Cover

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Half Title, Series Info, Frontispiece, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Introduction

Carol Faulkner, Nancy Hewitt

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pp. xi-xxviii

Lucretia Mott, the Quaker minister, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist, was as famous for her inspiring and provocative words as for her principled and courageous actions. A gifted orator, she spoke before thousands of people over the course of her sixty-year career. In 1848 alone, the year Mott became the “moving spirit” of the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, ...

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Editorial Policies

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pp. xxix-xxii

In her long speaking career, Lucretia Mott traveled to ten states, Washington, D.C., as well as Canada, England, Ireland, and Scotland. Many of the speeches and sermons she delivered were collected in Greene’s Lucretia Mott: Her Complete Speeches and Sermons (1980). ...

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Twelfth Street Meeting, Philadelphia, 1818

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p. 3

“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 Thee the blessing of Thy preservation from all evil, that we may be wholly devoted to Thee and Thy glorious cause.” ...

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Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, May 16 and 17, 1838

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pp. 3-4

A few remarks were then made by Lucretia Mott, of Philadelphia, stating that the present was not a meeting of the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women, as was supposed by some, and explaining the reason why their meetings were confined to females—to wit, ...

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New England Non-Resistance Society, Chardon Street Chapel, Boston, September 25–27, 1839

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pp. 4-6

Lucretia Mott of Philadelphia, thought the resolution1 referred not to opinions, but to the right of opinion. The right we cannot deny, and ought to respect, though the opinion may be such as we disapprove. ...

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Unitarian Chapel, August 9, 1840, Glasgow, Scotland

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pp. 6-8

On Sunday evening, August 9, the chapel was crowded to hear her.1 Mr. [James] Mott first addressed the meeting, stating who they were, their object in visiting this country, their difference in religious views from the Society of Friends in Britain; and reading, in corroboration of his statements, certificates from the Monthly Meeting of Friends in Philadelphia, and of Abolition Societies.2 ...

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Marlboro Chapel, Boston, September 23, 1841

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pp. 8-14

It is highly satisfactory to me, my friends, to meet you. I rejoice to see so many fellow-beings without the usual distinctions which prevail in professing Christendom.1 I believe that when they are so brought together, they may hear, every man in his own tongue, the truths that may be spoken; ...

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Rose Street Meeting, New York City, September 29, 1841

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pp. 14-15

On Wednesday last, this beloved sister addressed the Friends meeting in Rose Street1 . . . With much earnestness of feeling, she alluded to the early testimonies of Friends, and besought them to examine well whether the present proceedings of Quakers were in unison with those testimonies. ...

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Manhattan Society, Asbury Church, New York City, September 29, 1841

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pp. 15-16

In the evening, our friend addressed a meeting of the Manhattan Society, called mainly with reference to the continuance of a school for colored people, established by “The New-York Association of Friends.”1 Lucretia spoke very encouragingly of the state of colored schools in Philadelphia; ...

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Unitarian Church, Washington, D.C., January 15, 1843

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pp. 16-26

“Righteousness exalteth a Nation, but sin is a reproach to any People.”
I doubt not but that this scripture truth will be readily assented to by this congregation, for there is a universal admission of the truth, that righteousness gives respect to its possessor. It is equally true of individuals as of nations; ...

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Hicksite Meetinghouse, Rochester, New York, July 21, 1844

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p. 27

To day heard the celebrated Lucretia Mott preach at the Hicksite Meetinghouse.1 She opened her discourse in the following beautiful manner. “How simple is the religion of Jesus! How plain is the Christian religion when divested of the appendages of man! When stripped of the forms & ceremonies which are its accompaniments & too often its substitute.” ...

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Unitarian Christians Convention, First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, October 22, 1846

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pp. 28-30

Lucretia Mott said, it was most unexpected to her, to be permitted to speak on this occasion. I am gratified in having an invitation1 to speak out the truth without clothing it in set theological language. I liked the observation of the last speaker, (Mr. Hedge), especially in reference to this point.2 ...

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Anti-Sabbath Convention, The Melodeon, Boston, March 24, 1848

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pp. 30-39

I have little to add to what has been already said upon this subject. Much that I could not have spoken so well, has been said for me by others. I am glad to be here, to have an opportunity of hearing the discussions, and also to give countenance to this important movement for the progress of the religious world. ...

