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Women of the Hall

Year Honored: 1994
Birth: 1795 - Death: 1852
Born In: , Scotland
Died In: Ohio, United States of America
Achievements: Humanities
Educated In:
Schools Attended:
Worked In: New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio

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Fanny Wright

The first American woman to speak publicly against slavery and for the equality of women, Fanny Wright was a rebel who pursued equality for all. She lived according to her own ideals rather than society's dictates. Wright was an inspiration to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She was a friend to the Marquis de Lafayette, and with him visited Jefferson and Madison. In 1852 she published a treatise setting forth a plan for the gradual emancipation of all American slaves, and in 1825 created Nashoba, a settlement in Tennessee to train slaves for freedom. For a variety of reasons the project failed, and Wright then moved to New Harmony, where Robert Owen had created his Utopian community. She helped edit the New Harmony Gazette and gave public lectures - considered scandalous in society of the time. She supported the free-thinkers, publishing the Free Enquirer with Robert Owen, calling for birth control, liberalized divorce laws and more. Courageous throughout her life, her tombstone in Cincinnati reads, "I have wedded the cause of human improvement, staked on it my fortune, my reputation and my life."
Additional Sources:
Morris, Celia. Fanny Wright: Rebel in America. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992.

Perkins, A.J.G and Theresa Wolfson. Frances Wright, Free Enquirer: the Study of a Temperament. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1939.

Waterman, William Randall. Frances Wrights. New York: AMS. 1967.

Gilbert, Amos. Memoir of Frances Wright: The Pioneer Woman in the Cause of Human Rights. Cincinnati, Longley Brothers, 1885.

Views of Society and Manners in America Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press, 1821.

A Plan for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in the United States without Danger of Loss to the Citizens of the South. 1825.

Course of Popular Lectures. New York, 1829-1836.