Harriet deGarmo Fuller papers  1852-1857
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Fuller papers consist of four bound volumes of records and eight miscellaneous receipts of the Michigan Anti-Slavery Society, kept between 1852 and 1856, when Harriet deGarmo Fuller was a member of the executive committee of the Society. Together, these books form an important and detailed picture of the formation and early activity of the Society, with a record of their official resolutions, activities and expenditures. The Fuller Papers provide a unique insight into the inner workings of one of the most important state-level Garrisonian antislavery societies.

Volume 1 (26 pp.) contains the resolutions of the Michigan State Anti-Slavery Convention at Adrian, held on October 16th, 1852 (recording the formation of the State Central Committee), along with minutes from the State Central Committee meetings through September 23, 1853. The volume appears to be entirely in the hand of recording secretary, Jacob Walton of Adrian. The Central Committee appears to have served as a springboard to membership in the Michigan Anti-Slavery Society, as each of the members of the Central Committee assumed prominent roles in the M.A.S.S.

Volumes 2 and 3 are daybooks of the Michigan Anti-Slavery Society, 1853-1856. Volume 2 (115 pp., many blank) contains the general accounts of the Society during this period, while Vol. 3 (33 pp.) contains detailed, itemized records of donations, pledges, and expenditures at antislavery fairs held at Adrian, Fairfield, Battle Creek, Livonia and other cities, as well as pledges made to antislavery agents between these events. These volumes provide an intricate depiction of the fundraising activities of a state-level Garrisonian organization, its resources, contributors and participants.

Volume 4 is a ledger (77 pp.) including the Constitution and bye-laws of the Michigan Anti-Slavery Society, minutes of the monthly meetings of its executive committee, and the minutes and resolutions of its annual meetings from October 22, 1853-January 5, 1857. The ledger is a remarkable record of a radical antislavery group founded to act upon deeply-held moral beliefs, and includes records of the convention at which the Society was founded, as well as its first three annual meetings. These brief entries provide insight into the minds of self-professed social radicals and glimpse into the inner workings and debates of the Society.

The Recording Secretaries of the Michigan Anti-Slavery Society included: Ann Hayball (1853 October-1854 October); Eliphalet Jones (1854 October-1855 October; Ann Hayball often acted as Secretary pro tem.); Jacob Walton (1855 October-1856 October); and Harriet deGarmo Fuller (1856 October-?). Each contributed to the records in this collection.

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