marzo 31, 2014

LUCRETIA MOTT (1847-74)

Pioneer reformer who with Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the organized women´s rights movement in the U.S.

At the age of 13 she was sent to a Friends´boarding school near Poughkeepsie, N.Y. where two years later she was engaged as an assistant and later a teacher. It was then that her interest in women´s rights began. Solely because of her sex she was paid only half the salary male teachers were receiving.

After her marriage in 1811 to James Mott also a teacher at the school, the couple moved to Philadelphia. Both were members of the Society of Friends and Lucretia became a Quaker minister in 1821. Later they associated themselves with the Hicksite Friends branch which tended toward a quasi-Unitarian position.

The Motts were active in the campaign against slavery and after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 their home became a sanctuary for runaway slaves.

In 1848 taking up the cause of women´s rights (see woman suffrage) she and Elizabeth Stanton called a convention at Seneca Falls, N.Y., the first of its kind, "to discuss the social, civil and religious rights of women". The convention issued a Declaration of Sentiments modelled on the Declaration of Independence, it stated that "all men and women are created equal..."

From that time Mott devoted most of her attention to the women´s rights movement.
She wrote articles, lectured widely, was elected president of the 1852 convention at Syracuse, N.Y. and attended almost every annual meeting thereafter.

After the Civil War (1861-65) she also worked for voting rights and educational opportunities for freedmen.

Until her death at 87 she was considered one of the most effective reformers in the country.

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