Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version

Spring 2004

Document Type



Documentary Editing, Volume 26, Number 1, Spring 2004. ISSN 0196-7134


2004 © the Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


For the past twenty years, historians have recognized the role that '1' women played in the nineteenth-century abolitionist movement. Works by Gerda Lerner, Nancy Hewitt,jean Fagan Yellin, Clare Taylor, and Maria Diedrich, among others, have demonstrated that women spoke, organized, promoted, and wrote on behalf of the movement to end slavery. Yet, the published volumes of the Frederick Douglass Papers have obscured that fact. Although women supported and often saved Douglass throughout his career, their voices have been conspicuously absent from the seven volumes of the Douglass Papers. With the impending publication of the first correspondence volume, which covers the years 1842-52, the project can correct this oversight by emphasizing the contributions of women to abolitionism and to Douglass's life. Moreover, in these letters, Douglass's complex relationships with women and among the women themselves become more apparent and intriguing.