Susan B. Anthony

Feb. 15,1820 - March 13,1906

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony was America's foremost advocate for women's rights. Her story is an inspiration to women of today, the beneficiaries* of the struggles she and many other women endured in the 1800's.

It began in 1820 when she was born into a Quaker family in Massachusetts. The family was opposed to slavery, and her father avoided purchasing cotton for his mill which had been raised by slave labor.

Her father started a school for his children and hired a young woman, Mary Perkins, to teach them.

When Susan was fifteen years old the family moved into a new fifteen-room brick home, the finest in the community. Life was good for them. Two year's later Susan and her sister became teachers earning $1.50 a week plus board.

When she was seventeen she left home to join her sister Guelma where they attended a school in Philadelphia. They had to leave school when their father lost his business and their fine home in an economic downturn.

She continued teaching to help the family. At one time she replaced a man teacher and was very upset when she discovered she was only being paid one-fourth the salary of her male predecessor*.

In 1845 she moved with her parents to a farm near Rochester, New York. They transported their horse, wagon, and household goods by boat down the Erie Canal.

She received an offer to teach at the Canajoharie Academy where she made new friends who were not Quakers. Discarding the somber clothing and restrictions on music and dancing, she began to enjoy a social life.

She joined the temperance* movement which sought to prohibit the production of alcohol and its consumption. At one meeting she spoke to a group of 200 men and women regarding the evils of alcohol.

She also became interested in the Women's Rights movement. At that time women could not own property or vote.

She contacted Frederick Douglass to find out first-hand the needs of his people. Douglass and his family attended anti-slavery meetings at her father's farm.

As she became more active in the temperance movement the Daughters of Temperance in Rochester elected Susan their president.

Some ladies in the women's movement began to wear "bloomer"* costumes. They wore long full bloomer pants under their dresses. They enjoyed the freedom of movement the clothing gave them, but Susan wasn't quite ready for that.

She finally relented*, cut her hair, and put on the bloomers in support of the movement.

She developed a friendship with Elizabeth Stanton and Lucy Stone. This friendship would develop into the woman's rights movement in America.

Once when Susan spoke out at a temperance meeting, the leader informed her that women had been invited to the meeting "to listen and learn, not to speak". She and several other ladies left the meeting indignantly. The story was published in the newspapers, and the women began holding meetings of their own.

One winter a wealthy Quaker man started taking her to meetings in his own sleigh, providing warmth for her, and taking care of her. He wanted Susan to marry him, but she would have to give up her crusade to do it, and she was unwilling to do so.

Susan was instrumental in the passage of the Married Women's Property Bill in New York which stated that a woman had the right to hold property, carry on a trade, and collect and use her own earnings. It also provided joint guardianship of the children with her husband. This protected her right to raise her children if her husband were to die.

Her father's death in 1862 was devastating to her. For weeks she felt nothing but grief.

She started petitions to outlaw slavery. Over time she obtained 400,000 signatures. In April 1864 the Thirteenth Amendment which abolished slavery passed the Senate.

When the Fourteenth Amendment was passed guaranteeing equal protection under the law, Susan was dismayed by the wording in Section 2 defining voters as "male citizens". There was still more work for her to do; women had been left out. She regarded the amendment as "utterly inadequate".

She began to circulate woman suffrage* petitions in New York. Suffrage is "the civil right to vote or the exercise of that right". Women in America did not have that right.

With some financial help from George Francis Train she started a newspaper The Revolution to promote woman suffrage. The publication not only sought to promote the vote for women but to establish justice for all who were oppressed. When Train was no longer able to financially support the paper, she struggled to keep it in production.

In 1872 Susan went to the place of voter registration and asked to register. She claimed her right under the Fourteenth Amendment, and she and three other women were permitted to register. Then she found twelve more women, and by the end of the registration period fifty women were registered.

