Letters of Lucy Stone, 1888-1891
Letters of Lucy Stone, suffragist leader, abolitionist, orator and editor.
Language of Materials
Materials in English.
Access Restrictions: Originals closed; use digital objects or microfilm (M-133, reel A18).
Access. Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Lucy Stone as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
The collection consists of several letters written by Lucy Stone during the period she served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association and editor of the Woman's Journal, published by the American Woman Suffrage Association. Most of the letters were written to Mrs. J. P. Holland. There is also an 1891 form letter signed by Stone and Francis J. Garrison, who served as the Association's treasurer. The form letter, which appears to have been written by Garrison, was addressed "Dear Friend." It was most likely sent to members of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, and others, to help raise funds for the 40th anniversary of the National Women's Rights Convention in Worcester Massachusetts. Also included is Holland's annotation on Lucy Stone's letter dated April 25, 1889, "This was one of the last appointments filled by the writer shortly before her death, J.P.H."
Suffragist, abolitionist, orator, and editor, Lucy Stone (1818-1893) was born on a farm in West Brookfield, Massachusetts. She was raised in a large devout family and greatly influenced by the anti-slavery views held by her parents Francis and Hannah Matthews Stone. Although Stone wanted to pursue a formal education, she was discouraged by her parents, a decision which may have been influenced by financial circumstances or societal views. To overcome this challenge, Stone taught school for nine years in order to attend Oberlin College (1843-1847), which was founded as a co-educational college. She was the first woman in Massachusetts to earn a college degree, but encountered additional challenges in finding suitable work. Eventually she was hired by abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to work for his American Anti-Slavery Society where she further developed her perspectives and strategies as an abolitionist and women's rights advocate.
The year 1869 was a pivotal point in Stone's suffragist leadership. Political differences with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and others over passage of the 15th amendment, led Stone, Julia Ward Howe and others influenced by the need for abolition to form the American Woman Suffrage Association. In 1870, Stone, Henry Blackwell, Julia Ward Howe and others formed the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, which developed local leagues, lobbied legislative officials, and provided public education on the issue of woman suffrage.
Lucy Stone died in Dorchester in 1893, but her daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell, continued much of her life's work. By 1915 the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association claimed nearly 60,000 members and their campaigns for full suffrage rights were eventually realized in 1920. She also co-wrote a new constitution that enabled the Association to become formally incorporated in December of 1892. In 1920 it became the Massachusetts League of Voters.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession number: 58-88
These letters of Lucy Stone were given to Schlesinger Library by Helen Curtis in 1956.
By: Bert Hartry
Updated and additional description added: June, 2020
By: Emilyn L. Brown.
The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit. Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Language of description
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Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository
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