Lucy Stone

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Many women have made a mark in history before their passing and one such is Lucy Stone who passed away in 1893. While she was alive, Lucy achieved several important accolades of which she could have said it was the first time. She was the first female in the state of Massachusetts to achieve a college degree. She was also the first individual in New England to have her body cremated. However, she was mostly remembered for being the first female in the United States to keep her maiden name after she got married. In the later years of her life, she was considered a radical female and conservative leader in the women’s suffrage movement.

Who was Lucy Stone?

Born on August 13, 1818 in Massachusetts, Lucy Stone grew up on a farm with nine other children. She was the eighth child in the household. As she grew up, she observed the rule and dominance that her father displayed over the household and her mother. She was once disturbed, watching her mother beg her dad for money. She was also not happy with the lack of educational support in her family when it came to the girls. For example, she and her other female siblings were smarter than their brother, but yet he got the education and they didn’t. Since her dad refused to support her education, Lucy started to teach and do housework, earning money to go to college. She went to several educational institutions, but was able to graduate in 1847 from Oberlin College. Upon being requested by her school, she refused to write the commencement speech for graduation because women weren’t allowed to give public address. She was able to give her first speech publicly from the platform of the Congregational Church when she returned to her hometown after college. The speech was on women’s rights.

After Her College Graduation

After graduating from Oberlin College, a year later, she got hired to be an organizer and agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society. She was able to travel around the country to speak about abolition. However, she also did speak about women’s rights, which was a purpose and passion of hers. When the speeches about women’s right became too conflicting and controversial within the Anti-Slavery Society, it was thought that her efforts for the abolition cause had diminished. So Lucy decided to do separate lectures on the two, speaking on abolition during the weekends and women’s rights on weekdays. Her talks on women’s rights were radical and sometimes, crowds got hostile where she spoke.

She joined the Unitarians after she was expelled from the Congregational Church for her views on women’s rights. Although, raised in the Congregational Church, Lucy found it unfair that the church did not recognize women as voting members. She became a leader in 1850, organizing the first women’s right conventional nationally, held in Massachusetts. Her speech was able to convert Susan B. Anthony to the women’s suffrage cause. Years later, she was also able to convert Julia Ward Howe to adopt the cause of women’s rights and abolition of slavery.

Conclusion

Lucy Stone was one woman, yet she was able to make an impact in her state and across the nation. What impact are you making in your community? It only takes one person to make a difference and it could be you. Let us know what you think about the ongoing fight for women’s rights by leaving your comments here.

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