Mott, Lucretia Coffin

Mott, Lucretia Coffin,

1793–1880, American feminist and reformer, b. Nantucket, Mass. She moved (1804) with her family to Boston and later (1809) to Philadelphia. A Quaker, she studied and taught at a Friends school near Poughkeepsie, N.Y. After 1818 she became known as a lecturer for temperance, peace, the rights of labor, and the abolition of slavery. She aided fugitive slaves, and following the meeting (1833) of the American Anti-Slavery Society, she was a leader in organizing the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. Refusal by the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London (1840) to recognize women delegates led to her championship of the cause of women's rights. With Elizabeth Cady StantonStanton, Elizabeth Cady,
1815–1902, American reformer, a leader of the woman-suffrage movement, b. Johnstown, N.Y. She was educated at the Troy Female Seminary (now Emma Willard School) in Troy, N.Y.
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 she organized (1848) at Seneca Falls, N.Y., the first women's rights convention in the United States.

Bibliography

See biographies by O. Cromwell (1958, repr. 1971), D. Sterling (1964), and G. Kurland (1972); C. Faulkner, Lucretia Mott's Heresy (2011).

Her husband, James Mott, 1788–1868, whom she married in 1811, was also a Quaker who worked constantly for the antislavery cause and for woman suffrage. He was a delegate to the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, and he presided (1848) at the first national women's rights convention at Seneca Falls. He also aided in the founding (1864) of Swarthmore College.

Bibliography

See A. D. Hallowell, ed., James and Lucretia Mott: Life and Letters (1884).

Mott, Lucretia Coffin

(1793–1880) women's rights activist, abolitionist, religious reformer; born in Nantucket, Mass. A child of Quaker parents, she was early impressed by her mother's and other Nantucket women's active roles while menfolk were away on voyages. The family moved to Boston in 1804 and she attended and then taught at a Quaker boarding school in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (1808–09). After she moved again with her family to Philadelphia, she married James Mott, a former teacher at the Poughkeepsie school who had now joined her father's hardware firm. By 1821, she became a Quaker minister, noted for her speaking abilities, and in 1827 she and her husband went over with the more progressive wing of the Friends. She had become strongly opposed to slavery and one of the chief advocates of not buying any products of slave labor; her husband, always her supporter, had to get out of the cotton trade about 1830. She became an early supporter of William Lloyd Garrison and his American Anti-Slavery Society, and she often found herself threatened with physical violence due to her radical views. She and her husband attended the famous World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840, the one that refused to allow women to be full participants. This led to her joining Elizabeth Cady Stanton in calling the famous Seneca Falls Convention, N.Y., in 1848 (at which, ironically, James Mott was asked to preside), and from that point on Lucretia Mott was dedicated to women's rights. She wrote her influential Discourse on Woman (1850). While remaining within the Society of Friends, in practice and beliefs she actually identified increasingly with more liberal/progressive trends in American religious life, even helping to form the Free Religious Association in Boston (1867). While keeping up her commitment to women's rights, she also maintained the full routine of a mother and housewife. She continued after the Civil War to work for advocating the rights of African-Americans. She helped to found Swarthmore College (1864), continued to attend women's rights conventions, and when the movement split into two factions in 1869, she tried to bring the two together.
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Mott, Lucretia Coffin, 1793--1880, Quaker minister, abolitionist, woman s rights advocate