Lucy Stone (1818-1893), abolitionist and women’s rights advocate, refused to pay the real estate taxes on her home in East Orange to protest New Jersey women’s disenfranchisement and charged taxation without representation.
Distressed at an early age by her father’s domineering treatment of her mother Stone disagreed with the way the law treated women. From then on she chose to fight for the rights of her gender. After her graduation from Oberlin College in 1847 Stone became the first Massachusetts woman to receive a college degree. She began her career as a lecturer on equal rights for women and the injustices of slavery. Stone often faced angry mobs and hecklers who tore down her lecture posters, pelted her with prayer books, burned pepper during her talks to make her sneeze, and drenched her with water.
An undeterred Stone helped organize the first National Woman’s Rights Convention of 1850 in Worchester, Massachusetts. She was also a founding member of the American Equal Rights Association which worked for Negro and woman suffrage. Stone and her female colleagues often appealed to Congress and New Jersey State Legislature on behalf of women’s suffrage. Stone eventually earned a position as president of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association.
McMillen, Sally G. Lucy Stone: An Unapologetic Life. New York: Oxford University
Questions to Explore
What are some of the things Stone did to appeal on behalf of women’s suffrage?
What does Stone’s determination to overcome the obstacles in her path represent to young women ?
What happened to Stone for refusing to pay the real estate taxes on her home in East Orange?
Blackwell Alice Stone. 1971. Lucy Stone. New York: Kraus Reprint. https://worldcat.org/title/2109012
Barber Lynn. 2017. Champions for Women’s Rights : Matilda Joslyn Gage Julia Ward Howe Lucretia Mott and Lucy Stone. New York NY: Enslow Publishing. https://worldcat.org/title/939911192
McMillen Sally G. 2015. Lucy Stone : An Unapologetic Life. New York NY: Oxford University Press. https://worldcat.org/title/898176483
Stone Blackwell Alice and Randolph Hollingsworth. 2001. Lucy Stone : Pioneer of Woman’s Rights. Charlottesville ; London: University Press of Virginia. https://www.worldcat.org/title/1138592332