I do not wish [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.
Mary Wollstonecraft was a writer and philosopher, and one of the earliest feminist writers. Her book, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, is one of the most important documents in the history of women’s rights.
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (September 24, 1825-February 22, 1911), was an African-American writer, lecturer, and political activist, who promoted abolition, civil rights, women’s rights, and temperance. “Talk as you will of woman’s deep capacity for loving,” Watkins preached, “of the strength of her affectional nature. I do not deny it; but will the mere possession of any human love, fully satisfy all the demands of her whole being? . . . But woman—the true woman—if you would render her happy, it needs more than the mere development of her affectional nature. Her conscience should be enlightened, her faith in the true and right established, and scope given to her Heaven-endowed and God-given faculties.”
“I have no recollection of ever considering the question of whether I would preach or not. I never deliberately chose the profession of ministry; from the moment I believed in Universalism it was a matter of course that I was to preach it.”
Augusta Jane Chapin (July 16, 1836-June 30, 1905), Universalist minister and educator, was one of the earliest women to be ordained in ministry. She was the first woman to sit on the Council of the General Convention of Universalists. She was also a groundbreaker for women seeking higher education and advanced degrees. On December 7, 1864 she was ordained to the Universalist ministry at Lansing, Michigan. More…
Running in the Concord woods early one fall morning, she stopped to see the sunshine over the meadows. “A very strange and solemn feeling came over me as I stood there,” she wrote in her journal, “with no sound but the rustle of the pines, no one near me, and the sun so glorious, as for me alone. It seemed as if I felt God as I never did before, and I prayed in my heart that I might keep that happy sense of nearness all my life.”- Louisa May Alcott
(November 29, 1832-March 6, 1888), best known as the author of Little Women, was an advocate of abolition, women’s rights, and temperance. Her stories, novels, and poems helped to support the Alcott family, and most have now been republished, widening her reputation beyond that of children’s author and bringing fresh critical notice to her work.