An abolitionist and suffragist, Lucy stone was anardent advocate of equality and liberation of women.She was the first woman in Massachusetts to receive a college degree. Lucy loathed racialism and gender discrimination right from her childhood and vowed to bring about a change in the position of a man and a woman in the society. Apart from this, she was also one of the foremost fighters for the liberation of blacks. She became a leader of the conservative wing of the suffrage movement in her later years. One of her speeches in 1850 converted Susan B. Anthony to the suffrage cause, though they later split over strategy and tactics.The schism created two major branches of suffrage movement after the Civil War.She was also the first recorded American woman to keep her own last name, even after marriage.
Life & Profile Of Lucy Stone
Childhood & Early Life
Born on August 13, 1818, in West Brookfield, Massachusetts, Lucy Stone was the eighth of nine children. In her growing up years, she watched her father rule over the house, whilst her mother kept succumbing to her father's whims. It was extremely disquieting on her partto witness her mother begging for moneyto her father.Though Lucy was brighter than her brother she didn't receive a chance to attend school as she was a girl.Once when the Holy Bible was quoted to her, stating the difference between the position of a man and a woman, she challenged that when she grew up she would learn Greek and Hebrew so that she could correct the mistranslation. Though she joined the Congregationalist church initially, a dispute among the members resulted in her joining the Unitarian Universalist church later in life.
Education & Career
To pay for her own educationStone started taking teaching positions. In March 1838, Stone was called home to attend the funeral of Eliza, her 29-year-old sister. Instead of returning to school, Stone moved into Eliza's house to care for two infant nieces. In the summer, she took a teaching position and repaid her father's promissory note, and also took Latin, grammar, and mathematics instruction from Alfred Bartlett.Alfred Bartlett was a divinity student and an admirer of the abolitionist Grimke sisters. Stone read of the public speeches made by the Grimkes which compared the situation of woman to that of a slave and Stone resolved "to call no man master". By the time she turned 25, Lucy had saved enough money to fund her first year at Oberlin College, in Ohio. She completed her graduation in the year 1847. Right after her education, Lucy gave her first public address, in her brother's Congregational Church, in Gardner, Massachusetts. This gave Lucy the start she wanted and subsequently became the leader of the women's suffrage movement and abolition.
Lucy was appointed as a lecturer and organizer by the Garrisonian Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. She worked for women rights and also for abolition for slavery of blacks. In the First World War, Lucy, along with other women who had similar interests, formed the Woman's' National Loyal League. The organization fought for the liberation and enfranchisement of African Americans. Once this was done, Lucy formed the American Equal Rights Association or AERA, whose main motive was to secure equal voting right for everyone, despite the difference in gender and race.
However a conflict led AERA to split into two parts - while one of them was named 'National Woman Suffrage Association' and was managed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, the second one was headed by Lucy Stone, along with her husband and Julia Ward Howe, as 'American Woman Suffrage Association'. The two associations merged after almost two decades, to form 'National American Woman Suffrage Association'. It was in 1870 that Lucy founded the Woman's Journal, a publication of the 'National American Woman Suffrage Association', in which she retained the position of an editor till she died.
Lucy Stone died due to stomach tumoron October 18, 1893 at the age of 75. Lucy Stone was cremated in the Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.At her funeral three days later, 1,100 people gathered at the church, while hundreds of other stood silently outside. Six women and six men served as pallbearers, including sculptor Anne Whitney, and Stone's old abolitionist friends Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Samuel Joseph May. Mourners lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the funeral procession, and front-page banner headlines ran in news accounts. Up to that time Stone's death was the most widely reported of all American women.
The campaign for equality and liberation, which Lucy had started, did not go unnoticed. Till date, she is remembered and honored for the contribution she made to secure liberation and freedom. Her statue features in the Boston Women's Memorial on Commonwealth Ave, Boston. The U.S. Postal Service honored Lucy Stone, with a 50-cent postage stamp, released in 1968. An administration and classroom building on Livingston Campus, at Rutgers University in New Jersey, has been named after Lucy Stone. A park named after her, 'Lucy Stone Park' is located in Warren, Massachusetts, along Quaboag River.
Lucy Stone was one of the greatest fighters for equality and liberation. With this biography, explore the life and profile of Lucy Stone.