Most supporters of women’s rights were introduced to reform efforts through the abolition movement of the 1930s, many of them as members of the American Anti-Slavery Society led by William Lloyd Garrison. Abolitionist societies provided women with opportunities to speak, write and organize on behalf of slaves, and in some cases gave them leadership roles. Among such prominent female abolitionists were the sisters Angelica and Sarah Grimke, Lucretia Mott, Harriet Beecher Stowe and the former slave Sojouner Truth, whose “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech in 1851 earned her lasting fame. In 1840, when Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, they were forced into the gallery along with all the women who attended. Their indignation led them, eight years later, to organize the first U.S. women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York.
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