Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880)

by Karen Board Moran, 3/26/2005

Courtesy of PBS website and American Antiquarian Society

Turning from her early career as a novelist and writer of advice books like The Frugal Housewife in 1829, Lydia Maria Child took up the abolitionist cause. She said William Lloyd Garrison “got hold of the strings of my conscience and pulled me into reforms.” (James, 331)

Her abolitionist writing was launched in 1833 with An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans. The history of slavery urgee readers to help end slavery.

From 1841-43, Child edited the National Anti-Slavery Standard, a weekly abolitionist newspaper.

Child earned money from her extensive writing which included editing Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, one of the most renowned first-person accounts of slave life.