Why Susan B. Anthony Spent 50 Years Dressed in Black

Why Susan B. Anthony Spent 50 Years Dressed in Black

Just as she had in almost every portrait for the previous 50 years, Susan B. Anthony sat dressed in black. It was a nod to her New England Quaker roots—but it was also the uniform of her movement. The grande dame of female suffrage was at least 80 years old when this picture was taken around the year 1900, and she had abandoned experimenting with her clothes decades ago. Since the 1850s the black dress had been her uniform, and equality for women her cause.

On the other side of the camera crouched Frances ‘Fannie’ Benjamin Johnston, a well-to-do and world-famous photographer who by her 40th birthday had set up her own studio in Washington D.C., exhibited in Paris and photographed presidents, celebrities and the leading artists of the day. More than four decades younger than her subject, Johnston’s life—single, self-determined, bisexual—was in part a tribute to the tireless work that Anthony had done in hers.

THE PHOTOGRAPH

Frances Johnston’s distinctive style of clean-cut portraiture, shot from slightly below the eyeline, which she practiced with great success on male subjects such as Booker T. Washington, William McKinley and Mark Twain, is perfected in this image of Anthony. It is a purposefully severe photograph in which brightness and contrast have been ramped up to present Anthony in a traditionally ‘male’ composition. (In her other portraits of women, such as one taken in 1906 of Alice Roosevelt on her wedding day, Johnston almost invariably deployed softer, gentler, greyer tones.)

Restoring color to an image like this is a delicate job—hardest in areas of the frame where the shot has been deliberately over- and under-exposed for effect. Anthony’s dress collar glares, while the right side of her face is in shadow, allowing the texture of the paper on which it was printed to interfere with the image.

ANTHONY’S LEGACY

Through years of tireless campaigning, speech-making, writing, demonstration and advocacy, Anthony hammered the collective American consciousness with her argument that women ought to be paid their worth, and should be free to divorce drunken or abusive husbands and deserved to have the vote. She would not live to see the 19th Amendment passed, which allowed for the last of these: Anthony died not long after this image was taken, in 1906.

Anthony once declared her wish “to live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women.” The movement she began 170 years ago continues apace: led by ordinary women, pressing for their right to own their bodies and earn their worth, and publicized by Hollywood actors donning black dresses with #TimesUp pins at awards shows and the massive success of the Women’s March movement.

The Past in Color features the work of colorist Marina Amaral, bringing to life black and white photos with color applied digitally.


Susan B. Anthony was Arrested for Voting when Women Couldn’t. Now Trump will Pardon Her

On Election Day in 1872, nearly 50 years before women gained the right to vote, Susan B. Anthony walked into a polling site in Rochester, N.Y., and cast her ballot. A federal marshal later showed up at her door to arrest her for wrongfully and willfully voting. She was ultimately tried and fined $100.

On Tuesday, the 100-year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote, President Trump announced he would pardon Anthony.

One of the most prominent leaders in the fight for women&rsquos suffrage, Anthony spent decades traveling the country, giving speeches, petitioning Congress and publishing a suffragist newspaper. Alongside Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Anthony formed the National Woman Suffrage Association and organized the first Woman Suffrage Convention in Washington. When the 19th Amendment passed, more than 14 years after her death, it became widely known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment.

Other aspects of Anthony&rsquos legacy have stirred debate among historians and advocates. Conservatives have long celebrated Anthony, saying she was fervently antiabortion. The Susan B. Anthony List, a nonprofit organization in her name, focuses on promoting and supporting antiabortion politicians. But others reject this interpretation of the suffragist&rsquos views, claiming the Susan B. Anthony List &ldquohijacked Anthony&rsquos name and fame to promote their own cause.&rdquo

After appearing at Tuesday&rsquos event at the White House, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, celebrated the &ldquosweet moment,&rdquo tweeting that Anthony &ldquofought for the rights of all, including the unborn.&rdquo

But historians who have closely studied Anthony&rsquos life say the suffragist would not have wanted to be pardoned. Anthony&rsquos conviction was a point of pride for her, a symbol of the lengths to which those in power would go to prevent women from voting, said Ann Gordon, a former Rutgers University professor and editor of &ldquoThe Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.&rdquo


Why Susan B. Anthony Spent 50 Years Dressed in Black - HISTORY

Champion of temperance, abolition, the rights of labor, and equal pay for equal work, Susan Brownell Anthony became one of the most visible leaders of the women’s suffrage movement. Along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she traveled around the country delivering speeches in favor of women's suffrage.

Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. Her father, Daniel, was a farmer and later a cotton mill owner and manager and was raised as a Quaker. Her mother, Lucy, came from a family that fought in the American Revolution and served in the Massachusetts state government. From an early age, Anthony was inspired by the Quaker belief that everyone was equal under God. That idea guided her throughout her life. She had seven brothers and sisters, many of whom became activists for justice and emancipation of slaves.

After many years of teaching, Anthony returned to her family who had moved to New York State. There she met William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass, who were friends of her father. Listening to them moved Susan to want to do more to help end slavery. She became an abolition activist, even though most people thought it was improper for women to give speeches in public. Anthony made many passionate speeches against slavery.

In 1848, a group of women held a convention at Seneca Falls , New York. It was the first Women’s Rights Convention in the United States and began the Suffrage movement. Her mother and sister attended the convention but Anthony did not. In 1851, Anthony met Elizabeth Cady Stanton. T he two women became good friends and worked together for over 50 years fighting for women’s rights. They traveled the country and Anthony gave speeches demanding that women be given the right to vote. At times, she risked being arrested for sharing her ideas in public.

Anthony was good at strategy. Her discipline, energy, and ability to organize made her a strong and successful leader. Anthony and Stanton co-founded the American Equal Rights Association. In 1868 they became editors of the Association’s newspaper, The Revolution, which helped to spread the ideas of equality and rights for women. Anthony began to lecture to raise money for publishing the newspaper and to support the suffrage movement. She became famous throughout the county. Many people admired her, yet others hated her ideas.

When Congress passed the 14 th and 15 th amendments which give voting rights to African American men, Anthony and Stanton were angry and opposed the legislation because it did not include the right to vote for women. Their belief led them to split from other suffragists. They thought the amendments should also have given women the right to vote. They formed the National Woman Suffrage Association , to push for a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote.

In 1872, Anthony was arrested for voting. She was tried and fined $100 for her crime. This made many people angry and brought national attention to the suffrage movement. In 1876, she led a protest at the 1876 Centennial of our nation’s independence. She gave a speech—“Declaration of Rights”—written by Stanton and another suffragist, Matilda Joslyn Gage.

“Men, their rights, and nothing more women, their rights, and nothing less.”

Anthony spent her life working for women’s rights. In 1888, she helped to merge the two largest suffrage associations into one, the National American Women’s Suffrage Association. She led the group until 1900. She traveled around the country giving speeches, gathering thousands of signatures on petitions, and lobbying Congress every year for women. Anthony died in 1906, 14 years before women were given the right to vote with the passage of the 19 th Amendment in 1920.


Contents

Early demands for women's suffrage Edit

The demand for women's suffrage grew out of the broader movement for women's rights, which began to emerge in the U.S. in the early 1800s. There was little demand for the right to vote in the movement's early days, when the focus was on such issues as the right of women to speak in public settings and on property rights for married women. At the first women's rights convention, the Seneca Falls Convention held in western New York in 1848, the only resolution that did not pass unanimously was the one that called for women's suffrage. Originated by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was just beginning her career as a suffrage leader, the resolution was adopted only after Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist leader and a former slave, gave it his strong support. [3] That convention helped to popularize the idea of women suffrage, and by the time of the first National Women's Rights Convention in 1850, suffrage was becoming a generally accepted part of the movement's goals. [4]

Women began to attempt to vote. In Vineland, New Jersey, a center for radical spiritualists, nearly 200 women placed their ballots into a separate box and attempted to have them counted during the 1868 elections, but without success. Lucy Stone, a leader of the women's rights movement who lived nearby, attempted to vote soon afterwards, also without success. [5]