She voted in the election in which Ulysses S. Grant was elected president, and two weeks later a deputy marshal was sent to arrest her. When they asked for her fare on the street car, she embarrassed the marshal by loudly announcing, "I'm traveling at the expense of the government. This gentleman is escorting me to jail. Ask him for my fare."

The other women who had voted were also arrested. At Susan's trial the jury, of course, was all male. The judge refused to let her testify on her own behalf. Judge Henry Selden, the lawyer she had retained to defend her, presented her case. The judge himself declared her guilty and deprived her of a trial by jury.

Later on when the judge said, "Does the prisoner have anything to say?", she surely did. Susan talked on and on in spite of the judge's attempts to quiet her. He finally fined her $100.

Susan continued to fight for the right of women to vote. She groomed younger women to take her place; the "girls" she called them.

She longed to see women voting throughout the world, but when she died in 1906, just one month after her 86th birthday, this dream had only been realized in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Idaho, and far away in New Zealand and Australia.

In 1979 in her honor the U.S. Mint officially released the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin. Over 1 billion of the coins were minted.

This biography by Patsy Stevens, a retired teacher, was written in 2007.

Many of the facts in this story were taken from the book Susan B. Anthony, Rebel, Crusader, Humanitarian online book by Alma Lutzs ( You may want to "View - Text size" and enlarge the print twice.)

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Susan B. Anthony
biography from

Speech by Susan B. Anthony
On Women's Right to Vote

Susan Brownell Anthony

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony
biography with audio version

The Trial of Susan B. Anthony

Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

From Word Central's Student Dictionary
by Merriam - Webster

(Pronunciation note: the schwa sound is shown by ə)

Pronunciation: 'pred-ə-"ses-ər, 'prEd-
Function: noun
one that precedes; especially : a person who has held a position or office before another

Pronunciation: 'tem-p(ə-)rən(t)s, -pərn(t)s
Function: noun
1 : control over one's acts, thoughts, or feelings : MODERATION, RESTRAINT
2 : the use of little or no alcoholic drink

Pronunciation: 'səf-rij
Function: noun
the right of voting; also : the exercise of such right

Pronunciation: 'bloo-mərz
Function: noun plural
Etymology: named for Amelia Bloomer who introduced the garment
full loose pants gathered at the knee and once worn by women for sports;
also : underpants of similar design worn chiefly by girls

Pronunciation: ri-'lent
Function: verb
to become less severe, harsh, or strict

Pronunciation: "ben-ə-'fish-E-"er-E, -'fish-(ə-)rE
Function: noun
a person who benefits or is expected to benefit from something

066916: Susan B Anthony Biography FunBook Susan B Anthony Biography FunBook
By Carole Marsh & Sherry Moss(Editor) / Gallopade International

Everyone's favorite way to learn about America's most important citizens! Easy-to-read information, facts, trivia, humor and activities are all included in Biography Funbooks! Ages 7-12. paperback.

545474: When They Were Girls When They Were Girls
By Rebecca Deming Moore / A. B. Publishing

We know Clara Barton's dedication to suffering man. We've read Louisa May Alcott's,Little Women. Jane Adams started a house for destitute women in Chicago. The list goes on. But what kind of homes made these women great? What were the advantages these ladies of fame had as children? What was it like when they were girls?

When They Were Girls contains the stories of a group of American women, each one of whom occupies a very important place in her particular field. The stories of these women have been written many times before, but these stories focus on the girlhoods of these famous women. You'll read about: Louisa Alcott, Susan Anthony, Amy Marcy Cheney Beach, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Helen Keller, Frances E Willard, and many more. Recommended for ages 8 to 12.


