Saturday, April 25, 2015

Shadows In A Timeless Myth Presents Nineteenth Century Female Reformers

Susan Brownell Anthony.

Susan Brownell Anthony was born at Adams, Massachusetts, February 15, 1820. Her father, a Quaker, was a cotton manufacturer and gave her a liberal education. When she was seventeen years old her father failed in business and she had to support herself by school teaching, which profession she followed for thirteen years. Aroused at the injustice of the inequality of wages paid to women teachers, she made a public speech on the subject at the New York Teachers’ Association, which attracted wide attention. She continued to work in the teachers’ association for equal recognition continuously and enthusiastically. In 1849 she began to speak for the temperance cause, but soon became convinced that women had no power to change the condition of things without being able to vote at the polls, and from that time on she identified herself with the suffrage movement. She has written a great many tracts and was at one time the editor of a weekly paper called the Revolution. Her work, The History of Woman’s Suffrage, which she prepared in conjunction with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage, attracted wide attention.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

That which is popularly, if somewhat vaguely, characterized as the “Cause of women” in this country, is closely identified with the name of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Many years of her life were spent in promoting the cause of her sex politically and legally, and that her work has not been fruitless is proven by the fact that as long ago as 1840 she advocated the passage of the Married Woman’s Property bill, which became a law in 1848. That measure alone is sufficient to obtain for Mrs. Stanton the gratitude of her sex. She was born in Johnstown, New York, November 12, 1815, being the daughter of Daniel C. Cady, judge of the New York State Supreme Court. She obtained her education at the Johnstown academy and the Emma Willard seminary, Troy, New York, graduating from the latter institution in 1832. Eight years later she married Henry Brewster Stanton, a state senator, anti-slavery orator and lawyer. From the first Mrs. Stanton identified herself with “Woman’s Rights,” and she it was who called the first woman’s rights convention, the meeting taking place at Seneca Falls, New York, in July, 1848. Continually working on the lines indicated, she has for the last quarter of a century annually addressed congress in favor of embodying woman suffrage in the constitution of the United States. In 1861 she was president of the Woman’s Loyal League, and through the medium of her personality made it a power in the land. From 1865 to 1893 she held the office of president of the Woman Suffrage Association. In 1868 she was a candidate for congress. Her eightieth birthday, which took place in 1895, was celebrated under the auspices of the National Council of Women, three hundred delegates attending the convention.

Compiled from sources in the public domain.

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Smiles & Good Fortune,
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915

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