Lucretia Coffin Mott Is Born

Political and social reformer Lucretia Coffin Mott was born on January 3, 1793 in Nantucket, Massachusetts to a Quaker family.

Inspired by a father who encouraged his daughters to be useful and a mother who was active in business affairs, Lucretia Mott worked as a tireless advocate for the oppressed while also raising six children. Over the course of her lifetime, Mott actively participated in many of the reform movements of the day including abolition, temperance, and pacifism. She also played a vital role in organizing the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, which launched the woman suffrage movement in America.

Mott's commitment to women's equality was strengthened by her experience as a student and teacher at Nine Partners boarding school in Duchess County, New York. While at the Quaker school, she was struck by the fact that "the charge for the education of girls was the same as that for boys, and that when they became teachers, women received but half as much as men for their services…The injustice of this was so apparent," Mott recalled in an autobiographical sketch, "that I early resolved to claim for my sex all that an impartial Creator had bestowed."2 This was also where she met her future husband, fellow teacher James Mott.

Lucretia Coffin Mott (3 January 1793 – 11 November 1880) was an American Quaker, abolitionist, social reformer and proponent of women's rights. She is credited as the first American "feminist" in the early 1800s but was, more accurately, the initiator of women's political advocacy.

Lucretia Coffin was born into a Quaker family in Nantucket, Massachusetts. She was the second child of seven by Thomas Coffin and Anna Folger. At the age of thirteen she was sent to the Nine Partners Quaker School in Dutchess County, New York, run by the Society of Friends, where she eventually became a teacher. Her interest in women's rights began when she discovered that male teachers at the school were paid three times as much as the female staff. On April 10,1811, Lucretia married James Mott, another teacher at the school. They had six children. Their first child died at age five. Ten years later, she became a Quaker minister. She was an ancestor of several families in Tennessee.

The Quakers, when compared to other religious and social groups in America since its founding, were unusual in their equal treatment of women. Quakers, at that time, were discriminated against for being neutral in their ways. This discrimination also included acts of racism and sexism. They had a rich history and singular respect from the majority of American people of those times, mostly due to their advocacy and martyrdom for being conscientious objectors to war, and later their anti-slavery efforts.

Let our lives be in accordance with our convictions of right, each striving to carry out our principles.”

— Lucretia Mott