Raised in the Quaker philosophy of universal equality, Lucretia Mott became an influential antislavery and women’s rights activist. In 1833, she helped organize the racially integrated Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. While participating in the second Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in Philadelphia (1838), she was targeted by violent, anti-abolitionist mobs lashing out against the interracial gatherings and the “spectacle” of women making political speeches in public.
At the first World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, in 1840, male antislavery leaders relegated Mott and other women delegates to the back of the hall. In response, Mott joined forces with Elizabeth Cady Stanton to co-organize the 1848 convention in Seneca Falls, New York, that launched the women’s rights movement in the United States. The following year she wrote: “Let woman then go on—not asking as favor, but claiming as right, the removal of all hindrances to her elevation in the scale of being.”