One of the first to petition the government for women’s rights was a Polish rabbi’s daughter, Ernestine Rose.
She came to the United States with her husband in 1836 and that year began petitioning the legislature in New York State to permit married women to own property.
With Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other feminists, she brought petition after petition to the legislature asking for women’s economic rights.
In 1848 married women won some property rights in New York State. In 1838 the Mississippi Supreme Court agreed that, following the tradition of her Chickasaw people, Betsy Allen’s property belonged to her and could not be taken to pay her white husband’s debts.
In 1839 Mississippi became the first state to let a married woman hold property in her own name, as long as her husband agreed.
In 1838 Angelina Grimke became the first woman to address a state legislature.
She gave the Massachusetts legislators a petition against slavery signed by 20,000 women.