And the Spirit Moved Them
Nearly a century before ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, a group of 71 delegates from seven states gathered in New York in 1837 for the first Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women. It was the birth of the women’s rights movement in our country.
Author and activist Helen LaKelly Hunt recalls the milestone event—the first instance of political organization by American women—in a discussion of her book And the Spirit Moved Them: The Lost Radical History of America's First Feminists. Though minimized in history because of its interracial participation and religious tenor, the 1837 convention established a blueprint for intersectional feminism.
Hunt, half-sister of the late Kansas City Chiefs founder and owner Lamar Hunt, helped found the Sister Fund, Women’s Funding Network, and Women Moving Millions, and is the author of Faith and Feminism. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001.