Tag Archives: Susan B Anthony

Susan B. Anthony: Women Suffrage Leader

Standard

Susan B. Anthony spoke at every convention fro...

Susan B. Anthony spoke at every convention from 1852 onward, and served as president in 1858. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In the 2012 Presidential Election, the group that decided the vote was the women. As politicians are starting to realize, women pay attention to politics and are capable of influencing the vote. Less than one hundred years ago, women were not able to vote. Though they make up 50% of the population, they could not vote under the Bill of Rights or the 14th Amendment that allowed men of any color to vote. Then a woman by the name of Susan B. Anthony united women and led the women suffrage movement.

Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. Though most women did not receive a formal education in the early 1800’s, her Quaker parents believed in equal treatment for boys and girls. When she was denied from learning long division because of her gender, Anthony realized that not all people believed in equality. After her father’s business failed, she moved with her family to Rochester, New York to become a teacher. As a teacher, she demanded that female teachers receive better pay. She also became involved in the abolitionist movement; her family’s farm served as a meeting place for abolitionists. Anthony joined the Daughters of Temperance to limit the sale of alcohol since some women were stuck in marriages to alcoholic men. When she was refused to speak at the state convection because of her gender, Anthony began to focus her time on women’s rights.

At an anti-slavery conference in 1851, she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton through mutual friend Amelia Bloomer. Anthony and Stanton would spend the rest of their lives as friends fighting for women’s rights since they knew if they were to influence public affairs, they needed to vote. In 1852, Anthony attended her first women’s rights convection in Syracuse. Stanton wrote the speeches and Anthony traveled across the country, giving the speeches. When the 15th Amendment passed, giving the black man a right to vote, Anthony was upset that women still could not vote. In 1968, she wrote The Revolution, a newsletter that advocated better working conditions and equality for all races and genders. In 1869, she and Stanton founded the National Woman’s Suffrage Association. This organization focused on getting the federal government to allow women to vote.

On November 5, 1872, Anthony became the first person to be arrested, put on trial, and fined for voting in the presidential election. In 1878, Anthony, Stanton, and Matilda Joslyn Gage wrote “The History of Woman Suffrage.” In 1887, the National Woman’s Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association merged as the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Though both groups differed on several issues, the only issue that brought all the women together was voting. It was Anthony who realized that the women needed to concentrate on getting the right to vote before demanding more rights in work, marriages, and court. In 1900, University of Rochester admitted women for the first time because of Anthony.

In 1878, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, which later became the 19th Amendment. It stated that all sexes were given the right to vote in the United States. When asked if women would ever be able to vote, she replied, “It will come, but I Shall not see it…It is inevitable. We can no more deny forever the right of self-government to one-half our people than we could keep the Negro forever in bondage. It will not be wrought by the same disrupting forces that freed the slave, but come it will, and I believe within a generation.” Anthony died on March 13, 1906. 14 years later, on August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed – 41 years after Anthony first wrote the Amendment.

In 2012, 53% of the voters were women – it was these women who decided who would become president. Besides choosing the president in 2012, a historic number of women were voted into U.S. Congress. 53% of the voters were women. Women are now able to influence public affairs– an event Susan B. Anthony knew would one day happen after women received the vote. Now, the government knows it can no longer control women as long as women continue to make their voices heard by enforcing their right to vote.


Sources:

Susan B. Anthony. biography

Biography of Susan B. Anthony

Susan Brownell Anthony

Lucretia Mott: Social Reformer

Standard

English: Painting of Lucretia Mott (1793 - 188...

English: Painting of Lucretia Mott (1793 – 1880), the proponent of women’s rights. The artist is Joseph Kyle (1815 – 1863). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before the Civil War, a minority of Americans believed that slavery should end in the United States. These abolitionists had heard horror stories of mothers witnessing their children being sold to a different slave owner, of men being whipped to death, and female teens being raped by their masters. The abolitionists traveled the country and the world, giving speeches against slavery in hopes of persuading the rest of the public to join their cause. Though both male and female abolitionists had the same goal, the females were excluded from certain events and meetings; the women soon learned that they too were not equal to men. Lucretia Mott quickly learned women were not equal to men so she spent the rest of her life fighting for equality for slaves and women.