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American Anti-Slavery Society, Broadway Tabernacle, New York City, May 9, 1848

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pp. 39-44

There is not a more interesting object for the contemplation of the philosopher and the Christian—the lover of man, and the lover of God, than the law of progress,—the advancement from knowledge to knowledge, from obedience to obedience. The contemplation of it is beautiful, the investigation of it is exceedingly interesting, as manifested in the history of the world. ...

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Women’s Rights Convention, Wesleyan Chapel, Seneca Falls, New York, July 19–20, 1848

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pp. 44-45

The chief speaker was Lucretia Mott, of Philadelphia. This lady is so well known as a pleasing and eloquent orator, that a description of her manner would be a work of supererogation. Her discourse on that evening, whatever may be thought of its doctrine, was eminently beautiful and instructive. ...

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Women’s Rights Convention, Unitarian Church, Rochester, New York, August 2, 1848

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pp. 45-47

Lucretia Mott arose and said, that although she was grateful for the eloquent speech just given, she must be allowed to object to some portions of it; such as styling “woman the better half of creation, and man a tyrant.”1 Man had become so accustomed to speak of woman in the language of flattering compliments, that he indulges in such expressions unawares. ...

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“Sermon to the Medical Students,” Cherry Street Meeting, Philadelphia, February 11, 1849

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pp. 48-55

Aware that, to many present, the opening of a meeting of this kind, without the harmonious note—the sacred hymn, would be, to say the least, novel; if, indeed, it would not divest it of the character of a religious meeting; and the service, of the nature of divine service;— ...

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American Anti-Slavery Society, Minerva Rooms, New York City, May 8, 1849

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pp. 55-56

Lucretia Mott, of Philadelphia, hoped we should not rely for the interest of these meetings, upon our agents and our habitual speakers, but that every one present, like our friend who has just sat down,1 would speak “as the spirit gave him utterance.” ...

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Cherry Street Meeting, Philadelphia, November 4, 1849

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pp. 56-64

What are the abuses and what are the proper uses of the Bible, and of this day of the week? This question is of some importance for us to seek to answer aright lest we should fall into the popular error that prevails upon this subject. Mingling as we do in religious Society generally, adopting some of its forms, ...

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Cherry Street Meeting, Philadelphia, November 6, 1849

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pp. 64-68

Rachel in her sermon stated that if we kept our eyes singly directed to the light we should not be concerned about the existing evils in society.1
I view these Quarterly Meetings as no ordinary occasions. They are opportunities for us to compare ourselves and our progress with our predecessors, ...

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“Discourse on Woman,” Assembly Buildings, Philadelphia, December 17, 1849

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pp. 68-81

There is nothing of greater importance to the well-being of society at large—of man as well as woman—than the true and proper position of woman. Much has been said, from time to time, upon this subject. It has been a theme for ridicule, for satire and sarcasm. We might look for this from the ignorant and vulgar; ...

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Cherry Street Meeting, Philadelphia, March 31, 1850

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pp. 81-87

This poetic hymn composed by Watts and committed to memory by many a child contains but the idea that is inculcated in the religious training of most of the children of the age.1 It is the kind of praise and thanksgiving which are offered from most of the pulpits not only in Christendom but we may safely presume in the world. ...

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Women’s Rights Convention, Brinley Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts, October 23–24, 1850

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pp. 87-92

Mrs. Lucretia Mott suggested whether it would not be well to make some arrangement for the publication of the address of the President. She did not propose to review the sentiments advanced; they would be responded to generally by the friends of reform. ...

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Isaac T. Hopper Memorial Service, Broadway Tabernacle, New York City, May 12, 1852

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pp. 92-93

Lucretia Mott, an elderly Quaker lady, then laid aside her bonnet, and advancing to the pulpit or altar, delivered a funeral address in a steady, clear and audible voice, and collected manner. I cannot say—she commenced—that we come here on this sad occasion, because I do not think that, in the termination of a life thus spent, and having attained to a full age, there is any cause of sadness; ...

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Women’s Rights Convention, Horticultural Hall, West Chester, Pennsylvania, June 2–3, 1852

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pp. 93-95

Lucretia Mott addressed the Convention, briefly referring to the importance of the movement and expressing her gratification on seeing the response given to the call, by the great number of persons assembled. She saw before her not only a large delegation from the immediate vicinity, but a goodly number from other and distant States. ...