New Departure strategy Edit

In 1869, Francis and Virginia Minor, husband and wife suffragists from Missouri, developed a strategy that became known as the New Departure, which engaged the suffrage movement for several years. This strategy was based on the belief that the recently adopted Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, together with the pending Fifteenth Amendment, implicitly enfranchised women. The primary purpose of these amendments was to establish the newly freed slaves as citizens with voting rights. In the process of doing so, these amendments defined citizenship in a way that clearly included women, prohibited the states from abridging "the privileges or immunities of citizens", and transferred partial control over voting rights from the state to the federal level. The Minors cited Corfield v. Coryell, a case in 1823 in which a federal circuit court ruled that voting rights were included in the privileges and immunities of citizens. They also cited the preamble to the Constitution to support their assertion that the basic rights of citizens were natural rights that provided the foundation for constitutional authority. According to the New Departure strategy, the main task of the suffrage movement was to establish through court action that these principles taken together implied that women had the right to vote. [6]

In 1871 Victoria Woodhull, a stockbroker with little previous connection to the women's movement, presented a modified version of the New Departure strategy to a committee of Congress. Instead of asking the courts to rule that the Constitution implicitly enfranchised women, she asked Congress to pass a declaratory act to accomplish the same goal. The committee rejected her proposal. [7]

In early 1871, the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) officially adopted the New Departure strategy. It encouraged women to attempt to vote and to file federal lawsuits if denied that right. [8] The NWSA, organized by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1869, was the first national women's rights organization. A rival organization called the American Woman Suffrage Association, which was created a few months later, did not adopt the New Departure strategy but instead campaigned for state laws that would enable women to vote. [9]

Soon hundreds of women attempted to vote in dozens of localities. [10] Accompanied by Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist leader and a supporter of women's rights, sixty-four women unsuccessfully tried to register in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 1871, and more than seventy attempted to vote. [11] In November 1871, the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia ruled against lawsuits brought by these women. It ruled that citizenship did not imply the right to vote, saying that "the legal vindication of the natural right of all citizens to vote would, at this stage of popular intelligence, involve the destruction of civil government" and that "The fact that the practical working of the assumed right would be destructive of civilization is decisive that the right does not exist." [12]

Vote in 1872 election Edit

The reaction of the authorities was muted in these unsuccessful attempts to vote. The reaction was sharply different when Susan B. Anthony succeeded in voting in the presidential election of 1872 in Rochester, New York. Anthony was a nationally known figure. She and Stanton had founded the Women's Loyal National League, the first national women's political organization in the U.S., in 1863 during the American Civil War. Anthony was the chief organizer of the League's petition drive against slavery, which collected nearly 400,000 signatures in the largest petition drive in U.S. history up to that time. [13] [14] She and Stanton were the leaders of National Woman Suffrage Association. At the time when she cast her ballot, Anthony was the nation's best-known advocate of the right of women to vote. [15]

On November 1, 1872, Anthony walked with her sisters Guelma, Hannah, and Mary to a voter registration office in a nearby barber shop and demanded to be registered. Anthony quoted the Fourteenth Amendment to the election inspectors to justify their demand and threatened to sue the inspectors personally if they refused. The inspectors consulted a prominent local lawyer, John Van Voorhis (a strong supporter of women's suffrage), who advised them to register the women after they took the standard oaths of registry, which, he said, "would put the entire onus of the affair on them". [16]

A skilled publicist, Anthony then went to a newspaper office to provide an interview about what had just happened. [17] News of the women's registration appeared in the afternoon newspapers, with some of them calling for the arrest of the inspectors who had registered the women. Anthony returned to the voter registration office to ask the inspectors to stand firm and to assure them that she would cover any legal costs they might incur. Other women in Rochester began to register, bringing the total to nearly fifty. [18]

On election day, November 5, Anthony and fourteen other women from her ward went to the polling place to cast their ballots. Sylvester Lewis, a poll watcher, challenged their right to vote, thereby triggering a requirement that they take an oath stating that they were qualified to vote, which they did. The election inspectors were now in a difficult position. They were at risk of violating state law if they turned the women away because state law did not give them the authority to refuse the ballot to anyone who took the required oath. Federal law, however, made it illegal to receive the ballot of an ineligible voter. Moreover, federal law prescribed the same punishments for accepting the ballot of an ineligible voter as for refusing the ballot of an eligible voter. The inspectors decided to allow the women to vote. [19] The negative publicity of the previous days had influenced the officials in the other wards, who turned the other registered women away. [18]

