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The Color of Abolition: How a Printer, a Prophet, and a Contessa Moved a Nation

Presented by Boston Athenæum at Boston Athenæum, Boston MA

Feb 23 2022
The Color of Abolition: How a Printer, a Prophet, and a Contessa Moved a Nation

The story of the fascinating, fraught alliance among Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Maria Weston Chapman—and how its breakup led to the success of America’s most important social movement.

BOOK TALK with NYT best-selling author and cultural historian, Linda Hirshman

In the crucial early years of the Abolition movement, the Boston branch of the cause seized upon the star power of the eloquent ex-slave Frederick Douglass to make its case for slaves’ freedom. Journalist William Lloyd Garrison promoted emancipation while Garrison loyalist Maria Weston Chapman, known as “the Contessa,” raised money and managed Douglass’s speaking tour from her Boston townhouse.

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Use promo code contessa22 at checkout for free admission

IN-PERSON TICKETS | The Color of Abolition

VIRTUAL TICKETS | The Color of Abolition

Contact: 617-720-7600


Additional time info:

Book-signing to follow.


Boston Athenæum

10 1/2 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108


    • Assisted Listening System

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Info regarding how this event is being affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.:

B Together: the City’s New Vaccine Mandate All who enter the Athenæum must now show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Per the City of Boston’s public health order, people 12+ must show that they’ve received one dose by January 15 and two doses by February 15. We will check people as they arrive at the front desk. Proof can take various forms: a CDC vaccination card, a digital image of the CDC card, an image or printout of any official vaccination record, a city-designated app, or another COVID verification app.  Face coverings continue to be required in the building. Thank you for helping us keep the library safe and in compliance with local regulations.

COVID-19 Phased Reopening Details

Face Masks Required: Yes
Social Distancing: No
Limited Capacity: Yes
Reservations Required: Yes
Proof of Vaccination Required: Yes

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