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

By Carol Faulkner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9
Conventions

IN DECEMBER 1851, HUNGARIAN AUTHOR Madame Terezia Walder Pulszky called on Mott at her new home at 338 Arch Street. During the winter months, Edward and Maria Davis, Thomas and Marianna Mott, and their children lived with Lucretia and James in the large brick townhouse. Lucretia’s new dining room was 30 feet long, perfect for hosting weekly Folger family gatherings. Lucretia treasured these reunions, especially after her brother Thomas Coffin died in 1849. One month before Thomas’s sudden death from cholera, Mott observed his fifty-first birthday, writing “we wish he had allotted the day to us here. We are growg. quite romantic ‘as the years draw nigh.’ ”1 In addition to her family, Lucretia entertained out-of-town Quakers for Yearly Meeting as well as distinguished guests such as “Madame P” and her entourage.

Pulszky was touring the United States with Hungarian revolutionary Louis Kossuth. In 1848, American abolitionists cheered as Kossuth fought for Hungary’s independence from Austria, but their applause had gone silent by 1851. Fearful of alienating Hungary’s potential allies, Kossuth refused to condemn slavery. His wife declined an invitation to tea at the Motts for the same “Anti Slavery reasons.” Only Madame Pulszky braved an audience with the “dangerous” Lucretia Mott.2 When debating the subject of slavery, Madame P. described Mott’s eyes flashing “with indignation and her lips quiver[ing] with a hasty impatience, displacing the placid harmony of her countenance and conversation.” Though Pulszky and Mott disagreed about American slavery, Madame P. admitted falling “beneath the charm of her moral superiority.”3

Excerpted in the Pennsylvania Freeman, Madame P.’s reminiscence

-148-

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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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