Susan B. Anthony
Episode #3 of the course “Incredible female leaders through history”
Susan B. Anthony was born to a liberal Quaker family in the 19th century in the United States. She became a leading figure of women’s rights and the suffrage movement, with her efforts ultimately resulting in the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, giving women the right to vote. Anthony died in 1906 without seeing the amendment enacted.
Born in 1820 in New York, Anthony was a highly-educated woman who became a school teacher and an activist for abolition and temperance, in addition to women’s suffrage. Anthony first became known for her equal rights activism at age 17 when she gathered petitions to support the 14th Constitutional Amendment. After partnering with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, another prominent women’s rights activist in 1851, the two became an unstoppable team. Anthony spent most of her life speaking publically about women’s rights, joining the lecture circuit in 1870. She gathered signatures, published a women’s rights newspaper, and managed a number of associations dedicated to equal rights. She never married or had children.
In 1872, Anthony was arrested for voting. She was very publicly tried and convicted; she was ordered to pay a fine, which she died without paying. Instead, Anthony lobbied Congress for a women’s suffrage bill based on the rights given to all citizens by the 14th Amendment. Travelling to give speeches, gaining political clout, and gaining momentum as some states passed women’s suffrage, Anthony also exhausted herself collaborating on the monumental History of Women’s Suffrage.
She remained tireless in her efforts until her death in 1906, giving as many as 100 speeches per year. The “Anthony bill,” which became the 19th US Constitutional Amendment, giving women rights equal to those of men (including the right to vote), was passed in 1920.
“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do to their fellows, because it always coincides with their own desires.”
“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations… can never effect a reform.”
“The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball – the further I am rolled the more I gain.”
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