Happy Birthday Susan B. Anthony

 

Susan B. Anthony chastising Grover Cleveland.

 

Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She traveled the United States and Europe, and gave 75 to 100 speeches per year on women's rights for 45 years.

Susan B. Anthony (adapted from an image courtesy Library of Congress)

 

 

Biographical excerpt from about.com -------------  (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906)

 

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.

 

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.

 

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Anthony on abortion:

"Guilty? Yes. 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 which impelled her to the crime!"

 

-Susan B. Anthony, The Revolution, 1869


“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.”

"Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these."

 

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"It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union."

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Josie06 Josie06
56-60, F
Feb 15, 2009