Brownell Anthony, was a prominent American civil rights leader who,
along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, led the effort to secure Women's
suffrage in the United States.
was an American born in Adams, Massachusetts, the daughter of
Quakers. Susan B. Anthony was the second born of eight children
in a strict Quaker family. Her father, Daniel Anthony, was a stern
man, a Quaker Abolitionist and a cotton manufacturer. He believed
in guiding his children instead of directing them. He did not
allow them to experience the childish amusements of toys, games,
and music, which were seen as distractions from the “Inner
Light”. Instead, he enforced self-discipline, principled
convictions, and belief in one's own self-worth. Susan was a precocious
child and she learned to read and write at the age of three. In
1826, the Anthonys moved from Massachusetts to Battensville, N.Y.
where Susan attended a district school. When the teacher refused
to teach Susan long division, Susan was taken out of school and
taught in a "home school" set up by her father. A woman
teacher named Mary Perkins ran the school. Perkins offered a new
image of womanhood to Susan and her sisters.
was independent and educated and held a position that had traditionally
been reserved to young men. Ultimately, Susan was sent to boarding
school near Philadelphia. Susan taught at a female academy, called
Eunice Kenyon's Quaker boarding school, in upstate New York from
1846-1849. After, she settled in her family home in Rochester,
New York. It was here that she began her first public crusade
on behalf of temperance. While in Rochester, she attended the
was very self-conscious, both of her looks (one eye always pointed
slightly outwards) and of her speaking abilities. She long resisted
public speaking for fear her speech would not be good enough.
However, throughout her lifetime, Anthony worked endlessly. She
traveled thousands of miles each year throughout the United States
and Europe giving speeches on suffrage (75 to 100 speeches per
year for 45 years). She traveled by carriage, wagon, train, mule,
stagecoach, ship, ferry boat and sleigh. Anthony
died at Rochester, New York, on March 13, 1906 and is buried there
in Mount Hope Cemetery. Anthony is known as "The Mother of
the decade preceding the outbreak of the American Civil War, Anthony
took a prominent part in the anti-slavery and temperance movements
in New York, organizing in 1852 the first woman's state temperance
society in America. In addition, she attended her first women's
rights convention in Syracuse in 1852. In 1856 she became the
agent for New York state of the American Anti-Slavery Society.
1851, Anthony met Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They were introduced,
on a street in Seneca Falls, by mutual acquaintance Amelia Bloomer,
also a feminist. The two women were to remain close friends and
colleagues for the remainder of their lives, although unlike Anthony,
Stanton wanted to push a broader platform of women's rights than
1854, Anthony devoted herself almost exclusively to the agitation
for women's rights, and became recognized as one of the ablest
and most zealous advocates of complete legal equality, and as
a public speaker and writer. She was also active in zealously
opposing abortion, then seen as an imposition of men onto women.
1868 to 1870, Anthony was the proprietor of a weekly paper, The
Revolution, published in New York City, edited by Stanton, and
having as its motto: "The
true republic — men, their rights and nothing more; women,
their rights and nothing less."
1869, Anthony and Stanton founded the National Woman's Suffrage
Association, an organization dedicated to gaining women the right
to vote. Anthony was vice-president-at-large of the National Woman's
Suffrage Association (NWSA) from the date of its organization
until 1892, when she became president.
the early years of the NWSA, Anthony made attempts to unite women
in the labor movement with the suffragist cause, but with little
success. Along with Stanton, she was a delegate at the 1868 convention
of the National Labor Union. Anthony alienated the labor movement
not only because suffrage was seen as a concern for middle-class
rather than working women, but because she openly encouraged women
to achieve economic independence by entering the printing trades,
where male workers were on strike. Anthony was part of the National
Labor Union for a while but then was expelled over this controversy.
casting a vote in the presidential election held on November 5,
1872, as she asserted the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States
Constitution entitled her to do, Anthony was served a warrant
on November 18 and was eventually fined $100 on June 18, 1873.
She never paid the fine. She was defended at trial by Matilda
Joslyn Gage, who asserted that it was the United States that was
truly on trial, not Anthony.
collaboration with Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted
Harper, Anthony published The History of Woman Suffrage (4 vols.,
New York, 1884–1887). Anthony was also a friend of Josephine
Brawley Hughes, an advocate of women's rights and of alcohol abolition
1890, Anthony orchestrated the merger of the NWSA with the American
Woman Suffrage Association, creating the National American Woman
Suffrage Association. Anthony's strategy for suffrage was to unite
the suffrage movement where possible, and to focus on the goal
of gaining the vote, leaving aside other women's rights issues.
Her pursuit of alliances with conservative suffragists created
long lasting tension between herself and more radical suffragists
such as Stanton. Stanton criticized this stance, writing that
Anthony and Lucy Stone, leader in the more conservative American
Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA). "They do not see woman's
religious and social bondage." Anthony argued to Stanton,
number over 10,000 women and each one has opinions...we can only
hold them together to work for the ballot by letting alone their
whims and prejudices on other subjects."
The controversial merger occurred after Anthony created a special
National Woman Suffrage Association executive committee to decide
whether they should unite with the AWSA (using a committee instead
of a full NWSA vote went against the NWSA constitution). Gage
(a prominent member who opposed the merger) was denied funds to
enable her to attend the NWSA convention leading to these decisions,
motions to make it possible for members to vote by mail were strenuously
opposed by Anthony and her adherents, and the committee was stacked
with members who favoured the merger (two who decided against
it were asked to resign).
union of the two organizations effectively marginalized radical
elements of the movement, including Stanton. Anthony pushed for
Stanton to be voted in as the first NAWSA president, and stood
by her as Stanton was belittled by the large conservative factions
within the new organization.
Susan B. Anthony was honored as the first real (non-allegorical)
American woman on circulating U.S. coinage with her appearance
on the Anthony dollar. The dollar coin, approximately the size
of a U.S. quarter, was minted for only four years, 1979, 1980,
1981, and 1999. Anthony dollars were produced at the Philadelphia
and Denver mints for all four of these years, and at the San Francisco
mint for all production years except 1999.