Born：Susan Brownell Anthony
February 15, 1820
Died：March 13, 1906 (aged 86)
Rochester, New York
Occupation：Suffragist, women's rights advocate
Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She was co-founder of the first Women's Temperance Movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as President. She also co-founded the women's rights journal, The Revolution. She traveled the United States and Europe, and averaged 75 to 100 speeches per year. She was one of the important advocates in leading the way for women's rights to be acknowledged and instituted in the American government.
Susan B. Anthony was born to Daniel Anthony (1794–1862) and Lucy Read (1793–1880) and raised in West Grove, Adams, Massachusetts. She was the second oldest of seven children—Guelma Penn (1818–1873), Hannah Lapham (1821–1877), Daniel Read (1824–1904), Mary Stafford (1827–1907), Eliza Tefft (1832–1834), and Jacob Merritt (1834–1900). One brother, publisher Daniel Read Anthony, would become active in the anti-slavery movement in Kansas, while a sister, Mary Stafford Anthony, became a teacher and a woman's rights activist. Anthony remained close to her sisters throughout her life.
Parents of Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony's birthplaceHer earliest American ancestors were the immigrants John Anthony (1607–1675), who was from Hempstead, Essex, and his wife, Susanna Potter (c. 1623 - 1674), who was from London, Middlesex.
Anthony's father Daniel was a cotton manufacturer and abolitionist, a stern but open-minded man who was born into the Quakerreligion. He did not allow toys or amusements into the household, claiming that they would distract the soul from the "inner light." Her mother, Lucy, was a student in Daniel's school; the two fell in love and agreed to marry in 1817, but Lucy was less sure about marrying into the Society of Friends (Quakers). Lucy attended the Rochester women’s rights convention held in August 1848, two weeks after the historic Seneca Falls Convention, and signed the Rochester convention’s Declaration of Sentiments. Lucy and Daniel Anthony enforced self-discipline, principled convictions, and belief in one's own self-worth.
Susan was a precocious child, having learned to read and write at age three. In 1826, when she was six years old, the Anthony family moved from Massachusetts to Battenville, New York. Susan was sent to attend a local district school, where a teacher refused to teach her long division because of her gender. Upon learning of the weak education she was receiving, her father promptly had her placed in a group home school, where he taught Susan himself. Mary Perkins, another teacher there, conveyed a progressive image of womanhood to Anthony, further fostering her growing belief in women's equality.
In 1837, Anthony was sent to Deborah Moulson's Female Seminary, a Quaker boarding school in Philadelphia. She was not happy at Moulson's, but she did not have to stay there long. She was forced to end her formal studies because her family, like many others, was financially ruined during the Panic of 1837. Their losses were so great that they attempted to sell everything in an auction, even their most personal belongings, which were saved at the last minute when Susan's uncle, Joshua Read, stepped up and bid for them in order to restore them to the family.
In 1839, the family moved to Hardscrabble, New York, in the wake of the panic and economic depression that followed. That same year, Anthony left home to teach and pay off her father's debts. She taught first at Eunice Kenyon's Friends' Seminary, and then at the Canajoharie Academy in 1846, where she rose to become headmistress of the Female Department. Anthony's first occupation inspired her to fight for wages equivalent to those of male teachers, since men earned roughly four times more than women for the same duties.
In 1849, at age 29, Anthony quit teaching and moved to the family farm in Rochester, New York. She began to take part in conventions and gatherings related to the temperance movement. In Rochester, she attended the local Unitarian Church and began to distance herself from the Quakers, in part because she had frequently witnessed instances of hypocritical behavior such as the use of alcohol amongst Quaker preachers. As she got older, Anthony continued to move further away from organized religion in general, and she was later chastised by various Christian religious groups for displaying irreligious tendencies. By the 1880s, Anthony had become agnostic.
In her youth, Anthony was very self-conscious of her appearance and speaking abilities. She long resisted public speaking for fear she would not be sufficientlyeloquent. Despite these insecurities, she became a renowned public presence, eventually helping to lead the women's movement.