Lucy Stone


Biography of Lucy Stone

Lucy Stone (August 13, 1818 – October 19, 1893) was a prominent American abolitionist and suffragist, and a vocal advocate and organizer promoting rights for women. In 1847, Stone was the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree. She spoke out for women's rights and against slavery at a time when women were discouraged and prevented from public speaking. Stone was the first recorded American woman to retain her own last name after marriage.

Stone's organizational activities for the cause of women's rights yielded tangible gains in the difficult political environment of the 19th century. Stone helped initiate the first National Women's Rights Convention and she supported and sustained it annually along with a number of other local, state and regional activist conventions. Stone spoke in front of a number of legislative bodies to promote laws giving more rights to women. She assisted in establishing the Woman's National Loyal League to help pass the Thirteenth Amendment and thereby abolish slavery, after which she helped form the largest group of like-minded women's rights reformers, the politically-moderate American Woman Suffrage Association, which worked for decades at the state level in favor of women's right to vote.

Stone wrote extensively about a wide range of women's rights, publishing and distributing speeches by herself and others, and convention proceedings. In the long-running and influential Woman's Journal, a weekly periodical that she established and promoted, Stone aired both her own and differing views about women's rights. Called "the orator" and "the morning star of the woman's rights movement", Stone delivered a speech which sparked Susan B. Anthony to take up the cause of women's suffrage. Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote that "Lucy Stone was the first person by whom the heart of the American public was deeply stirred on the woman question." Together, Anthony, Stanton, and Stone have been called the 19th century "triumvirate" of women's suffrage and feminism.

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