“I have given my life and all I am to it, and now I want my last act to be to give it all I have, to the last cent.”
Born February 15th, 1820, Susan Brownell Anthony was brought up in Massachusetts by her zealous Quaker family. Her fervor for woman’s suffrage was ignited when she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton at a temperance rally in 1852. This would be the cause she would advocate for the rest of her life. A powerful balance of persuasive and compassionate, Anthony also dedicated her life to fighting for the abolition of slavery, and the right for women to own their own property and keep their earnings. Her progressive work was truly a battle, and the forces that she bravely spoke up against, especially for slavery, resulted in her being hung in effigy and her image being dragged through the streets in Syracuse. Her efforts and the efforts of her women’s organizations did achieve notable victories. In particular, her work for equal education for people, no matter gender or race achieved a victory when she tirelessly raised enough pledges to convince the University of Rochester to admit their first female students in 1900.
Having a heart for all of these causes for social reform resulted in her realizing that women would need a vote if they were to have a say for these issues of morality within their society. Her view of the powerful, broad role of women is embodied in this quote:
“The work of woman is not to lessen the severity or the certainty of the penalty for the violation of the moral law, but to prevent this violation by the removal of the causes which lead to it.”
“I do not demand equal pay for any women save those who do equal work in value. Scorn to be coddled by your employers; make them understand that you are in their service as workers, not as women.”