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Women and Freedmen's Aid after the Civil War

Document 4

Roadside,                        
4th mo., 17th, 1865.         

My Dear Sister,

       Miller* is much interested in the new Union Association, and the paper to be called the "Nation." They are now collecting money on a large scale from some persons who never before were called on, and who have contributed freely. Miller would like for all the anti-slavery and freedmen's societies to be merged in this--a Reconstructive Union.  He sent an appeal to our "Friends' Association." I told him it was objected, that woman was ignored in their new organization, and if it really were a reconstruction for the nation, she ought not so to be, and that it would be rather humiliating for our anti-slavery women and Quaker women to consent to be thus overlooked . . . He was rather taken aback, and said, "if there seemed a necessity for women," he thought "they would be admitted;" to which the impetuous reply was, "seemed a necessity!! for one half the nation to act with you!" 

       With affectionate remembrances to one and all of your house hold.

          I am thine most tenderly,            Lucretia Mott

*James Miller McKim (1810-1874), abolitionist and close friend of Mott, was one of the founders of the American Freedmen's Aid Commission, the organization to which Mott refers, and the magazine, The Nation, first published in 1865.
-- Letter from Lucretia Mott to Martha Coffin Wright, 17 April 1865

8.  Why does Lucretia Mott refuse to participate in the aid work of the Reconstructive Union?

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9.  How do Miller's views compare to public opinion concerning women's activism during this time period in American history?

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