Phoebe Ann Coffin Hanaford

Phoebe Ann Coffin Hanaford May 6, 2008

Phoebe Ann Coffin Hanaford was born on this day in 1829.

One of the first women ordained as a Universalist minister, she was the first ordained in New England. Raised a Quaker, Hanaford was a successful writer, and was active as an abolitionist and suffragist. She was ordained by the Hingham Universalist church in 1868.

Her first pulpit was in Waltham, Massachusetts, then she accepted a call to New Haven, Connecticut where she also served as chaplain for the Connecticut Legislature. Later she served a congregation in New Jersey, after which she became an independent lecturer, although she did return to the pulpit to serve another congregation in New Haven before finally retiring from the ministry.

Originally married to a homeopathic physician, after they separated she began living with Ellen Miles, with whom she would live for forty-five years, their relationship ending only with Miles death.

The Reverend Ms Hanaford would officiate at the memorial services for both Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

One of the few pioneer suffragists to live long enough to cast her vote in national elections, she died in 1921.

An amazing figure.

Worth remembering…

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