Lucretia Mott, born Lucretia Coffin, was born on January 3, 1793 in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Her parents were Quakers so she grew up hating slavery. After attending a Quaker boarding school, she became a teacher. As a teacher, she learned that male teachers made more than female teachers. This surprised her sine the Quakers preached equality, yet women still were not equal with men. A fellow teacher, James Mott, followed her to Philadelphia and the couple married in 1811. He would support his wife throughout their marriage. After the death of her son, Mott became a Quaker minister to spread the word of God. Mott, along with the rest of the Quakers, protested slavery by refusing to buy products of slave labor. Her husband got out of the cotton trade around 1830. Mott became a huge supporter of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and his American Anti-Slavery Society. Though she was threatened with physical violence at several anti-slavery meetings, Mott never stopped speaking out against slavery.

In 1833, she and 30 other female abolitionists organized the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. In 1840, she was voted to be the delegate for the organization at the World’s Anti-Slavery Convection in London. When she arrived in London, Mott could not actively participate in the convection because she was a female. The male delegates voted to exclude the women because the women might try to make the meeting about themselves and women suffrage. Another woman there was Elizabeth Cady Stanton; as the two women sat in chairs in a rope-off area, they agreed that when they returned to the United States, they needed to create a convection for women about women’s rights. In 1848, the two women helped create the Seneca Falls Convection, the first women convection. This meeting was the official start of the women’s suffrage movement.

After the Civil War ended, many abolitionists believed their work was done since slaves were now free. Mott continued to work for black suffrage, traveling the country speaking about how the former slaves deserved to vote and how they deserved government aid. She also spoke about the importance of women’s suffrage. She was elected the head of the American Equals Rights Association, which split into National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association; one believed the 15th Amendment shouldn’t pass because it didn’t guarantee votes to women while the other believed that women must be patient. When the two women organizations split, she tried to ring them together (eventually the two groups did rejoin). This organization would succeed in getting women to vote, though it wasn’t until 1919. She died on November 11, 1880 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from pneumonia.

Lucretia Mott was born into a religion that preached freedom and equality, yet still believed women were not equal to men. As she traveled the world speaking out against slavery, she realized that society still treated women as men’s property. Mott, along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, organized the first women’s convection in Seneca Falls, New York. This meeting would inspire hundreds of women to take action and because of these feminists, women are now able to own property, marry for love, have a career, and vote. Lucretia Mott, along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, is honored in the Capitol Rotunda as a sculpture.

 

 

Sources:

 

Lucretia Mott. biography

 

Women’s Rights

 

Lucretia Mott

 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Feminist

Standard

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When one thinks of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, one usually thinks only about Susan B. Anthony. Besides giving speeches and getting arrested trying to vote, Anthony also appeared on the U.S. coin dollar. Besides Anthony, there were hundreds of women involved in getting women the right to vote, including Anthony’s best friend  Elizabeth Cady Stanton. While majority of the women focused only on voting, Stanton also focused on women leaving unhappy marriage and saying “no” to their husband if they didn’t want to have sex; two very radical ideas at the time. Stanton believed before many women did that women are equal to men.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born on November 12, 1815 in Johnston, New York. Her father, Daniel Cady, was a New York Supreme Court judge so she grew up learning about law and how to debate. She attended Emma Willard’s Academy but because she was a woman, she could not attend college. After the academy, she spent much of her time at her cousin’s, the abolitionist Gerrit Smith. While she was there, Stanton met Henry B. Stanton and the two married in 1840. They spent their honeymoon at the World’s Antislavery Convection in London where Stanton met Lucretia Mott, an American female abolitionist. The two women were not allowed to participate in the antislavery convection, forced to sit in a rope-off area. The couple went to live in Boston, Massachusetts, where Stanton was surrounded by free-thinkers, including Louisa May Alcott and Frederick Douglass.

