Our Dearest Abby

WWHP is thrilled to have the “Yours for Humanity—Abby” play slated for performance at the State House. The performer, Lynne McKenney Lydick, is tremendously passionate about Abby and the play. On stage she seems to channel the very spirit of Abby Kelley Foster. Her dedication through the years to WWHP has been inspiring to all who have worked with her.

Abby Kelley Foster and her unfailing spirit traveled to Boston and be-yond many times. In May, 1838, The New England Anti-Slavery Society held its Convention with more than 500 people in attendance. Women had only recently been admitted after William Lloyd Garrison had helped pass a resolution. However, the motion had passed because the more con-servative abolitionists had yet to arrive. Later these conservatives would attempt to reverse the decision. Abby was named to a working group charged with creating an abolitionist call to churches. Even though Abby was told it would be disreputable for her personally and the document they produced would be ‘unscriptural’, Abby held her ground and con-vinced them that she did belong. When the ministers lost the vote to dis-charge the committee and to reconsider the admission of women, many left the convention in protest. Abby went on to be one of the most success-ful and enthralling lecturers for the American Anti-Slavery Society, capti-vating audiences across the nation.

Decades later on December 20, 1873 (the 100th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party), Abby, still fighting and still working for her causes, along with Lucy Stone organized an American Woman Suffrage Association rally. Their suffrage slogan for the day was, “Taxation without Representa-tion is Tyranny.” Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass joined the female speakers on the platform. It was a tremendous success, with attendance counted in the thousands.

Abby desperately wanted people to see that women’s rights and Negroes rights were one in the same—human rights. She was a tireless worker, or-ganizer, fundraiser, writer and lecturer. As she told William Lloyd Garrison back in her early days, in terms of the ‘woman question’, the abolition movement would have to take “a decided stand for all truths, under the conviction that the whole are necessary to the permanent establishment of any single one.”

Throughout decades of being attacked sometimes in person, sometimes in the press, Abby’s bravery and faithfulness never wavered and it is truly inspiring!

Published Date: 
September 1, 2009