Martha Coffin Wright
Martha Coffin Wright
|Born||December 25, 1806|
|Residence||Auburn, New York|
|Relatives|| Lucretia Coffin Mott (sister)|
William Lloyd Garrison, Jr. (son-in-law)
Martha Coffin Wright (December 25, 1806 – 1875) was an American feminist, abolitionist, and signatory of the Declaration of Sentiments who was a close friend and supporter of Harriet Tubman.
Abolitionism in the United States was the movement before and during the American Civil War to end slavery in the United States. In the Americas and western Europe, abolitionism was a movement to end the Atlantic slave trade and set slaves free. In the 17th century, enlightenment thinkers condemned slavery on humanistic grounds and English Quakers and some Evangelical denominations condemned slavery as un-Christian. At that time, most slaves were Africans, but thousands of Native Americans were also enslaved. In the 18th century, as many as six million Africans were transported to the Americas as slaves, at least a third of them on British ships to North America. The colony of Georgia originally abolished slavery within its territory, and thereafter, abolition was part of the message of the First Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740s in the Thirteen Colonies.
The Declaration of Sentiments, also known as the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, is a document signed in 1848 by 68 women and 32 men—100 out of some 300 attendees at the first women's rights convention to be organized by women. Held in Seneca Falls, New York, the convention is now known as the Seneca Falls Convention. The principal author of the Declaration was Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who modeled it upon the United States Declaration of Independence. She was a key organizer of the convention along with Lucretia Coffin Mott, and Martha Coffin Wright.
Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved people, family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the United States Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the struggle for women's suffrage.
Martha Coffin was born in Boston, Massachusetts on Christmas Day 1806, the youngest child of Anna Folger and Thomas Coffin, a merchant and former Nantucket ship captain. After the Coffin family moved to Philadelphia, Martha was educated at Quaker schools. Martha Coffin Wright was the youngest of eight children some of her well-known siblings names were Sarah, Lucretia, Eliza, Mary, and Thomas. All of her siblings were born in Nantucket and she was the only born in Boston. When she was two years old, Martha moved to Philadelphia and lived there for a total of 15 years. While living in Philadelphia, she was influenced by her elder sisters and her mother. Her father died in 1815, at the age of 48, because he contracted typhus fever. After, spending 15 years in Philadelphia Martha moved to upstate New York where she lived for many years. She moved to Aurora, New York which is located near the Finger Lakes in November 1827. Martha's eldest sister Anna was a huge influence on the person she was. Anna was the one who sent Martha to school at the Westcott Boarding School in 1821. This was the same school that her three other siblings attended 10 years earlier.
Aurora, or Aurora-on-Cayuga, is a village and college town in the town of Ledyard, Cayuga County, New York, United States, on the shore of Cayuga Lake. The village had a population of 724 at the 2010 census.
The Finger Lakes are a group of 11 long, narrow, roughly north–south lakes in an area informally called the Finger Lakes region in Central New York, in the United States. This region straddles the northern and transitional edge, known as the Finger Lakes Uplands and Gorges ecoregion, of the Northern Allegheny Plateau and the Ontario Lowlands ecoregion of the Great Lakes Lowlands.
Martha's older sister Lucretia Coffin Mott was a prominent Quaker preacher. In July 1848, she visited Martha's home in Auburn, New York.During that visit, Martha and Lucretia met with Elizabeth Cady Stanton at Jane Hunt's house and decided to hold a convention in nearby Seneca Falls, New York, to discuss the need for greater rights for women.
Lucretia Mott was a U.S. Quaker, abolitionist, women's rights activist, and social reformer. She had formed the idea of reforming the position of women in society when she was amongst the women excluded from the World Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840. In 1848 she was invited by Jane Hunt to a meeting that led to the first meeting about women's rights. Mott helped write the Declaration of Sentiments during the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention.
