Michals, Debra “Lucretia Mott.” National Women’s History Museum. 2017:

Click here for info from museum.


 "Under the Bonnet"

Under the Bonnet 

by Shelli Pentimall Bookler


Lucretia and James Mott were leaders in the Anti-Slavery Movement and Organizers of the PA Anti- Slavery Convention  held on May 14, 1838 at Pennsylvania Hall in Center City, Philadelphia.

In our play, "Under the Bonnet" we bring to life the important work of the Motts and Frederick Douglass in seeking to abolish slavery and obtain equal rights for all people.  


Relevant amendments:


13th Amendment - Ratified on December 6, 1865. The 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States and provides that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” 

Here is a link with the text and more information regarding issues related to this amendment: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendment/amendment-xiii


14th Amendment – Ratified on July 9, 1868. The 14th Amendment defined citizens as "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" and guaranteed equal protection of the laws – but in referring to the electorate, it introduced the word "male" into the Constitution for the first time.

Link: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendment/amendment-xiv


15th Amendment – Ratified February 3, 1870. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. (but not women) (also see voting rights act of 1965)

Link: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendment/amendment-xv


19th Amendment -Ratified August 18, 1920. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Women legally guaranteed the right to vote.

Link: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendment/amendment-xix


Other Relevant legislation and issues related to voting:


Voting Rights Act of 1965 – The Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote as guaranteed under the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Voting Rights Act is considered one of the most far-reaching pieces of civil rights legislation in U.S. history.

Link: https://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/voting-rights-1965


Pictured Above: Lucretia Mott - Heather Plank

                             James Mott - Robert Weick

Pictured Below: Frederick Douglass - Eric Carter

 "Discourse on Woman" speech by Lucretia Mott

December 17, 1849


An Article with more details about Pennsyslyvania Hall in Philadelphia:

The Pennsylvania Hall Association was a stockholders association formed in 1837 to erect a building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, dedicated "to Liberty and the Rights of Man." The Hall was erected on 6th Street, between Cherry and Race Streets. Many of the primary movers behind the Association were Quakers involved in the anti-slavery movement. The building was opened on May 14, 1838, but was destroyed by an angry mob on May 17, 1838.

An article about PA Hall: https://www.jstor.org/stable/274764?read-now=1&refreqid=excelsior%3A9b6c10a0b91b4006f9a397ec7aa8d1a4&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents


More about the World Anti-Slavery Convention where Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott first met: 

Exeter Hall, London, June 12-23, 1840 – From the published report of the convention: “The upper end and one side of the room were appropriated to ladies, of whom a considerable number were present, including several female abolitionists from the United States.” 

Hosted by the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS). More than 500 abolitionists from around the world in attendance and over 1000 spectators daily at public proceedings.  United by a common goal of ending slavery in their time and galvanized by the progress of the abolishing of slavery in British West Indies.


Article about the conference from Historians Against Slavery: http://www.historiansagainstslavery.org/main/the-world-antislavery-convention-of-1840/


James Mott wrote a pamphlet about this trip: Three Months in Great Britain (1841):



Women’s Rights Convention, Seneca Falls, NY – July, 19-20, 1848 – 8 Years after Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton first met in London, a group of women organized this conference in Seneca Falls, New York.  Lucretia Mott spoke on the second day of the conference. A document called The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, modeled after the Declaration of Independence, and specifically mentioning women’s rights was crafted by Stanton and presented at the convention. The convention was attended by 300 men and women and the Declaration was signed by 68 women and 32 men – including Lucretia Mott, James Mott & Frederick Douglass.  

Enfranchisement (the right to vote) was a heated topic at the conference, but was included in the Declaration. Lucretia Mott was hesitant, Stanton was a strong advocate, and Frederick Douglass gave a convincing speech advocating universal suffrage.


Here are a few links about the convention:


From The Constitution Center: https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/on-this-day-the-seneca-falls-convention-begins


New York Heritage Digital Collections: https://nyheritage.org/exhibits/recognizing-womens-right-vote/1848-womens-rights-convention-seneca-falls-and-rochester


Library of Congress (this site has more interesting links if you want to explore further): https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/july-19/


Frederick Douglass was also in attendance at the Seneca Falls Convention and The North Star (the newspaper Douglass founded) reported about it soon after it occurred:


The North Star – First published by Frederick Douglass on Dec. 3, 1847. The Motto of the paper is “Right is of no sex - truth is of no color – God is the Father of us all, and we are brethren.”  After Douglass attended the Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls he published an editorial about the rights of women (July 28, 1848).  

Here is a link: http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/abolitn/abwm03dt.html