Lydia Maria Child: A Radical American Life by Professor Lydia Moland (Zoom)


When the prominent abolitionist Lydia Maria Child and her husband moved to Northampton in 1838, it was with an ambitious goal: to grow sugar beets to undermine the plantation sugar trade. Sugar beets had never been grown in the U.S. before, but abolitionists like Child (1802-1880) were determined to fight slavery in every way they could.Once in Northampton, Child attempted to help emancipate an enslaved woman who had been brought North by vacationing Southerners. She also sent reports to Boston abolitionists "outing" Northampton residents who supported the slave trade. Ultimately, the Childs' beet experiment in Florence failed.But Lydia Maria Child's time in Northampton was formative for her activism and laid the groundwork for more abolitionist work. Child’s own philosophical thinking, moral courage, and extensive writing made her one of the most important voices among white Americans fighting to end slavery.Lydia Moland will discuss her new biography of Child, entitled Lydia Maria Child: A Radical American Life, (University of Chicago Press) and suggest lessons from Child's Northampton activism that are relevant today.This event is made possible by David Ruggles Center and Historic Northampton, with proceeds benefiting both organizations. Sliding scale admission: $5-25.Register for the Zoom link at