Today in 1850, the first National Women’s Rights Convention was held at Brinley Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts.
At the convention, there were representatives from eleven states including the newly admitted state of California. Among the 1000 plus guests were Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, and Lucretia Mott, true rockstars in my book.
Abolitionist and women’s rights activist Lucy Stone helped organize the convention. On the final evening of the convention, Stone gave a speech that Susan B. Anthony later said converted her to to the cause of women’s rights.
Stone delivered a speech so moving, so epic, that she inspired Susan B. Anthony to become one of the most famous- if not the most famous- suffragettes in the country! Let’s all take a moment to let that sink in.
Curious as to what Stone said in her speech? Here’s an excerpt:
We want to be something more than the appendages of Society; we want that Woman should be the coequal and help-meet of Man in all the interest and perils and enjoyments of human life. We want that she should attain to the development of her nature and womanhood; we want that when she dies, it may not be written on her gravestone that she was the ‘relict’ of somebody.
If I had a time machine and could go back in time to witness any event in history, this might be the one I would choose because many of the most famous figures in abolition and women’s rights (in America) were there.