Biography Of Susan B. Anthony

Biography Of Susan B. Anthony


Susan B. Anthony was a well-known American activist and suffragist. She was also a Civil rights advocate. She was a vocal opponent of slavery and also for women to be granted the right to vote. She was co-founder of the Women’s Temperance movement which campaigned to enforce stricter laws regarding alcohol. She played a major part in promoting the idea of women’s equal rights and is believed to have played an important part in the passage of the 19th amendment (1920) which allowed women the right to vote.


Short Biography Susan B. Anthony

“Men their rights and nothing more, women their rights and nothing less.”

– Motto of the ‘Revolution’ Journal 1868-1870

Susan-b-anthonySusan was born on the 15th Feb 1820. She was born in Adams, Massachusetts. The parents of Susan were Quakers as well as activists of opposition to slavery. Susan was raised in a strict Quaker atmosphere, which stressed respect for others, self-control, and a life of integrity. Susan later renounced organized religion and described herself as an atheist. However, she remained adamant about the Quaker ideas she was taught.

From a young age, Anthony was an enthusiastic student. When the school she attended wouldn’t teach her long division due to her gender the father of her teacher taught her at his home. She was well-educated in a time when it was uncommon for women to get an education.

In 1837, the family was hit hard financially due to the financial crisis of 1837. Over the subsequent decades, Anthony worked as a teacher, earning a stipend as well as helping her father get rid of his financial obligations. In 1846, she had been named headmistress of Canajoharie Academy; her work as a teacher inspired her to fight to ensure equal pay for female teachers, who, at that time, were paid significantly lower than male teachers.

After 1846, the teacher resigned from teaching and relocated to the farm of her family located in Rochester, New York. After she retired from teaching, she was able to spend more time in politics and campaigning. She was a key participant in the regional temperance group, which was a group that campaigned against the harmful effects of alcohol and for stricter laws. She also participated in the anti-slavery movement taking petitions for the abolishment of slavery and presenting the petitions to Congress. Despite her shyness when it came to speaking in public, Susan became a prominent public person in the anti-slavery and Temperance movement.

The petition was later rejected because it included mainly children’s and women’s signatures. This led Anthony to pay more attention to gaining votes for women. With no equal voting rights for women, she thought that her campaigns against alcohol abuse were easy to dismiss. Also, in 1850 she heard a speech given by Lucy Stone from the Women’s Rights Convention that encouraged her to dedicate herself to the cause.

Biography Of Susan B. Anthony


Biography Of Susan B. Anthony


In the subsequent years, she became more involved and dedicated to the women’s suffrage cause. She met with fellow women’s suffrage activists like Amelia Bloomer and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Since her earliest years, Anthony had also followed her family members in promoting the ending of slavery and giving the same rights to those of different races. In 1856, Anthony was a successful representative of the American Anti-Slavery Society. She was the first to develop effective methods for canvassing and was able to organize meetings and give speeches, despite the widespread opposition. Then, in Syracuse, New York, she was even hanged in an effigy. Later, she realized that she could unite the struggle of women with the civil rights movement.

“Where, under our Declaration of Independence, does the Saxon man get his power to deprive all women and Negroes of their inalienable rights?”

The Revolution, Susan B. Anthony C. 1855

However, in 1869 she was disappointed that her American Equal Rights Association dropped their support for women’s rights and the 13th amendment was primarily concentrated on giving black men the right to vote, but not women. After that disappointment, she decided to concentrate more on getting women the right to vote.

In 1869, together and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she established 1869 the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). The group was committed to helping women get the vote. Anthony was vice president for Stanton. Anthony frequently tried to form alliances with different women’s suffragist associations. The latter was frequently at odds with Stanton who was more interested in adopting a more independent, tough line. But, Anthony felt the women’s message would be more powerful when they spoke in the same voice and weren’t to be divided. The month of February 1890. in opposition to the opposition of Stanton and a few members, Anthony orchestrated the merger of the NWSA with Lucy Stone’s liberal American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) which resulted in the creation of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).

“Here in the very 1st paragraph of the Declaration is the declaration of the inherent right of every person to cast a ballot. How can “the agreement of the controlled” be given, if the right to vote be denied?”

– on the United States Declaration of Independence in her “Is It a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?” speech, which she delivered before her trial for not voting. (1873)

The year was 1868 when Anthony published a journal every week called The Revolution. The journal argued for equality for women and non-negroes. The issue called for women to have the right to vote and all civil rights to be universally recognized. The woman also expanded the scope of issues that she could tackle like equality in pay as well as divorce laws. She was prepared to address controversial questions and challenge the prevalent practices and beliefs of the moment.

