Susan B. Anthony
Woman’s Rights Advocate
1820 – 1898 A.D.
This woman is one of those whose souls have burned and blazed because of the unjust discrimination against their sex.
Her father was a manufacturer and Susan earned her first dollar in the cotton mill. She received a good education and began teaching school at seventeen years of age. Her wages were $1.50 per week and board. She continued teaching for nearly fifteen years and by the most rigid economy was able to save i that time but $300.
She was filled with indignation that while the education of a girl cost the same as that of a boy at an academy, when she became a wage earner as a teacher, she received but one third that of a young man doing the same work.
These experiences nerved her for the struggle on behalf of her sex. And every woman wage earner in America today is indirectly indebted to Susan B. Anthony.
In 1849 she became identified with the temperance movement and placed special emphasis upon the use of the ballot for woman’s protection. With a heart responsive to every righteous cause she threw her influence on the side of abolition of slaver in 1856. She, with Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Parker Pillsbury, started a paper in New York called The Revolution in which with burning words, they set forth the claims of women. But the public did not respond and Miss Anthony was left with a debt of $10,000, which she proceeded to discharge by lecturing.
In 1872 she insisted upon voting for president and was arrested. Her counsel advised her to give bonds to avoid going to jail. This she did, much to her regret afterwards, for she was thus deprived of the right to carry the case to the Supreme Court. The judge took the case out of the hands of the jury, pronounced her guilty, and fined her $100 in costs. The judge she said, “Resistance to tyranny in obedience to God; I shall never pay a penny of unjust claim.” And she kept her word.
She has lived to see a great change in sentiment if not in law concerning women and especially concerning herself. Once the press and the public counted her a rare subject for jests and jeers. She suffered persecution for righteousness’ sake. She stood heroically. Her convictions were too deep and her character too noble for any faltering or compromise. Society is now honored by her presence and the press is glad to give a conspicuous place to what she may choose to say. The heroic qualities of Susan B. Anthony will be profoundly admired in the coming generations.
She has lived to see a partial triumph of her cause. In one half of the states of the Union women voted on school questions. In Kansas and Michigan women vote on municipal questions, and in Wyoming and Colorado they vote on all state questions on an equality with men. So the cause is marching on.
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.