Edited by Gerald Boerner
Due to injury, this commentary will be added later. Please check back. Thank you. GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
[ 2698 Words ]
Quotations Related to SUSAN B. ANTHONY
“No Females Allowed”
— Sign in many restaurants in the mid-1800s
“Failure is impossible.”
— Susan B. Anthony
“I will never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.”
— Susan B. Anthony, to the judge’s fine for illegally voting in 1872
“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations… can never effect a reform.”
— Susan B. Anthony
“I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows.”
— Susan B. Anthony
“I beg you to speak of Woman as you do of the Negro, speak of her as a human being, as a citizen of the United States, as a half of the people in whose hands lies the destiny of this Nation.”
— Susan B. Anthony
“I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.”
— Susan B. Anthony
“I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old Revolutionary maxim. Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.”
— Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony Votes — Women’s Suffrage
Susan Brownell Anthony (1820 – 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 averaged 75 to 100 speeches per year.
In the era before the American Civil War, Anthony took a prominent role in the New York anti-slavery and temperance movements. In 1836, at age 16, Susan collected two boxes of petitions opposing slavery, in response to the gag rule prohibiting such petitions in the House of Representatives. In 1849, at age 29, she became secretary for the Daughters of Temperance, which gave her a forum to speak out against alcohol abuse, and served as the beginning of Anthony’s movement towards the public limelight.
Woman suffrage in the United States was achieved gradually, at state and local levels, during the 19th Century and early 20th Century, culminating in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provided: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote are not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."
In late 1850, Anthony read a detailed account in the New York Tribune of the first National Women’s Rights Convention in Worcester, Massachusetts. In the article, Horace Greeley wrote an especially admiring description of the final speech, one given by Lucy Stone. Stone’s words catalyzed Anthony to devote her life to women’s rights. In the summer of 1852, Anthony met both Greeley and Stone in Seneca Falls.
Universal manhood suffrage, by establishing an aristocracy of sex, imposes upon the women of this nation a more absolute and cruel despotism than monarchy; in that, woman finds a political master in her father, husband, brother, son. The aristocracies of the old world are based upon birth, wealth, refinement, education, nobility, brave deeds of chivalry; in this nation, on sex alone; exalting brute force above moral power, vice above virtue, ignorance above education, and the son above the mother who bore him.
— National Woman Suffrage Association.
In 1851, on a street in Seneca Falls, Anthony was introduced to Elizabeth Cady Stanton by a mutual acquaintance, as well as fellow feminist Amelia Bloomer. Anthony joined with Stanton in organizing the first women’s state temperance society in America after being refused admission to a previous convention on account of her sex, in 1851. Stanton remained a close friend and colleague of Anthony’s for the remainder of their lives, but Stanton longed for a broader, more radical women’s rights platform. Together, the two women traversed the United States giving speeches and attempting to persuade the government that society should treat men and women equally.
Anthony was invited to speak at the third annual National Women’s Rights Convention held in Syracuse, New York in September 1852. She and Matilda Joslyn Gage both made their first public speeches for women’s rights at the convention. Anthony began to gain notice as a powerful public advocate of women’s rights and as a new and stirring voice for change. Anthony participated in every subsequent annual National Women’s Rights Convention, and served as convention president in 1858.
In 1856, Anthony further attempted to unify the African-American and women’s rights movements when, recruited by abolitionist Abby Kelley Foster, she became an agent for William Lloyd Garrison’s American Anti-Slavery Society of New York. Speaking at the Ninth National Women’s Rights Convention on May 12, 1859, Anthony asked "Where, under our Declaration of Independence, does the Saxon man get his power to deprive all women and Negroes of their inalienable rights?"
On January 1, 1868, Anthony first published a weekly journal entitled The Revolution. Printed in New York City, its motto was: "The true republic—men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less." Anthony worked as the publisher and business manager, while Elizabeth Cady Stanton acted as editor. The main thrust of The Revolution was to promote women’s and African-Americans’ right to suffrage, but it also discussed issues of equal pay for equal work, more liberal divorce laws and the church’s position on women’s issues.
