Susan Brownell Anthony was one of the early U.S.
fighters for women's suffrage
, as well as the temperance
movements. She was born in 1820
to a Quaker
family who supported the anti-slavery movement and held meetings with Frederick Douglass
in their home. She grew up to become a teacher
, but during fifteen years of that work it began to grate on her that male teachers earned several times what she did for the same work and with the same amount of experience. Not being allowed to speak at abolitionist conventions also bothered her. By 1852
, she became a member of the woman suffrage movement with her friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Anthony toured the U.S. speaking in favor of abolition, temperance, and women's rights. During the decades of her work, "more than any other woman suffrage leader, she was the victim of masculine ridicule." (75 Suffragists) This may have been because, unlike most of the leading 19th century female suffragists, she never married. She co-founded the National Woman's Suffrage Association in 1869 with Stanton, and the two also published a paper called The Revolution from 1868 to 1870. In 1872 she tested a theory that the Constitution allowed women to vote; she registered to vote and when the Presidential election occurred, became the first woman to be arrested for voting. She never paid the fine that was imposed on her for this "crime."
With Stanton and Melinda Gage, she co-wrote the six-volume History of Woman Suffrage, and later an autobiography with Ida Husted Harper. She also founded the International Council of Women. In 1900, she even cashed in her life insurance to meet the University of Rochester's financial demands for admitting female students. She wrote the amendment which was adopted in 1920 after her death to allow women to vote.
She died of heart failure in 1906, about a month after giving a speech which ended with the words "Failure is impossible." She was memorialized in 1979 on a U.S. Susan B. Anthony dollar coin which is little used due to its similarity in size and color to a quarter coin.
"Woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself."
"The true republic: men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less."