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Susan B. Anthony Biography

A women’s suffragist, abolitionist, writer, lecturer, speaker, activist, and a very well known character in the women’s voting rights movement, Susan B. Anthony has played various major roles during her life. Being the president of the National American Women Suffrage Association was amongst her achievements. Other than all these achievements, Susan B. Anthony was one of the popular American writers during the Victorian Era.

Early Life, Family, and Education

Susan B Anthony was born on February 15, 1820, in Adams, Massachusetts. She was the second oldest daughter amongst the eight children, in which one of her siblings was stillborn, and another died at the age of two. Raising up in a Quaker family, Susan has strong ethics, and she devoted her life to working on more social matters.

Later on, in 1826 the family has moved to Battenville, New York. During this span, Anthony had studied at a Quaker boarding school near Philadelphia. In the 1830s, her father’s unsuccessful business led her to return home to support her family. Anthony financially assisted her family by working as a teacher at Quaker Boarding School. Afterward, in the mid-1840s, the family relocated to a farm in the Rochester, New York area.

Major Initiatives and Movements by Susan B. Anthony

  • Abolitionist Movement

During the 1840s, Susan and her family along with major abolitionists initiated to fight to end slavery, this movement was named as the Abolitionist movement. The Anthony’s Rochester farm has turned to be the meeting place for these abolitionists.

Frederick Douglass, Parker Pillsbury, Wendell Phillips, William Henry Channing, and William Lloyd Garrison were some of these abolitionists. In this period, Anthony held the post as head of the girl’s department at Canajoharie Academy, for around two years.

  • Temperance Movement

Later in 1849, Anthony left the Canajoharie Academy and dedicated herself more to participate in social issues. After the Abolition movement, Susan joined the temperance movement which was intended to stop the production and sale of alcohol. This movement made her realize the significance of women in politics and encouraged her to fight for women’s rights. Susan grasped the reality, that the significance of women can be changed with the right to vote.

In 1851, in an anti-slavery conference, Anthony met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a women’s suffragist. Later in 1852, the pair established the Women’s New York State Temperance Society, and together participated for the social issue related to Women’s rights, establishing a New York State Woman’s Rights Committee.

Anthony also appealed to have the right to own property and to vote for women. She widely travelled campaigning all over, and addressing gatherings, and appealing before legislative bodies.

  • Agent For anti-slavery society

In 1856, Susan started working as an agent for American Anti-slavery society and worked hard for promoting society’s issues until the civil war. Other than this, she started campaigning for liberalization of New York’s laws for married women’s rights to own properties, which reached to an end in 1860.

In addition, she became a major target of abuse in newspapers. Anthony served as chief New York agent of Garrison’s American Anti-Slavery Society. Earlier, during the civil war, Anthony aided establish the Women’s National Loyal League, which highlighted the case of emancipation as well.

After the war, Susan participated in campaigns to reform the language of the Fourteenth Amendment to allow women and African American suffrage. However, it was lead to an unsuccessful ending. Later in 1866, she achieved the post as a correspondent secretary of the American Equal Rights Association.

The association was formed by Anthony and Stanton in 1866 to support equal rights for all genders. The establishers also launched a weekly publication named The Revolution for promoting Women’s rights. The newsweekly followed a slogan as “Men their rights, and nothing more; women their rights, and nothing less.

  • Women’s right to vote

In 1869, Anthony and Stanton established the National Woman Suffrage Association. Anthony dedicatedly promoted the association, giving speeches around the country to get the support for women’s right to vote. With equal bravery, she took things in her hands and voted illegally in the presidential election in 1872.

However, she was arrested as voting by a woman was considered as a crime. Also, she was fined $100, which Anthony refused to pay. But this couldn’t let her stop the fight for women’s suffrage.

Later in 1905, she met President Theodore Roosevelt in Washington, D.C., for amending to give women the right to vote. Though after her death in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S Constitution has been passed, giving every adult women a right to vote.

Books by Susan B. Anthony

Anthony published the first volume of History of Woman Suffrage. This project was co-edited with Stanton, Matilda Joslin Gage, and Ida Husted Harper. Other than this, Anthony helped Harper in her 1898 work based on Susan’s life as The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony: A Story of the Evolution of the Status of Women.


Susan B. Anthony died on 13th March 1906, at the age of 86 in Rochester, New York. Susan worked hard for women’s rights, however, she died without it coming in her hands. Later in 1979, in recognition of her dedication and hard work, the U.S treasury Department engraved Susan’s portrait on dollar coins. With this, she became the first woman to get honoured in such a way.