Lucretia Mott's Heresy: Abolition and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-Century America

By Carol Faulkner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Schism

LUCRETIA MOTT BEGAN HER LONG CAREER as a Quaker minister at Twelfth Street Monthly Meeting in Philadelphia. In 1818, a year after her son Thomas’s death, she rose and prayed publicly for the first time. In her sweet and melodious voice, Lucretia appealed for strength to enable Friends to stand firm against the enticements of the larger world: “As all our efforts to resist temptation and overcome the world prove fruitless, unless aided by Thy Holy Spirit, enable us to approach Thy Throne, and ask of Three the blessing of Thy preservation from all evil, that we may be wholly devoted to Thee and Thy glorious cause.”1 After her death, Mott’s meeting remembered her adherence to “the simple faith of the society.” They recalled her ability to quote from Scripture and her emphasis on “practical righteousness” and “the sufficiency of divine law.” These circumspect women avoided mention of their own passionate opposition to Mott’s sermons over the course of her ministry.2

In 1819, during one of her first trips as a visiting Friend, Lucretia traveled with Sarah Zane to Virginia, to attend Quarterly Meeting at Hopewell, twenty-four miles southeast of Richmond. There she met Edward Stabler of Alexandria, a regular clerk of Baltimore Yearly Meeting and friend of the increasingly divisive minister Elias Hicks. At Baltimore Yearly Meeting, Stabler had a reputation for convening a close circle of six allies to stay up all night discussing strategy, an effective way to influence the direction of debate in the larger body. Mott had a similar experience, noting that “He is one of the very interesting men. We lodged at the same house, and sat up very late to hear him talk.” Mott also observed the surrounding countryside, writing “the sight of the poor slaves was indeed affecting.” The Virginians she met

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Lucretia Mott's Heresy: Abolition and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-Century America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction- Heretic and Saint 1
  • Chapter 1- Nantucket 8
  • Chapter 2- Nine Partners 25
  • Chapter 3- Schism 41
  • Chapter 4- Immediate Abolition 60
  • Chapter 5- Pennsylvania Hall 75
  • Chapter 6- Abroad 87
  • Chapter 7- Crisis 109
  • Chapter 8- The Year 1848 127
  • Chapter 9- Conventions 148
  • Chapter 10- Fugitives 161
  • Chapter 11- Civil War 176
  • Chapter 12- Peace 197
  • Epilogue 213
  • Notes 219
  • Index 265
  • Acknowledgments 289
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