The journal was backed by independently wealthy George Francis Train, who provided $600 in starting funds. His financial support ceased by May 1869, and the paper began to operate in debt. Anthony insisted on expensive, high-quality printing equipment, and she paid women workers the high wages she thought they deserved. She banned any advertisements for alcohol- and morphine-laden patent medicines; all such medicines were abhorrent to her. However, revenue from non-patent-medicine advertisements was too low to cover costs.
In June 1870, Laura Curtis Bullard, a Brooklyn-based writer whose parents became wealthy from selling a popular morphine-containing patent medicine called "Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup", bought The Revolution for one dollar, with Anthony assuming its $10,000 debt, an amount equal to $171,000 in current value. Anthony used her lecture fees to repay the debt, completing the task in six years. Under Bullard, the journal adopted a literary orientation and accepted patent medicine ads, but it folded in February 1872.
American Equal Rights Association
In 1869, long-time friends Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony found themselves, for the first time, on opposing sides of a debate. The American Equal Rights Association (AERA), which had originally fought for both blacks’ and women’s right to suffrage, voted to support the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, granting suffrage to black men, but not women. Anthony questioned why women should support this amendment when black men were not continuing to show support for women’s voting rights. Partially as a result of the decision by the AERA, Anthony soon thereafter devoted herself almost exclusively to the agitation for women’s rights.
On November 18, 1872, Anthony was arrested by a U.S. Deputy Marshal for voting illegally in the 1872 Presidential Election two weeks earlier. She had written to Stanton on the night of the election that she had "positively voted the Republican ticket—straight…". She was tried and convicted seven months later, despite the stirring and eloquent presentation of her arguments that the recently adopted Fourteenth Amendment, which guaranteed to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" the privileges of citizenship, and which contained no gender qualification, gave women the constitutional right to vote in federal elections. Her trial took place at the Ontario County courthouse in Canandaigua, New York. The sentence was a fine, but not imprisonment; and true to her word in court, she never paid the penalty for the rest of her life. The trial gave Anthony the opportunity to spread her arguments to a wider audience than ever before.
Anthony toured Europe in 1883 and visited many charitable organizations. She wrote of a poor mother she saw in Killarney that had "six ragged, dirty children" to say that "the evidences were that ‘God’ was about to add a No. 7 to her flock. What a dreadful creature their God must be to keep sending hungry mouths while he withholds the bread to fill them!"
In 1893, she joined with Helen Barrett Montgomery in forming a chapter of the Woman’s Educational and Industrial Union (WEIU) in Rochester. In 1898, she also worked with Montgomery to raise funds to open opportunities for women students to study at the University of Rochester.
National Suffrage Organizations
In 1869, Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Woman’s Suffrage Association (NWSA), an organization dedicated to gaining women’s suffrage. Anthony was vice-president-at-large of the NWSA from the date of its organization until 1892, when she became president.
In the early years of the NWSA, Anthony made many attempts to unite women in the labor movement with the suffragist cause, but with little success. She and Stanton were delegates at the 1868 convention of the National Labor Union. However, Anthony inadvertently alienated the labor movement not only because suffrage was seen as a concern for middle-class rather than working-class women, but because she openly encouraged women to achieve economic independence by entering the printing trades, where male workers were on strike at the time. Anthony was later expelled from the National Labor Union over this controversy.
In 1890, Anthony orchestrated the merger of the NWSA with the more moderate American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), creating the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Prior to the controversial merge, Anthony had created a special NWSA executive committee to vote on whether they should merge with the AWSA, despite the fact that using a committee instead of an all-member vote went against the NWSA constitution. 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 favored the merger. (Two members who voted against the merger were asked to resign).
Anthony’s pursuit of alliances with moderate suffragists created long-lasting tension between herself and more radical suffragists like Stanton. Stanton openly criticized Anthony’s stance, writing that Anthony and AWSA leader Lucy Stone "see suffrage only. They do not see woman’s religious and social bondage." Anthony responded to Stanton: "We number over ten thousand women and each one has opinions … and we can only hold them together to work for the ballot by letting alone their whims and prejudices on other subjects!"
The creation of the NAWSA effectively marginalized the more radical elements within the women’s 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 factions of less-radical members within the new organization.
