Rights for Women: The Suffrage Movement and Its Leaders

Lucy Stone (1818-1893)

Lucy Stone aimed to overturn human injustices by furthering the cause of woman’s rights and abolition. Continuously challenging conformity, Lucy Stone became the first Massachusetts woman to receive a college degree in 1847. Shortly after graduating from Oberlin, Stone began lecturing for the American Anti-Slavery Association. As a protest of restrictive marriage laws, Stone kept her maiden name when she married thereby coining the phrase “Lucy Stoner” for all women refusing to take their husband’s name.

She joined the Women’s Loyal National League in 1863 to mobilize support for the passage of the thirteenth amendment and then collaboratively organized the American Equal Rights Association (AERA) in 1866 to press for both black and woman’s rights. After the AERA split into two factions, Stone and Julia Ward Howe founded the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA). Stone began the Woman’s Journal which gained the reputation as the “voice of the woman’s movement.” In 1890 she became chairperson of the executive committee of the National American Woman Suffrage Association – the new organization resulting from the union of the AWSA and the NWSA. Throughout her life, Stone acted to further the cause of black and woman civil rights.

Lucy Stone, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (LC-USZ6-2055)

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