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Lucy Stone

Image from the Wikimedia Commons

Lucy Stone (1818-1893), abolitionist and women’s rights advocate, refused to pay the real estate taxes on her home in East Orange to protest New Jersey women’s disenfranchisement and charged taxation without representation.

Stone was distressed at an early age by her father’s domineering treatment of Stone’s mother. She disagreed with the way the law treated women and from then on chose to fight for the rights of her gender. After her graduation from Oberlin College in 1847 made Stone the first Massachusetts woman to receive a college degree, she began her career as a lecturer on equal rights for women and the injustices of slavery. Stone often faced angry mobs and hecklers who tore down her lecture posters, pelted her with prayer books, burned pepper during her talks to make her sneeze and drenched her with water.

An undeterred Stone helped organize the first national Women’s Rights Convention of 1850 in Worchester, Massachusetts. She was also a founding member of the American Equal Rights Association which worked for Negro and woman suffrage. Stone and her female colleagues often appealed to Congress and New Jersey State Legislature on behalf of women’s suffrage and Stone eventually earned a position as president of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association.

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