14 Mary Post Hallowell
...Mary Post Hallowell
...Mary Post Hallowell became an anti-slavery activist as a young woman.
In 1842, she
joined the newly-formed Western New York Anti-Slavery Society (WNYASS), a group which her
parents had helped to found.After she
home, like that of her
parents, provided a refuge for fugitive slaves as part of the network of the Underground Railroad. Hallowell was a member of the Genesee Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends (Quakers).
While the ministers and the elders of the Society were against slavery, they nevertheless disapproved of many of the activities of anti-slavery advocates.Hallowell
left the Society in the mid-1840s rather than give up her
activities, as did her
parents and many other Rochester Quakers. Hallowell
husband were among the many former Rochester-area Quaker anti-slavery activists who met almost every Sunday at the Anthony farm during the late 1840s and early 1850s.There, they socialized Image of paper with picture of Hallowell
signature and discussed their views.In addition to being close friends with Susan B. Anthony, Hallowell
also brushed shoulders with other nationally-known abolitionists.When the American Anti-Slavery Society decided to hold its annual meeting in Rochester in 1852, she sat on the business committee along with Wendell Phillips and Parker Pillsbury. Like many women of her time, Hallowell was also an advocate of temperance.In January 1852, during a meeting held at Rochester's Corinthian Hall, she was named an officer of the New York State Women's Temperance Society (NYSWTS).When the NYSWTS met again in Rochester in June of 1853, she was appointed to serve on the business and the nomination committees. Hallowell
also assisted in the organization of the United Charities of Rochester.However, more than anything else, women's rights was the reform activity in which she
engaged without ceasing for a period spanning over sixty years.She
was present at the first women's rights Convention held in Seneca Falls in July of 1848 and a signer of the Declaration of Sentiments.She also served as a member of the Arrangements Committee for the Rochester Adjourned Convention held shortly thereafter, on August 2, 1848.
In 1853, Hallowell
had a prominent role in a January countywide women's rights convention and, for a statewide meeting held later that year in Rochester, she
signed a call and resolutions entitled "The Just and Equal Rights of Women."The same year, she
encouraged Susan B. Anthony in the latter's efforts to start a petition drive to extend women's property rights.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, Hallowell
supported revisions to the Fourteenth Amendment that would allow women, as well as African-American men, the right to vote.She
attended a convention for this purpose in Rochester at Corinthian Hall in December 1866.During this period, she also joined Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Anthony's Equal Rights Association, and when this disbanded she became a member of the National Women's Suffrage Association (NWSA), also headed by Stanton and Anthony. Hallowell
attempted to vote in the presidential election of 1872, but unlike Susan B. Anthony, she
was not allowed to register.She
husband later donated twenty-five dollars toward Anthony's defense.In 1873, when the Women's Taxpayers Association
was formed -- inspired at least in part by Anthony's arrest for voting - and Hallowell
was among its first officers.Five years later, when NWSA
held its convention in Rochester to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the 1848 Conventions, Hallowell
acted as a delegate from Monroe County.
Hallowell's work for women's rights continued after she
was widowed in 1882.She
was present at the founding meeting of Rochester's Women's Political Club
(later the Political Equality Club) in the Anthony home in December of 1885.During the New York State Women's Suffrage Association
(NYSWSA) meeting of 1905, held in Rochester at the Unitarian Church
, Anthony introduced Hallowell
as being among the women who had attended the Seneca Falls convention in 1848.In 1906, Hallowell
donated $1,000 to the Susan B. Anthony's Memorial Association
, established shortly after Anthony's death.The goal of this organization was to raise money to build a facility for the use of women students at the University of Rochester
Hallowell's suffrage activities were buttressed by a close personal friendship with Susan B. Anthony.Ida Husted Harper, Anthony's biographer, describes the "the home of William and Mary Hallowell" as a place where the "doors never were closed" to Anthony, a place where for more than fifty years she
was welcome day or night, where she
always turned for advice, assistance and sympathy and ever found them in the fullest measure. Hallowell
was one of twelve friends who shared New Years' Day dinner with the Anthonys in 1895, and she
was one of the few invited for dinner on the occasion of Anthony's eighty-first birthday in 1901, a birthday upon which Anthony forbade public celebration.In 1904, Hallowell
was again one of only twelve women invited to dinner to commemorate the one-hundred-and-eleventh birthday of Susan B. Anthony's mother in 1904.