Lucy Stone: Family Correspondence

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Lucy Stone joins Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony as one of the most prominent leaders in the nineteenth-century women’s suffrage movement. She helped coordinate the first national American women's rights convention, held in Worcester, Massachusetts. For many years, Stone earned a living as an antislavery and women's rights lecturer. She defiantly kept her maiden name to publicly protest laws discriminatory to women, decades later inspiring other “Lucy Stoners.” When the suffrage movement splintered into two groups in 1869 over the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, Lucy Stone and her husband, Henry Browne Blackwell, formed the American Woman Suffrage Association, which competed with Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s and Susan B. Anthony’s National Woman Suffrage Association. Their only surviving child, Alice Stone Blackwell, followed in the family business of suffrage continuing to edit the popular Woman’s Journal, which her parents began in 1870.

Lucy Stone corresponded with various members of the Blackwell and Stone families throughout her lifetime, and she saved important Stone family correspondence from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. While she was attending Oberlin College in 1847, Stone declared in a letter to her mother, “I expect to plead not for the slave only, but for suffering humanity everywhere. Especially do I mean to labor for the elevation of my sex.” Stone would go on to be an important advocate for the abolition of the slavery, but also for women’s suffrage. See what you can discover about Stone’s family relationships by transcribing these letters.

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