In 1847, the Stantons moved to Seneca Falls, New York. After having seven children, Stanton grew tired of domestic confinement and began working to get the Married Women’s Property Bill passed. The bill passed in New York in April 1948; it allowed women to own their property after marrying, instead of having their belongings go to the husbands. In July 1848, with the help of Mott, she organized the world’s first women’s rights convection. The two women never forgot being roped off from men at the slavery convection.Over 300 people attended, – it was the official start of the women suffrage movement.  In 1851, she met Susan B. Anthony through Amelia Bloomer; the two would remain best friends for the rest of their lives. While Stanton had to stay at home to take care of her husband and children, Anthony was single and able to travel; thus, Stanton wrote the speeches and Anthony delivered them. In 1854, Stanton addressed the New York Legislation on a women’s rights bill. Stanton and Anthony formed the National Women’s Loyal League on the constitutional abolition of slavery. They were upset when the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments allowed former male salves to vote but not American women, black or white. In 1969, they established the National Woman’s Suffrage Association, the forerunner of the organization that eventually secured the Nineteenth Amendment. The organization was upset that the Amendments passed excluding women while the American Woman Suffrage Association, founded by Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Julia Ward Howe, supported the Amendments. In 1876, she wrote the Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States, which Anthony presented, uninvited, at the Centennial Celebration in Washington, D.C. in 1876. The Rights were signed by several feminists, including Lucretia Mott. Stanton, Anthony, and Matilda Gage wrote the first three volumes of A History of Women Suffrage.

While majority of women concentrated on gaining voting rights, Stanton focused on women being able to divorce alcoholic husbands and to leave unhappy marriages; she also believed women should decide if they want more children and if not, they should be able to tell their husband “no” when he wanted to have sex or use birth control. Stanton believed organized Christianity was sexist, so in 1898, along with Gage, published The Women’s Bible. Stanton’s radical ideas shocked the conservative AMSA members, the reason why Stanton grew unpopular. In 1890, the National American Woman Suffrage merged with the conservative American Woman Suffrage Association. Stanton opposed the merge, but became the first president. Though the two ideas had differing ideas, they both agreed that women should be able to vote.

Stanton died from heart failure on October 26, 1902, 18 years before women were granted the right to vote. Though she almost disappeared from the history books due to her radical views in the late 1800’s, she is gaining popularity as Americans realize that women do deserve to have a happy marriage. At the Capital Rotunda, there is a sculpture of  Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton on display. Stanton’s biggest regret was that she was not able to attend college because she was a woman; her daughters were able to attend college.

Sources:

 Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Women’s Rights

Matilda Joslyn Gage: Radical Feminist

Standard

 

Public relations portrait of Matilda Joslyn Ga...

Public relations portrait of Matilda Joslyn Gage as used in the History of Woman Suffrage by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Volume I, published in 1881. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the United States Capitol, there is a memorial to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These two women are the most famous feminists in the United States and they are the reason why women can vote today. What many do not know is that there was a third woman: Matilda Joslyn Gage. Gage nearly disappeared from history due to her radical views and attacks on the Christian Church, but her legacy will continue forever. After all, she influenced one of the most famous movie characters of all time.

Matilda Joslyn Gage was born on March 24, 1826 in Cicero, New York. Her parents raised her to be an abolitionist; their home was a station on the Underground Railroad. Her parents also believed that their daughter should have an education, an uncommon belief in the United States at this time. In 1845, she married Henry Hill Gage and the couple settled in Fayetteville, New York. When she was not taking care of her four children, she was continuing her fight for freedom for the slaves. In 1850, Gage signed a petition stating that she would face a six month prison term and a $2,000 fine rather than obey the Fugitive Slave Law, which made criminals of anyone assisting slaves to freedom in the United States. During the Civil War, she organized supplies for the Union soldiers because she knew slavery would only end if the North won.

