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The Westons were among the most well-known abolitionists in antebellum Massachusetts, and each of the Weston sisters played an integral role in the family's work. The eldest, Maria Weston Chapman, became one of the antislavery movement's most influential members. In an extensive and original look at the connections among women, domesticity, and progressive political movements, Lee V. Chambers argues that it was the familial cooperation and support between sisters, dubbed "kin-work," that allowed women like the Westons to participate in the political process, marking a major change in women's roles from the domestic to the public sphere. The Weston sisters and abolitionist families like them supported each other in meeting the challenges of sickness, pregnancy, child care, and the myriad household responsibilities that made it difficult for women to engage in and sustain political activities.

By repositioning the household and family to a more significant place in the history of American politics, Chambers examines connections between the female critique of slavery and patriarchy, ultimately arguing that it was family ties that drew women into the activism of public life and kept them there.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. -vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Introduction: A Household Band
  2. pp. 1-18
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  1. 1. Married to the Cause: The Weston Sisters and Antislavery
  2. pp. 19-44
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  1. 2. Married to Each Other: Marriage, Singlehood, and Sororal Practice
  2. pp. 45-62
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  1. 3. I Must Make Money: The Sororal Economy
  2. pp. 63-80
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  1. 4. The Cross of My Life: Social Reproduction in the Sororal Household
  2. pp. 81-99
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  1. 5. As If I Had Never Been Absent: The Household Extends Its Reach
  2. pp. 100-116
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  1. 6. Yours with the United Faculties of Martha and Mary: Politics and Kin-Keeping
  2. pp. 117-138
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  1. 7. Rocking the Nation Like a Cradle: The Political Import of Households
  2. pp. 139-153
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  1. 8. Impudent Puppies: Sisters in the Household of Faith
  2. pp. 154-172
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 173-174
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  1. Appendix: To Be Left at Capt Weston’s Near Wales’ Tavern: On Correspondence
  2. pp. 175-187
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  1. Weston Genealogy
  2. pp. 188-190
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  1. Antislavery Chronology
  2. pp. 191-194
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 195-298
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 299-322
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 323-337
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781469618197
Related ISBN
9781469618173
MARC Record
OCLC
895772842
Pages
352
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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