Lucy Stone
Lucy Stone was born on August 13, 1818, near West Brookfield, MA. Against her father's wishes and beliefs, at age 25 she entered Oberlin College, paying for most of her education herself by teaching and doing housework. Lucy graduated from Oberlin in 1847, becoming the first Massachusetts women to earn a college degree. She then began her career as an advocate for the abolition of slavery, later becoming a lecturer for the American Anti-Slavery Society.

An eloquent speaker, Lucy also then began lecturing throughout the country on women's equality rights. She truly believed that there were compelling similarities between the oppression of African Americans and women. In 1850 she organized a national women's rights convention in Worcester, MA. Lucy's speech at that convention converted Susan B. Anthony to the cause of women's rights. For the next few years she toured the country, organizing anti-slavery and women’s rights conventions, collecting petitions, and lobbying legis lators.

In 1855 she married Henry Brown Blackwell, an idealistic poet and women's suffrage supporter from Cincinnati, OH who had arduously courted Lucy for two years... finally convincing her that marriage was not altogether a bad thing. She did, however, keep her maiden name rather than taking his - something unheard of in that day. The couple had two children, a son that died shortly after birth, and Alice Stone Blackwell, who also became well known in the women's suffrage movement.

In 1863, during the Civil War, Lucy organized the Woman’s National Loyal League to support the Union war effort and to press the issue of emancipation of all slaves. In 1969 Lucy formed the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) in opposition to the more radical National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) formed by Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

An accomplished journalist, in 1870 Lucy and her husband founded The Woman's Journal of Boston which for 50 years was the United States' principal woman's suffrage newspaper, dedicated to women's equality in education, law, and politics.

Lucy Stone died on October 18, 1893 in Dorchester, MA, having lived long enough to see Congress pass the 14th and 15th Amendments, giving equal protection under law to the former slaves and enfranchising black men, respectively. She, however, did not live to see women win the right to vote - that did not happen for another 27 years. After her death (and always an individual), Lucy was the first person in New England to be cremated.


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