Notable Woman Abolitionists

Photograph of Lucretia Mott

Portrait of Lucretia Mott (1793-1880)

Born in 1793 into a family of Quakers, the Mott family had a reputation of wanting to obtain peace in a non-resistive way. Lucretia Mott herself had the belief instilled in her early on that war is wrong, especially after experiencing it firsthand in 1812. Lucretia and her brother, James, began to establish their own meanings of nonresistance in 1833 during the foundation of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Both Mott siblings attended the meeting and established a name for themselves as abolitionists. Three days later, Lucretia Mott helped to form the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, an abolotionist group for women. Following her 1833 success as a female abolitionist and voice for women's rights, in 1837, Lucretia began advocating for nonresistance more publically after the fourceful abolitionist, Elijah Lovejoy, was assassinated by a proslavery mob. Her passion for nonresistance was not necessarily accepted. In 1838 at the Second Annual Meeting of the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women, protestors showed up and set fire to Pennsylvania Hall. Afterwards, they marched on chanting that the Mott house would be next. The protestors never did make it to the Mott house, but their threats were not enough to stop Lucretia's determination to earn rights for women and slaves. She continued to be a voice for female abolitionists leading up to her important role of co-initiating the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.

Drawing of Cady Elizabeth Stanton

Portrait of Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)

Born in 1815, Elizabeth Cady Stanton took on an interest in women coming together early on. At a young age she joined the Presbyterian Girls' Club, a group of girls who worked together to better the lives of others. It was at age 15 when Stanton became exposed to the ideas of feminism when she discovered the teachings of Charles Finney, one of the first voices for American feminsim. Although she was originally skeptical of Finney's ideas, in the next few years she connected with other reformers, such as her cousin Gerrit Smith, who futher sparked her interest in ending slavery and gaining a voice for women while doing so. It was also her cousin who introduced her to her husband, abolitionist Henry Stanton. Although her family opposed it, the couple traveled the world to become advocates for ending slavery.

In 1840, Mott and Stanton both coincidentally traveled to England to attend the World's Anti-Slavery Convention. At the convention, Lucretia was denied a seat on the floor. It was Elizabeth Cady Stanton's husband, Henry, who took note of Lecretia's composure after this situation and her determination to better the conditions of women. Thanks to this convention, the two women met and decided to work together to fight for women's rights. 8 years later, they would organize and lead the first women's convention in Seneca Falls, New York.

Notable Woman Abolitionists