Susan B. Anthony - Rebel, Crusader, Humanitarian
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Susan B. Anthony - Rebel, Crusader, Humanitarian


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Susan B. Anthony, by Alma Lutz
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Title: Susan B. Anthony  Rebel, Crusader, Humanitarian
Author: Alma Lutz
Release Date: January 25, 2007 [EBook #20439]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
Produced by Mark C. Orton, Richard J. Shiffer and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
Transcriber's Note:
Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the copyright on this publication was renewed.
Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as possible, including obsolete and variant spellings and other inconsistencies. Text that has been changed to correct an obvious error is noted at theendof this ebook.
Susan B. Anthony
Alma Lutz was born and brought up in North Dakota, graduated from the Emma Willard School and Vassar College, and attended the Boston University School of Business Administration. She has written numerous articles and pamphlets and for many years has been a contributor toThe Christian Science Monitor. Active in organizations working for the political, civil, and economic rights of women, she has also been interested in preserving the records of women's role in history and serves on the Advisory Board of the Radcliffe Women's Archives. Miss Lutz is the author ofEmma Willard, Daughter of Democracy (1929), Created Equal, A Biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1940),Challenging Years, The Memoirs of Harriot Stanton Blatch, with Harriot Stanton Blatch (1940), and the editor ofWith Love Jane, Letters from American Women on the War Fronts(1945).
© 1959 by Alma Lutz Member of the Authors League of America
Published by arrangement with Beacon Press All rights reserved.
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Lutz, Alma. Susan B. Anthony: rebel, crusader, humanitarian.
Reprint of the ed. published by Beacon Press, Boston. Bibliography: p. Includes index. 1. Anthony, Susan Brownell, 1820-1906. [JK1899.A6L8 1975] 324'.3'0924 [B] 75-37764 ISBN 0-89201-017-7
Printed in the United States of America
To the young women of today
To strive for liberty and for a democratic way of life has always been a noble tradition of our country. Susan B. Anthony followed this tradition. Convinced that the principle of equal rights for all, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, must be expressed in the laws of a true republic, she devoted her life to the establishment of this ideal.
Because she recognized in Negro slavery and in the legal bondage of women flagrant violations of this principle, she became an active, courageous, effective antislavery crusader and a champion of civil and political rights for women. She saw women's struggle for freedom from legal restrictions as an important phase in the development of American democracy. To her this struggle was never a battle of the sexes, but a battle such as any freedom-loving people would wage for civil and political rights.
While her goals for women were only partially realized in her lifetime, she prepared the soil for the acceptance not only of her long-hoped-for federal woman suffrage amendment but for a worldwide recognition of human rights, now expressed in the United Nations Charter and the Declaration of Human Rights. She looked forward to the time when throughout the world there would be no discrimination because of race, color, religion, or sex.
"The letters of a person ...," said Thomas Jefferson, "form the only full and genuine journal of his life." Susan B. Anthony's letters, hundreds of them, preserved in libraries and private collections, and her diaries have been the basis of this biography, and I acknowledge my indebtedness to the following libraries and their helpful librarians: the American Antiquarian Society; the Bancroft Library of the University of California; the Boston Public Library; the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery; the Indiana State Library; the Kansas Historical Society; the Library of Congress; the Susan B. Anthony Memorial Collection of the Los Angeles Public Library, which has been transferred to the Henry E. Huntington Library; the New York Public Library; the New York State Library; the Ohio State Library; the Radcliffe Women's Archives; the Seneca Falls Historical Society; the Smith College Library; the Susan B. Anthony Memorial Inc., Rochester, New York; the University of Rochester Library; the University of Kentucky Library; and the Vassar College Library.
I am particularly indebted to Lucy E. Anthony, who asked me to write a biography of her aunt, lent me her aunt's diaries, and was most generous with her records and personal recollections. To her and to her sister, Mrs. Ann Anthony Bacon, I am very grateful for photographs and for permission to quote from Susan B. Anthony's diaries and from her letters and manuscripts.
