Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis
|Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis|
August 7, 1813
Bloomfield, New York, U.S.
|Died||August 24, 1876
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Paulina Kellogg was born in Bloomfield, New York, to Captain Ebenezer Kellogg and Polly Saxton. The family moved to the frontier near Niagara Falls in 1817. Both her parents died, and in 1820 she went to live with her orthodox Presbyterian aunt in Le Roy, New York. She joined the church, although she found it hostile to outspoken women. She wanted to become a missionary but was unable to as the church did not allow single women to become missionaries.
She was courted by suitor Francis Wright, a merchant from a prosperous family from Utica, New York; they married in 1833. They had similar values and both resigned from their church to protest its pro-slavery stance and served on the executive committee of the Central New York Anti-Slavery Society. They also supported women's rights reforms, associating with feminists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Ernestine Rose. During this period Paulina Kellogg studied women's health. Francis Wright died in 1845; the couple had no children.
Following her husband's death she moved to New York to study medicine. In 1846 she gave lectures on anatomy and physiology to women only. She imported a medical mannequin and toured the eastern United States teaching women and urging them to become physicians. In 1849 she married Thomas Davis, an Irish-American Democrat from Providence, Rhode Island; they adopted two daughters. In 1850 she started to focus her energies on women's rights. She stopped lecturing and helped to arrange the 1850 National Women's Rights Convention in Worcester, Massachusetts, at which she presided and delivered the opening address. Except for one year, she was president of the National Woman's Rights Central Committee from 1850 to 1858. In 1853 she began editing the women's newspaper The Una, which she edited till 1855 when she handed it over to Caroline Wells Healey Dall.
In 1870 she arranged the twentieth anniversary of the Women's Suffrage Movement meeting, and published the proceeds as The History of the National Woman's Rights Movement.
- Lederman, S. H. Davis, Paulina Kellogg Wright. American National Biography Online Feb. 2000.