Taxation in New Jersey


Taxation in New Jersey


The town of Orange, New Jersey sent Lucy Stone a tax bill in 1857. She returned it with a note that began:

"Enclosed I return my tax bill, without paying it. My reason for doing so is that women suffer taxation, and yet have no representation, which is not only unjust to one-half the adult population, but is contrary to our theory of government."

She promised that when women had equal suffrage, “Then shall we cheerfully pay our taxes—not till then.”

The town responded by entering Stone’s house in January 1858 and seizing household goods to satisfy her debt. They took a table and chairs, and engraved portraits of two of the most famous abolitionists in the US, William Lloyd Garrison and Salmon P. Chase. 

Perhaps these, made in 1855 by Leopold Grozelier. Via @SmithsonianNPG 

According to Linda Kerber, Stone’s friend Thomas Wentworth Higginson teased her: “The selection of these portraits will be so melodramatic for your biography that I suspect you of having bribed the sheriff to seize them.”

Lucy Stone sent that letter to the Orange, New Jersey tax authorities on Dec 18, 1858. They seized her tables and chairs and 2 portraits and sold them at auction to satisfy her tax debt.

#Suffrage100 #VotesforWomen 

[My original post said incorrectly that it was Dec 1858; it was 1857 and the seizure was in January ‘58.]


Daily Suffragist


December 29, 2020


Lucy Stone 1855 NPG.jpg
Salmon P Chase 1855 NPG.jpg
NJ day 3 thread.png


Daily Suffragist, “Taxation in New Jersey,” Daily Suffragist, accessed July 14, 2024,

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