Lydia Bradford Burleigh
"The slave had no truer friend than she"
Lydia Bradford Burleigh, the matriarch of the Burleigh family, was a charter member, along with her daughter Frances Mary Burleigh, of the Female Anti-Slavery Society of Brooklyn (Connecticut). Between her many children and caring for a disabled husband, public ciphers are difficult to find for Lydia. But every description of the Burleigh family notes that Lydia was a direct lineal descendant of William Bradford. While this is, in its own way, an interesting link to the deep colonial past, it is also typical of the truncation of women's biographies into mere conduits between more famous males. Given that Lydia Burleigh's children were religiously diverse in their practice, and defended the rights of Native Americans and African-Americans, it seems safe to assume that she held opinions quite distinct from that of her famed ancestor, the leader of the Pilgrims, religious Separatists who disregarded the humanity and rights of the Native people they encountered.
Lydia Bradford Burleigh's grave, at the Plainfield Cemetery.
At the time of her death, Lydia Burleigh received a full obituary in the pages of The Liberator (February 4, 1853, v.23 , n.5, p.19).