Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-x

Cast of Characters

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pp. xi-xvi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

Amy Kirby Post, a married mother of four, epitomizes radical activism in nineteenth-century America. She advocated a wide range of causes and worked earnestly to orchestrate ties between issues, individuals, and movements. Her activist worlds demonstrate the significance of egalitarian, interracial, and mixed-sex movements for social change across the nineteenth ...

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1. Family and Faith, 1790–1828

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pp. 15-45

Before she was conscious of the world around her, Amy Kirby was enveloped in radical possibilities. Born in 1802 in a Long Island farming community, Amy was preceded by generations of English Friends who established farms, built meetinghouses, and testified against war and slavery. Some of these families had migrated to Westbury in the late seventeenth century, ...

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2. Frontier Friends, 1828–1836

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pp. 46-64

Throughout the spring and summer of 1828, Amy Kirby traveled back and forth between the upstart town of Ledyard and the established village of Jericho. While in central New York, she cared for her niece and nephew and deepened her friendships with Hannah Willets and Anna Greene. At the Poplar Ridge Meetinghouse, close to Isaac’s home, Amy found solace ...

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3. Worldly Associations, 1836–1841

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pp. 65-90

The rural town of Ledyard and the booming city of Rochester were separated by only sixty miles of rolling hills and farmland, yet in many ways, they were worlds apart. While Ledyard remained a small farming village of a few dozen households, the Flour City—so named for the numerous gristmills that lined the Genesee River—was one of the fastest-growing cities ...

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4. Abolitionist Bonds, 1842–1847

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pp. 91-117

By August 1842, when Abby Kelley returned to Rochester, the Posts and other radical F/friends had become central to the local movement. Kelley was now lecturing in the company of a relative newcomer to the platform, Frederick Douglass, as well as the antislavery physician Erasmus Hudson. The trio, lambasted as a “traveling seraglio,” were joined by Hicksites ...

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5. Orchestrating Change, 1847–1848

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pp. 118-146

On 3 December 1847, Frederick Douglass celebrated the publication of the first issue of the North Star alongside coeditor William C. Nell and printer John Dick. Mary and Isaac Gibbs, James P. Morris, and other representatives of the black community were jubilant, as were white allies like the Posts. The North Star brought new energy to Rochester abolitionists, ...

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6. Shifting Alliances, 1849–1853

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pp. 147-192

Whereas 1848 offered revolutionary hopes in both Europe and western New York, 1849 required reckonings, with European counterrevolutions, deepening dissension among abolitionists, and multiplying movements for change. Yet Amy Post believed that the enthusiasm inspired by the emergence of woman’s rights, Progressive Friends, ...

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7. Practical Righteousness, 1854–1861

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pp. 193-229

Progressive Friends dedicated themselves not only to a universalist vision of social change but also to the “promotion of practical righteousness.”1 In 1853, a relative newcomer to reform exclaimed, “Where else but in Rochester c[oul]d I attend so many conventions in one year. Temperance, Anti-Slavery, Colored National, Teachers, Woman’s Rights!!” ...

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8. Coming Together, 1862–1872

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pp. 230-267

On 25 March 1862, a year after Lincoln took office, Frederick Douglass gave a rousing oration on “The War and How to End It” at Rochester’s Corinthian Hall. Believing that black soldiers were the key to victory, he was increasingly frustrated by Lincoln’s refusal to allow African Americans to serve in the Union army. After a series of military defeats, ...

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9. Sustaining Visions, 1873–1889

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pp. 268-294

In January 1873, Susan B. Anthony’s case was brought before a grand jury. The twenty men assembled to hear evidence indicted her for “knowingly, wrongfully, willfully,” voting for a member of Congress “without having the right to vote . . . the said Susan B. Anthony being then and there a person of the female sex.” ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 295-300

Mary M. Huth, then an assistant librarian at the University of Rochester, introduced me to Amy Kirby Post forty years ago. I was starting dissertation research on women reformers in nineteenth-century Rochester, and the Isaac and Amy Post Family Papers revealed a landscape of radical activism I had only hoped existed. I never met Charles Ray, the undergraduate student who processed the papers, ...

Note on Sources

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pp. 301-302

Notes

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pp. 303-372

Bibliography

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pp. 373-390

Index

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pp. 391-414

Photographs

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