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Lucy Stone Plans New Jersey Suffrage Meeting
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LUCY STONE. Autograph Letter Signed, to Cornelius B. Campbell, [Newark, New Jersey], November 24, 1868. 2 pp., 5 x 8 in.

Inventory #24154.03       Price: $2,900

Complete Transcript

Nov. 24, 1868

My dear Mr. Campbell

            I have just come from our Boston Woman’s Convention, where the time was made the most of. Now will you not confer with the friends in Vineland, and get them to agree to an allotment of the time, at our coming convention, so that we may make every moment tell for the cause? I should like to have the morning session devoted to the organization of the convention, resolutions, and set speeches: the afternoon to free discussion of the resolutions, or on the general subject, each speaker limited in time: the evening have only well prepared speeches, to win, and convince. I am so sure this way is best, that I do hope you will all agree with me.

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            Mr. Blackwell has just written to the Gages, suggesting that we take the new Hall, rather than Plum Hall. I fully agree with him, that it is good policy. We should certainly get many people there, who need to hear, who wont go to Plum.

            If you agree with us, I hope you will lay the subject before the committee, and get it carried if possible.

                                                                        Very truly yours

                                                                        Lucy Stone

Historical Background

Lucy Stone attended the woman’s suffrage meeting in Boston, where the New England Woman Suffrage Association (NEWSA) was formed on November 19, 1868, with Julia Ward Howe as its first president. During the time of the convention, Congress was considering the Fifteenth Amendment, which would prohibit denial of suffrage based on race. Stone introduced a resolution calling for the Republican Party to drop its support of manhood suffrage in favor of universal suffrage. Although Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and other abolitionists opposed the resolution, the meeting approved Stone’s resolution. Two months later, with the Fifteenth Amendment in danger of becoming stalled in Congress, Stone reluctantly backed away from her position, declaring, “Woman must wait for the Negro.” Howe served as president of NEWSA until 1877, when Stone became president and served until her death in 1910.

Ultimately, the New Jersey Woman’s Suffrage State Convention was held in Vineland, in the Plum Street Hall on December 2, 1868. Speakers included Lucy Stone, Stone’s sister-in-law Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Rev. Oscar Clute, Stone’s husband Henry Browne Blackwell, and others.

Lucy Stone (1818-1893) was a prominent American suffragette. She became the first woman college graduate from Massachusetts, when she graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1847. She was also the wife of Henry Brown Blackwell and is the first American woman known to keep her own last name after marrying. Stone worked with William Lloyd Garrison in the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts. During the Civil War, she helped found the Woman’s National Loyal League, fighting for full emancipation and voting rights for African Americans. In 1870, Stone split with Susan B. Anthony and other suffragettes by helping to organize the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), which advocated supporting the 15th Amendment (granting voting rights to African-American males). That same year, Stone and her husband, with the help of Julia Ward Howe, founded The Woman’s Journal in Boston as the official publication of AWSA. Three years prior to her death, Stone reconciled with Anthony, and the two rival organizations merged into the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Stone’s daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell, edited The Woman’s Journal from 1883 until 1917.

Cornelius B. Campbell (1818-1890) was born in New Hampshire and graduated from the Oneida Institute in New York. He became a Congregationalist minister in Iowa, where he helped fugitive slaves escape through the underground railroad. In 1856, he married Phebe Thomas Wilbur, and the Campbells moved to Vineland, New Jersey, in 1863. He was active in both the abolitionist and woman’s rights movements.

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