Ida Husted Harper'sLife and Work of Susan B. Anthony, written in collaboration with Susan B. Anthony, and theHistory of Woman Suffrage, compiled by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper, have been invaluable. As many of the letters and documents used in the preparation of these books were destroyed, they have preserved an important record of the work of Susan B. Anthony and of the woman's rights movement.
I am especially grateful to Martha Taylor Howard for her unfailing interest and for the use of the valuable Susan B. Anthony Memorial Collection which she initiated and developed in Rochester, New York; and to Una R. Winter for her interest and for the use of her Susan B. Anthony Collection, most of which is now in the Henry E. Huntington Library.
I thank Edna M. Stantial for permission to examine and quote from the Blackwell Papers; Anna Dann Mason for permission to read her reminiscences and the many letters written to her by Susan B. Anthony; Ellen Garrison for permission to quote from letters of Lucretia Mott and Martha C. Wright; Eleanor W. Thompson for copies of Susan B. Anthony's letters to Amelia Bloomer; Henry R. Selden II whose grandfather was Susan B. Anthony's lawyer during her trial for voting; Judge John Van Voorhis whose grandfather was associated with Judge Selden in Miss Anthony's defense; William B. Brown for information about the early history of Adams, Massachusetts, the Susan B. Anthony birthplace, and the Friends Meeting House in Adams; Dr. James Harvey Young for information about Anna E. Dickinson; Margaret Lutz Fogg for help in connection with the trial of Susan B. Anthony; Dr. Blake McKelvey, City Historian of Rochester; Clara Sayre Selden and Wheeler Chapin Case of the
Rochester Historical Society; the grand-nieces of Susan B. Anthony, Marion and Florence Mosher; Matilda Joslyn Gage II; Florence L. C. Kitchelt; and Rose Arnold Powell.
I thankThe Christian Science Monitor for permission to use portions of an article published on October 24, 1958.
I am especially grateful to A. Marguerite Smith for her constructive criticism of the manuscript and her unfailing encouragement.
Highmeadow Berlin, New York
1 15 28 39 56 67 79 92 108 125 138
149 159 169 180 198 209 217
Susan B. Anthony at the age of thirty-five (From a daguerrotype, courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, N.Y.)
Daniel Anthony, father of Susan B. Anthony (FromThe Life and Work of Susan B. Anthonyby Ida Husted Harper)
Lucy Read Anthony, mother of Susan B. Anthony (FromThe Life and Work of Susan B. Anthonyby Ida Husted Harper)
Susan B. Anthony Homestead, Adams, Massachusetts (The Smith Studio, Adams, Massachusetts)
Frederick Douglass
Elizabeth Cady Stanton in her "Bloomer costume" (FromThe Lily)
Lucy Stone (FromLucy Stoneby Alice Stone Blackwell. Courtesy Little, Brown and Company)
Susan B. Anthony at the age of thirty-four (Courtesy Susan B. Anthony Memorial, Inc., Rochester, New York)
James and Lucretia Mott (FromJames and Lucretia Mottby Anna D. Hallowell. Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Company)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her son, Henry
Ernestine Rose (FromHistory of Woman Suffrageby Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage)
Parker Pillsbury (FromWilliam Lloyd Garrisonby His Children)
Merritt Anthony (Courtesy Mrs. Ann Anthony Bacon)
Susan B. Anthony, 1856 (Courtesy Mrs. Ann Anthony Bacon)
Lucy Stone and her daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell (Courtesy Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California)
285 299 311 327 335
22 27
40 42
William Lloyd Garrison (FromWilliam Lloyd Garrison and His Timesby Oliver Johnson)
Susan B. Anthony
Daniel Anthony, brother of Susan B. Anthony (Courtesy Mrs. Ann Anthony Bacon)
Wendell Phillips (FromWilliam Lloyd Garrisonby His Children)
George Francis Train (Courtesy New York Public Library)
Anna E. Dickinson (FromHistory of Woman Suffrageby Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage)
Paulina Wright Davis
Isabella Beecher Hooker
Victoria C. Woodhull
