lucy stone

In honor of Women's History Month I am going to feature work from my series Once Upon which focuses on the founding sisters of our country. They are the iconoclastic women who worked tirelessly for change, equality and the future that we often take for granted today. Their accomplishments are often unknown and recognition is minimal, yet their achievements are remarkable and noteworthy.

Identity. Featuring Lucy Stone...

Lucy Stone, born in 1818, was a abolitionist, suffragist and a vocal advocate for the equal rights of women. In 1847 she was the first woman from Massachusetts to graduate from college. In 1854 Stone was set to marry Henry Brown Blackwell, a full supporter of Stone's mission for equality. So much so that on their wedding day they handed out copies of their "Wedding Protest" after commencing the service, less the word "obey". The protest included a stand against the law that gave the husband custody of the wife's person and the exclusive control and guardianship of their children. Blackwell believed as strongly as Stone that marriage should be a union of equals.

Lucy Stone went on to be the first woman to insist on retaining her maiden name, again with Blackwell's support, with the argument that "[a] woman should not more take her husband's name than he should hers." Lucy Stone's refusal to take her husband's name was beyond controversial and is what she has best been remembered for; those following in her steps are often referred to as "Lucy Stoners."  Since then Stone has been featured on a postal stamp, has her portrait featured in the Massachusetts State House, had a park named after her, a building named in her honor at Rutger's University and was even featured on an Indigo Girls album with the song Lucy Stoners.

"I think, with never-ending gratitude, that the young women of today do not and can never know at what price their right to free speech and to speak at all in public has been earned." - Lucy Stone