Auburn is a city in Cayuga County, New York, United States, located at the north end of Owasco Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, in Central New York. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 27,687. It is the county seat of Cayuga County, and the site of the maximum-security Auburn Correctional Facility, as well as the William H. Seward House Museum and the house of abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an American suffragist, social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early women's rights movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the Seneca Falls Convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized women's rights and women's suffrage movements in the United States. Stanton was president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1890 until 1892.
The importance of the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women's rights convention, was recognized by Congress in 1980 with the creation of the Women's Rights National Historical Park at the site, administered by the National Park Service. The Park's Visitor Center today features a group of life-size bronze statues to honor the women and men who in 1848 initiated the organized movement for women's rights and woman suffrage. Her statue shows her, as she was then, visibly pregnant. In 2005, the park featured a display about the relationship between Lucretia and Martha. In 2008, the park featured a display focused on Martha.
The Seneca Falls Convention was the first women's rights convention. It advertised itself as "a convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman". Held in Seneca Falls, New York, it spanned two days over July 19–20, 1848. Attracting widespread attention, it was soon followed by other women's rights conventions, including the Rochester Women's Rights Convention in Rochester, New York, two weeks later. In 1850 the first in a series of annual National Women's Rights Conventions met in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Women's rights are the rights and entitlements claimed for women and girls worldwide, and formed the basis for the women's rights movement in the nineteenth century and feminist movement during the 20th century. In some countries, these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom, and behavior, whereas in others they are ignored and suppressed. They differ from broader notions of human rights through claims of an inherent historical and traditional bias against the exercise of rights by women and girls, in favor of men and boys.
Women's Rights National Historical Park was established in 1980, and covers a total of 6.83 acres (27,600 m2) of land in Seneca Falls and nearby Waterloo, New York, United States.
After the Seneca Falls Convention Martha Wright participated in a number of state conventions and the annual National Women's Rights Conventions in various capacities, often serving as President. She was also active in the abolition movement. The arguments for women's rights had much in common with the arguments for abolition. With her sister Lucretia, Martha attended the founding meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia in 1833.
The National Women's Rights Convention was an annual series of meetings that increased the visibility of the early women's rights movement in the United States. First held in 1850 in Worcester, Massachusetts, the National Women's Rights Convention combined both male and female leadership, and attracted a wide base of support including temperance advocates and abolitionists. Speeches were given on the subjects of equal wages, expanded education and career opportunities, women's property rights, marriage reform and temperance. Chief among the concerns discussed at the convention was the passage of laws that would give suffrage to women.
In September 1852, Martha attended a convention in Syracuse, NY where she gave her first speech on women's rights. This very convention was where she was first introduced to Susan B. Anthony. Martha attended many conventions and lectures all the way until 1862, when the Civil War occurred. She felt it would be best to focus on the war. She still continued her fight for the American Anti-Slavery Society.
Martha's home in Auburn, New York, was part of the Underground Railroad where she harbored fugitive slaves.She became a close friend and supporter of Harriet Tubman. Martha and her husband David were huge in the act to abolish slavery they shared this common interest with their close friends in Auburn, NY the Seward family. William Henry Seward at the time was the elected governor of New York State. Seward's wife Frances Seward and his sister Lazette Worden became interested in the works of the Women's Right movement, but never actively were involved.
The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid-1800s, and used by African-American slaves to escape into free states, Canada and Nova Scotia with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives. Various other routes led to Mexico or overseas. An earlier escape route running south toward Florida, then a Spanish possession, existed from the late 17th century until Florida became a United States territory in 1821. However, the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad was formed in the late 1700s, and it ran north to the free states and Canada, and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the "Railroad".
In 1839 the Wright family moved to 192 Genesee Street Auburn, NY. The house was very large and close to the court house. This was key for her husband David's career as a lawyer. The house would be a key part in housing slaves and important figures during the women's movement. Examples of such slaves and important figures were Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony.
