By BettyJean Downing
Susan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906)
Pioneering suffragist, Susan B. Anthony, fought courageously for women’s rights. She was deeply respected, honored, and loved by the generations with whom she worked and inspired. Yet, she was vilified and faced unrelenting criticism from those who opposed women’s rights. Susan B. Anthony did not live to see women win the right to vote. Yet, in her last public speech, she reminded her audience that when people of good faith work together for justice, “Failure is impossible.”
Susan B. Anthony was born February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. She was brought up in a Quaker family with long activist traditions. Early in her life she developed a sense of justice and moral zeal.
After teaching for fifteen years, she became active in temperance. Because she was a woman, she was not allowed to speak at temperance rallies. This experience, and her acquaintance with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, led her to join the women’s rights movement in 1852. Soon after, she dedicated her life to woman suffrage.
Ignoring opposition and abuse, Anthony traveled, lectured and canvassed across the nation for the vote. She also campaigned for the abolition of slavery, women’s right to their own property and earnings, and women’s labor organizations. In 1900, Anthony persuaded the University of Rochester to admit women.
Anthony, who never married, was aggressive and compassionate by nature. She had a keen mind and a great ability to inspire. She remained active until her death on March 13, 1906.
Thank you to the Susan B. Anthony House for this biography, http://susanbanthonyhouse.org
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