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Friday, May 20, 2011

May 20th


Born this day in 1825,Antoinette Brown Blackwell , minister. Blackwell was the first woman in the United States to be an ordained minister. Brown began her journey to the pulpit at an early age. Welcomed into her family's church Congregational Church at the age of nine and began her public speaking as young person.
Educated at Monroe County Academy which after, she taught school. But, this was what Brown wanted to do with her life. She wanted a degree in theology from Oberlin College and a career in the pulpit.
Brown earned the tuition and with the help from her parents who believed in higher learning for all, not just white men. Enrolling in 1848, after finishing all the courses women were allowed to study. And after much discussion, the school finally allow Brown to study but she was allowed to practice because the school board believed women were not suitable to being ministers. But, Brown was a prolific writer and powerful public speaker. After graduation, Oberlin still denied her a minister licence.
But, as they say, you can't hold a great woman down. Brown wrote for Frederick Douglass' abolitionist paper, The North Star.

Brown was also a woman who believed in Women's Rights and understood the Bible as not a text to subjugate women. This was a little unusual for one in the ministry.
She spoke at the first National Women's Rights Convention in 1850. A speech that was well received and lead to many speaking tours about abolition, temperance and Women's rights. Brown went ot speak at many future Women's Rights Conventions.
It must be noted, Antoinette Brown Blackwell was the only woman who attend the first National Women's Convention and was still alive when the 19th amendment.

The Sexes Throughout Nature in 1875in which she argued that evolution resulted in two sexes that were different but equal. She answered Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer who she considered to be the most influential men of her day aware she would be considered presumptuous for criticizing evolutionary theory but wrote that "will never be lessened by waiting". Darwin had written a letter to her in 1869, thanking her for a copy of her book, Studies in General Science. She also wrote a novel, The Island Neighbors, in 1871, and a collection of poetry, Sea Drift, in 1902.


On this day in 1867, the British Parliament rejected John Stuart Mills law on Women Suffrage.