Category Archives: Lucretia Mott

In the Marriage Union the Independence of the Husband and Wife Will Be Equal, Their Dependence Mutual, and Their Obligations Reciprocal

Lucretia Mott? Louis K. Anspacher? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: Historically, the marriage contract has been unequal. A different vision was presented by reformers in the nineteenth century:

In the true marriage relation the independence of the husband and the wife is equal, their independence mutual, and their obligations reciprocal.

Would you please explore the provenance of this expression?

Quote Investigator: In 1841 the prominent women’s rights activist Lucretia Mott delivered a speech in Boston, Massachusetts during which she spoke about the changes she wished to see in the relations between men and women. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

I believe the tendency of truth, on this subject, is to equalize the sexes; and that, when truth directs us, there will be no longer assumed authority on one side, or admitted inferiority on the other; but that as we advance in the cultivation of all our powers, physical as well as intellectual and moral, we shall see that our independence is equal, our dependence mutual, and our obligations reciprocal.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

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  1. 1841 October 15, The Liberator, Speech by Lucretia Mott at the Marlboro’ Chapel, Boston on September 23, 1841, Quote Page 4 (also 168), Column 3, Boston, Massachusetts. (Newspapers_com)