An Unapologetic Life

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Suffragette gets short shrift—until now.

Lucy StoneMary Reynolds Babcock Professor of History Sally McMillen’s new biography, Lucy Stone: An Unapologetic Life, tells the story of a remarkable activist slighted by history.

It all started in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C., writes the Charlotte Observer’s Dannye Romine Powell, in the introduction to a Q&A with McMillen.

“… McMillen was staring at the marble statue of three others in the women’s rights struggle—Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott—and reading the inscription beneath: ‘Historically, these women stand unique and peerless.’”

“Peerless?,” thought McMillen. Not so! She had come to know Lucy Stone through research for her book Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women’s Rights Movement. This woman was against slavery and anything else that shackled the human spirit, including the laws men made to keep women in their place.”

Powell writes, “Stone was one of the most remarkable women in the women’s rights movement of the 19th century: one of the first to retain her maiden name after marriage, setting a trend; the first woman in Massachusetts to earn a college degree (and one of only a handful in this country); one of the few women to go on the lecture circuit, often drawing enormous crowds to her spirited talks on abolition and women’s rights.”

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