Lucretia Mott, American Quaker, was a minister, social reformer, abolitionist, and a woman who was part of the women’s rights movements. She was one of the women credited as being the first feminist in America, in the eighteen hundreds. She was also the person who was an initiator of women’s politics and the advocacy.
Lucretia Coffin was born January 3, 1793, in Nantucket, Massachusetts, to Thomas and Anna Folger Coffin, a Quaker family. She was the second child of seven born to the couple. Her father was a ship captain, who would later become a merchant, and her mother was a shopkeeper. She was thirteen years old when she and her sister attended the Nine Partners Quaker School in Dutchess County, New York, which was run by the Society of Friends. Lucretia would eventually become one of the teachers at this school. She became interested in women’s rights when she discovered the pay discrepancy between male and female teachers.
Lucretia would marry James Mott on April 10, 1811, who was also a teacher at the same school that she taught at and also the grandson of the superintendent. They would go on to have six children of their own, five of which would survive to adulthood. James Mott and her husband would become partners in the merchant business, but in 1815, her father would pass away, leaving them heavily in debt. Her mother was a determined woman so she would start working as a shopkeeper again and Lucretia would teach school again while her husband would reestablish himself in the business world. Lucretia would become a minister in 1821 after being formally recognized as one. Lucretia was never one to shy away from any kind of controversy and would become involved in the troubles within the Society. She would become increasingly focused on the subject of slavery and even would refuse to sell or use goods that had anything to do with slavery. She would become known as one of the top abolitionists and travel all around, speaking about antislavery and abolition.
In 1830, the Motts would form a friendship with William Lloyd Garrison, who was a renowned abolitionist publisher, and it would a lifelong friendship. It would be in December of 1833 that Lucretia would make a lifelong impression on the New England Anti-Slavery Society she gave her speech. She would eventually found the Philadelphia Female Ant-Slavery Society, at the urging of those who had been at the convention. This society also had extensive participation from the black community. Despite problems of dyspepsia and receiving social persecution, she would continue her work that she believed in. She was the one who kept an eye on the budget for her family so she was able to continue in what she believed in and also help in charity donations.
In 1837, she would attend the First Anti-Slavery Convention for American Women and would receive a lot of harsh criticism for speaking out to people that were both men and women. Her life would often be threatened and she would be denounced. Her work was considered frivolous by those who believed women should stay as they are. She would receive help in her work from Elizabeth Cady Stanton who would be resolved in helping women receive what they wanted the most. She would bring the cause to President John Tyler himself, who was impressed by her and the way she was able to speak out for her beliefs. She would advocate both long and short term relief reforms, which would include equal pay. The first annual woman’s rights convention would be held eight years after it was first conceived, in Seneca Falls, New York, with Elizabeth Cady Stanton helping her. This convention would cause as storm of controversy. Mott would form a friendship with another women’s rights leader, Susan B. Anthony. She was horrified by the Civil War but was happy when the war ended slavery. She would soon find herself in involved in the fourteenth amendment and the word “male”. She felt that it was the time of the women and she refused to back down in what she felt was worthy and necessary.
In 1868, her husband would pass away and she would work through her sorrow by doing what she felt that she had to do. She, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Stanton would form the National Women’s Suffrage Association which was created to get amendments to help women to vote. She would continue working despite her fragile health and would continue in her causes. At the age of eighty-five, she would attend the thirtieth anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention. She would pass away on November 11, 1880, of pneumonia, and would be buried in the Quaker Fairhill Burial Ground in North Philadelphia. Lucretia Mott was one of the countries earliest and radical women of her time, being a reformer and a feminist. She would not live to see her lifelong ambition come to light, but it would happen and she was the one who helped it along.