weston in Weymouth, Massachusetts. Chapman spent several years living in England with her uncle, Joshua Bates. Between 1828 and 1830, she served as principal of the Young Ladies' High School in Boston. On October 6, 1830, Maria Weston married Henry Grafton Chapman. They had four children: Elizabeth Bates (Chapman) Laugel (1831–1913); Henry Grafton Chapman, Jr. (1833-1883); Ann Greene Chapman (1837-1879); and Gertrude Chapman (1840-1841).
In 1835, Maria Weston Chapman began leading Boston's Anti-Slavery Bazaar (or fair), which sold household goods and printed material, in order to support the anti-slavery and abolitionist ventures of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society. Another hallmark of the Anti-Slavery Bazaar was the Liberty Bell, an annual gift book that contained poetry, prose, and essays. Authors included Chapman and her sisters, Lydia Maria Child, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Lucretia Mott, and William Lloyd Garrison. In 1858, Chapman ended the bazaar and replaced it with the Anti-Slavery Subscription Anniversary, which featured food and entertainment. Maria Weston Chapman was also active with the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society and the New England Non-Resistance Society.
Maria Weston Chapman published several books and other writings, including Right and Wrong in Massachusetts (1839), How Can I Help to Abolish Slavery? (1855), and was editor for Harriet Martineau's Autobiography.
Maria Weston Chapman died on July 12, 1885, in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession numbers: 730, 870
The papers of Maria Weston Chapman were acquired by the Schlesinger Library from Paul C. Richard in 1964-1965.
Updated and additional description added: February 2022
By: Cat Lea Holbrook
The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit. Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Language of description
- Processing of this collection was made possible by the Jane Rainie Opel ’50 Fund and the Zetlin Sisters Fund.
- EAD ID
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