Susan B. Anthony

Copyright Michael D. Robbins 2006


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Susan B. Anthony—Leader in the Woman’s Suffrage Movement

February 15, 1820, Adams, Massachusetts. (Source: speculative MDR: using a chart for close to noon) Died, March 13, 1906, Rochester, NY. (Needs much work)



Whether or not we can find the Asc, this is excellent for Aquarius and R1.


God allows the wheat and the tares to grow up together, and ... the tares frequently get the start of the wheat and kill it out. The only difference between the wheat and human beings is that the latter have intellect and ought to combine and pull out the tares, root and branch.

These have been wonderful years. How many happy, happy times we have traveled about together! Day and night, in stage coaches, on freight trains, over the mountains and across the prairies, hungry and tired, we have wandered. The work was sometimes hard and discouraging but those were happy and useful years.

The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball—the further I am rolled the more I gain.

No genuine equality, no real freedom, no true manhood or womanhood can exist on any foundation save that of pecuniary independence. As a right over a man’s subsistence is a power over his moral being, so a right over a woman’s subsistence enslaves her will, degrades her pride and vitiates her whole moral nature.

In this great association we know no North, no South, no East, no West. This has been our pride for all these years. We have no political party. We never have inquired what anybody’s religion is. All we ever have asked is simply, “Do you believe in perfect equality for women?” This is the one article in our creed.

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

Oh, yes, I’d do it all again; the spirit is willing yet; I feel the same desire to do the work but the flesh is weak. It’s too bad that our bodies wear out while our interests are just as strong as ever.

In March 1906, on her death bed, in answer to the question of her sister suffragist, Rev. Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919): “... as you look back on the past, if you had to live it over again, would you do the same?” Who can measure the advantages that would result if the magnificent abilities of these women could be devoted to the needs of government, society and home, instead of being consumed in the struggle to obtain their birthright of individual freedom? Until this be gained we can never know, we can not even prophesy the capacity and power of women for the uplifting of humanity.

There is not the woman born who desires to eat the bread of dependence, no matter whether it be from the hand of father, husband, or brother; for any one who does so eat her bread places herself in the power of the person from whom she takes it.



Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was a prominent, independent and well-educated American civil rights leader, who, with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, led the effort to secure women's suffrage in the United States. Anthony was born and raised in Adams, Massachusetts, the daughter of Quakers. Susan B. Anthony was the second born of eight children in a strict Quaker family. Susan was a precocious child and she learned to read and write at the age of three. 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. 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 female teacher named Mary Perkins ran the school. Perkins offered a new image of womanhood to Susan and her sisters. Ultimately, Susan was sent to boarding school near Philadelphia. Anthony was independent and educated and held a position that had traditionally been reserved to young men. She taught for 15 years and worked 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 Unitarian Church. Anthony 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, submarine, ferry boat and sleigh. Anthony died at Rochester, New York, on March 13, 1906 and is buried there in Mount Hope Cemetery.

Early social activism Susan Brownell AnthonyIn the decade preceding the outbreak of the American Civil War, Anthony began and took a prominent part in the anti-slavery and temperance movements in New York, joining with Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 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 William Lloyd Garrison's American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1851, Anthony was introduced to Stanton, 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 suffrage. Together, the two women traveled the United States giving speeches about women's rights and attempting to persuade the government that women should be treated equally to men in society.

After 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, regarded by her as an imposition of men onto women: "No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death, but oh, thrice guilty is he who ... drove her to the desperation that impelled her to the crime!" (The Revolution, IV, No. 1 (July 8, 1869), 1) From 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." [edit] National suffrage organizations In 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. Susan B. Anthony in her later years.In 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. For casting a Republican vote in the presidential election held on November 5, 1872, in Rochester, New York, Anthony was served a warrant on November 18 and was actually fined $100 on June 18, 1873. She never paid the fine, asserting the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution entitled her to vote.

She was defended at trial by Matilda Joslyn Gage, who asserted that it was the United States that was truly on trial, not Anthony. At the trial, she made her famous "On Women's Right to Vote" speech. Being a citizen of the United States and having the lawfully given right to vote as a citizen, Anthony was faced with the constraint of a gender-biased society when it came to legal issues when presenting this speech. Her speech mainly focused on the fact that casting her vote in the previous presidential election was not a crime, simply a legal right of a United States citizen. Her speech was an attempt to persuade the government that she was not unlawful in her action, in the fact that if she were to have been a male, her action would have never been questioned. By not having the government and not having men in general in her favor, Anthony presented a strong defense to her speech through the use of statements from the Constitution to support the fact that her actions were in fact not wrong. In collaboration with Stanton, 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 from Arizona.

In 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), "see suffrage only. They do not see woman's religious and social bondage."

Anthony argued to Stanton, "We 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). The 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. Throughout her life, Anthony fought social injustice, including attacking the injustice women of the period faced from their fellow man.

It was difficult for an outspoken woman in 1800s society to live as secondary to men in society. Anthony was a constant target of abuse from political leaders, media representatives and private individuals. But as a leading advocate of abolition, women's rights, a founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association, and New York State's agent for the American anti-slavery Association, Susan B. Anthony led an effective and challenging life.

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.

Susan Brownell Anthony (1820-1906) was the chief organizer and strategist of the nineteenth-century movement for woman suffrage. From the time she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1851, until her death, Anthony worked full time to mobilize a political movement dedicated to gaining women's equality. Her intensity and endurance made her the symbol of woman suffrage.

