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Leaders in U.S. Women's Suffrage Movement

View the portraits and read the biographical details of the leaders of the women's suffrage movement in the United States.
Photographs from Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs

Find additional information and lessons on Women's Rights, Suffrage & Equality.

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Susan B. Anthony


1820-1906

  • American reformer and leader of the women's suffrage movement
  • Born in Adams, MA
  • Daughter of Daniel Anthony, Quaker abolitionist
  • Teacher in rural New York state at 17 years old
  • Fought for equal pay for women teachers, for coeducation, and for college training for girls
  • Organized the first woman's temperance association, the Daughters of Temperance
  • Met Elizabeth Cady Stanton at a temperance meeting in 1851 and became a close personal friend
  • Until Stanton's death in 1902, Anthony and Stanton were leaders of the women's suffrage movement in the U.S.
  • Lectured on women's rights and abolition from 1851 to 1860
  • Helped to pass the first laws (with Stanton) in the New York state legislature to guarantee women rights over their children and control of property and wages
  • In 1863 Anthony co-organized the Women's Loyal League to support Lincoln's government, especially his emancipation policy
  • After the Civil War, she opposed granting suffrage to freedmen without also giving it to women (division existed among women's suffrage sympathizers on this issue)
  • Anthony and Stanton organized the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869
  • National Woman Suffrage Association united with the American Woman Suffrage Association to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1890
  • Anthony was President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1892 to 1900
  • She led a group of women in 1872 to vote in Rochester, NY, to test their rights under the terms of the 14th Amendment
  • Anthony was arrested, tried, and sentenced to a fine (which she refused to pay)
  • Other women followed her example until the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case against them
  • Beginning in 1869, she traveled and lectured throughout the U.S. and Europe
  • Anthony possessed superior intellect, a strong personality, and unswerving commitment to the suffrage movement
  • With Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage, she compiled Volumes I, II, and III of the History of Woman Suffrage (1881-1886)
  • She used her own financial resources to buy most of the first edition
  • She presented the History of Woman Suffrage to colleges and universities in the U.S. and Europe
  • The History of Woman Suffrage was completed by Ida Husted Harper (Vol. IV, V, and VI, 1900-1922; Anthony contributed to Vol. IV)

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