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The life and legacy of Lucy Stone

A gifted orator, Lucy Stone dedicated her life to the fight for equal rights. Among the earliest female graduates of the Oberlin Collegiate Institute in Ohio, she was the first Massachusetts-born woman to earn a college degree. She rose to national prominence as a well-respected public speaker – an occupation rarely pursued by women of the era. Despite vocal protestations about marriage, motherhood, and the ties that bound women to domesticity, Stone eventually married and raised a daughter, Alice, nevertheless remaining an active leader of the nineteenth-century equal rights movement. Though her name is not as recognizable as other participants – such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton – her contribution to their common cause is undeniable.

Below, we introduce Stone’s life and legacy in a series of definitive events, excerpted from Lucy Stone: An Unapologetic Life by historian Sally G. McMillen.


Featured image: A National American Woman Suffrage Association check, hand-written by Harriet Taylor Upton as the Association’s treasurer and counter-signed by Susan B. Anthony as president and Alice Stone Blackwell as recording secretary. Image courtesy of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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