Lucretia Coffin was born on 3 Jan 1793 in Nantucket, Massachusetts. She was raised as a devoted Quaker and became an early feminist activist, abolitionist, and powerful orator.
She eventually met and married the supportive James Mott, also a Quaker and devoted abolitionist. With James Mott’s support and agreement, she eliminated the word “obey” from their traditional marriage vows.
Even with raising six children and working at a teaching career – at half the wages of the male teachers, Mott still had the energy to become an ardent abolitionist orator, founded the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, and endured the never-ending criticism and ridicule that came from being a female public speaker.
She met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, also an abolitionist, at a London, England, anti-slavery convention where they both were delegates. Still, the men who ran the convention refused to seat them as delegates because of their sex. Eventually, they were offered a seat in the balcony, behind a veil on condition that they not speak. As they ruminated over the injustice and insult, they determined to hold a women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York.
Alongside of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott entered into the world of fighting for women’s rights.
She continued her crusades against slavery but also crusaded for all citizens to have the right to vote. She became the first president of the American Equal Rights Association; continued and enlarged on her speaker’s circuit; published the Discourse on Women; assisted in establishing Swarthmore College (ensuring that it was co-educational); and was a significant voice in the women’s suffrage movement for the rest of her life.
Lucretia Coffin Mott was never able to vote. On 11 November 1880, at the age of 87 years, some forty years before the 19th Amendment passed, she left the cause to another generation. R.I.P., Lucretia, and Thank You.