Susan B. Anthony, 1871 (Courtesy Mrs. Ann Anthony Bacon)
Judge Henry R. Selden (Courtesy Henry R. Selden II)
"The Woman Who Dared" (New YorkDaily Graphic, June 5, 1873)
Aaron A. Sargent (Courtesy Library of Congress)
Clara Bewick Colby (FromHistory of Woman Suffrageby Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage)
Matilda Joslyn Gage (FromHistory of Woman Suffrageby Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage)
Anna Howard Shaw (From a photograph by Mary Carnel)
Harriot Stanton Blatch (Courtesy Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California)
The Anthony home, Rochester, New York (Courtesy Susan B. Anthony Memorial, Inc., Rochester, New York)
Susan B. Anthony at her desk (Courtesy Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts)
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Smith Miller, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony
Ida Husted Harper (Courtesy Library of Congress)
97 110
165 167 181 187
259 262
Rachel Foster Avery (Courtesy Library of Congress)
Harriet Taylor Upton (Courtesy Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California)
Carrie Chapman Catt (Courtesy Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts)
Quotation in the handwriting of Susan B. Anthony Susan B. Anthony at the age of eighty-five (From a photograph by J. E. Hale)
Susan B. Anthony, 1905 (From a photograph by Ellis)
297 301
"If Sally Ann knows more about weaving than Elijah," reasoned eleven-year-old Susan with her father, "then why don't you make her overseer?"
"It would never do," replied Daniel Anthony as a matter of course. "It would never do to have a woman overseer in the mill."
This answer did not satisfy Susan and she often thought about it. To enter the mill, to stand quietly and look about, was the best kind of entertainment, for she was fascinated by the whir of the looms, by the nimble fingers of the weavers, and by the general air of efficiency. Admiringly she watched Sally Ann Hyatt, the tall capable weaver from Vermont. When the yarn on the beam was tangled or there was something wrong with the machinery, Elijah, the overseer, always called out to Sally Ann, "I'll tend your loom, if you'll look after this." Sally Ann never failed to locate the trouble or to untangle the yarn. Yet she was never [1] made overseer, and this continued to puzzle Susan.
The manufacture of cotton was a new industry, developing with great promise in the United States, when Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820, in the wide valley at the foot of Mt. Greylock, near Adams, Massachusetts. Enterprising young men like her father, Daniel Anthony, saw a potential cotton mill by the side of every rushing brook, and young women, eager to earn the first money they could call their own, were leaving the farms, for a few months at least, to work in the mills. Cotton cloth was the new sensation and the demand for it was steadily growing. Brides were proud to display a few cotton sheets instead of commonplace homespun linen.
When Susan was two years old, her father built a cotton factory of twenty-six looms beside the brook which ran through Grandfather Read's meadow, hauling the cotton forty miles by wagon from Troy, New York. The millworkers, most of them young girls from Vermont, boarded, as was the custom, in the home of the millowner; Susan's mother, Lucy Read Anthony, although she had three small daughters to care for, Guelma, Susan, and Hannah, boarded eleven of the millworkers with only the help of a thirteen-year-old girl who worked for
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her after school hours. Lucy Anthony cooked their meals on the hearth of the big kitchen fireplace, and in the large brick oven beside it baked crisp brown loaves of bread. In addition, washing, ironing, mending, and spinning filled her days. But she was capable and strong and was doing only what all women in this new country were expected to do. She taught her young daughters to help her, and Susan, even before she was six, was very useful; by the time she was ten she could cook a good meal and pack a dinner pail.