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Women’s Rights Convention, City Hall, Syracuse, New York, September 8–10, 1852

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pp. 95-100

As the question on the adoption of the report was about being put, Mrs. Mott arose and stated, that as there might be objections to her appointment, she desired that the vote on each officer might be taken separately. The Chairman (Mrs. [Paulina Wright] Davis) put the question accordingly, ...

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Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, Horticultural Hall, West Chester, Pennsylvania, October 25–26, 1852

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pp. 100-102

Lucretia Mott remarked, that, on coming together after a year’s separation, it is natural that our religious feelings should be excited. While objections are felt to a formal service of prayer at the opening of our meeting, it is well that we all cultivate a prayerful spirit. Last year some of us came to our anniversary with saddened and anxious hearts, ...

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Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, Assembly Buildings, Philadelphia, December 15–16, 1852

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pp. 102-104

Mrs. Mott agreed with the cheering views presented, but would not have the darker side of the picture forgotten, or overlooked.1 We have much to do yet. Indeed, we have but begun our work. Though we have almost reached the second decade since the formation of the American Anti-Slavery Society, ...

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Women’s Rights Convention, Broadway Tabernacle, New York City, September 6–7, 1853

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pp. 104-110

It may be well, at the outset, to declare distinctly the objects of the present Convention. Its purpose is to declare principles, not to descend into the consideration of details: the principles, namely, of the co-equality of woman with man, and her right to practice those arts of life for which she is fitted by nature. ...

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Women’s Rights Convention, Melodeon Hall, Cleveland, October 5 and 7, 1853

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pp. 110-120

I would yield the floor to anyone who has anything to say at this time, and would gladly do it. I approve of the suggestion which has been made, that we should be limited as to time, for we are such imitators of men and customs around us, that perhaps we may forget that we are not upon the floor of Congress, and so may inflict long speeches upon the people. ...

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Rose Street Meeting, New York City, November 11, 1855

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pp. 120-122

Denouncing the still prevailing King and Priestcraft, Mrs. Mott had the courage to express what many repress, and declare that Protestantism was only a modification, not a thorough reform of a degrading superstition. In glowing terms she claimed to plant her platform where Christ and St. John had erected it for Humanity, ...

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Women’s Rights Convention, Broadway Tabernacle, New York City, November 25–26, 1856

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pp. 122-127

Mrs. Lucretia Mott suggested that the speakers should make their remarks brief, and keep as much as possible to the point, in order that there might be an intelligent consideration of the resolutions submitted to the convention. However gratifying it might be to listen to eloquent words, it was needful, ...

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Yardleyville, Pennsylvania, September 26, 1858

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pp. 127-137

‘The kingdom of God is within us,’ and Christianity will not have performed its office in the earth until its professors have learned to respect the rights and privileges of conscience, by a toleration without limit, a faith without contention. This is the testimony of one of the modern writers.2 And have we not evidence, ...

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American Anti-Slavery Society, Assembly Rooms, New York City, May 11, 1859

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pp. 137-138

Mrs. Lucretia Mott, of Philadelphia, who was received with loud applause, then addressed the audience. She was glad to hear such an encouraging view presented as that given by the last speaker, while yet she admitted the necessity for such watchful and critical censors as Parker Pillsbury and others.1 ...

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Anti-Slavery Sympathy Meeting, Assembly Buildings, Philadelphia, December 16, 1859

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pp. 138-139

Mrs. Lucretia Mott explained the circumstances of the expulsion from the Hall, characterizing it as the proceeding of a pro-slavery mob, and commenting very severely upon the indignities offered.1 The same thing had happened before. Pennsylvania Hall was burned, and the next year the Mayor ...

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Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, Town-Hall, Kennett Square, October 25–26, 1860

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pp. 139-142

Lucretia Mott expressed her pleasure at the happy auspices under which the meeting assembled. These meetings were refreshing occasions. It was pleasant to greet old friends and see the faces of associates with whom we have so long labored in this most holy cause. ...

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Fifteenth Street Meeting, New York City, June 1, 1862

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pp. 142-144

Lucretia Mott, who spoke at length, yesterday, in the Fifteenth-street meeting, holds also to the principle of non-resistance, but unlike some other gifted minds, she condenses her arguments, and puts them forth—here for ...

