On This Day
1609 – The English ship Sea Venture, en route to Virginia, is deliberately driven ashore during a storm at Bermuda to prevent its sinking; the survivors go on to found a new colony there.
Sea Venture was a seventeenth-century English sailing ship, part of the Third Supply mission to the Jamestown Colony, that was wrecked in Bermuda in 1609. She was the 300 ton purpose-built flagship of the London Company and a highly unusual vessel for her day, given that she was the first single timbered, merchantman built in England, and also the first dedicated emigration ship. Sea Venture’s wreck is widely thought to have been the inspiration for Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.
Born On This Day
1806 – Maria Weston Chapman, American abolitionist (d. 1885)
Maria Weston Chapman (July 25, 1806 – July 12, 1885) was an American abolitionist. She was elected to the executive committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1839 and from 1839 until 1842, she served as editor of the anti-slavery journal The Non-Resistant.
Maria Weston was born in 1806 in Weymouth, Massachusetts to Captain Warren Richard Weston and Anne (née Bates) Weston. Eventually she had seven younger siblings–five sisters and two brothers. Though the Westons were not wealthy, they were well connected through her uncle’s patronage. She spent several years of her youth living with family in England, where she received a robust education.
Weston returned to Boston in 1828 to serve as principal of a newly-founded, socially-progressive girls’ high school. She left the field of education two years later to marry.
Maria and her husband Henry were both “Garrisonian” abolitionists, meaning that they believed in an “immediate” and uncompromising end to slavery, brought about by “moral suasion” or non-resistance. They rejected all political and institutional coercion—including churches, political parties and the federal government—as agencies for ending slavery. They did, however, support moral coercion that encompassed “come-outerism” and disunion, both of which opposed association with slaveholders. Gerald Sorin writes, “In [Maria’s] nonresistance principles and in her ‘come-outerism,’ she was rigidly dogmatic and self-righteous, believing that ‘when one is perfectly right, one neither asks nor needs sympathy.'”
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