In 1840 Lucretia Mott, a Philadelphia Quaker, was one of several U.S. women delegates sent to London for the World Anti-Slavery Convention.
When the women arrived, however, they were not allowed to sit with the men in the meeting hall.
Instead, they had to sit behind a curtain in the balcony and could not speak to the convention.
At the meeting Mott became friends with the much younger Elizabeth Cady Stanton, whose husband was a delegate. Already a budding feminist, Stanton had refused to include the traditional promise to “obey” her husband in her marriage ceremony.
Mott and Stanton spent many hours walking around London and talking about the unfair treatment of the women delegates.
The two women were, in Stanton’s words, “resolved to hold a convention as soon as we returned home, and form a society to advocate the rights of women.”
Although eight years passed before they held their women’s convention, the idea had been born.