Gage missed the first Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls in 1848, but she attended and addressed the third national convection in Syracuse in 1852. Though she was inaudible to her audience and trembled, this was just the beginning of her fight for women’s rights. After the Civil War ended and her children grew up, Gage spent the rest of her life traveling across the country, giving lectures on equality. Along with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gage was a founding member of the National Woman Suffrage Association. Gage attempted to vote in 1871, but failed to make it to the polls. In 1872, Anthony was arrested after voting in the presidential election; Gage came to her aid and supported her during Anthony’s trial. In 1880, Gage led Fayetteville women to the polls when New York allowed women to vote in school district elections. In 1881, she co-wrote History of Woman Suffrage with Anthony and Stanton. She was frustrated about how history kept women out of it so she wrote about the famous accomplishments from females.

Besides speaking about the fair treatment of women and African Americans, she talked about the Native Americans. She spoke out against the unfair treatment of Native Americans and how the United States was forcing them to become citizenship and pay taxes. She was adopted into the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk nation and given the name Ka-ron-ien-ha-wi (Sky carrier). Gage also spoke about how women were considered equal in the Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy’s form of government. In 1890, Gage formed the Women’s National Liberal Union to fight against the effort to create a Christian state. She was worried that if religion and government united, women would never be able to vote since the bible believed women should serve men. She co-wrote The Women’s Bible with Stanton. The two women were ahead of their time since it is only recently that people have begun to question women’s roles in the bible.

When Gage left the National American Woman Suffrage Association to form the Women’s National Liberal Union, her belief that women were guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution to vote was deemed too liberal by other feminists; plus her attacks on the church didn’t help her popularity. She died in Chicago, Illinois on March 18, 1898. Her lifelong motto appears on her gravestone: “There is a word sweeter than Mother, Home or Heaven; that word is Liberty.” Her son-in-law, L. Frank Baum, was inspired by Gage to create strong female characters in his books. One of the character’s name was Dorothy and she was exploring a land called Oz…

Sources:

Who was Matilda Joslyn Gage

Matilda Joslyn Gage

Matilda Joslyn Gage. biography

Women’s Rights Activist

Women’s History deserves more than a Month

Standard

Did you know that Women History Month is March? Neither did I until recently. Since 1911, March 8 has been International Women’s Day and in March 1987, Congress expanded the whole month of March to be about women. Even though I went through the public school system from 1995-2007, I never once learned about Women History Month. Though I don’t really care for Minority Months, the the months dedicated to every gender, race, culture, sexuality outside the stereotypical “white straight Christian man” created to show how minorities also helped shaped the United States, I do worry that people are forgetting how much women have done and continue to do for the United States.

I recently was planning my trip to New York city to see Susan B. Anthony’s home. My name is Susan and I have dedicated several research papers to her throughout my life. As I read the tips on the page, I cam across one comment: “Before a visit, get a deep background to understand with some precision what Susan B. Anthony is all about. She doesn’t much matter now, but she did then.” Wait, what??? Anthony is the reason why I, and millions of other women, was able to vote last election. Because of her and millions of other women who came before me, I am able to go to college, have a job, and walk outside my house without a man escorting me.

Susan B. Anthony Day

Susan B. Anthony Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In school we are taught about the Founding Fathers, but do we learned about the women who took care of the children, the house, and the harm while the men were busy? We learn about the soldiers that defended our country during war, but what about the women who worked in the factories or disguised themselves as men to join the war? We learn about the Presidents who created laws, but what about the First Ladies that made speeches to gain support for their husbands? Do we learn how it was the Women who worked for equality for Everyone, not only for themselves but for the slaves, the Native Americans, the Immigrants, the mental illness, the disabled,  the children, and even the “white straight Christian man.”

It is hard to believe that everyone realizes how great women are when politicians spend time and money trying to control women’s choices and bodies. A minority of men even believe “rape” is imaginary since women are always asking for it, a reason why a rapist can get a slap on the wrist while a victim is forced to drop out of school. Though more women than men graduate college, men continue to make more than women at the exact same job. Everyday women prove to the world how much they do matter; last summer it was the female athletes who brought home most of the medals home to the United States and last fall it was the female voters who decided the president. Women deserve more than a month that no one knows exist, they deserve an equal part in the history books.