1836-1837 | Sarah and Angelina Grimke begin their speaking careers attracting controversy by lecturing on anti-slavery to “promiscuous assemblies” of both men and women.

Female abolitionists hold the first Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in New York on May 9, 1837, and publish Angelina Grimke’s “An Appeal to the Women of the Nominally Free States,” which argues that women — as citizens — have a duty to engage in the political concerns of their country such as slavery. Between July and October of the same year, Sarah Moore Grimke writes a series of letters to the New England Spectator that comprise the first extended analysis of women’s equality and rights by an American, later collected and published as “Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, and the Condition of Woman” (1838).

Photo: J.D. Crane, [Sarah Moore Grimké, 1792-1873], photograph, 1870, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan