Dog Days Special: Lucretia Mott’s Birthday is (NOT) Coming Soon — But We’ll Talk About It Anyway ,

Yes, Lucretia would be 225 years old on January 3, 2020.

And 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!)

(You really can read it, or try to, online here.)


Watch this space tomorrow, August 30, when more will be revealed!


I find Lucretia Mott both inspiring and fascinating. And one of my  big questions about her remains unanswered; it is:


Do What?

What else? ALL of it:

She had six children, planted many large gardens, and all of them grew along with her social activism, while her husband labored 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 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 effective 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 spouse 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, all by hand.

And, in 1855, she helped Jane Johnson escape. (Okay, she had lots of company for that.)


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 forget 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 August 30.

Lucretia was plain til the end. Here is the marker for her and James in the Fairhill Burial Ground in north Philadelphia.

Detail of Lucretia Mott’s grave stone , buried alonside her husband , James Mott. At Mott’s Graveside in Historic Fair Hill Burial Ground,

More on Friday, when we’ll say a very early “Happy Birthday, Lucretia!” (She’d probably tut-tut us for doing it, being much too busy with her causes –and maybe ironing sheets– to bother with such vain trifles. But we’ll do it anyway.)

5 thoughts on “Dog Days Special: Lucretia Mott’s Birthday is (NOT) Coming Soon — But We’ll Talk About It Anyway ,”

  1. Hey Chuck. I couldn’t click on the “failed” and “figured out why”, want to know what is there. Love Ben Schultz

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