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The following program is produced and recorded in the studios of KPFA Berkeley California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. We present the American woman in fact in fiction from Colonial Times to the present day. A series of 13 programs written and directed by Virginia Maynard and produced by Virginia Maynard and Charles Levy part for Lucretia Mott in the early 19th century the group of reformers who were working for the abolition of slavery found little sympathy with their cause in the United States. They were ridiculed and persecuted everywhere. The clergy denounced them from the pulpit. It's politicians and newspapers charactered their leaders virtually all public meeting places were closed to their speakers but with undiminished resolution the abolitionists worked on in Philadelphia in 1835 a group of Quakers and their friends among them Lucretia Mott William Lloyd Garrison Oliver Wendell Holmes and John Greenleaf Whittier erected at their own expense and effort
their own hole in which to conduct their meetings. Pennsylvania hall was dedicated as a forum for free discussion. Virtue liberty and independence. During the first few days after its opening addresses were delivered there on slavery on the problems of the Indians. The right of free speech and similar subjects on the fourth day Lucretia Mott the valiant Quaker who was known as the soul of the abolition movement spoke for the woman's organization and brought up the subject of the widespread prejudice against women speaking in public. She expressed the hope that such false notions of delicacy and propriety would not long obtain in this enlightened country. Angelina Grimm Kate one of the two sisters who had freed their slaves and come north to work for the cause of abolition. Likewise gave an address. The audiences were immense and were made up both of sympathizers and many who were hostile to the movement as well as the merely curious who had come to hear of the crazy abolitionists or to witness the strange spectacle of women speaking in public.
The speakers were jeered and heckled continuously and on the fourth day the day the women spoke mob violence broke out and the police were summoned and the abolitionists departed with the assurances of the mayor that their hall would be protected if they called off their evening meeting. The leaders adjourned to the home of James and Lucretia Munt whose younger children were placed in the care of a neighbor. The eldest son Thomas had departed on a mission of reconnaissance back to the scene of violence and the little group of reformers sat quietly waiting his return with news of what was happening. Presently in the quiet street Thomas is running footsteps could be heard coming toward the house. There come on. Close the door Thomas. But my neighbor Pennsylvania hall and now they're coming this way. They're coming to get the ball and
the two pot I have to say songbirds Pa. hold they must fly your mother. They're bound to have the friend Garrison and friend Wendell Phillips and friend what do you all spoke on abolition they call us nigger lovers. They're coming this way now onto the boat start crying as one man we talked to knows that's the Nazi We have guests in the house call myself. Well I shall have to ask you to go next door with my brothers and sisters. Sit down Thomas. We have nothing to fear. I think our son's advice is well taken system out. He must leave this place at once. We must hide ourselves it is only discreet good Dr. Perry. If these are any of our friends wish to fly it is that I privilege. As for my husband and myself we will remain. Will we not James. Yes indeed Lucretia I fear no mob. Tell us what happened. Thomas They broke down the doors of the hall with heavy timbers PA. They tore through the offices and took everything they could find and pile it up on the speaker stand in the auditorium of
all of Friendswood years anti-slavery books and writings. Then all of a master garrisons powder that they brought shavings and build the fire the fire carts came but no one even tried to put it out. It's burning to the grow so much for free discussion liberty and independence. Do not be bitter friend who hear these virtues will live on the one thousand dollars which is so dedicated be burnt to the ground. We shall find other places in which to speak. Mr. Mott I fear we shall not. There is too much bitter feeling against us. The question is too fraught with emotion. There's too much feeling against the black man. The whole economy of the North is tied up with the product of his labor and cannot be grown without slavery. The elements against us are too powerful. I for one think that the Anti-Slavery Society should be dissolved. C has seen what can happen. Dr. parish yet I do not think one far can hold just now the youngest Lavery agitation will continue if.
