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[105] Legislature in 1838 appointed a committee to consider the part that that State had in the subject of slavery, and especially in connection with slavery in the District of Columbia. The committee asked an expression of their views from those entertaining different sentiments on the subject. The Anti-Slavery people invited Angelina Grimk6 to represent them. The sessions of the committee were to be held in the great hall of the Legislature in the State House, where, up to that time, no woman had ever spoken. The chairman of the committee, however, consented that Miss Grimke should be heard, and the fact that she was a woman probably helped to bring out an immense audience.

She spoke for two hours, and then, being asked to speak again, at the next meeting, she spoke for two hours more. The impression she produced may be inferred from the fact that the chairman of the committee was in tears nearly the whole time she was speaking. The effect upon all who heard her was admitted to be very great.

The sincerity of these women was put to an unusual test. They had a brother who remained in South Carolina, where he was a prominent citizen and a large slave-owner. Like many sharing the privileges of “the institution,” he led a double life. He was married to a white woman by whom he had children. He also had a family by a colored woman who was one of his slaves. In his will he bequeathed his slave family to a son by his lawful wife, with the stipulation that they should not be sold or unkindly treated.

Of these things the Grimke sisters knew nothing

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