Susan B. Anthony and Women's History

Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was an American civil rights and social justice leader and an important figure in the early women’s rights movement. She was born in Massachusetts and moved several times before settling in Rochester, New York, in 1849. Anthony was raised in a Quaker household with a long history of activism and a deep interest in social issues. This environment no doubt influenced her development as a leader in issues of justice and equality.

Anthony took a prominent role in not only the women’s rights movement, but also the anti-slavery, temperance, education reform, and labor movements. She traveled across the United States and Europe for much of her adult life, delivering speeches and lectures on the issues that she cared for so passionately. She persevered in her efforts despite aggressive criticism and opposition.

In 1900, Anthony was the key figure in persuading the University of Rochester to admit women into the University.  She helped to raise $50,000 in pledges, which included the cash value of her life insurance policy. The University later repaid Anthony the cost of her insurance policy.

Anthony was involved in many civil rights organizations, including the American Anti-Slavery Society and the National Woman Suffrage Association. She co-founded the women’s rights journal The Revolution in 1868. Though Anthony did not live to see women gain the right to vote, her work with Elizabeth Cady Stanton in drafting and introducing the 19th Amendment, which prohibited the denial of a U.S. citizen to vote based on sex, laid the foundation for its ratification fourteen years after her death.

Anthony is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery. Her house on 17 Madison Street in the city of Rochester has been preserved and is now known as the Susan B. Anthony House and Museum.

*All information adapted from the Susan B. Anthony House biography.

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