21 Facts About Angela Heywood


Angela Fiducia Heywood was a radical writer and activist, known as a free love advocate, suffragist, socialist, spiritualist, labor reformer, and abolitionist.

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Angela Heywood was born in Deerfield, New Hampshire, around 1840 to Daniel and Lucy Tilton.

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Angela Heywood's father was a farmer and her mother was a radical thinker who was descended from the philosopher John Locke.

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When she was eighteen, Heywood had a religious experience and became active in her church, though she later criticized the church quite harshly in her writings.

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Ezra Angela Heywood wrote and distributed a series of pamphlets entitled Cupid's Yokes, which condemned the institution of marriage as akin to slavery for women.

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Angela Heywood herself was a frequent writer for The Word, and considered herself to be a "word-painter, " referring to her own beliefs as a kind of “ethics” or “religion” to be followed.

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Angela Heywood believed that there were specific moral codes that men and women should follow.

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In some ways Angela Heywood did subscribe to the gender stereotypes of the time.

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Angela Heywood was a labor reformer, and believed wealthy women to be “morally corrupt” because they did not work.

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Angela Heywood ardently defended prostitutes, blaming their poverty and desperation on the men who exploited them, while most people of the time simply blamed the women themselves for the institution of prostitution.

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Angela Heywood was an anarchist and a spiritualist, meaning that she rejected the authority of the government and the church.

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Angela Heywood supported women's suffrage, but believed that reform alone would not be enough to change the ideology of the government; women, she said, should not have to acknowledge the state's legitimacy since the state did not acknowledge theirs.

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Angela Heywood even felt that the United States was “not a republican government, ” since a republic is meant to be for the people and the government only catered to the needs of half the population.

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Angela Heywood was heavily influenced by the practices of the Oneida Community of New York, especially its leader, John Humphrey Noyes.

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Unfortunately, the Heywoods' lack of money meant that Angela had to spend much of her time doing housework and had little time left over to write.

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However, Angela Heywood was always considered to be the unofficial co-editor.

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Angela Heywood earned some money teaching and speaking at conferences.

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Angela Heywood was one of the only outspoken defenders of abortion during this time, stating her support for women's right to control their own bodies in 1893.

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The very mention of abortion through the mail was at this time prohibited by the Comstock Law and the procedure itself was illegal, making Angela Heywood stand out as radical even among her fellow reformers.

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Angela Heywood spoke at the New England Free Love League Convention in Boston in November 1877 and was criticized by Anthony Comstock for her “obscenity.

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Heywood's own brother-in-law, disliked the work that Ezra and Angela were doing so immensely that he foreclosed on their house in September 1878 while Ezra was in prison.

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