Necessary until the whole country be in flames for a good master gas and no talk of violence and I think our cause would not have one have so much slander directed against it if we did not allow women speakers to address on the ng like just those who are not Quakers cannot understand the woman speaking in public they have to stand in as directed against this very thing that goes against the grain of the whole country has a better right to speak than Lucretia Mott right or Angelina County white man knows more about the subject who can speak more persuasively and a friend. We must establish the rights of women as well as the right to freedom without like mass. Their right angry that SR-GR impugn my mother spoke today. They're coming. Here like what should we do. He's he friends peace to my baby to leave this house that was what a seething friend Marc should we not take two creature to a place of safety. Lucretia and I will remain as we are. They're coming fast. They're almost here. This is not exciting stuff my son he will do
us no harm. We must remain the creatures right. Friends we must. But their hair right in front of the house he'll hardly know Harmison at the back door. There is yet time is good doctor paragraph prior clearly except that I feel that everyone here said I don't wave from the window Thomas the only one I saw them visit the homes of boys right friends but I know they were coming to our house to take the all with them. I heard them say so but they did not stop. They may yet turn back and not turning back. What are we to do Thomas which will answer the door. I will go to great show. From the vault. Why it's friend coffin. Welcome to our house was
quiet. But the very doorstep just moments passed. What was there to storm out is about all abiding faith that God speed from danger or is that the love the US created in our hearts of all thy friends for one who was thy friend just as they reached the doorway put himself in the front of the crowd as a leader and taking up the cry on to the mobs of them passed the House and all of the not quite deceived me thinks of this man stocks leading them through the streets of Pennsylvania they were never lost a lawsuit for the tire on the way I say you know when were we not. Good luck to Perry had you with me. Such was the intrepid spirit of this serene little Quaker woman who has been called the black man's Goddess of Liberty the soul of the woman's movement and the greatest American woman born in 1793 in
Massachusetts. Lucretia had been a Quaker preacher since she was a young woman. Her true vocation she finally decided was the cause of emancipation. She saw it with a feeling of horror the great warehouses stocked with human flesh to be bought and sold. She had no patience with talk of gradual emancipation. She became with William Lloyd Garrison and immediate evolutionist and thus a virtual social outcast in her day. The Abolitionists were considered professional lunatics and reclaimed all their doctrine of visionary dog which holds that negro slaves cannot be the subject of property. Ministers are started from their pulpits that the negro was condemned by God's word and Noah's curse to be the servant of man anti-slavery advocates were tarred and feathered conquered with St.. Garrison was dragged through the streets of Boston. The end of a rope but Lucretia went quietly about her activities under her guidance the woman's organization raised large sums of money established a school for colored children and out a negro
orphanage assumed all problems of the Negro is within their duty. What the American Anti-Slavery Association was sharply divided on the question of women participating in public meetings. Nevertheless at the meeting of 1840 despite some trouble over this question Lucretia mocked was Jozen as one of the delegates to the world's anti-slavery convention to be held in London later that year. Eight women along with such men as Wendell Phillips George Brett Byrne of the Massachusetts legislature William Lloyd Garrison and Henry V Stanton attended as delegates but upon their arrival in London it soon became evident to the entire contingent that the British officials had no intention of allowing the women to be seated. They were advised to submit peaceably to the dictates of the committee which proposed to exclude them. But the American contingent chose to make an issue of the seating of the women on the morning of the first meeting. The women were admitted and seated in a part of the hall behind a bar and a curtain which had been reserved to ladies as guests. Young Wendell Phillips
arose and moved that a committee be appointed to prepare a correct list of delegates with instructions to include in this list the names of all persons bearing credentials from an anti-slavery society. This immediately opened the question of seating the women delegates. Delegate from Boston has the radio proves it. Mr Phillips thank you honorable gentleman as I was saying Massachusetts for several years acted on the principle of admitting women to an equal seat with men in the deliberative bodies of anti-slavery societies. When the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society received your invitation to the London convention we interpreted your phrase friends of the slave to include women as well as men since it must be presumed you knew our customs. Under the circumstances we do not think it just
equitable to that state nor do the women delegates here representing that state and others in America. That after the trouble the sacrifice the self devotion of those who have left their families and kindred occupations in their own land to come 3000 miles to attend this world's convention should be refused a place in its deliberations. It is nearly missed. As soon as we had the liberal interpretation the Americans had given the invitation. We should especially if February 15th which the description of those who were to form the convention to step forth that's up on our Dr.. I think the custom of excluding females is more honored in its breach than in its observance. In this country sovereign rule is placed in the hands of a female soldier and we as a society are associated with the
body of Christians. The Quaker those who have given to their women a great honorable and religious prominence. I look upon this delegation from America as one of the most interesting the most encouraging and the most delightful symptoms of the times. I cannot believe that we should refuse to welcome gratefully the cooperation which is here offered us. Reverend Bernard gentleman I pray you will be calm. I assure you gentlemen I have the greatest the most profound respect for the ladies of the American delegation. But I believe that an English interpretation should be put on English phrase the ologies ladies I appeal to you to relinquish that which you call go right to be seated and put an end to this of dignified controversy. It's never the cause of death to the British. And for an
anti-slavery society that they were inviting ladies when they if you will their invitation the better would it be that this convention should be dissolved it wants then that the Ababil delegate from Massachusetts motion to include the ladies in this body should be off topic for a good overview of the reception of women. The point of this convention where the rule of money be not only a violation of the customs of England one of the orders of the Almighty God is good yeah. The Honorable ridden governor of New York. In some parts of the other side of this question reference has been made to y'all Sauber and. I most cordially approve of her policy and sound wisdom and commend to the consideration of our American female friends who are so deeply interested in the subject. The example of your noble queen. Oh by sanctioning her concert His Royal Highness Prince Albert in taking the chair on occasion not dissimilar to this. Showed her to send some propriety by putting her head.
