Archive for the ‘William Lloyd Garrison Jr.’ Tag

Feast of Martha Coffin Pelham Wright, Lucretia Coffin Mott, James Mott, Abigail Lydia Mott Moore, and Lindley Murray Moore (November 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  A Partial Family Tree

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor



sister of


wife of

JAMES MOTT (JUNE 20, 1788-JANUARY 26, 1868)

brother of


wife of





It is time that Christians were judged more by their likeness to Christ than their notions of Christ.  Were this sentiment generally admitted, we should see such tenacious adherence to what men deem the opinions and doctrines of Christ while at the same time in every day practice is exhibited anything but a likeness to Christ.

–Lucretia Coffin Mott, at the Cherry Street Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 30, 1849; quoted in A Year with American Saints (2006), 19


One of my goals in renovating this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, is to emphasize relationships and influences.  This post is an example of that approach.  Lucretia Coffin Mott comes to my Ecumenical Calendar via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).  The other saints come to my Ecumenical Calendar via relationship to or via cooperation with her.

Lucretia and Martha Coffin were daughters of Thomas Coffin (a merchant; died in 18150 and Anna Folger.  Lucretia (born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on January 3, 1793) and Martha (born in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 25, 1806) studied in Quaker schools.  Lucretia, a student then a teacher at Nine Partners Boarding School, Millbrook, New York, became an active feminist when she noticed the discrepancy in pay for men and women performing the same work.  Martha moved with her family to Philadelphia, where she attended Quaker schools.  Lucretia and her fiancé, James Mott, a former teacher at Nine Partners, joined her family in Philadelphia in 1811.  The couple had five children, all moral and social reformers.

James Mott, born in North Hampstead, Long Island, New York, on June 20, 1788, was a cradle Quaker.  He was a son of Anne Mott (née Mott; 1768-1852) and Adam Mott (1762-1839), superintendent of Nine Partners Boarding School.  He and Lucretia were teachers at Nine Partners when they fell in love.  They moved to Philadelphia in 1813.  In that city James became a partner in Thomas Coffin’s nail business.  Then, in 1822, our saint went into the textiles business.  His involvement in selling cotton gave way to selling wool, for James was an abolitionist.  He, as a conscientious merchant, joined the free produce movement, which boycotted all goods slaves produced.

James had a younger sister, Abigail Lydia Mott, born in Caw Bay, Long Island, New York, on August 6, 1795.  She studied at Nine Partners Boarding School and, in 1811, became a teacher there.  Two years later, she married fellow teacher Lindley Murray Moore.

Lindley Murray Moore hailed from Nova Scotia.  The Moores, of Rahway, New Jersey, were Loyalists during the American Revolutionary period.  They were also Quakers, so they refused to engage in violence.  They also refused to assist the rebellion against the British Empire.  With the seizure of their property in 1779, Samuel Moore (1742-1822) and his family moved to Nova Scotia.  Later they relocated to Upper Canada (Ontario).  Lindley, born in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, on May 31, 1788, bore the name of Lindley Murray (1745-1826), a Quaker, a Loyalist, and a friend of his father.

Lucretia became a Quaker minister in 1821.  Husband James supported her in her traveling and speaking.  Lucretia spoke against slavery, called for its abolition, and supported the free produce movement.  In the late 1820s, when the Hicksite Quakers broke away from the Orthodox Quakers, Lucretia and James Mott became Hicksite Quakers.

Abigail and Lindley Moore left Nine Partners Boarding School in 1813.  They settled in Rahway, New Jersey, where they opened the first of a series of schools they founded.  Over the years they had eight children, three of whom did not live to see their fourth birthday.  The most famous of the Moore children was Edward Mott Moore (1814-1902), an Episcopalian, a surgeon, a professor of surgery, and the father of the public parks system in Rochester, New York.  Abigail and Lindley moved to Flushing, New York, in 1820.  They opened a school, of course.  Eleven years later, they relocated to Rochester, New York, where they became farmers.

Martha Coffin married twice.  In 1824 she married Peter Pelham (1785-1826).  The couple moved to Tampa, Florida, where Peter died.  Martha was a nineteen-year-old widow raising an infant daughter.  The following year, Martha moved to Aurora, New York, where she taught writing and painting at a Quaker girls’ school.  Our saint became engaged to Julius Catlin, who died in 1828.  She married attorney and fellow Quaker David Wright the following year.  The couple had five children, including Ellen Wright (1840-1931), a suffragette who married William Lloyd Garrison, Jr. (1838-1909) in 1864.