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30th Anniversary of the American Anti-Slavery Society, Concert Hall, Philadelphia, December 3–4, 1863

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pp. 144-148

I deem it but just to state, that although we [women] were not recognized as a part of the Convention [of 1833] by signing the document, yet every courtesy was shown to us, every encouragement to speak, or to make any suggestions of alterations in the document, or any others.1 ...

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American Anti-Slavery Society, Church of the Puritans and Cooper Institute, New York City, May 10–11, 1864

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pp. 148-151

I shall detain the meeting but a few moments. I only wish to express the great interest I have taken in the several speeches that have been made, and to say that I wanted one word should be added, before the meeting closed, in behalf of the warfare which has been carried on by this Society from this platform, ...

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Women’s Rights Convention, Church of the Puritans, New York City, May 10, 1866

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pp. 151-153

Mrs. Lucretia Mott expressed a hope that there would be no adjournment,1 and proceeded to say: I am sorry to come before you with so impaired a voice, and with a face so scarred;* but, I rejoice that as we who have long labored in the cause become less able to do the work, the younger ones, ...

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Fifteenth Street Meeting, New York City, November 11, 1866

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pp. 153-160

“The Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before him.” Those who can thus, in silence, feel after and find Him who is not far from every one of us—for, as saith the apostle, “in Him, we live, and move, and have our being”—those need not make the harmony of sweet sounds to attune the heart to praise, ...

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Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, November 22–23, 1866

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pp. 160-163

I hardly feel satisfied with the statement of our friend, Edward M. Davis, of the action of the Executive Committee.1 We have all been surprised at the marvelous progress which has been made. We have witnessed the growth of the political parties in this country; ...

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American Equal Rights Association, Church of the Puritans, New York City, May 9–10, 1867

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pp. 163-166

The president (Mrs. Mott) said: The report which we have had, although not written, is most interesting.2 A great deal of it is new to me. My age and feeble health have precluded my engaging actively in this cause, other than in a very limited way. There are so many actively engaged in the cause, ...

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Free Religious Association, Horticultural Hall, Boston, May 30, 1867

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pp. 166-171

Our president1 announced me as a representative of the Quaker Sect, or the Society of Friends. I must do our friends at home the justice to say that I am not here as a representative of any sect. I am not delegated by any portion, or by any conference or consultation of Friends in any way. ...

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Second Unitarian Church, Brooklyn, New York, November 24, 1867

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pp. 171-178

When the heart is attuned to prayer, by the melody of sweet sounds, or, it may be, by silent introversion, it seems sometimes almost as if words were a desecration. Still, we have need to stir up the pure mind, one in another, by way of remembrance, to endeavor to provoke one another to love and to good works. ...

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Pennsylvania Peace Society, Assembly Buildings, Philadelphia, November 17–18, 1868

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pp. 178-178

I think it is very important that we should have just such speeches as we have listened to.2 While we have the Government based upon war, and the paraphernalia of war is so attractive, it must be that there are some among us who shall go great lengths and speak as we have heard this evening, ...

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Race Street Meeting, Philadelphia, March 14, 1869

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pp. 180-189

There is a principle in the human mind which renders all men essentially equal. I refer to the inward principle, to the power of discerning and doing right, to the moral and religious principle. This is the great gift of God to man; I can conceive no greater. This sentiment of one of the apostles of our times ...

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Women’s Suffrage Meeting, Academy of Music, Brooklyn, New York, May 14, 1869

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pp. 189-191

Lucretia Mott, the venerable pioneer in the cause of woman’s rights in this country, was introduced, and stepped forward in her plain Quaker dress and removed her bonnet. This distinguished lady is now far beyond her threescore and ten years,2 but her intellect ...

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Pennsylvania Peace Society, Friends’ Meeting House, Abington, Pennsylvania, September 19, 1869

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pp. 191-195

I feel greatly comforted in seeing such a large gathering here. There has been evidence ever since our late war, that the subject of peace is taking a deep hold on the minds of many persons, especially those who were engaged in that contest, many of these came home more opposed to war than ever before, ...