Foremost in an assembly of gentlemen I have no objection to a woman's being done neck to turn the head a rod but I do not wish to see her assume the place of the have yellow recognizes Senator Rudman of Massachusetts. We are told that it would be out reaching the customs of England to allow women to sit in this convention. I have a great respect for the customs and habits of home England but I ask gentleman if it be right to set up the customs and habits not to say the prejudices of the Englishman as a standard for the government. On this occasion of Americans and of persons belonging to several other independent nations I can see neither reason nor policy in so doing. Besides I deprecate the principle of the objection. In America it would exclude from all conventions all persons of color love for their
customs habits tastes prejudices would be outraged by their own admission. And I do not wish to be deprived of the aid of those who have done so much for this cause for the purpose of gratifying any media custom or prejudice. Women have furnished most essential aid in accomplishing what has been done in the state of Massachusetts. If if the legislature of that state. I have been able to do anything in furtherance of that cause. It was mainly owing to the valuable assistance I derives from the women and the way and shall such women be denied seats in this convention. My friend George Thompson yelled up come testify to the faithful services rendered to this cause by those same women. He can tell you that when gentlemen of property and standing at M took took to drive him from Boston putting his life in peril
it was only the women who made their own persons a bulwark of protection around him. And showed such women. He refused seats here up in a convention seeking the emancipation of slaves throughout the world. I was hooked on this nobody too cold this of a convention of evolutionists when some of the oldest and most liberal coing up illusionists in the world all denied the right to be represented in it by delegate something outright that. Recognizes Mr Thompson. I've listened to the arguments advanced on this side on that side on this question. I listened with profound attention to the arguments of the Honorable most of the net expecting that from him. Should you have the strongest arguments or could be a deuced on the subject as when you know a subject upon which you might be pleased to employ his talents. One of
us strongest arguments which one of the greatest champions on any question which he chooses to espouse has brought forward. They are the first. English phrase ology should be construed according to English usage. Second that it was never contemplated by the anti-slavery Committee. That ladies should occupy a seat in this convention. Third that the ladies of England are not here as delegates. And fourthly that he has no desire to offer no affront to the ladies present here I presume although strongest arguments a gentleman has to do it for he never fails to use to the best advantage the resources within his reach. I look at these arguments. And I place on the other side of the question the fact that there are in this assembly and ladies who present themselves as delegates from the oldest societies in America I expected that Mr.
Burnett would grapple with the constitutionality of their credentials. I thought he would dispute the right of a convention assembled in Philadelphia for the abolition of slavery consisting of delegates from different states in the union and comprised of individuals of both sexes to send one or all of the ladies now in our presence. I thought he would grapple with the fact that those ladies came to us who have no slavery from a country in which they have slaves as the representatives of two millions off of captives. But when I look at the arguments against the title of these women to sit amongst us. I cannot but consider them frivolous and groundless. The simple question before us is whether these ladies are taking into account our credentials the talent they have displayed the suffering they've endured the journey they've undertaken should be acknowledged by us
in virtue of these high titles or should be shut out for the reasons stated or followed. It was that way that I will. Again recognizes that at some Boston gentleman I have been asked to withdraw my motion which would have meant the legally elected woman delegates from America to participation in this party because this convention tells us that it is not ready to meet their ridicule of the morning paper and just stand up against the customs of England in America. We listen to no such argument. If we had done so we would never be as evolutionists. Yes it is the custom there not to admit colored men into respectable society. And we've been told again and again that we are outraging the decencies of humanity when we permit colored men to sit
by our side. When we have submitted to brick bats at the top Robin feathers in America rather than yield to the custom prevalent of not admitting colored men into our friendship shall we used to parallel custom or prejudice against women in old England always was. We should not we cannot view this question if we would for a just a matter of conscience. But we would not hear it on the ground of expediency in doing so. We should feel that we were striking off the right home of our enterprise. We could not go back to America to ask for any aid from the women of Massachusetts. If we had deserted them when they chose to send out their own sisters as their representatives here playing like we have argued it over and over again and decided it time after time in every society in the land in favor of the women because we have not changed by crossing the
wont of we stand here the advocates of the same principle that we contend for In America we think it is right for women to sit by our side and we think its right for them to do the same. We ask the convention to ask them if they do not choose to grant it. The responsibility rests on their shoulders. It is a matter of. Concerns British sports you ought not to ask us to use. Recognizes the grass grow. It was stated by our brother from a better luck with him. It just I'm not going to truth it is a question all the water gone I don't know the particular smear which would act a must say whether I am right in my interpretations of the Word of God or not. Vox ma you get convictions out of it by a will to get a vote in
favor of sitting and waiting in such an assembly as this VOC time should be acting in opposition to the teaching done talking. It recognizes another American rep as a reverend. My vote is that we confirm the list of delegates that we take votes on that as an amendment and that we henceforth entertain this question no more law will not be met here pledge to sacrifice all hope in all of the three may do something against slavery and shall we be divided on this. Paltry question ended up so tired of benevolence to be stopped by a straw poll. We don't talk a big man now than be a man. Consider what is worthy of your attention.
