Elizabeth Margaret and her brother Thomas were born in Centre, Delaware. After being orphaned in 1816, the siblings lived with their grandmother. Elizabeth attended Quaker schools until she was 12 or 13, and began writing for Benjamin Lundy’s Genius of Universal Emancipation. When their grandmother died, they moved in with their Aunt Ruth who moved the family to Michigan in 1830. In 1832, Elizabeth helped start the Logan Anti-Slavery Society and continued editing for Lundy’s paper. In 1836, Thomas became one of the founding members of the Michigan Anti-Slavery Society. After the death of his sister and aunt, Thomas hosted lecturing abolitionists at his family’s Michigan homestead.