On July 13, 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, abolitionist Lucretia Mott, Martha Wright, Mary Ann M'Clintock, and the hostess, Jane Hunt, met in this house for tea and a discussion that resulted in America's first Women's Rights Convention. Hailing from different areas of New England, all five women were ardent reformers frustrated with many facets of American society, including women's status. Mott, Wright, M'Clintock and Hunt were liberal Quakers, a religious group that fervently believed in humanitarianism, equality and social reform--especially the abolition of slavery. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, however, wanted to talk with Lucretia Mott about non-slavery matters. Years before, Stanton had met Mott at the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, where they and other women had been deeply insulted after not being allowed to participate due to their sex. That day, Mott and Stanton resolved to return home, hold a convention and form a women's rights society. That never happened. The two women went their separate ways. Stanton's experiences as a housewife after moving to Seneca Falls in 1847 reinforced her views about women's inferior status, and as soon as she met Mott at the Hunt house, she immediately renewed their 8-year-old conversation about women's rights. After an afternoon of discussion and planning in the parlor, the five women wrote the following text for printing in the next day's issue of the Seneca County Courier:
WOMANS RIGHTS CONVENTION
Photograph courtesy of Women's Rights National Historical Park.
Participant Lucretia Mott, c. 1870
Portrait courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-42559DLC
-- A Convention to discuss the social, civil, and religous condition and rights of woman, will be held in the Wesleyan Chapel, at Seneca Falls, NY, on Wednesday and Thursday, the 19th and 20th of July, current; commencing at 10 o'clock AM. During the first day the meeting will be exclusively for women, who are earnestly invited to attend. The public generally are invited to be present on the second day, when Lucretia Mott of Philadelphia, and other ladies and gentleman, will address the convention.
The Hunt House, located in Waterloo, NY,
is part of the Women's Rights National Historical Park. It is open to the public only on special occasions, call 315-568-2991 or visit the park's website for further information.
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