Essay, Research Paper
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony is the most well known name in women’s rights from the 1800s. Most people who are not familiar with the history of this time are aware of Susan’s reputation and nearly everyone of my generation has seen and held a Susan B. Anthony silver dollar. For these reasons I was greatly surprised to learn that Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the original women’s rights movement spokeswoman and Susan B. Anthony her prot?g?.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton married an abolitionist and gave birth to seven children. Shortly after she married, Elizabeth and her husband attended a national anti-slavery conference in Europe. Elizabeth was outraged after her arrival to learn that she and the other women were not allowed to sit with the men and she vowed to do something about it. Several years later she did. Her work in the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls was just the beginning.
Susan B. Anthony was indeed a strong, driven, and disciplined woman who had a great desire and passion to abolish slavery. Upon meeting Elizabeth Cady Stanton she became immersed in the women’s rights movement, dedicating her life to obtaining equal rights for all. Many men pursued Susan but she never married, she did not want to be “owned” by a man. Instead she chose to dedicate her entire life to this cause.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony were introduced several years after the Seneca Falls convention. They immediately became friends and sisters in the cause. Elizabeth would write the speeches and Susan would deliver them. Elizabeth’s children referred to Susan as Aunt and she often took care of the house and children for days while Elizabeth wrote. This partnership was unique and beneficial because the two women had very different and strong characteristics that complimented the other such as Elizabeth’s writing and Susan’s speaking ability.
Although these women did not live to cast their votes in an election, their hard work did pay off by obtaining women the right to own property and fight for custody of their children in a court of law. In this day women cannot imagine being thrown out of their homes because their husband had died or being forced to leave their children in order to escape an abusive relationship. However, these circumstances were a part of the everyday life before Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony changed it.
Elizabeth and Susan fought long and hard to abolish slavery during the American Civil War, putting aside their cause for a time. Without their efforts, the abolition amendment would certainly not have been obtained as early as it was. After the war they expected the men to fight for the women’s rights cause and were very disappointed when they did not. They were told time and time again by respected men such as Fredrick Douglas that the black vote was more important at this time and they needed to wait their turn. The women were disillusioned and could easily have given up – most would have. However, this betrayal only strengthened their resolve and will to fight for the vote.