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Anthony, Susan B) Chadwick, John White, ed.

Life for Liberty, A.


A Biography Of A Major Feminist Abolitionist,
Inscribed By Another Feminist Abolitionist
To Susan B. Anthony
[Anthony, Susan B.] Chadwick, John White, ed. A Life for Liberty/Anti-Slavery and Other Letters of Sallie Holley. With Illustrations. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1899.
8vo.; frontispiece illustration of Sallie Holley; original tissue guard; other illustrations (of William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglas, Caroline F. Putnam, Gerritt Smith, and others) throughout; index; publisher's advertisements at rear; internally bright and fine; green cloth, spine stamped in gilt; a pretty copy.
First edition of this biography and collection of letters of the feminist-abolitionist Sallie Holley. A presentation copy, inscribed on the first blank: To dear Susan B. Anthony with love from Elizabeth S. Miller Geneva May 23 '99. Elizabeth S. Miller was a colleague of Anthony's, an abolitionist-feminist, and the daughter of famed abolitionist Gerritt Smith, who is mentioned throughout this volume. (Susan B. Anthony is also mentioned throughout the volume, both in letters and in the introduction, which pays tribute to her abolitionist work.)
Sallie Holley (1818-1893) was an extremely significant figure in abolitionist-feminist circles. A longtime abolitionist lecturer and activist, Holley was born into an abolitionist household which predisposed her to the idea that all human beings were, or deserved to be, of equal worth. Holley entered Oberlin College in 1847, where she met Caroline F. Putnam, her life-long companion. The decisive event of her college years, besides the meeting of her longtime companion, was when Holley attended a lecture by anti-slavery activist Abby Kelley Foster. Upon graduation, Holley decided to devote her life to the abolitionist cause, and she was promptly appointed an agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Frequently accompanied by Caroline F. Putnam, she traveled the state and country lecturing (often four or more times per week) on the abolitionist cause.
Although abolition was her primary cause, feminism was intertwined with Holley's abolitionist views. When speaking, she was always conscious of her gender and that she had "the dignity of women to sustain" (NAW, Vol. II, 205); and her friendship circle included Ms. Anthony, Abby Kelly Foster, Luctretia Mott, Angelina Grimke, and Gerrit Smith (himself long a friend of her father's). Holley admired such feminists as Margaret Fuller and Ernestine Rose and during the 1850s attended several women's rights conventions.
From 1863 till 1870 Sallie Holley lectured extensively and worked for the American Anti-Slavery Society and wrote for its periodical, the National Anti-Slavery Standard. Holley and her companion Putnam devoted the last two decades of their lives to The Holley School, a school for freedmen they established in Northumberland County, Virginia. There they lived a reclusive life, with only the local black population and those they were teaching as friends. Because of Holley and Putnams's exclusion from the white society of Virginia due to their lifestyle and activities, the letter became an important vehicle for Holley in communicating with others, making this volume especially significant and poignant. Holley died of pneumonia thirty years after Emancipation, during a visit to New York. She was buried beside her father in Rochester (Susan B. Anthony's hometown).
Elizabeth S.Miller, presenter of this volume to Susan B. Anthony, was born in 1822 and died in 1911. Miller was, from an early age, quite independent: when she married in 1843 she asserted her intellectual independence from her husband by declaring that, although she would follow wherever he went, she would not attend a proslavery church with him. In 1859, she and her husband were amongst the first signers of the call for the first Women's Rights Convention in Worcester, MA. Mrs. Miller's feminist activities (and perhaps her family associations) led her into a close friendship with Susan B. Anthony, especially in her later years.
A magnificent association copy tying together major personages in the early abolitionist and feminist movements.

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