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Lucy Stone photo

Lucy Stone

 

Lucy Stone (1818-1893) was born in Massachusetts and began teaching school at the age of 16. She attended Oberlin College and graduated in 1847, the same year she delivered her first lecture on women's rights from the pulpit of her brother's church. The following year she began to work for the Antislavery Society.

 

In 1855 Stone married abolitionist and feminist Henry B. Blackwell, in a union committed to equality, symbolized by Stone’s decision to keep her last name.

 

After the Civil War, Stone broke with more radical feminists over the question of prioritizing women’s suffrage and black males’ suffrage. Stone believed that for the time being one must choose between the two, and that African Americans’ needs were greater. In 1869 she helped organize the American Woman Suffrage Association, which was more conservative than the National Woman Suffrage Association.

 

In 1870 the American Association began publishing the Woman's Journal, edited by Stone, Blackwell, and Mary Livermore. The Woman’s Journal appealed to women who desired greater freedom but were not yet ready to commit themselves to equal suffrage. Stone and Blackwell’s daughter Alice succeeded them as editor, and, after the Nineteenth Amendment was passed, the journal continued as Woman Citizen, the publication of the League of Women Voters.

 

The two wings of the suffrage movement were reunited in 1890 as the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and Stone became an officer. She passed away three years later in Boston.

 

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Taken on March 20, 2008