Susan B. Anthony (Time for Kids)
by Herweck Dona, Dona Herweck (selected pages) Order here

Susan B Anthony: Civil Rights Crusader
by Carole Marsh (selected pages) Order here

Susan B. Anthony (Ready to Read, Level 3)
by Deborah Hopkinson, Amy June Bates (selected pages) Order here

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
by Joanne Mattern (selected pages) Order here

Susan B. Anthony, Champion of Women's Rights
by Helen Albee Monsell (selected pages) Order here

Susan B. Anthony - Plays by American Women
by Judith E. Barlow (selected pages) Order here

Susan B. Anthony, First Biographies
by Martha E. H. Rustad, Gail Saunders-Smith (selected pages) Order here

The History of Woman Suffrage
(public domain 1922, full view)
(the "+" in the magnifying glass will enlarge the print)

Preview these Amazon books using the links below.

Fighting for Equal Rights, A Story About Susan B. Anthony
by Maryann N. Weidt (selected pages)

Susan B. Anthony and the Women's Movement
by Terri DeGezelle (selected pages)

Susan B. Anthony, Fighter for Freedom
by Suzanne Slade, Craig Orback (selected pages)

Susan B. Anthony, A Life of Fairness
by Jennifer Boothroyd (selected pages)

Susan B. Anthony
by Lucia Raatma (selected pages)

Susan B. Anthony, Photo-illustrated Biographies
by Lucile Davis (selected pages)

Susan B. Anthony
by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson (selected pages)

Page Comments

Most Recent Comments   ( See more comments on this page )
I think that you should add Condelizza Rice as a famous american. However, it was a pretty good type-up.I would verify this other paragraphs about Susan B. Anthony.
Chinasa Dibiaezue
All praise to Susan Brownell Anthony, I hope to meet her in heaven someday!
Annette R.
Susan was a good leader and it is amazing of what she accomplished:):):):):):

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Biographies in this Series

Reference citations information for these biographies

Presidents of
the United States
George Washington John Adams Thomas Jefferson James Madison James Monroe Andrew Jackson
  Martin Van Buren Abraham Lincoln Theodore Roosevelt Franklin D. Roosevelt Harry S. Truman Dwight D. Eisenhower
  John F. Kennedy Lyndon B. Johnson Jimmy Carter Ronald Reagan Barack Obama Calvin Coolidge
American Patriots Benjamin Franklin Francis Scott Key Deborah Sampson Molly Pitcher
World Leaders Constantine Alexander the Great Winston Churchill Margaret Thatcher
Inventors Alexander Graham Bell Johann Gutenberg Cyrus McCormick The Wright Brothers Henry Ford Thomas A. Edison
  Sequoyah Nikola Tesla Michael Faraday Dean Kamen Jack Kilby Leonardo Da Vinci
  Donald O'Neal
Explorers Christopher Columbus Meriwether Lewis Robert Peary John Muir Matthew Henson Sir Edmund Hillary
  Kit Carson Johnny Appleseed Daniel Boone
Women who made
a difference
Clara Barton Helen Keller Florence Nightingale Joan of Arc Amelia Earhart Annie Oakley
  Susan B. Anthony Elizabeth Keckly Harriet Tubman Anne Frank Eleanor Roosevelt Madam C.J. Walker
  Sadako Sasaki Henrietta Lacks Malala Yousafzai      
Scientists George Washington Carver Sir Isaac Newton Marie Curie Louis Pasteur Albert Einstein Galileo
  Lise Meitner Norman Borlaug Benjamin Banneker
Educators Noah Webster Booker T. Washington Aristotle Mary McLeod Bethune
Physicians Hippocrates Walter Reed Albert Schweitzer
Religious Leaders George Muller Increase Mather
Athletes Lou Gehrig Wilma Rudolph Tiger Woods Michael Phelps
Civil Rights
Martin Luther King Rosa Parks Sojourner Truth Frederick Douglass Mary Ann Shadd Cary James Forten
  Gandhi César Chávez William Wilberforce Nelson Mandela
Composers Beethoven Mozart
Authors Laura Ingalls Wilder Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) Ernest Hemingway Greg Mortenson Phillis Wheatley
Artists John James Audubon Gutzon Borglum Ansel Adams Dale Chihuly Van Gogh Michelangelo
  Rembrandt Grandma Moses Cassatt Renoir Cezanne Rockwell


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