In 1824, Martha married Captain Peter Pelham (1785-1826) of Kentucky and moved with him to a frontier fort at Tampa Bay, Florida. They had a daughter. Peter died in July 1826, leaving Martha a nineteen-year-old widow with an infant child. She moved to upstate New York to teach painting and writing at a Quaker school for girls. Martha had six children, Marianna (whom she had with her first husband), Tallman, Eliza, Ellen, William, and Francis. After the death of her husband in 1826 she met a man by the name of Julius Catlin and continued to see him. In 1828, they both expressed their wish to become engaged and married. Yet, nothing ever came of the relationship because Julius's father did not approve of Martha and he met an early death in 1828. This was not the end of Martha's love life. In 1829, she met a man by the name of David Wright, a lawyer, and they were soon married; on November 18. David Wright was a Quaker just like Martha and was born and raised in Bucks County, PA.
Martha's daughter Ellen Wright (1840–1931) was an advocate of women's rights, especially women's suffrage. In 1864, she married William Lloyd Garrison, Jr. (1838–1909), a prominent advocate of Henry George's single tax movement, free trade, woman's suffrage, and of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act. William was the son of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison.
Martha Coffin Wright died on January 4, 1875. She is buried in Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, NY.
Martha's granddaughter, Eleanor Garrison (1880–1974), the daughter of her daughter Ellen and her husband William, worked for the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Anna Coffin Eliza and Benjamin Yarnall Family spread across Orange, NJ, Philadelphia, PA and Brooklyn, NY
On October 9, 2007, House resolution 588 entitled "Recognizing Martha Coffin Wright on the 200th anniversary of her birth and her induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame" passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Susan B. Anthony was an American social reformer and women's rights activist who played a pivotal role in the women's suffrage movement. Born into a Quaker family committed to social equality, she collected anti-slavery petitions at the age of 17. In 1856, she became the New York state agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society.
Lucy Stone was a prominent U.S. orator, abolitionist, and suffragist, and a vocal advocate and organizer promoting rights for women. In 1847, Stone became the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree. She spoke out for women's rights and against slavery at a time when women were discouraged and prevented from public speaking. Stone was known for using her birth name after marriage, the custom being for women to take their husband's surname.
Angelina Emily Grimké Weld was an American political activist, women's rights advocate, supporter of the women's suffrage movement, and besides her sister, Sarah Moore Grimké, the only known white Southern woman to be a part of the abolition movement. While she was raised a Southerner, she spent her entire adult life living in the North. The time of her greatest fame was between 1836, when a letter she sent to William Lloyd Garrison was published in his anti-slavery newspaper, The Liberator, and May 1838, when she gave a speech to abolitionists with a hostile crowd throwing stones and shouting outside the hall. The essays and speeches she produced in that two-year period were incisive arguments to end slavery and to advance women's rights.
Robert Purvis was an American abolitionist in the United States. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and was likely educated at Amherst Academy, a secondary school in Amherst, Massachusetts. He then spent most of his life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1833 he helped found the American Anti-Slavery Society and the Library Company of Colored People. From 1845–1850 he served as president of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society and also traveled to Britain to gain support for the movement.
Sarah Moore Grimké was an American abolitionist, writer, and member of the women's suffrage movement. Born and reared in South Carolina to a prominent, wealthy planter family, she moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1820s where she became a Quaker. Her younger sister Angelina Grimké joined her there and they both became active in the abolition movement. The sisters began to speak on the abolitionist lecture circuit, among a tradition of women who had been speaking in public on political issues since colonial days, including Susanna Wright, Hannah Griffitts, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Anna Dickinson. They recounted their knowledge of slavery firsthand, urged abolition, and also became lawyers for women's rights.
Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis was an American abolitionist, suffragist, and educator. She was one of the founders of the New England Woman Suffrage Association.
Abby Kelley Foster was an American abolitionist and radical social reformer active from the 1830s to 1870s. She became a fundraiser, lecturer and committee organizer for the influential American Anti-Slavery Society, where she worked closely with William Lloyd Garrison and other radicals. She married fellow abolitionist and lecturer Stephen Symonds Foster, and they both worked for equal rights for women and for slaves/ African Americans.
