Rights for Women: The Suffrage Movement and Its Leaders

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, author, lecturer, and chief philosopher of the woman’s rights movement, formulated the agenda for woman’s rights that has guided the struggle to the present. She called the first Woman’s Rights convention, with Lucretia Mott, at Seneca Falls, New York (1848), and wrote “The Declaration of Sentiments,” calling for changes in law and society - educational, legal, political, social and economic - to elevate women’s status, and demanding the right to vote. Her intellectual and organizational partnership with Susan B. Anthony dominated the woman’s movement for over half a century. In 1895 she wrote The Woman’s Bible, questioning Biblical teachings on the inferiority of women that she felt were the greatest obstacles to women’s progress. She wrote The History of Woman Suffrage with Anthony and Gage, preserving the record for future generations.     

Well-educated for a woman, Elizabeth married abolitionist lecturer Henry Stanton, and had 7 children. On their honeymoon in London to attend a World’s Anti-Slavery convention, she and Lucretia Mott were angered at the exclusion of women and vowed to call a woman’s rights convention. She circulated petitions to pass the New York Married Women’s Property Act (1848). An outstanding orator with a radical mind, she lectured, wrote speeches and, with Matilda Gage authored the Declaration of Rights delivered by Anthony at the Philadelphia Centennial celebration (1876). Her autobiography, Eighty Years and More, recalled the great events and work of her life.

Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (LC-USZ62-28195)

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