the friend online
16 March 2007


Letters - preview
Working Against Slavery
The Female Anti-Slavery Societies offered subscription membership to women
  • They were recruited through trade, church or family networks
  • One of the methods used to form their networks and to disseminate their tracts, leaflets and prayers was to make and distribute work bags which formed part of the subscription
  • The strategy was successful because the societies, following on from the first two in Birmingham and Sheffield, spread throughout Britain and Ireland
  • This long lasting network was a key factor in changing public opinion against slave labour
  • The workbags were made from material other than slave grown cotton
  • The bag shown below belonged to Rachel Howard 1803-1892 and is held in the library of Friends House
  • There is a record that the Liverpool Ladies Anti-Slavery Society sent workbags obtained from the Female Society for Birmingham to abolitionists in Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York
  • Warwickshire Monthly Meeting, as part of their 'Working Against Slavery' exhibition, have produced a modern form of the work bag with the logo and contact details for the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers


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