Angelina Grimké to be honored at Abolition Hall of Fame

p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017
Louise Knight will present The Remarkable Transformation: Angelina Grimké’s Journey

7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017   
Sponsors of Angelina Grimké Weld will unveil her banner for the Hall of Fame.

12:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 
Eight libraries will culminate a CommUNITY Read of Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd at a luncheon at which
Louise Knight will answer questions about the historical references in the Kidd’s historical novel.

2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017   
Louise Knight will present information on her upcoming biography: Sarah and Angelina Grimké and the Fight for Human Rights

The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum commemoration ceremonies for the 2016 inductees to the Hall of Fame will be held Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at NAHOF, 5255 Pleasant Valley Road, Peterboro. The inductees are Rev. John Gregg Fee, Beriah Green, Angelina Grimké and James W.C. Pennington. This is the last year of the two year induction-commemoration cycle. Beginning in 2018

This is the last year of the two-year induction-commemoration cycle. Beginning in 2018, inductions and commemorations will be completed in one year.

Angelina Grimké has ties to Madison County. She and her husband Theodore Dwight Weld visited Weld’s brother Ezra Greenleaf Weld, the daguerreotypist in Cazenovia whose daughter is buried in the village cemetery. The Grimkés were friends of Gerrit and Ann Smith of Peterboro, and the Smith’s son and grandson went to the Weld school in Eaglewood, N.J.. Relatives of the Grimké-Welds live today in Cazenovia and Oneida, where once hung a portrait of the reformer for which there is a current search.

At 2 p.m., Louise W. Knight will present The Remarkable Transformation: Angelina Grimké’s Journey for the Abolition Symposia. Angelina Grimké was a white Southerner who became a northern advocate for the immediate end to slavery in the South and for racial equality. Born to a wealthy, slave-owning family in Charleston, S.C., she came to see the cruelties of slavery after embracing evangelical Christianity.

At age 24, she moved to Philadelphia to escape the witness of slavery and to join a religious denomination that disowned slaveowners. Five years later, in 1835, she became a member of the Philadelphia Female Antislavery Society, and the next year she, and her sister Sarah, became the first female grassroots organizers for the American Anti-Slavery Society. The egalitarian case Angelina was making was radical for her times.

Louise W. Knight is an author and historian. She writes about 19th- and 20th-century American reform and women’s history. She first learned about Angelina Grimké while teaching a rhetoric course on
women’s 19th-century speeches. Though she knew a lot about women’s history, she had never heard of
Grimké. Eventually, she read a 1967 biography about Angelina and her sister Sarah and was drawn to tell their story for a new generation.

Knight’s project is a dual biography of the abolitionists-feminists, Angelina and Sarah Grimké. The book will be published by Flatiron Books in the fall of 2018. Knight is a Visiting Scholar in the Gender Studies Program at Northwestern University. Knight’s research has been funded by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and grants from the Spencer Foundation, the Lilly Endowment and the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation. She was a Research Fellow at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center in 1996, and a Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Humanities at Northwestern University in 2002-03. Knight earned her B.A. and her Master of Arts in Teaching from Wesleyan University in 1972.

The other three inductees will also be presented during the afternoon Abolition Symposia: Alicestyne Turley, Ph.D., will present Rev. John Gregg Fee, founder of Berea College, Berea Ky., Milton C. Sernett, Ph.D., will present The Odd Couple: Beriah Green and Gerrit Smith at 1 p.m., and Christopher L. Webber will present James W.C. Pennington: Pastor and Abolitionist.

During the 7 p.m. Saturday Commemoration Ceremonies Knight will briefly describe the legacy of Angelina Grimké as an inductee to the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum. Relatives, friends and associates who are sponsors of the Grimké inductee banner for the Hall will introduce themselves and their relationship to Grimké. The sponsors will unveil the banner to be installed in the Hall. The Grimké banner will include Grimké’s official NAHOF portrait created by artist Melissa Moshetti, biographical information, her abolition legacy, and the name of the sponsors.

There are fees for entrance to many of these events. For registration forms or more information, visit, email or call 315-280-8828. For lodging information, visit

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