The public career of Lucretia Mott is in perfect harmony with her private life. “My life in the domestic sphere,” she says, “has passed much as that of other wives and mothers of this country. I have had six children. Not accustomed to resigning them to the care of a nurse, I was much confined to them during their infancy and childhood.” Notwithstanding her devotion to public matters her private duties were never neglected. Many of our readers will no doubt remember Mrs. Mott at Anti-slavery meetings, her mind intently fixed upon the proceedings, while her hands were as busily engaged in useful sewing or knitting. It is not our place to inquire too closely into this social circle, but we may say that Mrs. Mott’s history is a living proof that the highest public duties may be reconciled with perfect fidelity to private responsibilities. It is so with men, why should it be different with women?
In her marriage, Mrs. Mott was fortunate. James Mott was a worthy partner for such a woman. He was born in June, 1788, in Long Island. He was an anti-slavery man, almost before such a thing as anti-slavery was known. In 1812 he refused to use any article which was produced by slave labor. The directors of that greatest of all railway corporations, the Underground Rail Road, will never forget his services. He died, January 26, 1868, having nearly completed his 80th year. “Not only in regard to Slavery,” said the “Philadelphia Morning Post,” at the time, “but in all things was Mr. Mott a reformer, and a radical, and while his principles were absolute, and his opinions uncompromising, his nature was singularly generous and humane. Charity was not to him a duty, but a delight; and the benevolence, which, in most good men, has some touch of vanity or selfishness, always seemed in him pure, unconscious and disinterested. His life was long and happy, and useful to his fellow-men. He had been married for fifty-seven years, and none of the many friends of James and Lucretia Mott, need be told how much that union meant, nor what sorrow comes with its end in this world.” Mary Grew pronounced his fitting epitaph when she said: “He was ever calm, steadfast, and strong in the fore front of the conflict.”
In her seventy-ninth year, the energy of Lucretia Mott is undiminished, and her soul is as ardent in the cause to which her life has been devoted, as when in her youth she placed the will of a true woman against the impotence of prejudiced millions. With the abolition of Slavery, and the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, her greatest life-work ended. Since then, she has given much of her time to the Female Suffrage movement, and so late as November, 1871, she took an active part in the Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Peace Society.