“Cautious individuals, who are careful and constantly looking for ways to protect their reputation in the eyes of society, will never create a positive change. People who truly are sincere must be willing to appear anything or nothing in the eyes of the world.”

– Susan B.Anthony, On the Campaign for Divorce Law Reform (1860)

But, with a strategy of paying high wages and a strict approach to advertisements (rejecting the use of alcohol or morphine-based substances) the newspaper was forced to take on massive debts. It was unable to go through two more years before closing down in 1872.

Biography Of Susan B. Anthony


In 1868, the US Congress approved the Fourteenth Amendment which guaranteed equal rights to all citizens, not mentioning gender.

“All people that are born, naturalized, or are born within the United States, and subject to the authority of the United States constitute citizens of both the United States and of the state in which they reside. A State is not authorized to create laws or enforce them that will limit the privileges or rights of citizens from their home state of the United States; nor shall any State be able to deprive anyone of liberty, life or property without legal process. or deny any person in its jurisdiction the same security afforded by the laws.” (14th Amendment, 1868)

In November 1872, Anthony was a voter in the US Presidential election, asserting that the amendment granted her the right to vote under the Constitution. But, two weeks later she was detained. The trial justice, Justice Hunt, denied her the right to testify. He then instructed jurors to deliver a guilty verdict and then gave an opinion that he had written before the trial. The judge imposed a $100 fine.

In protest of the unfair jury trial, the woman refused to pay the $100 fine and interrupted the judge while the judge was talking. The trial was a significant event; her argument seemed reasonable and her treatment was unjust. The government, frightened over the trials, did not press for her to settle the penalty and she walked away. She stated at the end of the court trial:

“May it please your honor I will never be liable for a penny of your unfair penalty. …. and I will be persistent and ardently encourage women everywhere to the real-world acceptance of the Revolutionary rule, “Resistance to tyranny is an act of obedience toward God.”

Her trial helped raise her standing and she began national speaking events to raise funds and promote her message that she was in support of women’s rights to equality.

Anthony was removed from politics in the year 1900 and passed away from lung disease and heart disease in New York, in 1906. In the 14 years following Anthony’s death, the right of women to vote was secured through the Nineteenth Amendment (1920).

Achievements of Susan B. Anthony
Together with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, founded the National Woman’s Suffrage Association NWSA in 1869. She was president from 1869 until 1900.
The publication ” The Revolution” between 1868 and 1970, fought for civil rights and women’s rights.
The author of The Susan B. Anthony Amendment in 1878, which was later to become the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.
The first person to be detained and tried to vote was in Nov. 1872.
She has refused the payment of “a dollar of your unjust penalty.”
The Edited ” The History of Woman Suffrage (4 volumes. 1881-2002) together with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage.
Founded the International Council of Women (1888) and the International Woman Suffrage Council (1904)
He gave speeches of 75 to 100 a year for 45 years. Traveled all over America. United States by stagecoach, trains, carriages, and wagons.
Aims to help women develop self-confidence and self-reliance.
“Woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself.”

– Speech in San Francisco (July 1871).

Biography Of Susan B. Anthony


Quotes of Susan B. Anthony

“The real woman will not be a spokesperson for one or let another be a representative of her. The woman will stand for herself… stand or fall based on her unique determination and strength… Her voice will declare”the “glad tidings of good news” to all women that woman, as well as man, was created to fulfill her desires and to cultivate… each talent that was given to her by God in the great task of life.”

Declaration of Anthony, as well as Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1856) Partly, included as part of The Rights to Vote (2001) by Claudia Isler, p. 50. Also, in The Art of the Family the Antislavery Marriages in Nineteenth-Century America (1997) from Chris Dixon, p. 140.

“The most distinctive aspect of our Association is the freedom to express an individual opinion of each member. We have been slammed every day with the resounding cry that someone is causing harm to the cause due to the expression of certain sentiments which were not shared by the vast majority of people. The religious persecution that has occurred in the past was carried out by those who claimed to be the direction of God. I am skeptical of those who know exactly that they know what God would like them to be doing to their fellow humans because it is always by their desires.”

A defense for Elizabeth Cady Stanton against a motion to renounce the Woman’s Bible at a convention at the National-American Woman Suffrage Association 1896 Convention, HWS, IV (1902) page. 263

“it will happen however I will not be able to see it…It is unavoidable. We cannot restrict forever the rights of autonomy to a quarter of our population rather than enslave the Negro forever bound. This will not be brought about by the same disruptive forces which freed the slaves, but it will happen I am sure it will happen that within one Generation.” Harper (1908) Vol. 3, p. 1259

Susan B. Anthony asked just before her retirement, whether women would have the opportunity to vote at the same time as men had the right to vote.


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