Lucy Stone: speaking out for equality by Andrea Moore Kerr

By Andrea Moore Kerr

No examine of women's heritage within the usa is entire with out an account of Lucy Stone's position within the nineteenth-century force for criminal and political rights for women.This first totally documented biography of Stone describes her speedy upward push to repute and gear and her later try at an equitable mariage.


Lucy Stone was once a Massachusetts newspaper editor, abolitionist, and charismatic orator for the women's rights move within the final half the 19th century. She used to be deeply concerned about nearly each reform factor of her time. Charles Sumner, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Julia Ward Howe, Horace Greeley, and Louisa may possibly Alcott counted themselves between her acquaintances. via her public conversing and her newspaper, the Woman's magazine, Stone turned the main greatly well-liked woman's rights spokeswoman of her period. within the 19th century, Lucy Stone was once a family name.


Kerr starts with Stone's early roots in a terrible relations in western Massachusetts. She ultimately graduated from Oberlin collage after which turned a full-time public speaker for an anti-slavery society and for women's rights. regardless of Stone's strident anti-marriage ideology, she ultimately wed Henry Brown Blackwell, and had her first baby on the age of thirty-nine.


Although Kerr tells us approximately Stone's public accomplishments, she emphasizes Stone's own fight for autonomy. "Lucy Stone (Only)" used to be Stone's trademark signature following her marriage. Her refusal to give up her beginning identify used to be one instance of her selection to continue her individuality in an period the place a woman's correct to a separate identification ended with marriage.


Of equivalent significance is Kerr's dialogue of Stone's courting with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, in addition to her revisionist therapy of the schism which ultimately divided Stone from Stanton and Anthony. Stone recommended legislators to not forget about the necessity for women's suffrage as they rushed to enfranchise black men. Stanton and Anthony dwelt simply at the desire for women's suffrage, on the rate of black suffrage.


     Women's historians, the final reader, and historians of the kin will have fun with the tale of Stone's try to stability the conflicting calls for of occupation and family.



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Stone posed a challenge to credibility: she was a noble woman, selfless to a fault; she hewed to the high ground, leaving her biographer to grasp at flaws. Rather than risk the "hagiography" label, I was tempted to turn the lens of popular psychology on Stone's behavior, seeing her heroism as dysfunction, her noble silence as repression, her altruism as bordering on pathology, and her self-abnegation as a form of co-dependency. Instead, I have tried simply to present the facts, leaving judgments to the reader.

Then too, she may have hoped that away from his friends, Francis himself would drink less. " He expected Hannah to cook for them and do their laundry. 3 Page 13 From an early age, the children were expected to share in the work. Lucy was a precocious child, able to help her mother with the weaving long before anyone expected it. The complex task of feeding the loom (handing up the appropriate colored threads as needed for the particular design) required careful concentration and memory. Barely a toddler, Lucy took her place beneath the loom, handing the appropriate skeins up to her mother for hours at a time.

I had a right," she would say by way of explanation as she defied custom, challenged the law, and fomented domestic rebellion. She left her family's subsistence farm to speak, to write, and to lobby the political and legal systems of America in pursuit of what were to her the clear and inalienable rights of the enslaved and the disfranchised. "11 As the carriage carrying her body slowly moved away from the Church of the Disciples, groups of mourners remained on the pavement, reluctant to disperse.

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