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A Woman of the Century:   A Crowdsourcing Project of the Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries

January 1 - January 7

Women of the Week

Reformer Lucretia Coffin Mott, who was born on January 3, 1793, and evangelist Clementina Butler, who was born on January 7, 1862, are this week's Women of the Week.  

  • To learn about them by viewing their items, please click on their images.  

  • To read their biographical sketches in A Woman of the Century, please click on the highlighted page numbers to the left of their images.

Lucretia Mott.jpg

MOTT, Mrs. Lucretia Coffin

January 3, 1793


Nantucket, MA

p. 526

Reformer Lucretia Coffin Mott was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on January 3, 1793.  She was related to Nantucket natives Anna Gardner, Rev. Phebe Anne Hanaford, and Juliet H. Severance, as well as to Benjamin Franklin.

Lucretia's Quaker family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, and then to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She went to Millbrook, New York, to attend Nine Partners School, a Quaker school, where she met James Mott, a teacher at the school.  Lucretia and James were married in 1811. After graduating from Nine Partners School, she taught there.  Later, Lucretia became a Quaker minister. James and Lucretia made their home in Philadelphia.

Throughout her life, Lucretia was active in reform efforts, writing and speaking eloquently and passionately about the topics that she believed in, as well as organizing and attending meetings and conventions.  Lucretia was instrumental in the founding of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1834.  She also was very involved with the Pennsylvania Peace Society, the American Anti-Slavery Society, and women's suffrage activities.  She, her sister Martha Coffin Wright, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were the movers behind the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.  She also worked closely with Lucy Stone and Susan Brownell Anthony. Since she was very interested in supporting higher education, Lucretia was one of the founders of Swarthmore College and actively supported the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. 

In addition to the individuals mentioned above, her vast personal network included numerous people, including Rachel Foster Avery, Amanda Deyo, Mary J. Scarlett Dixon, Frederick Douglass, Priscilla Holmes Drake, William Lloyd Garrison, Anna Davis Hallowell,  Agnes Nininger Kemp, Martha H. Mowry, Wendell Phillips, M. Adeline Thompson, and John Greenleaf Whittier.

Lucretia passed away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 11, 1880.

Clementina Butler (2).jpg

BUTLER, Miss Clementina

January 7, 1862


Bareilly, India

p. 142-143

Evangelist Clementina Butler was born in Bareilly, India on January 7, 1862.  The daughter of Methodist Episcopal minister and evangelist Rev. William Butler and evangelist Clementina Rowe Butler, Clementina moved quite often during her childhood.  After leaving India, the Butlers moved to Mexico City, Mexico.  They returned to Newton Center, Massachusetts, in 1866.

Not surprisingly, Clementina became an evangelist, too.  In addition to founding the Committee on Christian Literature for Women and Children in Mission Fields, she was a member of the American Ramabi Association and the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society.

After her father's death, Clementina wrote William Butler The Founder of Two Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  By His Daughter,  which was published in 1902.

Clementina moved to Providence, Rhode Island, in January of 1916 and soon embarked on missionary trips to Cuba, Panama, and Mexico for conferences and missionary work.

After Ramabi's death in 1922, Clementina, who was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Ramabi Association, wrote Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati; Pioneer in the Movement for the  Education of the Child-widow of India.

While living at 84 Sycamore Avenue in West Barrington, Rhode Island, in March of 1932, seventy-year-old Clementina took a trip to Bombay, India. 

In 1934, she traveled to Maryland to give talks about her work.  On April 13, The Midland Journal of Rising Sun, Maryland, discussed her recent talk at the Methodist Episcopal church.  Speaking about Clementina, it noted:  "Miss Butler is a forceful speaker and her extensive travel and knowledge of affairs enable her to give facts in an interesting manner.  Her recent work has been in Mexico."

Clementina's mother was one of the founders of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Boston's Tremont Street Methodist Episcopal Church in 1869. During the 1940s, Clementina paid for new windows at the church to honor the founders and the first two missionaries.

She passed away on December 5, 1949, and was buried near her parents in Newton Cemetery in Newton, Massachusetts.