Woman of the Century/Lucy Newhall Colman
COLMAN, Mrs. Lucy Newhall, anti-slavery agitator and woman suffragist, born in Sturbridge, Worcester county, Mass., 26th July, 1817. Her maiden name was Danforth. Her mother was a LUCY NEWHALL COLMAN. Newhall and a direct descendant of John Alden and Priscilla. She was early a student of the fuzzling problem of slavery- in a land of freedom, in 1824 and up to 1830 a revival of religion swept over New England, and Lucy was again puzzled to understand the benefit of such a revival if human beings were elected to be saved from the beginning. She turned to the Bible and read, but Tier confusion became dee|>er. The result was that she became a Liberal in religion, a free thinker and a free speaker. She joined the Universalist Church while young, but afterwards became a Spiritualist. At the age of eighteen years she was married and went to Boston, Mass. Her husband died of consumption in 1841. In 1843 she was married a second time. In 1846 she began to agitate for equal rights for woman and for the emancipation of the slaves. In 1852 her husband, who was an engineer on the Central Railroad, was killed in a railroad accident, leaving her alone with a seven-year old daughter. Mrs. Colman, left with a child and no resources, asked the railroad company for work, but they refused the favor. She applied for the position of clerk at the ladies' window in a post-office, for work in a printing office, and for other positions, but was in each case rejected because she was a woman. She then began to teach in Rochester, N. Y., doing for $350 a year the work that a man received f&ao for doing. The "colored school" in Rochester was offered to her, and she took it, resolving that it should die. She advised the colored people to send their children to the schools in their own districts, until the school was dead. This was done in one year. Mrs. Colman was invited by Miss Susan B. Anthony to prepare a paper to read at a State convention of teachers. The paper caused a sensation. Mrs. Colman urged the abolition of corporal punishment in the schools of Rochester. Wearying of school work, she decided to begin her labor as an abolitionist. She delivered her first lecture in a Presbyterian church near Rochester, which had been secured by her friend, Mrs. Amy Post She attented the annual convention of the Western Anti-Slavery Society in Michigan, and that meeting w as turned into a spiritualistic gathering. She lectured in various towns in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Her meetings were disturbed, and she and her co-workers were subjected to all kinds of annoyances and to malicious misrepresentation in the press on many occasions. She attempted some work in Iowa and Wisconsin, but the reformers were few in those sparsely settled States. In Pennsylvania and New York she did much in arousing public sentiment on slavery and woman's rights. In 1862 her daughter. Gertrude, entered the New England Woman's Medical College, and died within two weeks. The funeral was conducted by Frederick Douglass. Then Mrs. Colman went to Washington to serve as matron in the National Colored Orphan Asylum. She afterwards was appointed teacher of a colored school in Georgetown, D. C. She has held many other positions of the philanthropic kind. In late years she has been conspicuous among the Free-thinkers. Her home is now in Syracuse, N. Y.