Arrest Edit

Anthony had not expected to vote, according to Ann D. Gordon, a historian of the women's movement. Instead, she had expected to be turned away from the polls, after which she planned to file a suit in federal court in pursuit of her right to vote. She didn't expect to be arrested either. [20]

On November 14, warrants for the arrest of the women who had voted and the election inspectors who had allowed them to do so were drawn up and shown to the press. William C. Storrs, one of the commissioners for the U.S. Circuit Court for the Rochester area, sent word to Anthony asking her to meet him in his office. Anthony replied that she "had no social acquaintance with him and didn't wish to call on him". [21]

On November 18, a deputy U.S. Marshal came to her house and said that Commissioner Storrs wished to see her in his office. When Anthony asked why, the officer replied that Storrs wanted to arrest her. Anthony said that men weren't arrested that way and demanded to be arrested properly. The deputy then produced the warrant and arrested her. Told that she was required to go with him, Anthony replied that she wasn't prepared to go immediately. The deputy said he would go on ahead, and she could follow when she was ready. Anthony said she would refuse to take herself to court, so the deputy waited while she changed her dress. Anthony then held out her wrists to be handcuffed, but the officer declined, saying he did not think that would be necessary. [18] [21]

The other fourteen women who had voted and were subsequently arrested were: Charlotte ("Lottie") B. Anthony, Mary S. Anthony, Ellen S. Baker, Nancy M. Chapman, Hannah M. Chatfield, Jane M. Cogswell, Rhoda DeGarmo, Mary S. Hebard, Susan M. Hough, Margaret Garrigues Leyden, Guelma Anthony McLean, Hannah Anthony Mosher, Mary E. Pulver, and Sarah Cole Truesdale. The election inspectors who had allowed them to vote were arrested also. Their names were Beverly Waugh Jones, Edwin T. Marsh and William B. Hall. [22] Several of the women were involved in various types of reform activity. DeGarmo had been the recording secretary for the Rochester Women's Rights Convention of 1848, the second such convention in the country, held two weeks after the Seneca Falls Convention. [23]

As her attorney, Anthony chose Henry R. Selden, a respected local lawyer who had previously served as lieutenant governor of New York and as a judge on the New York Court of Appeals. The New York Commercial Advertiser said that Anthony's trial had taken on new importance now that Selden had agreed to take her case, and it suggested that men might need to reconsider their opinion on women's suffrage. Anthony also frequently consulted the lawyer for the election inspectors, John Van Voorhis, who had previously served as Rochester City Attorney. [24]

The women who were arrested were held to $500 bail. Everyone posted bail except Anthony, who refused. [25] Storrs issued a commitment authorizing the U.S. marshal to place her in the Albany County jail, but she was never actually held there. [26]

Pre-trial speaking tour Edit

Anthony's arrest generated national news, which she turned into an opportunity to generate publicity for the suffrage movement. She spoke in 29 towns and villages of Monroe County, New York, where her trial was to be held and which would provide the jurors for her trial. Her speech was entitled "Is it a Crime for a U.S. Citizen to Vote?" [27] She said the Fourteenth Amendment gave her that right, proclaiming, "We no longer petition Legislature or Congress to give us the right to vote. We appeal to women everywhere to exercise their too long neglected 'citizen's right to vote'". [28] She quoted to her audiences the first section of the recently adopted Fourteenth Amendment, which reads:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The only question left to be settled now, is: Are women persons? And I hardly believe any of our opponents will have the hardihood to say they are not. Being persons, then, women are citizens and no State has a right to make any new law, or to enforce any old law, that shall abridge their privileges or immunities." [29]

Her speech was printed in its entirety in one of the Rochester daily newspapers, which further spread her message to potential jurors. [30]

