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Susan B. Anthony

woman suffrage advocate

Susan B. Anthony

Susan Brownell Anthony was born in Adams, Massachusetts, on February 15, 1820, the second of eight children in a family of devout Quakers. Her family moved to Battenville, New York, in 1827, and in 1845 settled permanently in Rochester, New York. From 1839 to 1849 she taught school.

Joining the temperance movement in 1848, Anthony was disappointed to learn that women were not allowed to actively participate. In 1852 she attended a temperance rally in Albany, New York, but was not allowed to speak because she was a woman. Soon after, she formed the Woman's State Temperance Society of New York.

In 1851, Anthony met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a leader of the women's rights movement. The two became close friends and co-workers, and from 1854 to 1860 they concentrated on reforming New York State laws discriminating against women. Anthony would often deliver speeches written by Stanton, who was frequently occupied with her young children.

From 1856 to 1861 Anthony became involved with the American Anti-Slavery Society, organizing meetings and frequently giving lectures. In 1863, she founded the Women's Loyal League, an organization dedicated to the emancipation of slaves. During the Reconstruction Era she protested the violence inflicted on blacks and was one of the few to urge full participation of blacks in the woman suffrage movement. Anthony broke away from the mainstream abolitionist movement after the war, however, because while its members supported giving the vote to black men (the 15th Amendment) they did not support the extension of the vote to women. In 1869, Anthony and Stanton formed the National Woman Suffrage Association and began working for a woman suffrage amendment to the Constitution.

From 1868 to 1870, Anthony published a weekly journal, The Revolution, which reported on injustices done to women and demanded equal rights for women. In 1872, Anthony voted in the presidential election. She was arrested and fined $100 for voting illegally, but the fine was never collected. From 1881 to 1886, Anthony and Stanton co-edited three volumes of History of Woman Suffrage; Anthony published a fourth volume of the book in 1902. In 1904, Anthony established the International Woman Suffrage Alliance with Carrie Chapman Catt, another leader of the suffrage movement.

In 1890, the National Woman Suffrage Association merged with the American Woman Suffrage Association, forming the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Anthony served as president of the association from 1892 until 1900.

Susan B. Anthony died in Rochester, New York, on March 13, 1906, 14 years before the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Carrie Chapman Catt

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This page was last updated on June 17, 2018.