Lucy Stone

Lucy Stone

West Brookfield, Worcester County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 18 Oct 1893 (aged 75)
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Jamaica Plain, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot Lower Columbarium, Crematory Building
Memorial ID 991 · View Source
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Social Reformer. Growing up in a suburb of Worcester, Massachusetts, she was well educated and became a teacher at the age of 17. She saved her salary and became the first woman in Massachusetts to attain a college degree when she graduated from Oberlin College in 1847. She began a career in public speaking mainly concentrating on the subjects of equality for women and anti-slavery. Her popularity was such that women listened and advocated her cause; both Julia Ward Howe and Susan B. Anthony were recruited by Stone to join the growing but unpopular women's suffrage movement. In 1855 she married Henry B. Blackwell fellow speaker in the abolitionist movement. Shocking the culture of the time she chose to not take her husband's name and they both committed themselves to an equal partnership a marriage where both contributed equally to make a whole union. The equality in the relationship was well publicized and while Stone received a lot of criticism for defying the convention of the times, she continued to provide inspiration to women and men everywhere who advocated an equal society for all persons. Women who took up the trend to not change their names after marriage were/are referred to as "Lucy Stoners." Her advocacy towards the women's vote was so strong that when she lived with her family in Orange, New Jersey she refused to pay property taxes because she was not afforded the right to vote. Her household possessions were auctioned off to pay her tax debts. However, she was supported enough that friends and neighbors bought her things and returned them, including baby Alice's cradle. Completely autonomous, she fought against "taxation without representation" for women and she stood proud and fierce in her convictions. She founded the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association and served as president until she returned to New England. When attempting to vote in an election in New Jersey she was refused which inspired her to write "Why Women in New Jersey Should Vote." New Jersey women's right to vote was based on the history of New Jersey as having given women full voting rights in 1776 and took it from them in 1807. In 1869 Julia Ward Howe and Josephine Ruffin formed the Boston-based American Women's Suffrage association and Stone was an active participant. Over the next twenty years she published "The Women's Journal" a weekly pro-equal rights magazine. Her daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell continued her mother's work and edited the magazine for an additional 35 years. Through her lectures and publications Lucy Stone provided the notion to society that women could be successful independent thinkers and that they were half of a whole, that becoming a partner and equal was not only something to strive for in family life, but outside the home as well. Lucy's last words were to her daughter Alice, to whom she simply instructed "Make the world better." Stone died twenty-seven years before women would gain the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Constitutional Amendment.

Bio by: R. Digati

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 991
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lucy Stone (13 Aug 1818–18 Oct 1893), Find a Grave Memorial no. 991, citing Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory, Jamaica Plain, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .