Who was Jane Johnson, and why was she racing down Philadelphia streets in a coach with Lucretia Mott in September of 1855? And why were federal marshals trying to catch them??
And why did Johnson run through Mott’s house and out the back door?
There’s two ways to find out the answers to these (and many other) exciting questions.
One is hard, the other is easy . . . .
The first way is the harder one:
One: Read this letter Lucretia wrote to a Friend about it. (Good luck!)
Two: Join me on this First Day, Third Month 5, as Lucretia would say, (that’s Sunday March 4 for us non-plain speakers).
I’ll be at the Orange County Main Library in Hillsborough NC, at 1 PM. (The library is at 137 West Margaret Lane, Hillsborough). I’ll be giving a talk about Lucretia then, which will reveal all. (Well, as much as I can in an hour or so.)
I find Lucretia Mott both inspiring and fascinating. And one of my big questions about her remains unanswered; it is;
HOW DID SHE DO IT??
Do What? ALL of it:
She raised six children, planted many large gardens, and all of them grew along with her social activism, while her husband struggled to establish himself in business.
She also hosted a steady stream of relatives and guests, cooked up a storm, kept house (some reports say she IRONED her sheets!). Yet she also knew how to conduct herself in public, even amid intense controversy and even violence. She was a nationally known public speaker, at a time when women weren’t supposed to be heard in public at all; she was an organizer; and she was an activist/agitator on so many issues I lose count.
She was also a busy Quaker, at both local and yearly meeting levels, and helped shake up the Society of Friends both inside and out. Plus a devoted wife to James Mott (they were married 57 years), and followed a large network of relatives by many visits and writing an endless stream of letters, by hand.
And, in 1855, she helped Jane Johnson escape. (Okay, she had help.)
Sometimes I think of myself as an activist, even if mostly retired; but reading about her, I feel like the world’s Number Two Slacker. (I forgot the name of who’s Number One.)
And for years she was a target of traditionalist Quakers, who tried repeatedly to have her disowned.
But they failed every time. And I figured out why, and will tell all on Sunday.
Lucretia was plain til the end. Here is the marker for her and James in the Fairhill Burial Ground in north Philadelphia.
See thee First Day (Sunday, March 5) at the Orange County Main Library, 137 West Margaret Lane in Hillsborough NC, at 1 PM.