MOTT, LUCRETIA (COFFIN) (1793-1880). An American abolitionist and woman's rights advocate, born on Nantucket Island. She was educated in the Friends' School at Nine Partners, near Poughkeepsie, N. Y., where she met James Mott (q.v.), whom in 1818 she married. She became prominent as a preacher in the Society of Friends and was chosen a minister. As a result of a visit to Virginia in 1818 she became an ardent advocate of emancipation. At the 'Separation' of 1827 which divided the Society of Friends into two hostile factions, she and her husband adhered to the liberal or Hicksite party. In 1833 she attended as an invited guest the first convention of the American Anti-Slavery Society, of which her husband was a member. Soon afterwards she helped to organize the Female Anti-Slavery Society, of which she continued one of the leaders until 1839, when it was merged in the men's organization. As the feeling against abolitionists grew in intensity, many of the more timid Quakers began to deprecate any discussion of slavery by one of their ministers, and even in her own meeting she was regarded with
suspicion and dislike. In 1840, at the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London, to which both James and Lucretia Mott had been chosen delegates, the question of the equal participation of women in the proceedings of the convention came up, and after some discussion all women were excluded. It was then that Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton first discussed the woman's rights movement, which they launched eight years later at a convention in Seneca Falls, N. Y. But these two movements, abolition and woman's rights, while they received the greater share of her attention, were not the only ones in which Mrs. Mott was interested, for all that promised to uplift humanity or to break the fetters of ignorance and tradition received her warmest support. Almost to the end of her life she made frequent journeys to visit distant meetings or to attend conventions called to consider the elevation of woman, the promotion of temperance, and the establishment of universal peace. Consult Hallowell, The Life and Letters of James and Lucretia Mott (Boston, 1884).