Lucy Stone’s Protest of Taxation Without Representation

Lucy Stone’s Protest of Taxation Without Representation
Source, Orange Journal, January 18, 1858

In 1857 Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell moved to a small farm in Orange.  The property was owned by Stone and when her tax bill came in November, she refused to pay her taxes and wrote her famous protest to the tax collector.  This letter was published in the press at the time some of her effects were sold at a tax sale.

Orange, N. J.

Mr. Mandeville, Tax Collector, Sir:

Enclosed I return my tax bill, without paying it. My reason for doing so is that women suffer taxation and yet have no representation, which is not only unjust to one half of the adult population, but is contrary to our theory of government. For years some women have been paying their taxes under protest but still taxes are imposed and representation is not granted. The only course now left us is to refuse to pay the tax. We know well what the immediate result of this refusal must be.

But we believe that when the attention of men is called to the wide difference between their theory of government and its practices in this particular, they cannot fail to see the mistake they now make by imposing taxes on women, while they refuse them the right of suffrage, and that the sense of justice which is in all good men, will lead them to correct it. Then shall we cheerfully pay our taxes—not till then.

Lucy Stone