Lucretia and James Mott were active abolitionists.  They helped to found both the American Anti-Slavery Society and the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1833.  The latter, extant until 1870, was a multiracial organization whose members included Angelina Grimké Weld (1805-1879) and Charlotte Forten, grandmother of Charlotte Forten Grimké (1837-1914).  Lucretia managed to remain active on the lecture circuit while performing certain crucial domestic tasks.  She also resisted violence.  In 1838, at the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women, a mob set the convention hall on fire.  The delegates (white and African-American) linked arms and passed through the mob.  The Motts were delegates to the World Anti-Slavery Convention (1840), in London, England.  Lucretia was one of six female delegates.  They faced exclusion, due to their gender.

Abigail and Lindley Moore were also active abolitionists.  They, active in the Farmington Annual Meeting (Orthodox), were the clerks of the women’s and men’s meetings, respectively, in 1836.  They helped to found the Rochester Anti-Slavery Society in 1838.  Furthermore, Abigail wrote novels, essays, and biographies in which she addressed slavery and the education of females.  She died in Rochester on September 4, 1846.  She was 51 years old.

Martha and David Wright moved to Auburn, New York, in 1839.  Both of them were conductors of the Underground Railroad.

The issue of rights and who should have them linked abolitionism and feminism.  Lucretia and Martha understood that connection, for they and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the Seneca Falls Convention at Seneca Falls, New York (July 19-20, 1848).  The delegates called for legal equality of men and women, as in the fields of voting and property rights.

Lindley Moore, as a widower, returned to education and continued his social activism.  He served as the President of Haverford College (1848-1850) then taught high school.  Our saint also served as the Vice President of the Rochester Temperance Society and financed the education of newly freed slaves in Upper Canada.  He died in Rochester on August 14, 1871.  He was 83 years old.

Lucretia and James Mott continued to make lasting contributions to society.  In 1864 they helped to found Swarthmore College, in Pennsylvania.  Lucretia helped to found the American Equal Rights Association two years later.

James Mott died of pneumonia in Brooklyn, New York, on January 26, 1868, while visiting a daughter.  He was 79 years old.

Martha Wright died in Auburn, New York, on 1875.  She was 70 years old.

Lucretia Mott died in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, on November 11, 1880.  She was 87 years old.

These members of the Mott-Moore-Wright extended family followed a high standard of public morality.








Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servants

Martha Coffin Pelham Wright,

Lucretia Coffin Mott,

James Mott,

Abigail Lydia Mott Moore,

and Lindley Murray Moore,

to work for justice among people and nations, to the glory of your name,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60


Feast of William Lloyd Garrison and Maria Stewart (December 12)   10 comments


Above:  The Old Slave Market, Louisville, Georgia, 1934

Image Source = Library of Congress

Call Number = HABS GA,82-LOUVI,1-



Abolitionist and Feminist



Abolitionist, Feminist, and Educator


The General Convention of The Episcopal Church added this commemoration to the calendar of saints, listing these two saints as “prophetic witnesses.”

William Lloyd Garrison and Maria Stewart were daring and prophetic figures who challenged firmly entrenched prejudices and societal sins.  They were radical figures in their day.

Their legacies challenge us to recognize and correct institutionalized and widely accepted societal sins and evils.



Above:  William Lloyd Garrison

Image in the Public Domain

William Lloyd Garrison affirmed human equality before God, whether one be male or female, of one racial or ethnicity or another, or enslaved or free.  One tool he used to influence society was the printing press.  Our saint took a circuitous route to that vocation, however.  Garrison, born on December 12, 1805, at Newburyport, Massachusetts, was a son of parents originally from New Brunswick.  Ahijah Garrison, his father, was a drunk and a ship captain who abandoned the family in 1808.  Garrison grew up impoverished and under the spiritual tutelage of his devout mother, Frances Maria Lloyd (Garrison).  Our saint, as a young man, was an apprentice in several trades:  making shoes, building cabinets, and finally, in 1818, newspaper writing and editing.  From 1818 to 1826 Garrison, starting at the tender age of 12 years, was an apprentice to Ephraim A. Allen, proprietor of the Newburyport Herald.  The young Garrison even wrote for the newspaper anonymously and avoided any suspicion that he was the author.

Garrison’s career as an activist newspaperman had a rocky start.  In 1826 he began to publish the Free Press at Newburyport; the radical (by the standards of the town) publication failed.  Next, in Boston, our saint worked as a printer before become the editor of the National Philanthropist, dedicated to complete abstinence from alcohol.  In 1828 he founded the Journal of the Times at Bennington, Vermont, to promote the re-election campaign of President John Quincy Adams.  The newspaper met the same fate the Adams campaign did.

