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COLLECTION Identifier: A/C466a

Papers of Maria Weston Chapman, 1839-1879, undated


Letters of abolitionist Maria Weston Chapman.


  • Creation: 1839-1879
  • Creation: Majority of material found in Undated


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

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.


1 folder

Collection contains three letters, some discussing anti-slavery activities, and the 1858 report of the 24th National Anti-Slavery Festival. One letter is addressed to Francis J. Garrison, son of William Lloyd Garrison.


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: 84-M46; 84-M152; 89-M45.

The papers of Maria Weston Chapman were acquired by the Schlesinger Library from Paul C. Richard in 1984 and 1989. The 1858 report was removed from the Schlesinger Library book collection in 1984.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Maria Weston Chapman, 1839-1843, undated (A/C466); Women's correspondence collection of the Schlesinger Library, 1839-1924 (A/M678).

There is related material at the Boston Public Library; see (Anti-Slavery Collection).

There is related material at the New York Public Library Manuscripts and Archives Division; see Maria Weston Chapman letters, undated (MssCol 8396).

There is related material at the Pennsylvania State University, University Libraries, Rare Books and Manuscripts; see Maria Weston Chapman letters, 1839 and 1884 (1981-0046R VF Lit).

Processing Information

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 gifts from the Zetlin Sisters Fund, the Jane Rainie Opel ’50 Fund, and the Gerard Schlesinger Library Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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