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Amelia Stone Quinton 1833 ~ 1926

 

Was born near Syracuse, New York, of English ancestry and directly descended from both Pilgrims and Puritan New England stock. Her father was Jacob Thompson Stone, and her mother Mary Bennett Stone. In the early days her family was intermarried with the Adams family and the son of one was the father of Samuel Adams; another member was aunt to John Adams, the second president of the United States and a great-aunt to John Quincy Adams, sixth president Mrs. Quinton's early education was acquired in one of the female seminaries of that time.

She spent a year as a teacher in a Georgia Seminary, after which she became the wife of the Rev. James F. Swanson, a Christian Minister of that state, whose death occurred within a few years. After this Mrs. Swanson returned north and taught at a female seminary in Philadelphia. During this time she turned to religious and philanthropic work, to which she gave some valuable years. Her first service in this work was among the poor and degraded of New York City. One day of the week she spent in the prison, one in the almshouse, and another in some infirmary or reformatory for women. One service was a weekly Bible class for sailors on shore. Very soon she was invited to go out and represent the Woman's Christian Temperance Union to organize unions and later was elected by the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union as a state organizer.

While on a tour in Europe for her health and a rest from her labors, she met Professor Richard Quinton, a native of London and lecturer on historical and astronomical subjects in the institutions of that city. They were married and continued to reside in London for some time. In 1878 they came to America, where Professor Quinton resumed his work, lecturing in Philadelphia, which now became their home. In April, 1879, her friend, Miss Mary L. Bonney, became deeply stirred on the subject of national wrongs to the Indians and enlisted the interest of Mrs. Quinton in this work. Mrs. Quinton had had such large experience in Christian work that she knew how to bring a cause before the people. Miss Bonney agreed to supply the means if Mrs. Quinton would plan and work as the way was opened. She studied up the subject in the libraries, prepared literature and petitions, which she circulated, securing many sympathizers and helpers throughout the United States.

The first petition, an enormous roll three hundred feet long, was presented to the Congress of the United States in February, 1880. A society was formed, Miss Bonney was elected president; and the constitution was written by Mrs. Quinton. An executive board was elected, nominated at her request, by pastors of churches, and it became the Indian Treaty-Keeping and Protective Association. Before the end of the year, Mrs. Quinton had secured thirteen associate organizations in five different states. Today, the Association, now the Woman's National Indian Association, has branches, officers or helpers, in forty states of the Union and more than twenty missions in Indian tribes have been established, and during 1891, missionary work was done in fifteen tribes. In 1884, when Miss Bonney retired from the presidency of the association, Mrs. Mary Lowe Dickinson was elected to that office; which she held for three years, when Mrs. Quinton was unanimously elected president of this association. On one of her tours through the United States, she bore a government commission and did service in behalf of Indian education.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.

 

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