In 1853 Antoinette Brown (later Blackwell) was ordained as the minister of a small Congregational church in northwestern New York.
She soon changed her faith, however, and became a Unitarian minister.
Earlier, she had studied religion at Oberlin College but was refused a degree from the divinity school because she was a woman.
Antoinette Brown married Charles Blackwell, a brother of two of the first U.S. women doctors, Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell. Another Blackwell brother, Henry, married women’s rights activist Lucy Stone.