Annotations - Louisa May Alcott, "Transcendental Wild Oats" (1873)

Abigail May Alcott (1800-1877)


Abigail “Abba” Alcott, née May (1800-1877) was one of the first professional female social workers in Boston; she was an abolitionist and women's rights activist. She married A. Bronson Alcott on 23 May 1830. She is referred to as "Sister Hope" and "Mrs. Lamb" in the text. In her journal entry for 1 June 1843 (the day she moved with her family to Fruitlands), she wrote: “Mr. Lane, with my brother, purchases this estate, which I hope will prove a happy home. If we can collect about us true men and women, I know not why we may not live the true life, putting away the evil customs of society and leading quiet exemplary lives. Our labour for the present must be arduous, but there is much to strengthen our hearts and hands in the reflection that our pursuits are innocent and true, that no selfish purpose actuates us, that we are living for the good of others, and that though we may fail it will be some consolation that we have ventured what none others have dared.”



Image of Abigail May, wife of Amos Bronson Alcott and mother of Louisa May Alcott. Sketched from a daguerreotype (no artist or date listed). From Bronson Alcott's Fruitlands by Clara Endicott Sears. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company 1915. Page 4. Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons