Who was Susan B. Anthony?
Susan B. Anthony was an American writer, speaker, and abolitionist who was a leading figure in the movement for women’s voting rights. Raised in a Quaker home, Anthony went on to work as a teacher. She later became associated with elizabeth cady stanton and would eventually lead the American National Woman Suffrage Association.
Early years, family and education
Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. The second eldest of eight children born to a local cotton mill owner and his wife, only five of Anthony’s siblings lived to adulthood. One child was stillborn and another died at the age of two.
Anthony grew up in a Quaker family and developed a strong moral compass early on, spending much of his life working for social causes. In 1826 the Anthony family moved to Battenville, New York. Around this time, Anthony was sent to study at a Quaker school near Philadelphia.
After his father’s business failed in the late 1830s, Anthony returned home to help his family make ends meet. She found a job as a teacher. The Anthonys moved to a farm in the Rochester, New York area in the mid-1840s.
In the 1840s, Anthony’s family became involved in the fight to end slavery, also known as the abolitionist movement. The Anthony’s Rochester farm served as a meeting place for such famous abolitionists as frederick douglas. Around this time, Anthony became the head of the girls’ department at Canajoharie Academy, a position she held for two years.
Leaving the Canajoharie Academy in 1849, Anthony soon devoted more time to social problems. He was also involved in the temperance movement, whose goal was to limit or completely stop the production and sale of alcohol.
Anthony was inspired to fight for women’s rights while campaigning against alcohol. Anthony was denied the chance to speak at a temperance convention because she was a woman, and she later realized that no one would take women in politics seriously unless they had the right to vote.
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton
In 1851, Anthony attended an anti-slavery conference, where he met Stanton. The couple established the New York State Women’s Temperance Society in 1852. Before long, they were fighting for women’s rights, forming the New York State Women’s Rights Committee. Anthony also started petitions for women to have the right to own property and vote. She traveled extensively, campaigning on behalf of women.
In 1856, Anthony began working as an agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society. He spent years promoting the society’s cause until The civil War.
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After the Civil War ended, Anthony began to focus more on women’s rights. She and Stanton established the American Equal Rights Association in 1866, calling for the same rights to be granted to all, regardless of race or sex. In 1868 Anthony and Stanton also created and began producing The revolution, a weekly publication that lobbied for women’s rights. The newspaper’s motto was “Men their rights and nothing more; women their rights and nothing less.”
Women’s right to vote
In 1869, Anthony and Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association. Anthony was tireless in his efforts, giving speeches across the country to convince others to support voting rights for women.
He even took matters into his own hands in 1872, when he illegally voted in the presidential election. Anthony was arrested for the crime, and she unsuccessfully fought the charges; she was fined $100, which she never paid.
Even in her later years, Anthony never gave up her fight for women’s suffrage. In 1905 she met with President Theodore Roosevelt in Washington, DC, to lobby for an amendment giving women the right to vote. However, it would not be until 14 years after Anthony’s death, in 1920, that the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution.which gives all adult women the right to vote.
In the early 1880s, Anthony published the first volume of History of women’s suffrage — a project he co-edited with Stanton, Ida Husted Harper, and Matilda Joslin Gage. Several more volumes would follow.
Anthony also helped Harper record his own history, which resulted in the 1898 work. The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony: A History of the Evolving Status of Women.
Anthony died on March 13, 1906, at the age of 86, at his home in Rochester, New York. According to his obituary in The New York Timesshortly before his death, Anthony told his friend Anna Shaw, “To think that I’ve had over 60 years of fighting hard for a little bit of freedom and then dying without it seems so cruel.”
dollar susan b. Anthony
In recognition of her dedication and hard work, the US Department of the Treasury placed Anthony’s portrait on dollar coins in 1979, making her the first woman to receive such an honor.