Susan Brownell Anthony (1820-1906)


Champion of temperance, abolition and African American rights, the rights of labor, and equal pay for equal work, Susan B. Anthony devoted her life to organizing and leading the woman suffrage movement. 

Born in February of 1820, in Adams, Massachusetts, Anthony was raised in a Quaker family where women were considered equal with men. From an early age, Anthony made her life's work one of justice and sought to establish equality in the larger world. 

After teaching school for fifteen years as a young woman, Anthony became involved in the temperance movement. She was also active in the anti-slavery movement. Because she was a woman, she was not allowed to speak publicly and because of this she became a woman's suffrage leader.

A skilled political strategist, she was the General of the suffrage troops.  Her strengths were discipline, energy, and organization and, after meeting Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1851, their partnership dominated the movement for over 50 years.  She was a member of the Equal Rights Association and then founded the National Woman Suffrage Association, the radical wing of suffrage, pushing for a constitutional amendment.  She and Stanton opposed the 14th and 15th amendments for not enfranchising women. She published The Revolution, a radical paper, edited by Stanton (1868-1870), and lectured for over six years to pay off its debt.  She organized the Council of 1888 helping lay the groundwork for the re-unification of the suffrage associations in 1890 and led the unified National American Woman Suffrage Association until 1900.  

Anthony was arrested for voting in 1872 and was tried and convicted.  She led a woman’s protest at the 1876 Centennial delivering a "Declaration of Rights" written by Stanton and Matilda Gage.  She wrote and published, with Stanton and Gage the History of Woman Suffrage (1881-1885).

She gathered signatures on suffrage petitions at the state and national levels, undertook arduous state tours to organize suffrage campaigns in the states and nationally.  Called “The Napoleon of the woman’s rights movement,” she lobbied yearly before Congress.  Anthony was active in international suffrage circles, and personally raised money to insure admission of women to the University of Rochester in 1900.    

Anthony remained active in the woman's movement until her death in 1906, fourteen years before women received the right to vote.


Additional Resources:

Web Sites:


  • Anthony, Susan B. The Trial of Susan B. Anthony (Humanity Books, 2003).
  • Anthony, Katherine Susan. Susan B. Anthony: Her Personal History and Her Era (Russell & Russell, 1975).
  • Barry, Kathleen. Susan B. Anthony: A Biography of a Singular Feminist (Authorhouse, 2000).
  • Clinton, Susan and Ralph Canaday (illustrator). Story of Susan B. Anthony (Children's Press, 1986). -- for ages 4-8
  • Dubois, Ellen Carol. The Elizabeth Cady Stanton-Susan B. Anthony Reader: Correspondences, Writings and Speeches (Boston: Northeaster University Press, 1992).
  • Harper, Ida. Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony (Beaufort books - 3 volume set).
  • Hopkins, Deborah and Amy Bates (illustrator). Susan B. Anthony: Fighter for Women's Rights (Aladdin, 2005). --- ages 4-8.
  • Isaacs, Sally Senzell. America in the Time of Susan B. Anthony: The Story of Our Nation from Coast to Coast (Heinemann Library, 2000). -- for ages 9-12.
  • Klingel, Cynthia Fitterer and Robert B. Noyed. Susan B. Anthony: Reformer (Child's World, 2002). -- for ages 4-8.
  • Monsell, Helen Albee. Susan B. Anthony: Champion Women's Rights (Aladdin, 1986). --- for ages 9-12.
  • Sherr, Lynn. Failure is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words (Three Rivers Press, 1996).
  • Sherr, Lynn. Susan B. Anthony Slept Here: A Guide to American Women's Landmarks (Three Rivers Press, 1994).
  • Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Ann De Gordon, and Susan B. Anthony. Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: In the School of Anti-Slavery, 1840-1866 (Rutgers, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997).
  • Ward, Geoffery C. and Ken Burns. Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (Knopf, 2001).
  • Weidt, N. Maryann and Amanda Sartor (illustrator). Fighting for Equal Rights: A Story about Susan B. Anthony (Carolrhoda Books, 2003). -- for ages 4-8.


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