She drew attention to the inconsistent way that gendered words were used in the law. She pointed out that the New York tax laws referred only to "he", "him" and "his", yet taxes were collected from women. The federal Enforcement Act of 1870, which she was accused of violating, similarly used male pronouns only. Her official record of commitment was written with masculine pronouns, but the Clerk of the Court had inserted an "s" above "he" in the printed form to make it into "she", and similarly had altered to "his" to "her". She said, "I insist if government officials may thus manipulate the pronouns to tax, fine, imprison and hang women, women may take the same liberty with them to secure to themselves their right to a voice in the government." [31]

Other pre-trial activity Edit

On January 21, 1873, at a hearing before the U.S. District Court in Albany, the capital of New York state, Selden presented detailed arguments in support of Anthony's case. He said the question of the right of women to vote had not been settled in the courts and therefore the government had no basis for holding Anthony as a criminal defendant. Without giving U.S. Attorney Richard Crowley a chance to make the government's case, Judge Nathan K. Hall ruled that Anthony would remain in custody. [32]

Anthony published Selden's arguments before this court as a pamphlet and distributed 3000 copies, some of which she mailed to newspaper editors in several states with requests to reprint them. [33] In the letter that accompanied her request to the publisher of the Rochester Evening Express, she asked for help in convincing people that her vote was not a crime, saying, "We must get the men of Rochester so enlightened that no jury of twelve can be found to convict us." [34]

On January 24, Crowley presented the proposed indictments to the grand jury at the District Court in Albany, which indicted the women voters. Anthony again pleaded not guilty and was held on bail for $1000. Selden posted Anthony's bail over her protest. [30] [35]

On March 4, Anthony voted once again at an election in Rochester. This time, however, she was the only woman to do so. [35]

At an arraignment on May 22, Crowley requested the transfer of the case from the federal district court to the federal circuit court for the Northern New York District, which had concurrent jurisdiction. A session of this circuit court would meet in June in Canandaigua, the county seat of Ontario County, which borders on Monroe County. No reason for the move was given, but observers noted that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ward Hunt was assigned to that circuit and would be available in June to try the case. Federal circuit courts often held important cases until the arrival of the assigned Supreme Court justice, whose participation would give the verdict greater weight. [30] The transfer also meant that jurors would not be drawn from Monroe County, which Anthony had thoroughly covered with her recent speaking tour on women's right to vote. [36] Anthony responded by speaking throughout Ontario County before the trial began with the assistance of her colleague Matilda Joslyn Gage. [33]

Trial Edit

The trial had several complications. Anthony was accused of violating a state law that prohibited women from voting, but she was not tried in a state court. Instead she was tried in federal courts for violating the Enforcement Act of 1870, which made it a federal crime to vote in congressional elections if the voter was not qualified to vote under state law. [37] Her case was handled by two overlapping arms of the federal court system: the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York and the U.S. Circuit Court for the Northern District of New York. (This circuit court system was abolished in 1912.)

Justice Ward Hunt, who had recently been appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, had responsibility for that circuit and was the judge in this trial. Hunt had never served as a trial judge. Originally a politician, he had begun his judicial career by being elected to the New York Court of Appeals. [38]

The trial, United States v. Susan B. Anthony, began on June 17, 1873, in Canandaigua, New York, and was closely followed by the national press. The case was being viewed as having some farcical aspects, and the press was ready for more. The New York Times reported that, "It was conceded that the defendant was, on the 5th November, 1872, a woman." [39]

Justice Hunt presided alone, which was contrary to established practice. Federal criminal trials at that time normally had two judges, and a case could not be forwarded to the Supreme Court unless the judges disagreed about the verdict. District Court Judge Nathan K. Hall, who had already been involved with Anthony's case in earlier court actions, served beside Judge Hunt during trials earlier that day, and he was on the bench with Hunt when Anthony's case was called. He did not remain there during Anthony's trial, however, but instead sat in the audience. [40] Also in the audience was former president Millard Fillmore. [41]

Legal arguments Edit

Judge Hunt's judicial opinion, June 18, 1873 [42] [43]

Arguing for the defense, Selden said the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment made it clear that women were citizens and that states were prohibited from making laws that abridge "the privileges and immunities of citizens". Therefore, he said, women were entitled to all the rights of citizens, including the right to vote, the right that gives meaning to the other political rights. He cited examples of wrongs suffered by women in cultures all over the world partly because they had no voice in government. He said that Anthony voted in the sincere belief that she was voting legally and therefore could not be accused of knowingly violating a law. [44]

