Sue Young Histories

Martha Coffin Pelham Wright 1806 - 1875

November 27, 2007

pelham wrightMartha Coffin Pelham Wright 1806 - 1875 was a firm advocate of homeopathy and attended homeopathic conventions and supported homeopathy all her life. Homeopathy was central to the manifesto of demands for improved health care and human rights at this time.

She was the sister of homeopathic supporter Lucretia Coffiin Mott and cousin to Phoebe Hanaford who was married to homeopath Joseph Hanaford. Pelham Wright has been described as ’A very Dangerous Woman‘.

Often overshadowed by her 13-years-older sister, Lucretia Coffin Mott, Quaker feminist Martha Wright was an abolitionist and woman’s rights reformer in her own right.

Leader of the New York women’s rights and suffrage movements from the beginning (she was one of the planners of the Seneca Falls convention), with the support of her husband, Wright continued to be active in the women’s rights movement throughout her life.

President of numerous local, state, and national women’s rights associations and conventions, she was also a good friend of and constant consultant to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, becoming a founding member of both the Equal Rights Association in 1866 and the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869.

Martha Coffin Wright was one of five visionary women who organized the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, forever changing the course of American history.

She was also one of the few women who attended the 1833 founding meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society. An accomplished author, she wrote for local and national publications on anti-slavery and women’s rights issues.

She was elected President of the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1874, serving until her death in 1875.

Pelham Wright’s husband David was also a strong advocate of homeopathy, and they both wanted to send their daughter Eliza to train as a homeopath.

Her son William married into the family of homeopath Elizabeth Cady Stanton, her daughter Ellen married William Lloyd Garrison editor of the Liberator, abolitionist and advocate of homeopathy

Pelham Wright’s extended family contained some interesting people, including William Pelham Surveyor General of New Mexico (brother in law), and homeopathic advocate Thomas Mott Osbourne warden at Sing Sing prison (her grandson), Gallant John Pelham (her brother in law), Senator William Morris Davis (half brother to Lucretia’s son in Law Edward Morris Davis, himself an ardent abolitionist), Thomas Mayhew Governer of Martha’s Vineyard, General John Coffin, Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin (ancestors), and William Morris Davis Congressman and geomorphologist, Charles Davis politician, Abby Hopper Gibbons abolitionist (extended related family).

Pelham Wright was a neighbour of homeopathic supporter Frances Seward, wife of William Henry Seward Secretary of State for homeopathic supporter Abraham Lincoln, in Auburn New York.

Martha’s husband, David, was a lawyer who had worked in 1846 as a partner with William Henry Seward on one of his most famous cases, defending William Freeman, an African American accused of murder, on a plea of insanity.

October 9, 2007 Washington, DC — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution sponsored by Rep. Michael A. Arcuri (D-Utica) honoring women’s suffragist Martha Coffin Wright on the 200th anniversary of her birth and induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. continue reading:


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