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In Massachusetts, Brook Farm was founded by Sophia Ripley and her husband George Ripley in 1841 as an attempt to find a way in which men and women could work together, with women receiving the same compensation as men. In the fall of 1841, Elizabeth Cady Stanton gave her first public speech, on the subject of the Temperance movement, in front of 100 women in Seneca Falls. Neal that she moved both the audience and herself to tears, saying "I infused into my speech an Homeopathic dose of woman's rights, as I take good care to do in many private conversations." In March 1848, Garrison, the Motts, Abby Kelley Foster, Stephen Symonds Foster and others hosted an Anti-Sabbath meeting in Boston, to work toward the elimination of laws that apply only to Sunday, and to gain for the laborer more time away from toil than just one day of rest per week.
Lucretia Mott and two other women were active within the executive committee, On April 7, 1848, in response to a citizen's petition, the New York State Assembly passed the Married Woman's Property Act, giving women the right to retain property they brought into a marriage, as well as property they acquired during the marriage.
Starting in 1832, abolitionist and journalist William Lloyd Garrison organized anti-slavery associations which encouraged the full participation of women.
In the decades leading up to 1848, a small number of women began to push against restrictions imposed upon them by society. In 1831, Reverend Charles Grandison Finney began allowing women to pray aloud in gatherings of men and women.The Grimké sisters published their views against slavery in the late 1830s, and they began speaking to mixed gatherings of men and women for Garrison's American Anti-Slavery Society, as did Abby Kelley.Although these women lectured primarily on the evils of slavery, the fact that a woman was speaking in public was itself a noteworthy stand for the cause of women's rights.State statutes and common law prohibited women from inheriting property, signing contracts, serving on juries and voting in elections.Women's prospects in employment were dim: they could expect only to gain a very few service-related jobs and were paid about half of what men were paid for the same work.
These progressive state laws were seen by American women as a sign of new hope for women's rights.