Antoinette Brown defended her post as Reverend of the Congregational Church in Wayne County NY in The Liberator on December 15, 1854. Brown was the first woman in the United States to be ordained a minister and was an associate of Susan B. Anthony and Julia Ward Howe.
The Liberator was an abolitionist periodical read by a broader spectrum of the reading public than subscribed to general interest journals and was more liberal in its perspective. The readership was sympathetic to Brown’s defense of “the position which Woman can now occupy in the clerical profession.”
Quaker, Margaret Fell, wrote on the right of women to preach two centuries earlier in 1667. Incongruously, Brown decries the Quakers for rejecting her as a “hireling minister.”
The Liberator is part of the Rare Newspaper Collection at Special Collections that contains over 250 titles from the US and Britain from the 18th through 20th centuries. The research value of these newspapers lies in the contemporary reports of what is now considered historical and their topical strengths of reform and anti-slavery activities.