In Her Own Right

Cassey and Dickerson Friendship Albums

Date created 1833-1856, 1833-1882, 1840-1846
Creator Amy Matilda Cassey, Mary Anne Dickerson, Martina Dickerson
Abstract These albums offer a look at networks in action, showing how close-knit the abolitionist community was. Although the most number of entries come from members of Philadelphia's free black elite, contributors come from as far away as Boston and include such notable figures as the women and men in the Forten and Purvis families, Sarah Mapps Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Lucy Stone, and others. They document how important learning, erudition, aesthetics, and faith were to members of the black elite, but they also shed light on gender norms within this community. Included are some interesting elements of gender conservatism, including odes to domesticity, submission, and motherhood. Frederick Douglass's entry in the Cassey album contrasts the "beauty, elegance, and refinement" of the album with his own duty "to grapple with huge wrong--with gigantic tyranny--to launch the fierce denunciations of outraged and indignant men at the hoary headed oppression!," suggesting that these two worlds were incompatible. It would be of great interest to historians, then, to see if and how this context manifested itself in women's activism in such organizations as the Philadelphia Female Antislavery Society.
Size P.9764: 1 album (76 leaves, 10 drawings), 13860.Q: 1 album (81 leaves, 7 plates, 4 illustrations), 13859.Q: 1 album (95 leaves, 4 drawings)
Geographical location Philadelphia (Pa.); more data points of events/homes of contributors found on interactive map: (we can supply spreadsheet used for map if easier)
Full collection description Home repository description for Cassey and Dickerson Friendship Albums
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Contributing institution The Library Company of Philadelphia
Digital materials View items from the Cassey and Dickerson Friendship Albums