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Lucy Stone - Suffragettes and LeadershipLucy Stone - Suffragettes and Leadership


Lucy Stone (1818-93)


American suffragette (pictured right) , who fought for:

  • women’s rights
  • the abolition of slavery (i.e. she was an abolitionist).


Why was she successful and a great leader?


1. Principles

She was the first woman in America to keep her own name after marriage, and so assert her rights as an independent woman.

This became known as 'doing a Lucy Stone'.

She said, “My name is my identity and must not be lost”.Lucy Stone - Suffragettes and Leadership

She strongly believed that everybody should have the same rights, as laid down in the American Constitution, whatever their sex or colour.


2. Support

She was supported by:Lucy Stone - Suffragettes and Leadership

  • Henry Blackwell (her husband, pictured right above). 
  • Alice Stone Blackwell  (her daughter, pictured right). 
  • Mary Livermore (a fellow suffragette, pictured right below).

They all helped her to found and publish in 1870 the suffragette publication, The Woman’s Journal.Lucy Stone - Suffragettes and Leadership


3. Purpose

Driven by her strong Christian beliefs, her aim was summed up by her last, dying words to her daughter:

“Make the world better”.

In particular, she wanted women to have the same rights and opportunities as men, because:

“In everything disappointment is the lot of women”, she said.

But she insisted that they should never neglect their family responsibilities, because

“A woman’s truest place is in a home, with a husband and with children”.

 Lucy Stone - Suffragettes and Leadership

4. Determined action

Stone (pictured right as a young woman):

  • never accepted that women or African Americans had to be inferior.
  • was the first woman in Massachusetts to gain a university degree in 1847.
  • made public speeches supporting women, and the American Antislavery Society (despite great hostility and barracking).
  • organized (in 1850)  the first national women’s rights convention in Worcester, Massachusetts. Lucy Stone - Suffragettes and Leadership
  • refused (in 1858)  to pay property taxes on her home, because women didn’t have the vote.


5. Influence

She inspired many people to fight for women’s rights, including:Lucy Stone - Suffragettes and Leadership

  • other American suffragettes (like Susan B. Anthony , pictured right above, and Julia Ward Howe, pictured right).
  • John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor, pictured right below (English philosophers)

Mill and Taylor wrote their influential article, The Enfranchisement of Women, after reading one of Stone’s speeches.Lucy Stone - Suffragettes and Leadership


Key quote on objectives and vision

Make the world better.


Key quote on women

My name is my identity and must not be lost.

Women are in bondage.

In everything disappointment is the lot of women.


Key quote on family 

A woman’s truest place is in a home, with a husband and with children.

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