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Opening of Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, November 10, 1869

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pp. 195-196

Lucretia Mott followed, expressing her deep interest in the College,2 and her hope that it would never degenerate into a mere sectarian school, but that its teachings would be so comprehensive and free from theological bias, that those who receive them will be prepared to recognize good wherever found. ...

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Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, Assembly Buildings, March 24, 1870

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pp. 196-197

The President Lucretia Mott opened the Meeting with a few appropriate remarks. She said that at this, the last meeting, an address to the people assembled might be expected; but her heart was so full that there was room only for a feeling of thankfulness. ...

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American Anti-Slavery Society, Apollo Hall, New York City, April 9, 1870

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pp. 197-199

Mrs. Lucretia Mott upon advancing to the stand was greeted with loud applause. Although perhaps the oldest person present, she rejoiced that she could still lift her feeble voice with those with whom she had been so long associated, upon that platform. When an opportunity was offered at the opening of the meeting for prayer, ...

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Reform League, Steinway Hall, New York City, May 9, 1871

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p. 199

I am much gratified that I have a little remaining strength to meet you here to-day, and to have had the opportunity of hearing your excellent report, presenting to us, as it does, a view of so much that is to be done.1 Let us recollect that this meeting is called not merely for the purpose of entertainment, ...

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Fifteenth Street Meeting, New York City, May 26, 1872

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pp. 199-201

With the close of the sermon, every word of which was fervently uttered, silence again falls upon the assemblage. A woman stands up in her place on the rostrum. She is attired in drab, with a face that shows the signs of patient struggles, softened by an expression of steadfast inspiration and of hope. ...

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Funeral of Mary Ann W. Johnson, Home of Oliver Johnson, New York City, June 10, 1872

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pp. 201-203

I think nothing more need be added. What the other speakers have said has been so true, so full, and so just, that to continue would only be to repeat. Cordially and emphatically do I approve the beautiful doctrine concerning death which has been enunciated here to-day ...

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Free Religious Association, Tremont Temple, Boston, May 30, 1873

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pp. 203-205

As this is probably the last opportunity that I shall have of meeting with this Association, which has endeared itself to me from its beginning, I feel, late as the hour is, that I want to express the great delight and satisfaction that I have had in this session, and in the meetings of these two days, ...

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Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting, Race Street, November 4, 1873

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pp. 205-207

I do not feel quite prepared to have the meeting close without first expressing my gratification in listening to the several forcible appeals that have been made,1 and at finding so strict an adherence to our great fundamental principles of individual teaching to the human mind through that true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. ...

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Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, Concert Hall, Philadelphia, April 14, 1875

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p. 207

I came here without the least expectation of saying a word, understanding the meeting to be at the call of the Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, as organized long before the Anti-Slavery Society, headed by William Lloyd Garrison. In this, the first society, women were not expected to take part. ...

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Free Religious Association, Beethoven Hall, Boston, May 28, 1875

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pp. 207-208

It seems to me very kind in an audience to be willing to stay and listen to the humble words of an old Quaker woman, after feeling how forcible are ripe words as we have heard them expressed this morning. ...

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Women’s Peace Festival, Institute Hall, Philadelphia, June 2, 1875

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pp. 209-211

It is true, as our friend has well remarked, that the spirit of Peace must be cultivated in our own hearts, and the spirit of war eradicated before we can expect to make much progress.1 I have often resisted the impression that woman differs so widely from man, and I think we have not the facts to substantiate it. ...

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Women’s Peace Festival, Mercantile Hall, Philadelphia, June 2, 1876

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pp. 211-214

I can but hope that the language of such a hymn1 put in the mouths of little children in the Sabbath-schools, will be carried out by the conductors of these schools as well as by the children. ...

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30th Anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention, Unitarian Church, Rochester, New York, July 19, 1878

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pp. 214-216

Lucretia Mott, under the weight of 85 years, but whose eye still gleams as of old, and whose heart is still young in the cause for which she has so long and persistently labored, was the next among those who addressed the Convention. Largely her address was given to reminiscences, ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 217-218

First, we want to thank Dana Greene for Lucretia Mott: Her Complete Speeches and Sermons (1980). Her edition formed the essential framework for this project. Greene located, transcribed, and published a number of the addresses we have selected for our volume. ...

Index

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pp. 219-224

About the Authors

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Further Series Titles

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