Helen Osborne Storrow was a prominent American philanthropist, early Girl Scout leader, and chair of the World Committee of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) for eight years. She founded the First National Girl Scout Leaders' Training in Long Pond, Massachusetts; headed the leaders' training camp at Foxlease, UK; and donated the first of the WAGGGS World centres, Our Chalet.
Anne Knight was an English social reformer, abolitionist and pioneer of feminism. She attended the 1840 Anti-Slavery convention, where the need to improve women's rights became obvious. In 1847 Knight produced what is thought to be the first leaflet for women's suffrage and formed the first UK women's suffrage organisation in Sheffield in 1851.
Elizabeth Pease Nichol was an abolitionist, anti-segregationist, woman suffragist, chartist and anti-vivisectionist in 19th century Great Britain. She was active in the Peace Society, the Temperance movement and founded the Darlington Ladies Anti-Slavery Society. In 1853 she married Dr. John Pringle Nichol (1804–1859), Regius Professor of Astronomy at the University of Glasgow. She was one of about six women who were in the painting of the World Anti-Slavery Convention of 1840.
Phebe Ann Coffin Hanaford was a Christian Universalist minister and biographer who was active in championing universal suffrage and women's rights. She was the first woman ordained as a Universalist minister in New England and the first woman to serve as chaplain to the Connecticut state legislature.
Harriet Forten Purvis was an African-American abolitionist and first generation suffragist. With her mother and sisters, she formed the first biracial women's abolitionist group, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. She hosted anti-slavery events at her home and with her husband Robert Purvis ran an Underground Railroad station. Robert and Harriet also founded the Gilbert Lyceum. She fought against segregation and for the right for blacks to vote after the Civil War.
Jane Clothier Hunt or Jane Clothier Master was an American Quaker who hosted the Seneca Falls meeting of Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
The Rochester Women's Rights Convention of 1848 met on August 2, 1848 in Rochester, New York. Many of its organizers had participated in the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women's rights convention, two weeks earlier in Seneca Falls, a smaller town not far away. The Rochester convention elected a woman, Abigail Bush, as its presiding officer, making it the first public meeting composed of both men and women in the U.S. to do so. This controversial step was opposed even by some of the meeting's leading participants. The convention approved the Declaration of Sentiments that had first been introduced at the Seneca Falls Convention, including the controversial call for women's right to vote. It also discussed the rights of working women and took steps that led to the formation of a local organization to support those rights.
The Ohio Women's Convention at Salem in 1850 met on April 19–20, 1850 in Salem, Ohio, a center for reform activity. It was the third in a series of women's rights conventions that began with the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. It was the first of these conventions to be organized on a statewide basis. About five hundred people attended. All of the convention's officers were women. Men were not allowed to vote, sit on the platform or speak during the convention. The convention sent a memorial to the convention that was preparing a new Ohio state constitution, asking it to provide for women's right to vote.
Mary Ann M'Clintock is best known for her role in the formation of the women's suffrage movement, as well as abolitionism. She was married to Thomas M'Clintock and they were both invested in their Quaker backgrounds, and social reform. Thomas provided for their four daughters and their son by working as a druggist and minister. From the beginning of their marriage in 1820 the lived in Philadelphia until 1836 when they moved to Waterloo, NY. By 1833 Marry Ann was very active in the anti-slavery movements in Philadelphia and was one of the founding members of the anti-slavery society. She worked closely with abolitionist Lucretia Mott. Once moved to Waterloo, Mary Ann took a more active role in the women's suffragist movement. Mary Ann had a hand in organizing the Seneca Falls Convention, held in July 1848. She and her daughters Elizabeth and Mary Ann also attended the convention and signed the Declaration of Sentiments. The base of the convention was to present the Declaration of Sentiments, this document drafted by women such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott at the kitchen table of Mary Ann M'Clintock and outlines equal opportunities among men and women. The Declaration of Sentiments was modeled after the Declaration of Independence and was the fuel that started the fire that was the suffragist movement which lasted until 1920. However, Mary Ann never got to vote. In 1856 She retired back to Philadelphia and died in 1884 at the age of 84.