Correspondence of Margaret Chappellsmith

Administrative / Biographical History

Margaret Chappelsmith (nee Reynolds),1806-1883, was an Owenite socialist. Little is known about her early life, but she became interested in radical politics through reading William Cobbett, and then Robert Owen's 'New Moral World'. In 1836, Chappelsmith began writing articles for the Owenite press on the position of women and the issues surrounding communitarianism. She became an Owenite lecturer, arguing in particular against priestly religion and false ceremony and system of marriage. Her feminism was a constituent part of her socialist, communitarian and secular views. In 1839, she married John Chappelsmith and, in 1850, emigrated with him to Americ