One of the First Social Reformers in the United States

Sarah Moore Grimke, the lesser known of the Grimke sisters, was born November 26, 1792, in Charleston, South Carolina, the daughter of Judge John Grimke. Sarah was a writer, an abolitionist and an early advocate of women's rights. At five years old, she saw a slave being whipped and tried to board a steamship that could take her to a place where there was no slavery.

The Grimkes lived alternately …Read More...

One of the First Women Artists in the United States

Vinnie Ream (1847–1914) was an American sculptor whose most famous work was the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the U.S. Capitol rotunda. In 1866, at the age of 18, Ream was selected by Congress to sculpt a memorial statue of Lincoln, making her the first woman commissioned to create a work of art for the United States government. Ream later created sculptures of Samuel Kirkwood and Sequoyah for the National …Read More...

One of the First Feminists in the United States

Abby Kelley (1811–1887) was a Quaker abolitionist and radical social reformer active from the 1830s to 1870s. She became a fundraiser, lecturer and committee organizer for the influential American Anti-Slavery Society. Fighting for equal rights for women soon became a new priority for many ultra abolitionists and Kelley was among them, speaking on women's rights in Seneca Falls, New York five years before the first Women's Rights Convention would be held …Read More...

First African American Woman to Lecture in Public

Maria Stewart was an essayist, lecturer, abolitionist and women's rights activist. She was the earliest known American woman to lecture in public on political issues. Stewart is known for four powerful speeches she delivered in Boston in the early 1830s - a time when no woman, black or white, dared to address an audience from a public platform.

Image Credit: Breena Clarke Books

Childhood and Early Years
She was born free …Read More...

One of the First Feminists in the United States

Lucy Stone (1818–1893) was a prominent American abolitionist and suffragist, and a tireless advocate of rights for women. She began her career in social reform by speaking out against slavery at a time when women were discouraged and prevented from public speaking. She was a pioneer in the women's rights movement, addressing several legislative bodies and urging them to pass laws giving more rights to women. Stone was also the first …Read More...

First Woman Doctor in the United States

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910) was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, and a social reformer in both the US and in England. By the time of Blackwell's death in 1910, the number of female doctors in the United States had risen to over 7,000.

Childhood and Early Years
Elizabeth Blackwell was born near Bristol, England February 3, 1821, the third daughter among nine children of sugar refiner …Read More...