Arguing for the prosecution, Crowley said the "privileges and immunities" protected by the Fourteenth Amendment applied only to such rights as life, liberty and property, not the right to vote. He said that children were citizens, but no one would claim they had the right to vote. He cited recent state and federal court decisions that had upheld the right of states to restrict suffrage to males. He pointed out that the second section of the Fourteenth Amendment specifically referred to male voters when it stipulated reduced representation in Congress for states that restricted male suffrage. [45]

Through her attorney, Anthony requested permission to testify on her own behalf, but Hunt denied her request. Instead he followed a rule of common law at that time which prevented criminal defendants in federal courts from testifying. [46]

Directed verdict Edit

After both sides had presented their cases on the second day of the trial, Justice Hunt delivered his written opinion. He had written it beforehand, he said, to ensure that, "there would be no misapprehension about my views". [47] He said the Constitution allowed states to prohibit women from voting and that Anthony was guilty of violating a New York law to that effect. He cited the Slaughter-House Cases and Bradwell v. Illinois, Supreme Court rulings made only weeks earlier that had narrowly defined the rights of U.S. citizenship. Furthermore, he said, the right to a trial by jury exists only when there is a disputed fact, not when there is an issue of law. In the most controversial aspect of the trial, Hunt ruled that the defense had conceded the facts of the case, and he directed the jury to deliver a guilty verdict. He denied Selden's request to poll the jury to get their opinions on what the verdict should be. [48] These moves were controversial because the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution begins with the words, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury".

N. E. H. Hull, a law professor who wrote a book-length study of this trial, commented on Justice Hunt's delivery of an opinion that Hunt said he had prepared earlier. Hull said, "Whether that meant he had written out his opinion before the trial commenced or whether he waited to hear if any arguments or evidence on that first day might influence his decision, one will never know." [49] After the trial, Anthony was outspoken in her belief that Hunt had written his verdict before the trial had begun. Van Voorhis, an attorney who had assisted Anthony, agreed, saying that Hunt had, "unquestionably prepared his opinion beforehand". [50]

The participants later voiced disagreement about what the jury's verdict would have been had there not been a directed verdict. U.S. Attorney Crowley said the jury had informally agreed to Hunt's verdict. [51] Anthony told a different story. The History of Woman Suffrage, which she co-edited, reported that one of the jurors said, "The verdict of guilty would not have been mine, could I have spoken, nor should I have been alone. There were others who thought as I did, but we could not speak." [52]

Anthony's speech to the court Edit

Anthony's address to court after directed verdict [2]

On the second day and final day of the trial, in what is ordinarily a routine move, Hunt asked Anthony if she had anything to say. She responded with "the most famous speech in the history of the agitation for woman suffrage", according to Ann D. Gordon, a historian of the women's movement. [53]

Repeatedly ignoring the judge's order to stop talking and sit down, Anthony protested what she called "this high-handed outrage upon my citizen's rights", saying "you have trampled under foot every vital principle of our government. My natural rights, my civil rights, my political rights, my judicial rights, are all alike ignored." [2] She castigated Justice Hunt for denying her a trial by jury. She also declared that even if he had allowed the jury to discuss the case, she still would have been denied her right to a trial by a jury of her peers because women were not allowed to be jurors. She said that in the same way that slaves obtained their freedom by taking it "over, or under, or through the unjust forms of law", now for women to get their right to a voice in government, they must "take it as I have taken mine, and mean to take it at every possible opportunity." [2]

Blocked path to Supreme Court Edit

When Justice Hunt sentenced Anthony to pay a fine of $100, she responded, "I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty" [54] and she never did. If Hunt had ordered her to be jailed until she paid the fine, Anthony could have filed a writ of habeas corpus to gain a hearing before the Supreme Court. Hunt instead announced he would not order her taken into custody, closing off that legal avenue. Because appeals to the Supreme Court in criminal court cases were not permitted at that time, Anthony was blocked from taking her case any further. [55]

Attempt to collect Anthony's fine Edit

A month after the trial, a deputy federal marshal was dispatched to collect Anthony's fine. He reported that a careful search had failed to find any property that could be seized to pay the fine. The court took no further action. [56]

