Monday, October 09, 2006

Susan B. Anthony

”It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.”

- Susan B. Anthony

I don’t think I need to tell anyone who Susan B. Anthony is. But I find that a lot of the details have slipped away from me in the years since my last history class, so I go back and re-read and try to remember things that, at the time, I wasn’t paying nearly enough attention to anyhow.

The majority of her accomplishments were in the Women's Suffrage movement, but in the decade preceding the outbreak of the American Civil War, she also took a prominent part in the anti-slavery and temperance movements in New York (The temperance movement attempted to reduce the amount of alcohol sold and consumed and found most of it's support in women who were opposed to the domestic violence associated with alcohol.)

I found this list of some of Susan B. Anthony's accomplishments online, which I think serve as an important reminder of how much we owe to her and to the other women who came before us and fought for rights we now take for granted:

• Founded the National Woman's Suffrage Association in 1869 with life-long friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Together they worked for women's suffrage for over 50 years.

• Published "The Revolution" from 1868-1870, a weekly paper about the woman suffrage movement whose motto read, "Men their rights and nothing more, women their rights and nothing less."

• First person arrested, put on trial and fined for voting on November 5, 1872. Unable to speak in her defense she refuse to pay "a dollar of your unjust penalty."

• Wrote the Susan B. Anthony Amendment in 1878 which later became the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

• Helped found the National American Woman's Suffrage Association in 1890 which focused on a national amendment to secure women the vote. She served as president until 1900.

• Compiled and published "The History of Woman Suffrage (4 vols. 1881-1902) with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage.

• Founded the International Council of Women (1888) and the International Woman Suffrage Council (1904) which brought international attention to suffrage.

• An organization genius -- her canvassing plan is still used today by grassroot and political organizations.

• Gave 75-100 speeches a year for 45 years, traveling throughout the the United States by stage coach, wagon, carriage and train.

• Led the only non-violent revolution in our country's history -- the 72 year struggle to win women the right to vote.

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