PROFILE IN COURAGE: Lucretia Mott

27 Aug

Lucretia Mott: antislavery advocate and women’s rights activist. A major force in nineteenth-century American life.

Lucretia Coffin Mott was born on January 3, 1793, to Quaker parents in the seaport town of Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Marriage:
James Mott and Lucretia Coffin married in 1811. James was in the cotton and wool trade, but later focused only on wool trading as a protest against the slavery-dependent cotton industry in the South. Between 1812 and 1828 Mott bore six children, of whom five lived to adulthood.
Highlights:
She began to speak at Quaker meetings in 1818, and in 1821 she was recognized as a minister in the Society of Friends in Philadelphia.
In 1848, Mott witnessed the birth of the women’s rights movement in the historic Seneca Falls Convention which issued the women’s Declaration of Sentiments, a call for equal treatment of women. Mott presided over the Seneca Falls meeting and was the first to sign the Declaration.Throughout the turbulent 1850s, Mott continued her speaking and engaged in further antislavery and non-resistant activities. She worked with other antislavery leaders such as Fredrick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Lucy Stone.
She began Swathmore College in 1984, and in recognition of her long service to the women’s rights cause, she was chosen first president of the Equal Rights Association in May 1866.
At 85 years of age, Mott delivered her last public address when women’s rights advocates celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Seneca Falls convention in Rochester. Mott remained a leader in women’s rights organizations until her death on November 11th, 1880.

Quotes:

“The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation, because in the degradation of women, the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source.”
“Liberty is not less a blessing, because oppression has so long darkened the mind that it can not appreciate it.”

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