As a pioneer in the Women’s Movement, Lucy Stone is known as the first woman to earn a college degree from Massachusetts. Born into a large New England family composed mostly of boys, a bright and spirited Lucy was undeterred by her father’s decision to formally educate her 3 brothers rather than his more gifted daughters. By the age of 16, Lucy started tutoring and saved enough money that by the age of 19, had accumulated enough to travel 27 miles to attend Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley. Her tenure at Mt. Holyoke College was sadly interrupted by the death of her sister, as she was needed at home. Four years later in 1843, Lucy traveled to Ohio to attend Oberlin College. Lucy excelled at this renowned progressive college. However, gender roles at the time dictated that only men could speak in public. This antiquated “rule” incensed Lucy. In fact, it prompted her to decline the invitation to write her college Commencement speech, because it would be read by a man, and not her. Armed with only her intelligence as her weapon, Lucy Stone was well on her way as an advocate for Women’s Suffrage.
Stay tuned for next week’s excerpt….