Thus it came to pass that Garrison left for Baltimore, Maryland, in 1829.  There he and Benjamin Lundy edited the Genius of Universal Emancipation, a monthly publication.  Lundy favored the gradual emancipation of slaves, followed by colonization.  Garrison agreed with him for a time, but changed his mind.  Our saint came to support the immediate emancipation of slaves by peaceful means and the granting of equal rights to them in the United States.  Garrison used the printing press to name evil.  For his trouble he went to jail in 1830 for libeling the captain of a slave ship, or so a court of law concluded.  Garrison spent seven weeks in prison before Arthur Tappan, a merchant and philanthropist from New York City, paid the $50 fine (worth $1330 in 2016) and court costs.  Also in 1830, Garrison and Lundy arrived at an understanding and parted ways amicably.  The newspaper closed.

The Liberator was an influential newspaper  The publication, based in Boston, debuted on January 1, 1831.  The justly famous statement on the front page read:

To the Public

In the month of August, I issued proposals for publishing “THE LIBERATOR” in Washington city; but the enterprise, though hailed in different sections of the country, was palsied by public indifference. Since that time, the removal of the Genius of Universal Emancipation [Benjamin Lundy’s anti-slavery newspaper] to the Seat of Government has rendered less imperious the establishment of a similar periodical in that quarter.

During my recent tour for the purpose of exciting the minds of the people by a series of discourses on the subject of slavery, every place that I visited gave fresh evidence of the fact, that a greater revolution in public sentiment was to be effected in the free states — and particularly in New-England –– than at the south. I found contempt more bitter, opposition more active, detraction more relentless, prejudice more stubborn, and apathy more frozen, than among slave owners themselves. Of course, there were individual exceptions to the contrary. This state of things afflicted, but did not dishearten me. I determined, at every hazard, to lift up the standard of emancipation in the eyes of the nation, within sight of Bunker Hill and in the birth place of liberty. That standard is now unfurled; and long may it float, unhurt by the spoliations of time or the missiles of a desperate foe — yea, till every chain be broken, and every bondman set free! Let southern oppressors tremble — let their secret abettors tremble — let their northern apologists tremble — let all the enemies of the persecuted blacks tremble.

I deem the publication of my original Prospectus unnecessary, as it has obtained a wide circulation. The principles therein inculcated will be steadily pursued in this paper, excepting that I shall not array myself as the political partisan of any man. In defending the great cause of human rights, I wish to derive the assistance of all religions and of all parties.

Assenting to the “self-evident truth” maintained in the American Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights — among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” I shall strenuously contend for the immediate enfranchisement of our slave population. In Park-street Church, on the Fourth of July, 1829, in an address on slavery, I unreflectingly assented to the popular but pernicious doctrine of gradual abolition. I seize this opportunity to make a full and unequivocal recantation, and thus publicly to ask pardon of my God, of my country, and of my brethren the poor slaves, for having uttered a sentiment so full of timidity, injustice and absurdity. A similar recantation, from my pen, was published in the Genius of Universal Emancipation at Baltimore, in September, 1829. My consicence in now satisfied.

I am aware, that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hand of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.

It is pretended, that I am retarding the cause of emancipation by the coarseness of my invective, and the precipitancy of my measures. The charge is not true. On this question my influence, — humble as it is, — is felt at this moment to a considerable extent, and shall be felt in coming years — not perniciously, but beneficially — not as a curse, but as a blessing; and posterity will bear testimony that I was right. I desire to thank God, that he enables me to disregard “the fear of man which bringeth a snare,” and to speak his truth in its simplicity and power. And here I close with this fresh dedication:

Oppression! I have seen thee, face to face,
And met thy cruel eye and cloudy brow;
But thy soul-withering glance I fear not now —
For dread to prouder feelings doth give place
Of deep abhorrence! Scorning the disgrace
Of slavish knees that at thy footstool bow,
I also kneel — but with far other vow
Do hail thee and thy hord of hirelings base: —
I swear, while life-blood warms my throbbing veins,
Still to oppose and thwart, with heart and hand,
Thy brutalising sway — till Afric’s chains
Are burst, and Freedom rules the rescued land, —
Trampling Oppression and his iron rod:
Such is the vow I take — SO HELP ME GOD!

In the pages of The Liberator Garrison condemned slavery, tobacco, alcohol, capital punishment, war, freemasonry, and imprisonment for debt.  The newspaper was controversial nationwide.  The State of Georgia issued a warrant for Garrison’s arrest and posted a large cash prize for his capture.  And, in 1835, a mob nearly killed our saint in Boston.  The police had to place him in protective custody.

