Abby Hills Price

Photograph of Abby Price
Photograph of Abby Hills Price

Born on July 18, 1814, Abigail “Abby” Hills Price was a leading advocate in the early woman’s rights movement.

Abby married Edmund Price, a hatter, and moved to the Hopedale Community in 1842. They were two of the early members of the community there. Strongly anti-war, Abby also advocated for a woman’s right to speak and participate fully in society. For a time, Hopedale was a good fit for the Prices. Abby was a prolific writer who authored several articles in the Hopedale-based paper, The Practical Christian. Her first article, “Our Country,” was on abolition. Hopedale’s religious leader Adin Ballou referred to her as “a sort of poet-laureate to the Community.” In 1843, she was elected Community secretary.

Aside from her work in Hopedale, Price wrote articles for reform newspapers such as The Una and the Liberator. Price also wrote several hymns and served as a member in the New England Non-Resistance Society. After briefly leaving the Hopedale Community in 1848, she returned and was elected secretary-treasurer of the Beneficent Society.

In Hopedale, women could exercise their right to vote. This was not true outside the confines of the community in most of the United States. Price fervently spoke on equal rights for women. In 1851, she gave a speech before the Woman’s Rights Convention in Worcester, Massachusetts. Price emphasized the need for the inclusion of women in government and well compensated employment so that women would have the ability to become financially independent. The convention went on to approve the resolutions made by Price which gave special emphasis to the ability to vote as the cornerstone of the movement.

Price left Hopedale for another utopian community at Raritan Bay, New Jersey in 1853. She later relocated again, this time to Brooklyn, New York. There, Price remained close friends with American poet Walt Whitman for many years. She died in 1878.

Last updated: June 24, 2022

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