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Author photo. Courtesy of the <a href="http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?strucID=567281&imageID=1220486"> NYPL Digital Gallery </a> (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

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Paulina W. Davis, née Kellogg, was born in Bloomfield, New York, and as a small child moved with her family to a rural area near Niagara Falls. In 1820, following the deaths of both her parents, she was sent to live with a pious Presbyterian aunt. Paulina planned to become a missionary, but was courted by Francis Wright, a wealthy merchant in Utica, and married him in 1833. They were active in their church until resigning in protest of its pro-slavery stance. Paulina worked with Ernestine Rose to petition the New York state legislature for married women's property rights. Following the death of her husband in 1845, she embarked on a career as a public speaker. She moved to New York City to study medicine, and in 1846 gave her first lectures in anatomy and physiology for an all-women audience. She toured the eastern USA with a mannequin to demonstrate the female anatomy to women, and urged them to seek careers as physicians. In 1849, she married Thomas Davis, a Rhode Island jeweler and abolitionist, and adopted two daughters. Paulina Davis helped organize and presided at the 1850 National Women's Rights Convention in Worcester, Massachusetts. Two years later, she launched The Una, a reform-minded periodical for women with articles on marriage, suffrage, education, and employment that lasted about a year. She was one of the founders of the New England Woman Suffrage Association, and later became involved in the National Woman Suffrage Association. In 1871, she published The History of the National Woman's Rights Movement.
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