Weld, Theodore Dwight

Life Span
Full name
Theodore Dwight Weld
Place of Birth
Burial Place
Birth Date Certainty
Death Date Certainty
Sectional choice
Free State
No. of Spouses
No. of Children
Ludovicus Weld (father), Elizabeth Clark Weld (mother),Angelina Emily Grimké (wife, 1838), Sarah Moore Grimké (sister-in-law)
Other Education
Andover Seminary
Other Occupation
Relation to Slavery
White non-slaveholder
Church or Religious Denomination
Quakers (Society of Friends)
Other Religion
Other Affiliations
Abolitionists (Anti-Slavery Society)
Women’s Rights

Theodore Dwight Weld (American National Biography)

When his voice gave out in 1837, [Theodore Weld] took upon himself the task of creating a new roster of antislavery speakers….At training sessions in New York in late 1837, he met Sarah Grimké and Angelina Grimké, renegade sisters from South Carolina's slaveholding elite who had become antislavery activists. Angelina Grimké and Weld fell in love. Their courtship coincided with the Grimké sisters forthright advocacy of woman's equality, an issue that acted as a lightning rod for various matters, dividing abolitionists and inducing a schism in their ranks. Weld was caught between warring factions. In love with Angelina and egalitarian in his own views toward women, he nonetheless worried that agitating the "woman question" would divert energies from antislavery and bring that movement new opposition. After a romance made stormy in part by the tensions among reformers, they were married in 1838 in a ceremony marked by explicit commitment to equality of the sexes. They also vowed to share their life together with Sarah Grimké, who would live with them for more or less the rest of their lives.

Almost immediately Weld and the Grimkés began work on American Slavery As It Is (1839), a compilation of firsthand descriptions of slave life in the South. It became the most widely distributed and most influential of all American antislavery tracts, even influencing Harriet Beecher Stowe's depiction of slavery in Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Robert H. Abzug, "Weld, Theodore Dwight," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/15/15-00744.html.
Chicago Style Entry Link

Abzug, Robert H. Passionate Liberator: Theodore Dwight Weld and the Dilemma of Reform. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.

view record
Earle, Jonathan. “The Making of the North's 'Stark Mad Abolitionists': Anti-Slavery Conversion in the United States, 1824-54.” Slavery & Abolition 25, no. 3 (2004): 59-75. view record
Weld, Theodore Dwight. American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses. New York: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1839. view record
Weld, Theodore Dwight. The Bible against Slavery: An Inquiry into the Patriarchal and Mosaic systems on the subject of Human Rights. New York: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1837. view record
How to Cite This Page: "Weld, Theodore Dwight," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/23158.