Elizabeth Pease Nichol


Elizabeth Pease Nichol

Infobox Person
name = Elizabeth Pease Nichol


image_size = 240px
caption = Pease in 1840.
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birth_date = 1807
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death_date = 1897
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nationality =British
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occupation = Campaigner
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religion = Quaker


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Elizabeth Pease Nichol (1807–1897) abolitionist, anti-segregationist, woman suffragist, and anti-vivisectionist [ [http://www.oxforddnb.com/ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography] ] In 1853 she married Dr. John Pringle Nichol (1804-1859), Regius Professor of Astronomy at the University of Glasgow much against her family's wishes. She attended an important convention in 1840 on Anti-Slavery.

Biography

Elizabeth Pease was born to Joseph Pease and his wife Elizabeth Beaumont. Her father had started the Peace Society in the year she was born ; which was also the year that the slave trade (not slavery) in the British Empire was abolished.

In 1837, Pease was the leader of the Darlington Ladies Anti-Slavery Society. She was encouraged by Charles Stuart an Anti-Slavery lecturer to send a female delegate to a national body being arranged by Joseph Sturge. Pease however resisted these attempts as she did not seek the limelight but just wanted to work for the causes she held to be important. [ [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Px8bo7ELSToC&pg=PA220&lpg=PA220&dq=%22elizabeth+pease+nichol%22&source=web&ots=Oq6uGWyPch&sig=a61k5nNRnLLwVhztM_Xg0Pw5jY8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result#PPA51,M1 Women Against Slavery] , Clare Midgley, p51]

In 1840, Pease journeyed to London to attend the World's anti-slavery convention on 12 June 1840. Before the conference started she met Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. [ [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=giffod3v0FsC&pg=RA1-PA463&lpg=RA1-PA463&dq=%22elizabeth+pease+nichol%22&source=web&ots=IbaHau3t_h&sig=m-OuKI6wYtoR3f8jrEXEA2eKEXQ&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result#PRA1-PA462,M1 The Women's Suffrage Movement] , Elizabeth Crawford, p 462, accessed 4 August 2008] These ladies were amongst many who were delagates from America at the conference.

Just before the "World's Anti-Slavery Convention" opened, the British organiser Joseph Sturge explained that female delegates would not be allowed. This "insane innovation, this woman-intruding delusion," was rebuked by the leading English Anti-Slavery members. Some of the male delegates from America sided with the women, including George Bradburn, Wendell Phillips, James Mott, William Adam, Isaac Winslow, J. P. Miller and Henry B. Stanton. William Lloyd Garrison, who was not there until the 17th, [http://www.archive.org/stream/memorialofgeorge00braduoft A Memorial of George Bradburn] , Frances H. Bradburn, 1883] refused to take his seat until there was equality in seating. [http://www.assumption.edu/whw/old/Massachusetts%20in%20the%20woman.html Massachusetts in the woman suffrage movement. A general, political, legal and legislative history from 1774, to 1881] , By Harriet H. Robinson, accessed July 19 2006] Interestingly, Henry Grew spoke in favour of the men's rights to exclude women despite his daughter being one of the excluded delegates. [ [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=pkp95JsElu4C&dq=%2B%22Mary+Grew%22&lr=&client=firefox-a&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0 Reforming Men and Women: Gender in the Antebellum City] , Bruce Dorsey, p.179, 2002, ISBN 0801438977 accessed July 21 2008] The American women had to join the other female observers like Lady Byron, Anne Knight and Pease and they were not allowed to participate in the convention.

The picture above shows her in a painting made to commemorate the event which attracted delegates from America, France, Haiti, Australia, Ireland, Jamaica and Barbados. [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/portrait.asp?LinkID=mp00224&rNo=0&role=sit The Anti-Slavery Society Convention] , 1840, Benjamin Robert Haydon, accessed 19 July 2008] With the exception of Mary Clarkson, all of the wowen in the painting are shown to the far right and none of them is in the foreground of the painting. Pease had attended with her good friend Anne Knight and several other friends, but it was Knight and Pease who made the female notables chosen for the painting.

In 1853 she married Dr. John Pringle Nichol (1804-1859), Regius Professor of Astronomy at the University of Glasgow much against her family's wishes as Nicholl was a Presbyterian. She had to leave the Society of Friends (Quakers).

References


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