On July 17 1837, Angelina Grimké was challenged to a debate with two men in Massachusetts, which was
considered the first public debate between both genders. However,
Angelina Grimké was said to have handled
the debate remarkably. Convinced that African Americans were entitled to the same rights as their white
counterparts, and that women had a responsibility to have their voices heard,
Angelina Grimké continued to fight
for her beliefs and was the first woman to address a legislative body in America on 21 February 1838.
The Famous Abolitionist Angelina Grimké: Marriage
and the Ruin of Pennsylvania Hall
Angelina Grimké and abolitionist Theodore Weld
married on 14 May 1838; guests included William Lloyd Garrison,
Gerrit Smith, Lewis Tappan, Henry B Stanton, Maria Weston
Chapman and Abby Kelley Foster. This was the event which started the week
long anti-slavery celebration, including the opening of the newly built
Pennsylvania Hall, funded by abolitionists to create a
safe place to give lectures.
Despite the mob gathering outside, Angelina Grimké gave one of
her best speeches here two days after the wedding. In
the seven days of abolitionist events, including the
presence of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society and
the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women, the
people of Philadelphia took affront at the mixing of
sexes and races and the crowd rioted. Within four days
of opening, windows were smashed, the doors broken down,
and the building set alight. It is estimated that
12,000-15,000 people were present that evening; a much
lesser number partaking in the vandalism, but none were
brought to trial and the firefighters did not attempt to
prevent the damage to the building, only to stop it
In 1839, Theodore Weld, Angelina Grimké and Sarah Grimké
penned 'American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses'.
The Famous Abolitionist Angelina Grimké: Children,
Later Life and Death
Whilst Angelina Grimké intended to continue with her lectures, she was unable to do so due
to poverty, health concerns, and the time required raising her three children and
maintaining the family farm. In 1854, Angelina Grimké taught history alongside Theodore Weld
and Sarah Grimké at two schools that she co-founded in 1854 in New Jersey and
Massachusetts in 1864.
Four years later, it came to light that Angelina Grimké's brother, Henry, had sons by his slave.
Angelina Grimké and Sarah supported Archibald and Francis through college, embracing them in to
their family. Shortly after Sarah's death in1873,
Angelina Grimké had a stroke which left her
partially paralysed. At Angelina's funeral,
abolitionists and suffragists
Wendell Phillips and Lucy Stone gave readings.