Yeah the Rev. Dr. Matas and I I believe as problematic and many English friends do at this moment that we are treading on the brink of a precipice and that precipice is awaking you know our prisons by this discussion feelings that we will not only be a bus to the great object for which we have assembled but inconsistent perhaps in some degree with the Christian spirit which I trust we need only meetings connected with the anti-slavery cause. We have been unanimous against the common foe but we all these stay in danger of creating division numb of the heart will all American bretheren put us in this position. Will they keep up a discussion in which the delicacy the all of the respectability of those excellent females who have come from the Western will dockets and I tremble at the fault of
discussing the question in the presence of these ladies for whom I attained the most profound respect and I am bowed to say that but for the introduction the question of women's rights. It would be impossible for the shrinking nature of women to subject itself to the infliction of such a discussion as this. Recognizes mis rendered unfit. Mr. Chairman as the hour is late I will refrain. The arguments of the opposition. Though I should like to call your attention to the numerous misstatements of fact in the arguments of those who oppose the sitting of women delegates to this convention shall not do so. I couldn't for the question or question just say like a. He had just been moved and seconded that the firing motion of Mr
Phillips be produced before this convention. That a committee of five be appointed to prepare a list of the members of this convention here with instructions to include in such a list. Persons button credentials by many on display everybody in. The chair was a dirty mind a delegate not an affirmative vote carries with it the implicit understanding that persons irrespective of sax me seated as delegates to this convention. As I was in favor of the aforesaid members and respond by. There's a purpose. The o notion is defeated. With Philip's motion voted down the women delegates to the London world's anti-slavery
convention were compelled to remain behind the curtain in the ladies section of the hall. The women were allowed to take no part in a meeting that they had travelled 3000 miles to attend this humiliating experience confirmed in Lucretia Mott a resolve to labor for another cause in addition to the emancipation of slaves after she should return home. The cause of the emancipation of women in 1848 in Seneca Falls New York with Lucretia Mott again the guiding spirit the first women's rights convention was called and the declaration of rights for women modeled on the Declaration of Independence was adopted a document which would have startled even Thomas Jefferson. That was part 4 of the American woman in fact and fiction from Colonial Times to the present day series of 13 programs written and directed by Virginia Maynard. The cast included Charles Levy Ernest Landauer William Matheson Collin Edwards Edwin Smith Theodore Hofmann George Mackie and Virginia
Maynard engineering was by David L. Talcott and James Cano the American woman in fact and fiction was produced in the studios of KPFA Berkeley California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center and is being distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the energy B Radio Network.
American woman in fact and fiction
Lucretia Mott
Producing Organization
pacifica radio
KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Because she is a woman, the Quaker anti-suffragist is refused a seat as delegate to the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London, 1840.
Series Description
Thirteen half-hour programs illustrating with dramatization the changing status of women in America from colonial times to the present day, plus a one-hour panel discussion on modern-day problems.
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Actor: Edwards, Colin
Actor: Levy, Charles
Actor: Mawson, C.A.
Actor: Hoffman, Theodore
Actor: Matheson, William
Actor: Smith, Edwin
Director: Maynard, Virginia
Producing Organization: pacifica radio
Producing Organization: KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
Writer: Maynard, Virginia
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 59-19-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:33
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Chicago: “American woman in fact and fiction; Lucretia Mott,” 1959-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 21, 2024,
MLA: “American woman in fact and fiction; Lucretia Mott.” 1959-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 21, 2024. <>.
APA: American woman in fact and fiction; Lucretia Mott. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from