The Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society (PFASS) was founded in December 1833 and dissolved in March 1870 following the ratification of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. It was founded by eighteen women, including Mary Ann M'Clintock, Margaretta Forten, her mother Charlotte, and Forten's sisters Sarah and Harriet.The society was a local chapter affiliated with the American Anti-Slavery Society created the same year by William Lloyd Garrison and other leading male abolitionists. The PFASS was formed as a result of the inability of women to become members of the male abolitionist organization. This predominantly white though racially mixed female abolitionist organization illustrates the important behind-the-scenes collective roles women played in the abolitionist movement. It also exemplifies the dynamics of gender and race within American patriarchal society that emphasized the cult of true womanhood (or cult of domesticity) in the nineteenth century.
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