Susan B Anthony - Notable Women in History Series

Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 and raised in a Quaker household. After the failure of her father’s business in the 1830’s, her family’s farm became a meeting place for members of the abolitionist movement and she developed from an early age a strong moral code.  Famous abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass were known to visit the home.

After teaching for 15 years, Anthony became involved in the temperance movement. Yet upon her acquaintance with Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1851, she was inspired to fight for women’s rights, while continuing her campaign against alcohol. Once, when denied the opportunity to speak at a temperance convention, it is said that Anthony realized she would never been taken seriously in politics until she had the right to vote.

Together, Anthony and Stanton started a variety of petitions, including woman’s right to own property and to vote. She traveled extensively, campaigning on behalf of her deep-seated values and political goals. After the Civil War, and the end of slavery, Anthony focused most heavily on women’s rights. Still working closely with Stanton, they published numerous articles articulating the need for increased women’s rights.

Although Stanton never saw her dreams realized in woman’s suffrage (she died 14 years prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment) her efforts were critical in the fight for women’s rights. In recognition of her devotion to the cause, the U.S. Treasury Department put Anthony’s portrait on dollar coins in 1979, making her the first woman to hold such an honor.