Famous Suffragists

~Susan Brownwell Anthony~

     Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820, in a farm near Adams, Massachusetts. Her father, Daniel, was a Quaker abolitionist and her mother, Lucy Read, was a Baptist. Lucy had 6 children that survived infancy, 4 girls and 2 boys. Anthony was the 2nd child. When Anthony was 6, her family moved to Battenville, New York. Anthony along with her siblings recieved much of their formal education in a home school.
     Anthony started to teach before she was sixteen. She felt
that her education had not been enough. In 1837, her father put her in Deborah Moulson's Female Seminary, a Quaker school in Philadelphia.
     In 1839, Anthony's family moved to Hardscrabble, New York. She taught at Eunice Kenyon's Friends' Seminary and then at Canajoharie Academy.
    Her family moved again in 1845 to a farm in Gates, New York. She lost interest in teaching in 1849 and went to Rochester to run the farm while her father built up his insurance business.
    In 1848, Anthony's younger sister, Mary, attended the Adjourned Convention in Rochester, New York of the first Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls. Anthony joined the Daughters of Temperance in 1848. A few years later, she was not allowed to speak at a temperance rally in Albany because she was a woman. Outraged, she left the Society, and formed the Woman's New York State Temperance Society.
   During the 1850s, Anthony became more interested in women's rights. In the early 1850s, she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Seneca Falls. In 1852, she attended her first woman's rights convention, in Syracuse, New York.
She incorporated women's rights into three reform movements: temperance, labor and education. She helped  organize the "Whole World's Temperance Convention" in New York City. She also helped a group of seamstresses draft a code for fair wages for working women in the city. At a New York State Teacher's Association meeting, she demanded that women be allowed to participate in discussions formerly opened only to men.
     In 1854, Anthony began to organize petition drives for women's rights. She went door to door obtaining signatures to present to the legislature. In 1868, she and Stanton published a newspaper for women's rights, they called it the Revolution. In May, 1869, Anthony and Stanton formed the National Woman Suffrage Association.  Anthony served as a member of the executive committee and later as vice-president, while Stanton was the president. For the next thirty years, Anthony traveled across the country, speaking to promote women's rights.
     In 1972, she voted in the presidential election. She was arrested and tried in the U.S. District Court. She never paid her fine of $100.
     In 1883, Anthony, Stanton, and Matilda Joslyn Gage published the three volumes of History of Women Suffrage.
She still fought hard for womens rights but died in March 1906 after her heart failed. She did not live to see women gain their rights.


~Elizabeth Cady Stanton~

      Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born on November 12, 1815 in Johnstown, New York. She graduated from the Emma Willard's Troy Female Seminary in 1832. In 1840 she married Henry Stanton.  They went to the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London, where she joined other women in objecting to their exclusion from the assembly. Elizabeth and Henry had seven children. Then they returned to the United States and settled in Seneca Falls, New York.
      With Lucretia Mott and several other women, Elizabeth Cady Stanton held the famous Seneca Falls Convention in July 1848. At this meeting, the attendees drew up its “Declaration of Sentiments” and took the lead in proposing that women be granted the right to vote. She continued to write and lecture on women's rights and other reforms of the day. After meeting Susan B. Anthony in the early 1850s, she became one of the leaders in promoting women's rights.
       During the Civil War, Elizabeth Cady Stanton concentrated her efforts on abolishing slavery, but afterwards she became even more outspoken in promoting women suffrage. In 1868, she worked with Susan B. Anthony on the Revolution, a weekly paper. The two then formed the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869. Stanton was the NWSA’s first president. At that time the organization merged with another suffrage group to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Stanton served as the president of the new organization for two years.
       Elizabeth Cady Stanton traveled to give lectures and speeches. Stanton also worked with Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage on the first three volumes of the History of Woman Suffrage
       Stanton also took on the role religion played in the struggle for equal rights for women. She had long argued that the Bible and organized religion played in denying women their full rights. With her daughter, Harriet Stanton Blatch, she published a critique, The Woman's Bible, which was published in two volumes. The first volume appeared in 1895 and the second in 1898. This brought considerable protest not only from expected religious quarters but from many in the woman suffrage movement. Stanton died on October 26, 1902.


Lucy Burns


Another famous women suffragist was Lucy Burns. She was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 28th, 1879. She had seven brothers and sisters.

             Lucy Burn’s father supported the fact that boys and girls were supposed to be equally educated. She graduated from Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1902. She even went to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Later on, she taught in a public school in Brooklyn, Erasmus. At one point, in 1906, when she was 27 years old, she moved to Germany for two years to study languages. (1906 to 1908) When she got back to America, she taught in a public school in Brooklyn.

Three years later, Lucy went to England to attend Oxford University. This was where she got interested in women’s right to vote. She earned a special award from Pankhursts’ Women’s Social Political Union for the courage that she showed when she got arrested and when she went on prison hunger strikes. She left England to help this similar cause in America.

In 1912, Lucy Burns and Alice Paul fought for a way to make a constitutional amendment to promise and guarantee that women could vote in the United States. In 1913, they created the Congressional Union for Women’s Suffrage. About 3 years later, it turned into the National Women’s Party.

Lucy was arrested six times and spent a lot of time in jail. She spent more time in jail than in any other suffragist.

  On August 26th, 1920 Lucy retreated from political activism. She died in Brooklyn on December 22, 1966.