Born on 15 February 1820 in South Adams, Massachusetts, Anthony was the daughter of Lucy Read and Daniel Anthony. Her father's early success as the operator of small textile mills came to an end in the financial crash of 1837. She received a Quaker education and taught school for a decade, joining the many poorly paid young women who taught in district schools and academies, before she found her vocation as a reformer. She returned to Rochester, New York, where her family settled in the 1840s. When she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1851, she had discovered her talent for political organization in conducting agitational tours and petition campaigns to abolish slavery and outlaw liquor. In Stanton's vision of women's rights, Anthony found new motivation to pioneer as an organizer of women working in their own interest. In the decade after they met, when Stanton's life was limited by her seven children, Anthony was the more visible and mobile partner. She visited the Stanton household often to consult and babysit while Stanton took the opportunity to write a speech or a position paper. Then Anthony would set off again for meetings of Quakers, teachers, abolitionists, women's rights advocates, or the state legislature. Anthony's extraordinary skill at recruiting new supporters for reform and goading audiences into action was recognized widely.

The antislavery movement relied on her help, and other reformers called on her as needed. In short order Anthony set a standard of commitment to her cause that no one could match. Her personal life was dominated by political activities. After the Civil War, Anthony and Stanton launched a national effort to mobilize women to win suffrage for themselves. They began publishing a weekly newspaper, the Revolution, in 1868. They founded the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869. Their style was confrontational. To demonstrate that no political party could take women for granted, they shocked their Republican allies by appealing for a woman suffrage plank to the Democratic National Convention in 1868.

They explored alliances with labor unions, free-love advocates, Marxists, marriage reformers, and spiritualists. Their politics and their alliances contributed to the formation late in 1869 of the rival, respectable, and soundly Republican, American Woman Suffrage Association, led by Lucy Stone. The National association focused on national suffrage, in the belief that states did not have the constitutional power to deprive American citizens of their right to vote. After 1876, the National pushed hard for passage of a sixteenth constitutional amendment that would prohibit disfranchisement on account of sex. With its eye on Congress, the National met annually in Washington, D.C. where Susan B. Anthony and her co-workers became proficient and familiar lobbyists. Anthony's strength in the 1880s was to build bridges between suffragists and the burgeoning woman's movement. She courted the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, oversaw the founding of the International and National Councils of Women, and pursued the merger in 1890 of the National and American associations into the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The expanding movement called for strong leadership. Anthony mediated differences over cooperating with Mormon women, clashes between white southerners and northern blacks, and collisions between secularists and evangelical Christians.

She also tried to keep the National focused on winning suffrage from the federal government rather than from each state. Anthony was eighty years old when she retired from the presidency of the National. She nonetheless crossed the United States one more time by train to lend support to western suffragists, and she attended her last national suffrage meeting one month before her death. She died at home in Rochester in March 1906.

Susan B. Anthony (February 15, 1820 - March 13, 1906) Susan Brownell Anthony Also see: Susan B. Anthony Quotations Also see at bottom of this biography: links to Susan B. Anthony articles, writings, and iimages and to related articles on this site Image of Susan B. Anthony - Courtesy Library of Congress Susan B. Anthony was raised in New York as a Quaker. She taught for a few years at a Quaker seminary and from there became a headmistress at a women's division of a school. At 29 years old Anthony became involved in abolitionism and then temperance.

A friendship with Amelia Bloomer led to a meeting with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was to become her lifelong partner in political organizing, especially for women's rights and woman suffrage. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, married and mother to a number of children, served as the writer and idea-person of the two, and Susan B. Anthony, never married, was more often the organizer and the one who traveled, spoke widely, and bore the brunt of antagonistic public opinion. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (click image for a larger version) Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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. Stanton and Anthony founded the National Woman Suffrage Association, larger than its rival American Woman 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).

In her later years, Susan B. Anthony worked closely with Carrie Chapman Catt, retiring from active leadership of the suffrage movement in 1900 and turning over presidency of the NAWSA to Catt. She worked with Stanton and Mathilda Gage on a History of Woman Suffrage.

In her writings, Susan B. Anthony occasionally mentioned abortion. Susan B. Anthony opposed abortion which at the time was an unsafe medical procedure for women, endangering their health and life. She blamed men, laws and the "double standard" for driving women to abortion because they had no other options. ("When a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is a sign that, by education or circumstances, she has been greatly wronged." 1869) She believed, as did many of the feminists of her era, that only the achievement of women's equality and freedom would end the need for abortion. Anthony used her anti-abortion writings as yet another argument for women's rights.

Some of Susan B. Anthony's writings were also quite racist by today's standards, particularly those from the period when she was angry that the Fifteenth Amendment wrote the word "male" into the constitution for the first time in permitting suffrage for freedmen. She sometimes argued that educated white women would be better voters than "ignorant" black men or immigrant men. In the late 1860s she even portrayed the vote of freedmen as threatening the safety of white women. George Francis Train, whose capital helped launch Anthony and Stanton's Revolution newspaper, was a noted racist. 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. In 1999 the US government announced the replacement of the Susan B. Anthony dollar with one featuring the image of Sacagawea.


ICombination of Saturn, Venus, and Pluto, plus focal Mars and a Gemini Ascendant may all contribute to mannish appearance.



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