Susan B Anthony was born Susan Brownell Anthony on February 15, 1820, in Adam, Massachusetts. She was a well-known figure in the women’s suffrage movement and an ardent teacher. Her teaching experience fueled her love for speeches. Her father was a farmer and cotton mill owner, her mother was a Massachusetts state government official. Anthony’s ancestors had a history of fighting for human rights. Her mother’s family had fought in the American Revolution. Right from childhood, she witnessed political discussions unfold inside as well as outside her home. In addition, Anthony grew up with seven siblings in a Quaker household. Many attribute the Quaker belief system of integrity, equality, simplicity, community, stewardship of the Earth, and peace as an important reason behind her worldview.
Anthony’s first fight was against the abolition of slavery. She became an abolition activist at a time when women taking the streets and giving public speeches were frowned upon. This however did not deter her and she continued traveling throughout the U.S. delivering speeches against slavery. Through this, she met many fellow abolition activists such as William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass. Douglass ended up being a lifelong friend of Anthony even though they had a divided opinion on women’s right to vote.
One may wonder how women’s right to vote comes into play here and why is Susan B Anthony important in it?
Susan B Anthony was president of which Women’s Association?
- A. National Woman Suffrage Association
- B. National Women’s Association
- C. Quaker Suffrage Association
- D. Woman Suffrage Association
Supporting abolition of slavery was just the beginning of Anthony’s crusade against society and its masculine structure. It prepared her to organize and lead crowds demanding women’s rights.
Anthony met fellow abolitionist Elizabeth Cady Stanton at an anti-slavery meeting in Seneca Falls. She and Stanton faced a lot of opposition when they expressed their desire to address gatherings or give speeches. This led to her and Stanton forming a life-long alliance to fight for women’s right to speak, which later developed into the fight for women’s right to vote.
They co-founded the American Equal Rights Association and the subsequent newspaper ‘The Revolution’. They formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) which became a pioneering organization in helping U.S. women gain the right to vote in 1920.
From 1851 till her death in 1906 Susan B Anthony fought for women’s right to vote. Sadly, it was only 14 years after her death that the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote was passed.