Lydia Maria Child, An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans (1833)

An appeal in favor of that class of Americans called Africans

An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans: This abolitionist work was banned in the South and caused readers to boycott Child's other works as well.

Lydia Maria Child was a writer, abolitionist and early feminist. She wrote poetry, novels, and practical works for women, including The American Frugal Housewife, which went through numerous reprintings. Among her antislavery writings, her most controversial work was An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans called Africans, the first American book to call for immediate emancipation of the slaves and full racial equality.

This book elevated Child in the abolitionist movement and won important supporters to the cause, but also cost her deeply in her personal life. The book was banned in Southern bookstores, and many readers boycotted her other works as well, causing her to lose much of the income from her writings on which she had depended. Child was ostracized by many of her former friends and the Boston Athenaeum withdrew her library privileges.

Clements Library copy of An appeal in favor of that class of Americans called Africans