A life consistent with his views, was a life of humility and universal benevolence, and such was his. It was a life, as it were in Heaven, while yet on earth, for it soared above and beyond the corrupt and slavish influences of earthly passions.
His interest in temperance never failed him. On his death-bed he would call persons to him, who needed such advice, and admonish them on the subject of using strong drinks, and his last expression of interest in any humanitarian movement, was an avowal of his belief in the great good to arise from a prohibitory liquor law.
To a friend, who entered his sick room, a few days before his death, he said: “Well, E., thee is preparing to go to the West.” The friend replied: “Yes, and Daniel, I suppose thee is preparing to go to eternity.” There was an affirmative reply, and E. inquired, “How does thee find it?” Daniel said: “I don’t find much to do, I find that I have not got a hard master to deal with. Some few things which I have done, I find not entirely right.” He quitted the earthly service of the Master, on the 17th day of the eighth month, 1852.
A young physician, son of one of his old friends, after attending his funeral, wrote to a friend, as follows: “To quote the words of Webster, ’We turned and paused, and joined our voices with the voices of the air, and bade him hail! and farewell!’ Farewell, kind and brave old man! The voices of the oppressed whom thou hast redeemed, welcome thee to the Eternal City.”
Of all the women who served the Anti-slavery cause in its darkest days, there is not one whose labors were more effective, whose character is nobler, and who is more universally respected and beloved, than Lucretia Mott. You cannot speak of the slave without remembering her, who did so much to make Slavery impossible. You cannot speak of freedom, without recalling that enfranchised spirit, which, free from all control, save that of conscience and God, labored for absolute liberty for the whole human race. We cannot think of the partial triumph of freedom in this country, without rejoicing in the great part she took in the victory. Lucretia Mott is one of the noblest representatives of ideal womanhood. Those who know her, need not be told this, but those who only love her in the spirit, may be sure that they can have no faith too great in the beauty of her pure and Christian life.
This book would be incomplete without giving some account, however brief, of Lucretia Mott’s character and labors in the great work to which her life has been devoted. To write it fully would require a volume. She was born in 1793, in the island of Nantucket, and is descended from the Coffins and Macys, on the father’s side, and from the Folgers, on the mother’s side, and through them is related to Dr. Benjamin Franklin. Her maiden name was Lucretia Coffin.
During the absence of her father on a long voyage, her mother was engaged in mercantile business, purchasing goods in Boston, in exchange for oil and candles, the staples of the island. Mrs. Mott says in reference to this employment: “The exercise of women’s talent in this line, as well as the general care which devolved upon them in the absence of their husbands, tended to develop their intellectual powers, and strengthened them mentally and physically.”