Lucy Stone - Suffragettes and Leadership
Lucy Stone (1818-93)
American suffragette (pictured right) , who fought for:
- the abolition of slavery (i.e. she was an abolitionist).
Why was she successful and a great leader?
She was the first woman in America to keep her own name after marriage, and so assert her
rights as an independent woman.
This became known as 'doing a Lucy Stone'.
She said, “My name is my identity and must not be lost”.
She strongly believed that everybody should have the same rights, as laid down in the
American Constitution, whatever their sex or colour.
She was supported by:
- Henry Blackwell (her husband, pictured right above).
- Alice Stone Blackwell (her daughter, pictured right).
- Mary Livermore (a fellow suffragette, pictured right below).
They all helped her to found and publish in 1870 the suffragette publication, The Woman’s
Driven by her strong Christian beliefs, her aim was summed up by her last, dying words to her daughter:
“Make the world better”.
In particular, she wanted women to have the same rights and
opportunities as men, because:
“In everything disappointment is the lot of women”, she said.
But she insisted that they should never neglect their family responsibilities, because
“A woman’s truest place is in a home, with a husband and with children”.
4. Determined action
Stone (pictured right as a young woman):
- never accepted that women or African Americans had to be inferior.
- was the first woman in Massachusetts to gain a university degree in 1847.
- made public speeches supporting women, and the American Antislavery Society (despite
great hostility and barracking).
- organized (in 1850) the first national women’s rights convention in Worcester,
- refused (in 1858) to pay property taxes on her home, because women didn’t have
She inspired many people to fight for women’s rights, including:
- other American suffragettes (like Susan B.
Anthony , pictured right above, and Julia Ward Howe, pictured right).
- John Stuart
Mill and Harriet Taylor, pictured right below (English
Mill and Taylor wrote their influential article, The Enfranchisement of Women, after reading
one of Stone’s speeches.
Key quote on objectives and
Make the world better.
Key quote on
My name is my identity and must not be lost.
Women are in bondage.
In everything disappointment is the lot of women.
Key quote on family
A woman’s truest place is in a home, with a husband and with children.