I was contacted recently by a gentleman with the following request. Looking for anything that you can
    find about Arthur Dutcher Sweet or the Bell family (John M. and Carrie G. Bell).  If you have anything on
    them, please send it to me, and I’ll pass it along.

    Another recent request for information concerns Lucy Day. I’ve sent what I have and the little bit I recall
    about her, but I’m sure some of you could provide a lot more memories of her.

    King Philip's War - Mendon Residents Defy Mandate

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                                                                      Abby Kelley Foster

    Abby Kelley Foster, a very well known abolitionist, grew up in Central Massachusetts, and must have
    been quite familiar with the Hopedale Community. While little is known about that, Peter Hackett
    found enough to write an article titled “Hopedale Knew Abby Kelley Foster.” Below is the part of that
    piece that focuses on Foster. Click here if you’d like to read the entire article.

    A brief reference to this Abby should not be amiss. She was born in Pelham, a community now
    known as “one of those towns under the Quabbin Reservoir.” (Wikipedia give the population of
    Pelham in 2010 as 1321. That's a lot of people to be living underwater.) Her father was “an Irish
    Quaker yeoman” who moved his family to Worcester in 1811 when Abby was only a year old.
    In time she became a school teacher and also an ardent follower of William Lloyd Garrison, the
    famous abolitionist. Her reputation as a speaker brought her many calls to lecture. As a result she
    gave up teaching and briefly joined her family, then living in Millbury.

    After a personal retreat during which she prayed, meditated and reflected about the cause of
    abolition, Miss Kelley began a series of lectures, “first in Hopedale, Hopkinton, Milford and nearby
    towns.” (Also, Anna Thwing Field, writing in Hopedale Reminiscences recalled  Foster speaking in

    In the course of her travels she met a famous abolitionist, Stephen S. Foster, who, after a four year
    courtship, she married. Together they suffered unbelievably in the course of their travels, lecturing;
    were often thrown off platforms, out of windows, stoned, chased, had eggs thrown at them, all for
    their views.

    The Fosters mellowed with age and after the Civil War settled in a farm they bought on Mower Street,
    Worcester. They refused to pay their taxes on the grounds that Abby was not allowed to vote. The city
    promptly seized the property and sold the farm at auction. It was purchased by friends and neighbors
    who returned it to the Fosters, satisfied Abby had dramatized women’s need for the vote.

    Lucy Stone, a reformer and long time admirer of Abby, wrote these lines. “Over the highway she
    helped build, slaves walked to freedom, and over the highway whose foundation stones she laid with
    bleeding hands, women are marching to their equal rights.”

    Hopedale knew Abby Kelley Foster.

    Peter Hackett, Milford Daily News, October 19, 1974.


                                                                  Abby Kelley Foster

    On January 15, 1811, Abigail (Abby) Kelley was born the seventh daughter of Wing and Lydia Kelley,
    farmers in Pelham, Massachusetts. Kelley grew up helping with the family farms in Worcester where
    she received a loving, yet strict Quaker upbringing. Kelley and her family were members of the
    Quaker Meeting in nearby Uxbridge, Massachusetts.  She began her education in a single-room
    schoolhouse in the Tatnuck section of Worcester. Foster's daughter later wrote that Abby "attended
    the best private school for girls in Worcester."  In 1826, as Worcester had no high school for girls and
    her parents could not afford a private seminary, Kelley continued her education at the New England
    Friends Boarding School in Providence, Rhode Island. After her first year of school, Kelley taught for
    two years to make enough money to further her education. In 1829, she attended her final year of
    schooling, having received the highest form of education any New England woman of her relatively
    moderate economic standing could hope to obtain.

    Abby returned to her parents' home to teach in local schools and, in 1835, helped her parents move
    to their new home in Millbury. Then in 1836, she moved to Lynn, Massachusetts, where she taught at
    a local school. There she met fellow Quakers who preached the ideas of dietary restriction,
    temperance, pacifism, and antislavery. She became interested in the health theories of Sylvester
    Graham and gained a general interest in the abolition of slavery after hearing a lecture by William
    Lloyd Garrison, editor of the abolitionist publication The Liberator. Kelley joined the Female Anti-
    Slavery Society of Lynn and was soon elected to a committee charged with collecting signatures for
    petitions to the Federal government to end slavery in the District of Columbia. Kelley passionately
    carried out her assignment, and in 1837 collected the signatures of nearly half the women of Lynn.

    Kelley's views became progressively more radical as she worked with abolitionists such as Angelina
    Grimke. She became an “ultra”, advocating not only the abolition of slavery, but also full civil equality
    for blacks. In addition, Garrison's influence led her to adopt the position of “non-resistance,”  which
    went beyond opposing war to opposing all forms of government coercion. Radical abolitionists led by
    Garrison refused to serve on juries, join the military, or vote. The Garrisonian call for the end of
    slavery and the extension of civil rights to women and African Americans caused controversy. Kelley's
    advocacy of the radical abolitionist movement prompted some opponents to call her a “Jezebel,”  as
    what she proposed threatened their sense of social structure. On the other hand, many fellow
    abolitionists praised her public speaking skills and her dedication to the cause. Kelley’s influence
    was shown by activist women being called “Abby Kelleyites.” Radical abolitionism became known as
    “Abby Kelleyism.”  Abby Kelley, Wickipedia   

    Two of Abby’s sisters married cousins of Adin Ballou. Click here to see the Worcester Women’s
    History Project page on that in the Kelley family tree.

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