Alice Stone Blackwell, editor of the Woman's Journal, published this biography of her mother, Lucy Stone, in 1930, a decade after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. Reprinted now for the first time, Lucy Stone: Pioneer of Woman's Rights is a fascinating, plainspoken document of an important era in women's history.
Lucy Stone's biography is all the more impressive because she has been largely left out of the history of women's suffrage. Her leadership came in a form that was not grandstanding or shocking but personal and mentoring. Her daughter's book provides a vivid, unsentimental portrait of growing up female in rural Massachusetts in the nineteenth century, of earning a college degree, and of beginning a lifelong advocacy for basic civil rights for all Americans.
Often facing hostile audiences, Stone lectured all over the country, and she led the call for the first national woman's rights convention, which took place in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1850. She brought other leaders&emdash; for example, Susan B. Anthony and Julia Ward Howe—to the cause, and she attended antislavery conferences with Frederick Douglass. The reissue of her biography can kindle a vital discussion of how Stone's activism influenced abolitionist and feminist reform ideology. Her story should be especially remarkable to students, who may find her struggles with keeping her own name after marriage hard to imagine, but her successes as a female public figure and political speaker worth emulating.
Randolph Hollingsworth, associate professor of history and women's studies at Lexington Community College, is currently a Commonwealth Humanities Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Kentucky.