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Lucy Stone Is Determined that Woman Suffrage Will Conquer…Eventually
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whether it takes ten, ten thousand years, we are sure to conquer at the last. I dont know how far off the last, may be.

LUCY STONE. Fragment of Autograph Letter Signed, to Cornelius B. Campbell, Newark, New Jersey, [November?] 14, 1867. 2 pp. (bottom third of first page missing), 5¼ x 5¾ in.

Inventory #24154.04       ON HOLD

Complete Transcript

Newark Cor. 7th St. and Sussex ave

Oct. [November?] 14, 1867[1]

Mr. Campbell

Dear sir

            Yours of the 14th is at hand.

            I wrote you yesterday that I would be with you on Friday, only leaving on Sat. in time to reach home that day. By your last, I see that Sat. is to be the day of Convention, so I will arrange to remain […] <2> the best I can with it. I dont know whether Mrs. Stanton would expect anything more than her expenses. I think she would go for that.

            I see that we were beaten in Kansas 2½ to one. Well! whether it takes ten, ten thousand years, we are sure to conquer at the last. I dont know how far off the last, may be.

                                                                        Respectfully yours

                                                                        Lucy Stone

Historical Background

On November 29 and 30, 1867, a Woman’s Rights Convention convened in Plum Street Hall in Vineland, New Jersey. Speakers included Lucretia and James Mott, Lucy Stone, Henry Browne Blackwell, Robert Dale Owen, and others. It appears that Elizabeth Cady Stanton did not attend, though Susan B. Anthony did speak in Vineland in September 1868.

In 1867, Kansas offered three referenda to its voters regarding suffrage. One would remove the word “Negro” from the voting requirements, another would remove the word “male,” and a third would disfranchise former Confederates. Lucy Stone, and Stone’s husband Henry Browne Blackwell traveled the state for several months on behalf of woman suffrage. In the final weeks before the election, suffragist leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony also addressed meetings in Kansas but made the controversial decision to support blatantly racist Democratic candidate George Francis Train, who opposed African American suffrage but supported woman suffrage. Stanton and Anthony’s support for Train caused a split in the suffragist movement with Stone and others supporting voting rights for both African Americans and women. In November 1869, the suffrage movement split into two organizations, the National Woman Suffrage Association, headed by Stanton and Anthony, and the American Woman Suffrage Association, headed by Lucy Stone and her husband Henry Blackwell.

On November 5, 1867, voters rejected the first two referenda. Out of nearly 30,000 votes cast, African American suffrage received 10,483 votes (35 percent), while woman suffrage received 9,070 votes (31 percent). Only one county narrowly voted in favor of woman suffrage. The third referendum passed with a majority of 55 percent. Women did not gain the right to vote in Kansas until 1912, a few years ahead of nationwide woman suffrage.

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.

[1] Although Stone clearly addressed the letter “October 14, 1867,” she responds to the results of the November 5, 1867, referendum in Kansas on woman suffrage in the state. Since she spoke at Vineland on November 29-30, 1867, after this letter was written, November 14, 1867, seems a plausible date.

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