Bagley, Sarah
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Courtesy: Ohio Historical Society, Lilly Martin Spencer Collection
Transcribed: University of Massachusetts Lowell, Center for Lowell History
See: Sarah George Bagley Essay
                            Lowell Jan. 1st 1846
Mrs. Martin,
     Dear Madam, We received your
kind communication with much pleasure
and as I am President and have also acted
as Corresponding Secy - it has devolved upon me
to make a reply and I regret my inability to
do justice to myself, or your communication.
It is hardly possible for you to imagine the
encouragement and hope with which your
kind letter has inspired us, it is like an
oasis in the desert of a weary journey. 
It is but one year since we commenced our 
association when five of our number met
in “Anti-Slavery Hall” and made a beginning, 
and pledge our mutual assistance to
each other, and though our beginning was
very small – by perseverance and united
effort, we now number six hundred
It may not be uninteresting to you; to learn
the secret of our success.

We labored long and hard to procure a
press through which to spread our proposed
remedies, for the ills, which society have
forced upon us.  Thanks Heaven!  We
have at length succeeded, and the laborers
of New England have taken hold of the subject 

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and our paper promises to meet the
expense of publication.  But the “Factory
Tracts” it is for those to decide whether they
shall be published, who are not willing 
to see our sex, made into living machines
to do the bidding of incorporated aristocrats
and reduced to a sum for their services hardly
sufficient to keep soul and body together.

I commenced them without any assistance
from any one and “they” have not yet
met half the expense of printing.  I shall
publish No. 3 and then if I do not receive
aid sufficient to warrant the continuation
of them I shall be obliged to discontinue 
them for the present at least.  I have 
not taken any subscriptions for them
but sell them in copies.  I would
not abandon an enterprise like the publica-
tion of a series of tracts, under other circumstan-
ces, but I have an aged father and mother 
to support, and with the mean and paltry 
sum allowed to females, who work for the 
rich, you may be assured that I am 
obliged to make the most of my time 
and means I possibly can.  I have sent 
you a copy of the paper published by us, 
and also tract No. 2 which I trust you 
have received ‘ere this, and as you have 
kindly offered to lend your assistance 

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in behalf of womans rights, by giving 
circulation to our paper, or selling tracts 
for us or in any way spreading abroad 
the truths which these contain you will 
do something to aid suffering humanity. 
If you think you can sell a few copies 
I will forward them, if you will signify 
it.  I shall see Mr. Brisbane in two weeks 
and will attend to your request and think 
it would be likely to meet the approbation 
of our Association, if it savors of the spirit 
of your letter.  I have a personal acquaintance 
with Mr. Brisbane, and regard him as a real 
laborer in the cause of human improvement.
I am very sorry to see the undue kindness
of sothern abolitionists towards our brethen
of the south = not that I am pro-slavery
No!  God forbid, but because they have 
boxed up their sympathy and hold 
themselves ready to send it across the 
Atlantic or Louisiana at any time 
when it shall be called for.  Alas!!  How 
it is at home?  How are they developed 
here?  Why by compelling the females of 
New England to labor thirteen hours per day in
rooms heated by hot air furnaces and sleep 
on the average from six to ten in a room. 
These very men are now carrying into 
the rooms of these operatives protests against 

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the annexation of Texas, and insulting 
them by asking them for their names 
Am I in error when I say that these 
men are mere partisans and not lovers 
of human rights.

[Address written across this section]

Mrs. A. L. P. Martin
Duppurford (near Marietta)
Washington County, Ohio

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I would not be understood as saying
that there are no exceptions to this rule, but I 
speak of the mass and I am sure I am 
not mistaken.  Many of those who contend 
warmly for the emancipation of slavery that
does not affect their own interest or pop–
ularity = are really rivet the chains of 
the present factory system with all its 
abominations, upon the operatives of Massachusetts. 
Miserable inconsistency!  Who can be right on 
this subject, but those who labor for universal
emancipation?  Surely nothing can meet 
the case, but the broad platform of the 
universal brotherhood of man and those 
who take a fragment of the work because it is 
more popular then another or does not conflict 
with his own interest = has not yet reformed 
himself and instead of being a teacher 
needs to be taught himself.
I have written more than I at first intended 
but when I begin on such a subject my whole 
soul becomes engaged in the work and 
I lose myself – therefore I will not 

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I trust the pleasant acquaintance 
just commenced between us, will be 
often renewed.  If you have any 
friends who would like to correspond 
with us = or myself please encourage 
them to do so it will be very satisfying! 
Accept our warmest gratitude for your 
kind solicitude in our behalf and 
my own hearts sincerest grateful 
Please write often and I should be 
greatly pleased to make your personal 

            Address           Sarah G. Bagley
                                    Lowell, Massachusetts

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