Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony


Happy Birthday to this American Suffragist!  Susan B. Anthony was born this day, February 15, 1820. Susan spent her life working for women’s rights.  She was a champion of temperance, abolition, the rights of labor, and equal pay for equal work, Susan Brownell Anthony became one of the most visible leaders of the women’s suffrage movement. Susan was good at strategy and her discipline, energy, and ability to organize made her a strong and successful leader.


Quaker Beginnings

Susan B. Anthony was born in Adams, Massachusetts. Her father was a farmer and later a cotton mill owner and was raised as a Quaker. Her mother’s family fought in the American Revolution and served in the Massachusetts state government.  Susan was inspired by the Quaker belief that everyone was equal under God. That idea guided her throughout her life. She had seven brothers and sisters, many of whom became activists for justice and emancipation of slaves.

Arrest and Trial

In 1872, she was arrested for voting. After casting her ballot in the 1872 Presidential election Susan was arrested for voting illegally. At her two-day trial in June 1873, she later described as “the greatest judicial outrage history has ever recorded,” she was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of $100 and court costs. This made many people angry and brought national attention to the suffrage movement.

Lobbying before Congress

In 1888, she helped to merge the two largest suffrage associations into one, the National American Women’s Suffrage Association and led the group until 1900. Susan and  Elizabeth Cady Stanton traveled around the country delivering speeches in favor of women’s suffrage. Together they gathered thousands of signatures on petitions, and lobbied Congress every year for women. Anthony died in 1906, 14 years before women were given the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Anti-Slavery Warrior

Susan B. Anthony served as an American Anti-Slavery Society agent, arranging meetings, making speeches, putting up posters and distributing leaflets. When she encountered hostile mobs, armed threats, and had things thrown at her, she still did not quit.

Her strong beliefs in equal rights lead her to become the first woman’s face on a silver dollar. Susan’s work helped pave the way for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote.

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