Garrison’s activism extended to other issues.  He also argued for free trade the equality of men and women.  His proposal that antislavery groups treat men and women equally divided that movement.  Garrison also supported voting rights for women before, during, and after the Civil War.  And, in 1869, he became the President of the Free Trade League.

Garrison, a Unitarian, thought that Christian institutions should work for social justice, such as the abolition of slavery.  Toward that end he worked with Congregationalists and Unitarians.  Nevertheless, he became disenchanted with many Christian institutions, due to their support for slavery or the colonization movement.  His disappointment was justified.

Garrison, the abolitionist who perhaps more than any other abolitionist struggled for human equality across the board, wrote the declaration of principles for the new American Anti-Slavery Society (1833-1870).  He also, citing the enshrinement of slavery in the Constitution of the United States, burned a copy of that document on July 4, 1854, calling the Constitution a “covenant with death.”  (Frederick Douglass, a former slaver, disagreed with Garrison on this point.  A former slave was less radical than an idealistic white man.)  Garrison, a pacifist, also struggled with the questions of war and violence in general.  He came to accept the Civil War as necessary to end race-based slavery in the United States and approved of the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) and the Thirteenth Amendment (1865).  The work of abolition done, Garrison closed The Liberator at the end of 1865.

Garrison married Helen Eliza Benson (1811-1876) on September 4, 1834.  The couple had seven children, including William Lloyd Garrison (Jr.) (1838-1909), like his father, a champion of women’s suffrage and free trade.  The younger Garrison also advocated for the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), which Congress did not repeal until 1943, due to the politics of World War II.

Our saint died at New York, New York, on May 24, 1879.  He was 73 years old.



Above:  Maria Stewart

Image in the Public Domain

Maria Stewart, born to the Millers, free blacks, at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1803, advocated for the rights of women and African Americans.  She, orphaned at the age of five years, grew up in the home of a white minister.  She also served as an indentured servant for a few years, until the age of fifteen years.  Maria Miller also taught herself to read.  For three years (1826-1829) our saint was the wife of James W. Stewart, a veteran of the War of 1812 and a shipping outfitter.  After he died, the white executors of his will seized the widow’s inheritance.

Our saint became a public speaker, advocating for the rights of slaves, women, and free blacks, as well as speaking to both men and women at a time when that was not socially acceptable.  Stewart called for slaves to rise up against their masters and for free blacks to resist segregation.  She also cited her faith and the Bible as justifications for her actions.  Our saint, who had converted to Christianity in 1830 and made a public profession of faith the following year, had essays published in The Liberator.  Fortunately, Garrison also violated taboos, such as seeking material from women and African Americans for his newspaper.

Stewart spent many years as an educator.  In 1835 she moved to New York City, where she began to teach.  Eventually she transferred to Brooklyn and became the assistant principal of the Williamsburg School there.   Our saint moved to Baltimore, Maryland, in 1852/1853, to teach privately.  Finally, in 1861, she relocated to Washington, D.C.  She taught there for nine years.  Furthermore, Stewart began to teach Sabbath School for the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany (in the mornings) and the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation (in the afternoons).

Stewart’s final professional position was Matron of the Freedmen’s Hospital, Washington, D.C.  She worked in that capacity from 1870 until her death, nine years later.  On the side our saint started a Sabbath School near the hospital in 1871.

Stewart died at Washington, D.C., on December 17, 1879.  She was 76 years old.


The lives of William Lloyd Garrison and Maria Stewart challenge we who look back upon them to recognize the image of God in others–especially the socially marginalized–and to flout social conventions for the sake of the glory of God and the benefit of our fellow human beings.





God, in whose service alone is perfect freedom:

We thank you for William Lloyd Garrison and Maria Stewart,

who witnessed that all are made in your image and likeness.

Fill us, like them, with the perseverance to break every chain of enslavement,

that, by your Holy Spirit, your people may overcome bondage and ignorance;

through the merits of Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who with you

and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016)


God, in whose service alone is perfect freedom:

We thank you for your prophets William Lloyd Garrison and Maria Stewart,

who testified that we are not made by the color of our skin but by principle formed in our soul.

Fill us, like them, with the hope and determination to break every chain of enslavement,

that bondage and ignorance may melt like wax before flames,

and we may build that community of justice and love which is founded on Jesus Christ our cornerstone;

who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Wisdom 10:9-14

Psalm 82

1 John 2:28-3:3

Mark 5:25-34

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 125