Daniel Anthony, father of Susan B. Anthony
Hard work and skill were respected as Susan grew up in the rapidly expanding young republic which less than fifty years before had been founded and fought for. Settlers, steadily pushing westward, had built new states out of the wilderness, adding ten to the original thirteen. Everywhere the leaven of democracy was working and men were putting into practice many of the principles so boldly stated in the Declaration of Independence, claiming for themselves equal rights and opportunities. The new states entered the Union with none of the traditional property and religious limitations on the franchise, but with manhood suffrage and all voters eligible for office. The older states soon fell into line, Massachusetts in 1820 removing property qualifications for voters. Before long, throughout the United States, all free white men were enfranchised, leaving only women, Negroes, and Indians without the full rights of citizenship.
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Lucy Read Anthony, mother of Susan B. Anthony
Although women freeholders had voted in some of the colonies and in New [2] Jersey as late as 1807, just as in England in the fifteenth franchise had gradually found its way into the statutes, and women's rights as citizens were ignored, in spite of the contribution they had made to the defense and development of the new nation. However, European travelers, among them De Tocqueville, recognized that the survival of the New World experiment in government and the prosperity and strength of the people were due in large measure to the superiority of American women. A few women had urged their claims: Abigail Adams asked her husband, a member of the Continental Congress, "to remember the ladies" in the "new code of laws"; and Hannah Lee Corbin of Virginia pleaded with her brother, Richard Henry Lee, to make good the principle of "no taxation without representation" by enfranchising widows [3] with property.
Yet the legal bondage of women continued to be overlooked. It seemed a less obvious threat to free institutions and democratic government than the Negro in slavery. In fact, Negro slavery presented a problem which demanded attention again and again, flaring up alarmingly in 1820, the year Susan B. Anthony was [4] born, when Missouri was admitted to the Union as a slave state.
These were some of the forces at work in the minds of Americans during Susan's childhood. Her father, a liberal Quaker, was concerned over the extension of slavery, and she often heard him say that he tried to avoid purchasing cotton raised by slave labor. This early impression of the evil of
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slavery was never erased.
The Quakers' respect for women's equality with men before God also left its mark on young Susan. As soon as she was old enough she went regularly to Meeting with her father, for all of the Anthonys were Quakers. They had migrated to western Massachusetts from Rhode Island, and there on the frontier had built prosperous farms, comfortable homes, and a meeting house where they could worship God in their own way. Susan, sitting with the women and children on the hand-hewn benches near the big fireplace in the meeting [5] house which her ancestors had built, found peace and consecration in the simple unordered service, in the long reverent silence broken by both the men and the women in the congregation as they were led to say a prayer or give out a helpful message. Forty families now worshiped here, the women sitting on one side and the men on the other; but women took their places with men in positions of honor, Susan's own grandmother, Hannah Latham Anthony, an elder, sitting in the "high seat," and her aunt, Hannah Anthony Hoxie, preaching as the spirit moved her. With this valuation of women accepted as a matter of course in her church and family circle, Susan took it for granted that it existed everywhere.
Although her father was a devout Friend, she discovered that he had the reputation of thinking for himself, following the "inner light" even when its leading differed from the considered judgment of his fellow Quakers. For this he became a hero to her, especially after she heard the romantic story of his marriage to Lucy Read who was not a Quaker. The Anthonys and the Reads had been neighbors for years, and Lucy was one of the pupils at the "home school" which Grandfather Humphrey Anthony had built for his children on the farm, under the weeping willow at the front gate. Daniel and Lucy were schoolmates until Daniel at nineteen was sent to Richard Mott's Friends' boarding school at Nine Partners on the Hudson. When he returned as a teacher, he found his old playmate still one of the pupils, but now a beautiful tall young woman with deep blue eyes and glossy brown hair. Full of fun, a good dancer, and always dressed in the prettiest clothes, she was the most popular girl in the neighborhood. Promptly Daniel Anthony fell in love with her, but an almost insurmountable obstacle stood in the way: Quakers were not permitted to "marry out of Meeting." This, however, did not deter Daniel.
Susan B. Anthony Homestead, Adams, Massachusetts
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