Elizabeth M. Chandler. The Poetical Works (1836), frontispiece.
CHANDLER (1807 – 1834)
After both of Elizabeth Chandler's parents died during her
early childhood, she grew up in the homes of strict Quaker relatives in Philadelphia, where she
attended a Friends' school and embraced the Quakers’ antislavery
stance. When she was eighteen, her antislavery poem "The Slave
Ship" won a prize as well as the attention of abolitionist Benjamin
Lundy, who encouraged her to write for his periodical, the Genius of Universal Emancipation. She
contributed to and edited the "Ladies' Repository" section of the
paper, in which her articles advocated pacifism, better treatment for
American Indians, and immediate emancipation for slaves. In particular, she
appealed to women to take up the abolitionist cause.
In 1830, Elizabeth Chandler moved with her aunt and
brother to a farm in Michigan, where they
organized meetings which eventually grew into Michigan's first antislavery association,
one of the few in her day which called for the total integration of blacks
into American society. She died of a fever in 1834.
During her lifetime, almost all her published writing
appeared anonymously, but after her death Lundy published two
widely-circulated collections of her work: Essays,
Philanthropic and Moral (1836) and Poetical Works by Elizabeth Margaret Chandler; with a Memoir of Her
Life and Character (1836).
Another portrait appears in:
Chandler. The Poetical Works (1845), frontispiece.