Papers of Elizabeth Margaret Chandler, Abolitionist poet, and the Chandler family of Adrian, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, including Elizabeth's parents Thomas and Margaret Evans Chandler; Margaret's sisters Ruth Evans and Jane Howell; Elizabeth's brothers Thomas and William, and William's wife Sarah Taylor Chandler. Correspondence of Elizabeth and Thomas Chandler and Ruth Evans with family members in the East, Benjamin Lundy, and others, describing early settlement, agricultural conditions, and local and national anti-slavery movements; also family correspondence of Thomas and Margaret Chandler in Pennsylvania.
The Elizabeth Margaret Chandler collection includes both the papers of this abolitionist poet as well as papers of other members of the Chandler family of Pennsylvania and Lenawee County, Michigan. Represented in the collection are letters to/from Elizabeth's parents Thomas and Margaret Evans Chandler; Margaret's sisters Ruth Evans and Jane Howell; Elizabeth's brothers Thomas and William, and William's wife Sarah Taylor Chandler. Following 1830, much of the correspondence of Elizabeth and Thomas Chandler and Ruth Evans is with family members in the East, Benjamin Lundy, and others, describing their settlement in Lenawee County, agricultural conditions, and local and national anti-slavery movements. Other correspondents in the collection include William Bliss, Darius Comstock, Isaac Crary, Abi Evans, Jane Howell, Darius C. Jackson, Benjamin Lundy, William M. Sullivan and Matthew F. Whittier.
In all, there are twenty-two letters, 1830-1834, written to members of her family, from Elizabeth Margaret Chandler. The earliest letter, June 14, 1830, written from Philadelphia, discusses the advantages of emigrating to Michigan. The later letters are written from Hazelbank, a farm in Lenawee County, between Adrian and Tecumseh, where Elizabeth Chandler settled with her brother, Thomas Chandler, and her aunt, Ruth Evans. The letters describe the clearing of the land, the building of a log cabin and its furnishings, the planting of the first crops, and give an account of the district around the farm, its settlers (chiefly Quakers), its trade and agriculture, land and commodity prices. They contain scattered references to abolitionist activities, such as the boycott of slave-produced commodities, to the Black Hawk War in Illinois and Wisconsin, 1832, and to other current events. Fifteen letters, 1830-1835, on the same subjects, were written by Thomas Chandler and Ruth Evans; two letters, 1834, 1835, enclose copies of obituary notices on Elizabeth Chandler's death.
Also part of the collection are sixty letters, 1830-1842, written to Elizabeth and Thomas Chandler, and Ruth Evans, from Ruth Evans' sister, Jane Howell, Philadelphia, Pa. Several of these letters refer to slavery and to anti-slavery leaders, such as William Lloyd Garrison, Benjamin Lundy, Evan Lewis, and Charles C. Burleigh, coeditor with his brother, William Henry, of the abolitionist newspaper The Unionist; a few refer to the financial and mercantile disruption caused by President Andrew Jackson's monetary policy, resulting in the panic of 1837; two letters, 1835, mention the boundary dispute between the State of Ohio and Michigan Territory (the Toledo War); others refer to a controversy between the Hicksite Friends and the Orthodox Friends in New York, the danger of a cholera epidemic, Indian difficulties, the increase of settlers in Michigan Territory, and other contemporary topics; one letter, 1832, encloses a certification of Thomas Chandler's membership in the Society of Friends, and one letter, 1834, encloses a poem on the death of George Dillwyn (1738-1821), Society of Friends preacher.
Twenty-eight of the letters received by Elizabeth and Thomas Chandler and Ruth Evans in Michigan (1830-1852) were from other relatives and friends. Seven of these, 1831-38, were from Benjamin Lundy concerning a trip to Mexico, anti-slavery activities, and the first edition of Elizabeth Chandler's poems, which Lundy published in 1836; two letters, 1851, 1852, were from I. Prescott, publisher and bookseller of Salem, Ohio, discussing a republication of Elizabeth Chandler's poems; one, 1837, from Darius C. Jackson, delegate from Lenawee County to the Second Constitutional Convention of Assent, Ann Arbor, 1836, mentions the revision of Michigan laws, the Internal Improvement Bill, and the General Banking Laws Bill; one, 1837, from Isaac E. Crary, Michigan's first member of Congress acknowledges receipt of Thomas Chandler's petition against the Annexation of Texas, which Crary had presented to the House of Representatives; one, 1838, from William Bliss of Blissfield, lists the names of officers and members of the Anti-Slavery Society of Blissfield; one, 1839, from William L. Sullivan, Jackson, discusses Methodist anti-slavery meetings; one, 1838, describes the anti-abolitionist riots in Philadelphia, Pa., and the burning of Pennsylvania Hall, built in 1837 by anti-slavery societies for public meetings; three, 1837, are from Mathew Franklin Whittier (brother of John Greenleaf Whittier), Amesbury, Mass.
A calendar arranged by name of correspondent is available in the reading room card files.