Sarah's Change and Influence on Angelina
Sarah's convictions became stronger as she grew older, though, and she realized that she needed to get away from the slavery that surrounded her. She soon packed her belongings and moved to Philadelphia, far away from her dear Angelina, who was now old enough to care for herself. Once there, Sarah met a group of Quakers and became good friends with them (Sarah). She converted shortly thereafter, much to the dismay of her mother, a devout Episcopalian. It is said that their mother was very narrow minded, and was not open to the radical beliefs of the Quakers (Birney 16).
Sarah and Angelina kept close contact during their separation, and Angelina visited Sarah in Philadelphia several times. It was during this series of visits that the sisters' view of slavery changed somewhat. They began to believe that owning another person was morally wrong, and thus, sinful (Birney 41). The two began to believe that slavery must end immediately in order to stop the sinning. Thus, when Angelina returned to South Carolina, her hatred of slavery burned even stronger. She often spoke against it to anyone who would listen. Angelina was extremely persistent, even though her audience of Southern slave owners was not very receptive (Birney 84-5).
Another effect of Angelina's visits to Philadelphia was that she began to pick up on some of the Quaker beliefs. She did not, however, convert until several years later. Records of her diary show that soon after returning from a trip to Philadelphia, she destroyed all of her novels (Birney 51). She also altered her clothing to make it more "plain." Angelina writes, "I have just untrimmed my hat . . . I do want, if I am a Christian, to look like one" (Birney 53).
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