History's Women: Misc. Articles: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Champion of Women's RightsElizabeth Cady Stanton
Champion of Women’s Rights
1815 – 1904 A.D.

This remarkable leader of women was the daughter of Judge Cady of Johnstown, N.Y. She was reared in a community where most of the people were Scotch and the idea of woman’s place and ability was somewhat mediæval. Judge Cady had one son upon whom he centered his hopes and to whom he gave an excellent education. But his son died when the daughter, Elizabeth, was but age ten years of age. Her brother had just graduated from Union College.

The girl saw her father’s grief and disappointment and determined to fill his place. She applied herself diligently to her studies and won a prize in Greek. She hoped her father would be pleased and admit that a girl could be as good a student as a boy. But the expected commendation did not come. She then took it up additional studies and fitted herself to enter Union College, but was refused because of her sex.

After a few years in Mrs. Willard’s school at Troy, N. Y., she returned home and spent seven years chiefly in the study of law in her father’s office.

She became the wife of H.B. Stanton in 1840. Mr. Stanton was an advocate of the Anti-Slavery Convention in London on their wedding tour. Here Mrs. Stanton met Lucretia Mott, who, with others, had been sent as delegates from the United States.

Upon her return to America, Mrs. Stanton was instrumental in calling the first woman’s rights convention. Her father, hearing of this, feared she had become insane and visited her to dissuade her from the undertaking. This was in 1847. At the convention she introduced the resolution, “That it is the duty of the women of this country to secure themselves the sacred right of the elective franchise.”

Mrs. Stanton was far from advance of her age and was subjected to both opposition and ridicule; but she was continued to be an educator of public opinion and many of her plans which were at first ridiculed are not treated with respect and deep interest.


Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.

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