Lucy Stone - Motherhood and Taxes

Motherhood and Taxes

Stone and Blackwell set up house in Orange, New Jersey, and Stone bore her first child in September 1857: Alice Stone Blackwell. Blackwell attended the birth, but both before and afterward was often away on business, leaving Stone alone to raise the child. When the infant was only a few months old, Stone protested a tax assessed on her property, arguing since she was not able to vote, that this was "taxation without representation". The state of New Jersey sent a constable to her home on January 18, 1858 and some of her furniture was taken outside and auctioned off, starting with a marble table and two steel-plate portraits, one of William Lloyd Garrison and the other of Ohio Governor Salmon P. Chase. A sympathetic neighbor bought these three items for $10.50 and returned them to Stone. Enough was realized from the brief sale to meet the tax requirement. Publicity from the refusal to pay taxes served to highlight the cause for women's rights; Stone made no further trouble with tax officials. Later stories about Stone's feminine tax resistance involved tales of a much grander auction that included sentimental items such as a baby cradle and carriage, and even the whole house.

For the next six years, Stone passed the suffragist baton to Susan Anthony in order to stay at home to raise her daughter. She wrote letters to friends and political figures in support of the causes she had been actively promoting. She complained to friends of gaining weight and becoming matronly. In June 1859, after seven months of pregnancy, Stone bore a son prematurely, but the child died.

Read more about this topic:  Lucy Stone

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