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HANDOUT 2: Women in the Peace Movement

Frances Dana Barker Gage (1808-1884) was a Universalist, a lecturer, activist, novelist and journalist who was passionate about rights for women and for the abolition of slavery. Gage's account of Sojourner Truth's famous "Ain't I a Woman?" speech at the second Women's Rights Convention has become the authoritative text of the event. Gage exchanged views about Universalism with Clara Barton during the Civil War, while they both served on the Sanitation Commission at Paris Island and at Hilton Head.

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Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902). Although strictly neither a Unitarian nor a Universalist, Stanton worked with many notable Unitarians and Universalists of her time. She was one of the organizers of the first women's rights convention at Seneca Falls. She organized and co-edited a book of liberal women's biblical commentary, "The Women's Bible," with three Universalist ministers: Phebe Hanaford, Augusta Chapin, and Olympia Brown.

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Lucy Stone (1818-1893) was a noted Unitarian feminist and abolitionist, known as the first woman to keep her own name after marriage (to Henry Blackwell).

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Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) was a Unitarian author, poet, abolitionist, women's rights and peace activist. Most famous for writing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and the Mother's Day Proclamation, she was unsuccessful in her attempts to promote an international Women's Peace Congress.

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Mary Livermore (1820-1905) was a Universalist with considerable talent at organizing. She was a highly sought lecturer, known as "The Queen of the Platform."

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Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was born to British Unitarian parents and credited with the foundation of modern nursing following her experiences with the Crimean War. She had many connections to American Unitarians.

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Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) was born a Quaker and later became a Unitarian. She was the most famous public voice of the early women's rights movement, and was arrested for casting a vote in the 1872 presidential election.

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Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) and Emily Blackwell (1826-1910) were Unitarian (raised Episcopalian). These sisters were the first two women to graduate from medical school in 1849. They were sisters-in-law to Lucy Stone and Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell.

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Louisa May Alcott (1823-1888) was a Unitarian best known as a writer of Little Women. She was associated with the Transcendentalists and served as a nurse during the Civil War.

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Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) attended both AME and Unitarian churches in Philadelphia. She was a writer, lecturer and activist, a free-born African American woman who worked for abolition and women's rights.

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Rev. Olympia Brown (1835-1926) was a Universalist minister, and in 1863 became the first woman ordained within an organized denomination in the United States. Toward the end of her career, she preached for peace during World War I.

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May Wright Sewall (1844-1920) was a Unitarian women's rights activist and reformer.

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Anna Garlin Spencer (1851-1931) was a Free Religionist associated with the Unitarians. She was the first woman to give the Berry Street lecture in 1929. She was married to a Unitarian minister, and was herself a minister (non-affiliated).

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Lucia Ames Mead (1856-1936), although not a Unitarian, had friendships and working relationships with many Unitarian peace activists. She was a leading pacifist and social reformer.

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Harriet Stanton Blatch (1856-1940) was born in Seneca Falls, became a Unitarian, and was a key player in the push to ratify women's right to vote in 1920. After her first-hand experiences in Europe following WWI, she wrote "A Woman's Point of View — Some Roads to Peace."

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Alice Stone Blackwell (1857-1950). A Unitarian, and daughter of Lucy Stone, she was instrumental in the reconciliation between the National Women's Suffrage Association and the American Women's Suffrage Association, who had split because of differing views on issues and tactics, primarily around race, following the Civil War. She was the editor of the Women's Journal for thirty-five years.

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Carrie Clinton Lane Chapman Catt (1859-1947), a Unitarian, was a reformer, women's rights activist, pacifist, and organizer of the League of Women Voters.

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Jane Addams (1860-1935) was born a Quaker, but attended Unitarian services in Chicago. She was the founder of Hull House, one of the first "settlement houses" providing services for working class women and men. She was a founding member of the ACLU, and she was also the first U.S. woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 for her international peacemaking efforts.

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Emily Greene Balch (1867-1961) was a Unitarian who became a Quaker after the AUA refused to support pacifist ministers. She was a delegate in 1915 at the International Congress of Women at The Hague. An ardent pacifist, she met with Woodrow Wilson, promoting the concept of mediation between nations. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 for her work.

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Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.

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