Lucretia Mott — November 11

Lucretia Mott
Mott in the foreground of the Portrait Monument in the Capitol Rotunda. 

Bible connection

Read Jude 1:20-23

Have mercy on those who doubt. Save some by snatching them from the fire.

All about Lucretia Mott (1793-1880)

Lucretia Mott (U.S. National Park Service)Lucretia Mott became a Quaker minister at 25. Her whole adult life was devoted to church reform, women’s rights, and the abolition of slavery.

In her bid to end the evil of slavery, she and others refused to use cotton cloth, cane sugar, and other slave-produced goods as part of their protest. In 1833 Mott, along with Mary Ann M’Clintock and nearly 30 other female abolitionists, organized the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. She later served as a delegate from that organization to the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. After passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, her Pennsylvania home was a stop on the Underground Railroad. In 1866, Mott became the first president of the American Equal Rights Association.

In 1848 Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton held the Seneca Falls Convention advocating rights for women. There, Mott presented the “Declaration of Sentiments,” which included twelve resolutions, including property rights, the right to divorce, increased access to education, and the right to vote. The last sentiment, voting rights, divided the convention; however, it was ultimately included in the Declaration and became the foundation of the women’s suffrage movement. It was forty years after Mott died before the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave women the right to vote in 1920. Mott’s fight for women’s rights included education. Her most famous work: Discourse on Woman, was published in 1849. She led the founding of Moore College of Art and the Medical College of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia. She was one of the founders of Swarthmore College.

Quotes:

  • We too often bind ourselves by authorities rather than by the truth.
  • It is not Christianity, but priestcraft that has subjected woman as we find her.
  • The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation because in the degradation of woman the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source.
  • Any great change must expect opposition, because it shakes the very foundation of privilege.
  • I have no idea of submitting tamely to injustice inflicted either on me or on the slave. I will oppose it with all the moral powers with which I am endowed. I am no advocate of passivity.
  • It is time that Christians were judged more by their likeness to Christ than their notions of Christ. Were this sentiment generally admitted we should not see such tenacious adherence to what men deem the opinions and doctrines of Christ while at the same time in every day practice is exhibited anything but a likeness to Christ.

More

Exterior, Lucretia Mott is in the chair in the foreground.
Lucretia Mott at Roadside

Explore PA History supplies a good bio giving background for the historical marker at the site of “Roadside” (Old York Rd. and Latham Park in Elkins Park). The Mott family moved from 1316 Chestnut to this country house in 1857 and Mott died there. It was torn down by a developer in 1912.

“Lucretia Mott, the Brazen Infidel, ” a bio from the Unitarians [link]

Video from series on Philadelphia Women:

What do we do with this?

Lucretia Mott is such an inspiring example. What movement is God starting with us? Will we have the faith and courage to follow through?

Mott was among those who were disappointed the 15th Amendment gave the right to vote to black men, but not women. Radical and conservative reactions to that event divided the suffragist movement until it reunited in 1890. Have you ever been in a social action movement that divided and failed? James notes how common this is: Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it, so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it, so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have because you do not ask. (James 4:1-2)

Name the evil against which you should be organizing. Take the lead, or join in.

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