In collaboration with Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper, Anthony published The History of Woman Suffrage (4 vols., New York, 1884–1887). Anthony also befriended Josephine Brawley Hughes, an advocate of women’s rights and Prohibition in Arizona, and Carrie Chapman Catt, whom Anthony endorsed for the presidency of the NAWSA when Anthony formally retired in 1900.
World War I
Satirical political cartoon that appeared
Puck magazine, October 9, 1915. Caption
"I did not raise my girl to be a voter"
parodies the antiwar song "I Didn’t Raise
My Boy To Be A Soldier". A chorus of
disreputable men support a lone
World War I provided the final push for women’s suffrage in America. After President Woodrow Wilson announced that World War I was a war for democracy, women were up in arms. Members of the NWP held up banners saying that the United States was not a democracy. Women in the audience of his public speeches began to ask the question "Mr. President, if you sincerely desire to forward the interests of all the people, why do you oppose the national enfranchisement of women?" On January 1918 the President acceded to the women who had been protesting at his public speeches and made a pro-suffrage speech. The next year Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote.
Woman Suffrage in Individual States
In addition to the strategy to obtain full suffrage through a constitutional amendment, reformers pursued state-by-state campaigns to build support for, or to win, residence-based state suffrage. Towns, counties, states and territories granted suffrage, in full or in part, throughout the 19th and early 20th century. As women received the right to vote, they began running for, and being elected to, public office. They gained positions as school board members, county clerks, state legislators, judges, and eventually, shortly before ratification of the 19th Amendment, as Members of Congress. To make the point that women were interested in partisan politics and would be effective public officials, in the 19th century two women ran for the presidency: Victoria Woodhull in 1872, and Belva Lockwood in 1884 and 1888. Neither was permitted under the law to vote, but nothing in the law prevented them from running for office. Each woman pointed to this irony in her campaigning. Lockwood ran a fuller, more national campaign than Woodhull, giving speeches across the country and organizing several electoral tickets.
On the whole, western states and territories were more favorable to women’s suffrage than eastern ones (see map). It has been suggested that western areas, faced with a shortage of women on the frontier, "sweetened the deal" in order to make themselves more attractive to women so as to encourage female immigration or that they gave the vote as a reward to those women already there. Others, such as Susan Anthony, held that western men were more chivalrous than their eastern brethren. As it happened, when women got the vote nationwide, Wyoming women had already been voting for half a century.
[Editor’s Note: Check out the full Wikipedia article for information on the individual states.]
Please take time to further explore more about SUSAN B. ANTHONY
and the AMERICAN SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT by accessing the Wikipedia
articles referenced below…
Other Events on this Day:
Guy Fawkes is arrested before he can blow up the British Parliament and kill King James I and the Protestant nobility. Nov. 5 is still celebrated as Guy Fawkes Night in Great Britain, with firework displays and the burning of Guy Fawkes effigies to celebrate his failure to destroy Parliament.
Frustrated by Union troop’s lack of success, Abraham Lincoln removes George McClellan from command of the Army of the Potomac.
Suffragette Susan B. Anthony casts a vote for Ulysses S. Grant in the 1872 presidential election. She will later be arrested and eventually fined $100, which she’ll refuse to pay throughout the rest of her life.
Wyoming citizens approve the first state constitution granting full voting rights to women. (The first territorial legislature of the Wyoming Territory granted women suffrage in 1869.)
Woodrow Wilson defeats incumbent William Howard Taft and former president Theodore Roosevelt to become the twenty-eighth U.S. president.
Everett Alvarez begins month 28 of what will eventually be 102 months as a POW in North Vietnam.
Former president Ronald Reagan announces that he has Alzheimer’s disease.
At age 45, George Foreman becomes the oldest heavyweight champion of the world, 20 years after losing the title to Muhammad Ali at the “Rumble in the Jungle.” Foreman defeats 26-year-old Michael Moorer in 10 rounds.
Dates and events based on:
William J. Bennett and John Cribb, (2008) The American Patriot’s Almanac Daily Readings on America. (Kindle Edition)
Gerald Boerner: Prof. Boerner’s Explorations — Susan B. Anthony…
Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:
Wikipedia: Susan B. Anthony…
Wikipedia: Women’s Suffrage in the United States…
Brainy Quote: SUSAN B. ANTHONY…