Susan B. Anthony, the United States’ greatest champion for the rights of women, was an author, editor, and publisher as well as a leading figure in the most important early chronicle of the suffragist movement. Her dedication to equality for women, especially at the ballot box, evolved out of her childhood exposure to the temperance movement and the abolition of slavery. Anthony’s humanitarian characteristics were inherited from her father, a Quaker who was a staunch temperance worker and who befriended and supported the great abolitionists of his time, Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison. Despite early ventures into the causes espoused by her father, Anthony eventually found her calling in the cause for women’s rights.
Anthony did not “convert” to woman suffrage until she was past the age of thirty, and she was greatly influenced by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a pioneer suffragist. Together these two women led, both physically and spiritually, the suffragist movement for more than fifty years. This harnessing of talent also led to a great literary work, which became the definitive history of the women’s rights movement in the nineteenth century, History of Woman Suffrage.
Stanton and Anthony, so very much alike in spirit and yet so very opposite in their personal lives, founded a newspaper, The Revolution, in January, 1868. Stanton and Parker Pillsbury were editors; Anthony was the proprietor and manager. This newspaper was a national voice for women’s rights, and its chief goal was to promote the incorporation of the right of women to vote in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. A secondary cause for the paper dealt with the rights of working women. This was a matter close to...
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