Peripheral legal action Edit

Election inspectors' trial Edit

The trial of the election inspectors who had allowed Anthony and the other fourteen women to vote was held immediately after Anthony's trial. The inspectors were found guilty of violating the Enforcement Act of 1870 and fined. They refused to pay their fines and were eventually jailed. [56]

There was public sympathy for the inspectors, who had been in a no-win situation, facing adverse legal action if they allowed the women to vote and also if they turned them away. The Rochester Evening Express said on February 26, 1874, "The arrest and imprisonment in our city jail of the Election Inspectors who received the votes of Susan B. Anthony and the other ladies, at the polls of the Eight Ward, some months ago, is a petty but malicious act of tyranny." [57] The jailed inspectors received food, coffee and a steady stream of visits from their supporters, including the women whom they allowed to vote. Anthony appealed to her friends in Congress for their release, and they in turn appealed to President Ulysses S. Grant, who pardoned the men on March 3, 1874. The inspectors were reelected to their offices in elections that were held on that same day. [58]

Women voter codefendants Edit

The fourteen women who had been arrested with Anthony were indicted in January, 1873. On May 22, they were released on their own recognizance after U.S. Attorney Crowley announced that Anthony's case would be made into a test case. They were informed that they did not need to appear at Anthony's upcoming trial. On June 21, 1873, after Anthony's trial, the prosecutor entered motions of nolle prosequi in the circuit court to signal that the government would not pursue their case any further. [59]

Press coverage Edit

The Associated Press provided daily reports of the trial that were printed in newspapers across the country. In some cases, newspapers filled several columns with the arguments prepared by the lawyers and with the judge's rulings. Some newspapers were harshly critical of the women voters. The Rochester Union and Advertiser said their action, "goes to show the progress of female lawlessness instead of the principle of female suffrage" and that "the efforts of Susan B. Anthony & Co. to unsex themselves and vote as men will be so far as they are successful both criminal and ridiculous." [60] The primary topic of interest was Judge Hunt's refusal to allow the jury to deliberate and vote on a verdict. The New York Sun called for Hunt's impeachment, saying that he had overthrown civil liberty. [61] The Trenton State Sentinel and Capital asked, "Why have juries at all if Judges can find verdicts—or direct them to be found, and then refuse to poll the jury?" [62]

Shortly before the trial began, the New York Daily Graphic ran a full-page caricature of Anthony on its front cover with the title "The Woman Who Dared". It depicted Anthony with a grim expression and wearing men's boots with spurs. In the background was a woman in a police uniform and men carrying groceries and babies. The accompanying story said that if Anthony were acquitted at the trial, the world would come to resemble the cartoon, and women would "acknowledge in the person of Miss Anthony the pioneer who first pursued the way they sought". [63]

Petition for remission of fine Edit

In January 1874, Anthony petitioned Congress to remit her fine on the grounds that Judge Hunt's ruling had been unjust. The judiciary committees of both the Senate and the House debated the question. Senator Matthew Carpenter condemned Justice Hunt's ruling, saying that it was "altogether a departure from, and a most dangerous innovation upon, the well-settled method of jury-trial in criminal cases. Such a doctrine renders the trial by jury a farce. [Anthony] had no jury-trial, within the meaning of the Constitution, and her conviction was, therefore, erroneous." [58] Benjamin Butler brought a bill to remit Anthony's fine to the floor of the House, but it did not pass. [58]

Effect on the women's movement Edit

The trial of Susan B. Anthony helped make women's suffrage a national issue. It was a major step in the transition of the women's rights movement from one that encompassed a number of issues into one that focused primarily on women's suffrage. [64]

The National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) continued to pursue the New Departure strategy even though Anthony had been blocked in her attempt to bring her voting rights case before the Supreme Court. Virginia Minor, one of the originators of the New Departure strategy, succeeded in that effort. When Minor was prevented from registering to vote in Missouri in 1872, she took her case first to a state circuit court, then to the Supreme Court of Missouri, and finally to the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately for the suffrage movement, in 1875 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Minor v. Happersett that the Constitution did not implicitly support women's suffrage, stating that "the Constitution of the United States does not confer the right of suffrage upon anyone". [65]

