Memphis Moments
6:45 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Frances Wright

Frances Wright
Credit Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1887)

Scottish by birth, Frances Wright earned her reputation as a reformer in the United States.  She was an early champion of women's rights, democracy, the working class, and abolition.  

Wright believed slaves had to be prepared to live as free people, so, in October of 1825, she purchased a few slaves and some land in the present Germantown area, establishing the Neshoba Plantation.

Her idea was to train slaves to be self-supporting.  After they earned enough money to buy their freedom, the funds would be used to buy another group, and the process would repeat.  Unfortunately, the Neshoba Plantation experiment failed within a few years.  In early 1830, Wright took the remaining 31 slaves to Haiti and to their freedom.  

The experiment had cost Frances Wright her money and her health, while accomplishing very little.  She died in Cincinnati, OH, on 12 December 1852.  

To learn more about our region's history, visit the Pink Palace Family of Museums, or on Facebook, or at http://memphismuseums.org.