The Lives of Lucy and Sarah Chase After
Their Service as Freedmen's Teachers

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Lecturing: "Have You Any Friends Abroad Who Would Care to Hear From Us of   the Freedmen?”

After retiring from service as freedmen's teachers, Lucy and Sarah spent most of the period between 1870 and 1875 touring Europe. They did not, however, abandon their commitment to the freedmen during that time, as the letter below suggests.

Boston, April 18, 1870

Miss Lucy Chase:

My Dear Friend –Your letter, apprising me that you and your sister are shortly to embark for Europe, is received. You inquire, “Have you any friends abroad who would care to hear from us of the Freedmen?” Beyond a peradventure, yes. You know how largely we have been indebted to British philanthropy and liberality, in the matter of pecuniary and other aid in furment in behalf of the Freedmen of the South. Consequently, there are many persons in England and Scotland, who still take a deep interest in whatever relates to that movement; who will be glad to receive the latest information in regard to it, especially from those who have been so closely connected with it as yourselves; and with whom it is a privilege to be acquainted on account of their excellent character and worthy deeds. . . It will suffice for them to know that I hold you and your sister in high esteem; that you are of good Quaker stock, and much beloved by all who know you; that you have both been approved and serviceable teachers of the Freedmen for a considerable period, meeting all the trials and deprivations of such a position in the spirit of a noble self-abnegation, and with great courage and cheerfulness; and that, for your works’ sake in that part of the Lord’s vineyard, you will be deserving of whatever courtesy or kindness that may be extended to you abroad. . . Yours, in the cause of suffering humanity,

Wm. Lloyd Garrison

--Letter from William Lloyd Garrison to Lucy Chase, Boston, April 18, 1870

Reform in Postwar America: "More Does it Mean Than Many Has Dreamed Of"

The Chase sisters returned from their tour to a changing post-war America. Of course, while the times were changing, the interests of the Chase sisters' reform-minded friends had not.

The "welcome home" postcard below is nteresting for two reasons:

it suggests the degree to which relationships between the Chase sisters and their friends were strengthened by a shared enthusiasm for reform;

and it suggests some of the ways in which America began to change in the years after the Civil War.

We are as of old interested in the Labor Question; and the Social Problem has forced its way to an equal consideration and as I read the Time its progress to the hearts of the people is more rapid than any other movement of reform I have ever met with; more to woman does it mean than man has yet dreamed of; her moral and sensitive nature sounds it meaning quicker, and to her it bespeaks liberation and recognition measured by moral worth in the absolute (not by the now society gaged norms) and character. Does the atmosphere seem clearer to you for the little it has done while in your absence?

--Postcard from J.F. and J.S. Tilton to Lucy and Sarah Chase, Dubuque, Iowa, January, 1876


Networking on Behalf of Former Students


The Teaching Continues: "Advising and Encouraging Ladies"


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An American Antiquarian Society Online Resource
Curated by Lucia Z. Knoles, Professor of English, Assumption College

All primary sources in this exhibit are in the collections of the American Antiquarian Society.
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