Early Life and Influences
Lucy Stone was born on August 13, 1818 on her family's farm at Coy's Hill in West Brookfield, Massachusetts. She was the eighth of nine children of Hannah Matthews Stone (born Hannah Bowman Matthews) and Francis Stone. Her father drank too much hard cider, had a raging temper, and ruled the household as master. The family lived close to the land; to augment the food supply, the boys fished, and hunted squirrels, woodchucks, deer, and birds. To supplement the family income, the girls wove fabric, canned fruits, and sewed piecework for the local shoe factory. All the children tended the family's cows. Despite a steady but modest income from selling cheeses and shoes, Hannah Stone had to beg her husband for money to buy clothing and other necessities for the family. Hannah sometimes stole coins from his purse, and she sold an occasional cheese out of his sight. Lucy was unhappy seeing the subterfuge required of her mother to maintain a simple household.
When the Bible was quoted to her, defending the subordinate position of women to men, Stone declared that when she grew up, she'd learn Greek and Hebrew so she could correct the mistranslation that she was confident lay behind such verses.
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