Quaker Feminist and Social Activist
Lucretia Mott (1793-1880) was a Quaker minister, abolitionist and social reformer who dedicated her life to the goal of human equality. Mott was a major figure in the reform movements of the nineteenth-century: abolition, women’s rights, school and prison reform, temperance, peace and religious tolerance.
Childhood and Early Years
Lucretia Coffin was born on January 3, 1793 on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, the second of eight children born to Thomas and Anna Folger Coffin. At the age of thirteen, Lucretia was sent to the Nine Partners Quaker Boarding School in Millbrook, New York. There she learned of the horrors of slavery from visiting lecturers such as Elias Hicks, a well-known Quaker abolitionist.
Feminist, Philanthropist and Social Reformer
Image: Elizabeth Smith Miller (right)
with daughter Anne Fitzhugh Miller
Elizabeth Smith Miller (1822–1911 ) was a lifelong advocate and financial supporter of the women’s rights movement. Miller was well known for her hospitality and often opened her home to raise money for the women’s suffrage campaign. She is best known as a dress reformer, developing the practical knee-length skirt over pantaloons that became known as bloomers after activist Amelia Bloomer popularized them in her periodical The Lily.
Feminist, Suffragist, Newspaper Publisher and Social Reformer
Amelia Bloomer (1818–1894) was a feminist, social reformer and women’s rights activist. Amelia Bloomer owned, edited and published the first newspaper for women, The Lily, in which she promoted abolition, temperance, women’s suffrage, higher education for women and marriage law reform. Although she did not create the women’s clothing style known as Bloomers, her name became associated with it because of her early and strong advocacy.
Amelia Jenks was born May 27, 1818 into a family of modest means in Homer, New York. Although she received only a few years of formal schooling, Amelia was thought to be remarkably intelligent by her peers. She became a teacher, at first in the public schools and afterward as a private tutor.
America’s First Legal Woman Voter
Image: Town of Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Lydia Chapin Taft was an early forerunner in Colonial America who was allowed to vote in three New England town meetings, beginning in 1756. Lydia Chapin was born February 2, 1712, at Mendon, Massachusetts, the daughter of Seth Chapin, and Bethia Thurston. Seth Chapin was a respected member of the community and a Captain in the militia.
Young Lydia Chapin grew up in a large family with 9 siblings. Her father Seth owned much property in what is today Milford, south Hopedale, and Post’s Lane in Mendon. The family lived on 45 acres near the Post’s Lane bridge and Mill River. Post’s Lane was made famous for the first man killed in King Phillip’s War, Richard Post.