timeline

born 1792

Sarah Moore Grimké was not born + bred to be an activist. Raised in a large family of conservative Christian slaveholders who ranked among the Southern elite, Sarah rejected the status quo and moved north to preach equal rights and enlightened Quakerism. 

Eventually, she and the younger sister she helped raise {Angelina} teamed up to make a formidable pair of abolitionists + feminists who wrote and spoke their way up and down the East. Her radical writings ~ some of the first to boldly express the links between racial and sexual oppression ~ would go on to be a touchstone for future suffragettes and civil rights activists alike.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Sarah Moore Grimké (12)

"The system of slavery is necessarily cruel. . . . All around is the mighty ruin of intellect, the appalling spectacle of the down-trodden image of God."

An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States | 1836

"Oh, that I could clothe my feelings in eloquence that would be irresistible."

An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States | december 1836

"Here is written in characters of fire continually blazing before the eyes of every man who holds his fellow man in bondage—In the image of God created he man."

An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States | december 1836

"Slavery has . . . trampled the image of God in the dust."

An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States | december 1836

"I am in search of truth; and no obstacle shall prevent my prosecuting that search, because I believe the welfare of the world will be materially advanced by every new discovery we make of the designs of Jehovah in the creation of woman."

Letters on the equality of the sexes, and the condition of woman: addressed to Mary S. Parker, president of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society | july 1837

"In all this sublime description of the creation of man, (which is a generic term including man and woman,) there is not one particle of difference intimated as existing between them. They were both made in the image of God; dominion was given to both over every other creature, but not over each other."

Letters on the equality of the sexes, and the condition of woman: addressed to Mary S. Parker, president of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society | july 1837

"But I ask no favors for my sex. I surrender not our claim to equality. All I ask of our brethren is, that they will take their feet from off our necks, and permit us to stand upright on that ground which God designed us to occupy."

Letters on the equality of the sexes, and the condition of woman: addressed to Mary S. Parker, president of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society | july 1837

"There are few instances of men who are magnanimous enough to be entirely willing that women should know more than themselves, on any subjects except dress and cookery; and, indeed, this necessarily flows from their assumption of superiority."

Letters on the equality of the sexes, and the condition of woman: addressed to Mary S. Parker, president of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society | august 1837

"Byron, who was too sensual to conceive of a pure and perfect companionship between the sexes, would limit a woman's library to a Bible and cookery book."

Letters on the equality of the sexes, and the condition of woman: addressed to Mary S. Parker, president of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society | august 1837

"I have myself heard men, who knew for themselves the value of intellectual culture, say they cared very little for a wife who could not make a pudding."

Letters on the equality of the sexes, and the condition of woman: addressed to Mary S. Parker, president of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society | august 1837

"I have neither lamentation for the Then nor denunciation of the Now. All I feel is gratitude for the past, cheerful acquiescence in the present, bright hope for the future."

The Education of Women | 1852

"Woman has a deep, intuitive, divine sense of justice."

to the Editor of The Lily | april 1852
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curated with care by Alicia Williamson {september 2014}