How Did Abolitionist Women and Their Slaveholding Relatives
Negotiate Their Conflict over the Issue of Slavery?

Biographical Sketches

       Martha Coffin Pelham Wright (1806-1875) was the sister of Lucretia Coffin Mott (1793-1880) and Eliza Coffin Yarnall (1794-1870). She married Peter Pelham in 1824; they had one daughter, Marianna, before Peterís death in 1826. Martha married David Wright in 1829. She had six children with David--two daughters and four sons.

Marthaís Children

       Marianna Pelham Mott (1825-1872) married her first cousin Thomas Mott, son of Lucretia and James Mott. They had three daughters--Isabel (b. 1846), Emily (b. 1848), and Marian (b. 1858).

       Eliza Wright Osborne (1830-1911) married David Munson Osborne. They had four children--Emily (b. 1853), Florence (b. 1856), Thomas Mott (b. 1859), and Helen (b. 1864).

       Matthew Tallman Wright (1832-1854), nicknamed Tallman, died in California in a sailing accident.

       Ellen Wright Garrison (1840-1931) married William Lloyd Garrison, Jr. They had five children.

       William Pelham Wright (1842-1902) served as a Union artillery officer in the Civil War, and was seriously wounded at Gettysburg. He married Flora McMartin, a niece of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, in 1869. They had two daughters.

       Francis (Frank) Wright (1844-1903) married Fanny Rosalie Pell. They had one daughter.

       Charles Edward Wright (1848-1849) died of illness shortly after his first birthday.

The Pelhams

       Peter Pelham (1785-1826) was the first husband of Martha Coffin. He served as an Army captain, and was wounded in the War of 1812. He had one daughter, Marianna (b. 1825).

       William Pelham (1803-1879) was Peterís brother. He was Surveyor General of Arkansas, and later Surveyor General of New Mexico. He corresponded with Martha Wright and Marianna Mott from 1838 to 1861. He married Mary Ann Conway and , had three children--William Conway (1832-1834), Charles Thomas (b. 1837, killed in battle 1864), and Isabella Ann (Belle, b. 1839).

       John Pelham (1805-ca.1866) was Peterís brother. He occupied Pelham homestead in Maysville, Kentucky, with several of his sisters.

       Atkinson Pelham (1797-1880) was Peterís brother. He met Martha Coffin in the 1820s while a medical student in Philadelphia and a tenant in her motherís boardinghouse. He corresponded with Martha for several years after Peterís death. He married Martha McGehee, moved to Alabama, had one daughter and six sons. All six sons served in the Confederate Army. One (Charles) corresponded with Martha Wright, two (William & John) with Marianna Mott.

Sons of Atkinson

       Charles Pelham (1835-1908) was the oldest of Atkinsonís six sons. He corresponded with his aunt Martha Wright before and after the Civil War. He was wounded in the Civil War. After the war, he was elected Judge and later Republican Congressman.

       William Pelham (1836-1889) wrote to his cousin Marianna Mott when a prisoner of war in 1865, seeking seeking help in obtaining a parole.

       John Pelham (1838-1863) studied at West Point and visited Marianna Mott and Martha Wright in Philadelphia in April 1861 on his way south to Alabama to become an officer in the Confederate Army. Robert E. Lee praised him as ďgallant Pelham.Ē He was killed in battle in March 1863. He remains today a revered Confederate hero.

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