Susan B. Anthony
Table of Contents
Early Life and Education
Susan B. Anthony was born in West Grove, Massachusetts. Her family were Quakers. When she was six, the family moved to New York. Susan was sent to attend a local district school, where a teacher refused to teach her long division because of her gender. Upon learning of the weak education she was receiving, her father promptly had her placed in a group home school, where he taught Susan himself. She would later complete her education at a Quaker seminary in Philadelphia.
Due to the financial crisis of 1837, the family fell into poverty and when she turned 19, Anthony left home to teach and help pay the family debts. In 1849, Anthony quit teaching and moved to the family farm in Rochester, New York.
In 1851, Anthony was introduced to Elizabeth Cady Stanton by mutual acquaintance, as well as fellow feminist Amelia Bloomer. Anthony joined with Stanton in organizing the first women’s state temperance society in America after being refused admission to a previous convention on account of her sex, in 1851. Together, the two women traversed the United States giving speeches and attempting to persuade the government that society should treat men and women equally.
Post Civil War
After the Civil War, discouraged that those working for “Negro” suffrage were willing to continue to exclude women from voting rights, Susan B. Anthony became more focused on woman suffrage. She helped to found the American Equal Rights Association in 1866, and in 1868 with Stanton as editor, became publisher of Revolution. The objective of The Revolution was to promote women’s and Black History Month’ right to suffrage, but it also discussed issues of equal pay for equal work, more liberal divorce laws, the church’s position on women’s issues and Abortion, which she opposed.Stanton and Anthony founded the National Women’s Suffrage Association, larger than its rival American Women’s Suffrage Association with which it finally merged in 1890.
In 1872, in an attempt to claim that the constitution already permitted women to vote, Susan B. Anthony cast a test vote in Rochester, New York, in the presidential election. She was found guilty, though she refused to pay the resulting fine (and no attempt was made to force her to do so).
National Women’s Suffrage Association (NWSA)
In 1869, Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Women's Women's Suffrage Association (NWSA), an organisation dedicated to gaining women’s suffrage. Anthony was first vice president and then president of the organisation until her retirment in 1900. Anthony tried to unite the women’s labour movement with the suffrage movement with little success; the women’s labour movement saw suffrage as a middle-class white woman’s issue and not a priority for working class women.
Susan B. Anthony died on March 13, 1906 at her home in Rochester NY, which is now a national museum.
For more information on the National Women’s Suffrage Association (NWSA) click on the following link: National Women's Women's Suffrage Association (NWSA).
In collaboration with Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper, Anthony published The History of Women’s Suffrage (4 vols., New York, 1884–1887). Anthony also befriended Josephine Brawley Hughes, an advocate of women’s rights and of alcohol Prohibition in Arizona, and Carrie Chapman Catt, who Anthony endorsed for the presidency of the NAWSA when Anthony formally retired in 1900.
In 1979, Susan B. Anthony’s image was chosen for the new dollar coin, making her the first woman to be depicted on US currency. The size of the dollar was, however, close to that of the quarter, and the Anthony dollar never became very popular.
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton
- Women's rights