Speaking to the first congress of the American Association for the Advancement of Women, in New York City, Maria Mitchell declared, “Public sentiment does not yet require learning in women, society is decidedly opposed to it; and however public sentiment may be construed, ‘society’ is decidedly fashioned by women.  It belongs to women themselves to introduce a better order of things.”

Mitchell helped found the association, of which she was president from 1874 until 1876.      

Maria Mitchell, “The Higher Education of Women,” Papers and Letters Presented at the First Woman’s Congress of the Association for the Advancement of Women