The owner of one of the Library Company’s friendship albums, Amy Williams was born ain New York City to Peter H Williams Jr., a prominent Episcopalian minister, and his wife Sarah. At the age of 17, she married Joseph Cassey, a wealthy Philadelphian barber who was twenty years her senior. Following her marriage and move to Philadelphia, she became a part of a tightly knit community of educated, middle-class African Americans who were devoted to anti-slavery activism. It was during her residence in Philadelphia that Cassey created her friendship album, whose contributors represented prominent African Americans and reformers in their social circle. Among the entries were contributions by Sarah Mapps Douglass, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Lucy Stone. A member of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, she was a frequent attendee at abolitionist conferences. She and her husband were both founding members of the Gilbert Lyceum, a coeducational society for research in the sciences created for people of color. Cassey also helped to establish the Moral Reform Association, a national African American temperance organization. Joseph Cassey died in 1848, leaving most of his estate to his wife and his children. Amy Matilda Cassey married abolitionist Charles Lenox Remond in 1850, moving with him to his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. There the Remond house became a center for activism and education. Charlotte Forten, granddaughter of Philadelphian philanthropist and businessman James Forten, lived with the Remonds while in school. Cassey died on August 15, 1856.

Amy Matilda Cassey (1808-1856)