Remond was born 1826 in Salem, Massachusetts, into an abolitionist family who supported her efforts to become an anti-slavery orator. She and her brother Charles Lenox Remond were two of several abolitionists chosen by the American Anti-Slavery society to tour the country in 1856, giving speeches in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, often travelling without a male escort. Prominent abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison praised her "calm, dignified manner, her winning personal appearance and her earnest appeals to the conscience and the heart."
Remond was also responsible for one of the earliest recorded acts of the very same civil disobedience that became central to the Civil Rights Movement a century later. In 1853, Remond bought a ticket for the opera, Don Pasquale, at the Howard Athenaeum in Boston. She refused to accept segregated seating, however, and in response she was forced to leave the theatre and pushed down several stairs. Remond took action, sued for damages, and was found to be wronged by the theatre, winning an award of $500 for damages.
When the Civil War broke out, the American Anti-Slavery society, recognizing Remond’s skills, asked her to continue her oratorial career in Britain. In the early stages of the war, the Confederacy was hopeful for British support - because most goods were manufactured in the North, trade with Britain was crucial. Remond lectured on the cruel treatment of slaves in the Confederacy and helped raise support for a trade blockade with the Confederacy.
"I ask you, raise the moral public opinion until its voice reaches the American shores. Aid us thus until the shackles of the American slave melt like dew before the morning sun. I ask for especial help from the women of England. Women are the worst victims of the slave power. I am met on every hand by the cry, "cotton! cotton!" I cannot stop to speak of cotton while men and women are being brutalised [x].”