John Neal (1793-1876), an advocate of women’s suffrage and other liberal causes, built the house in 1836. He was probably influenced by his mother, Rachel Neal (1769-1849), a Quaker, who opened a school for young children after her husband died, leaving her with twin babies (John and his sister Rachel). She continued to operate the school for the rest of her life. In his essay on True Womanhood, Neal said, “women have not only a right to think for themselves, but to act for themselves, and take the consequences, here and hereafter, without being accountable to us, any more than we are to them.”
See also site W16.