The Happersett decision put an end to the New Departure strategy of trying to achieve women's suffrage through the courts. The NWSA decided to pursue the far more difficult strategy of campaigning for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ensure voting rights for women. That struggle lasted for 45 years, until the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1920. Supreme Court rulings did not establish the connection between citizenship and voting rights until the mid-twentieth century, with such decisions as Reynolds v. Sims and Wesberry v. Sanders, both in 1964. [65]

Continuing debate over directed verdicts Edit

The controversy within the legal community over Justice Hunt's directed verdict continued for years. In 1882, a month after Justice Hunt's retirement from the Supreme Court, a circuit court judge ruled that it was wrong for a judge to direct a jury to deliver a verdict of guilty. In 1895, in Sparf v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that a federal judge could not direct a jury to return a guilty verdict in a criminal trial. [65]

Other outcomes Edit

In April 1874, Anthony published a book of more than 200 pages called An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony, on the Charge of Illegal Voting, at the Presidential Election in Nov., 1872, and on the Trial of Beverly W. Jones, Edwin T. Marsh, and William B. Hall, the Inspectors of Election by Whom Her Vote was Received. It contained documents from the trial, including the indictments, her speech to potential jurors, the attorneys' arguments and motions, the trial transcripts, and the judge's ruling. It did not include the argument of U.S. Attorney Crowley because he refused to provide it. Instead, Crowley published his own pamphlet that contained his argument together with the judge's ruling. Anthony's book also contained an essay written after the trial by John Hooker, the reporter for Connecticut's Supreme Court of Errors, which said that Hunt's actions were "contrary to all rules of law" and "subversive of the system of jury trials in criminal cases". [66]

Helen Potter, a popular entertainer, performed reenactments of Anthony castigating the judge for years after the trial. A skilled impersonator of famous people, Potter performed across the country. [68] Anthony traveled to see Potter on stage in Illinois in 1877. After the performance (which did not include Anthony's speech), Potter signaled her support for Anthony's work by paying her hotel bill and donating $100 to her. [69]

The arrested women and some of their supporters formed the Women Taxpayers' Association of Monroe County in May 1873 to protest their situation of taxation without representation. [70]

The place where the arrested women voted now has a bronze sculpture of a locked ballot box flanked by two pillars, which is called the 1872 Monument, and was dedicated in August 2009, on the 89th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment. Leading away from the 1872 Monument there is the Susan B. Anthony Trail, which runs beside the 1872 Café, named for the year of Anthony's vote. [71]

On August 18, 2020 President Donald Trump symbolically pardoned Susan B. Anthony on the 100th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. [72] The pardon was symbolic because there was no-one to accept it on Anthony's behalf and it was publicly rejected by at least one of the late feminist's contemporary representatives, the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House. [73]

In the summer of 1874, the Albany Law Journal, the leading legal journal in New York state, criticized Judge Hunt's actions, saying, "Miss Anthony had no trial by jury. She had only a trial by Judge Hunt. This is not what the constitution guarantees." [74]

In 2001, the New York University Law Review published an article called "A Revolution Too Soon: Woman Suffragists and the 'Living Constitution'", which included a section on Anthony's trial. Its author, Adam Winkler, said the dominant mode of constitutional interpretation in the twentieth century, sometimes known as "Living Constitutionalism", is generally said to have originated around 1900 with such legal thinkers as Oliver Wendell Holmes, who believed that the constitution should be interpreted in ways that meet the present needs of society. Winkler points out, however, that the suffragists' New Departure strategy preceded those thinkers by urging the courts to declare that women's right to vote was a newly recognized natural right that was inherent in the constitution. [75]

"10 Trials that Changed the World", a group of articles published in 2013 in the ABA Journal (an organ of the American Bar Association), included an article called "Susan B. Anthony is Convicted for Casting a Ballot". Its author, Deborah Enix-Ross, chair of the ABA's Center for Human Rights, said the trial touched on many issues other than women's suffrage, "including the laws that supported Reconstruction, the competing authority of federal and state governments and courts, criminal proceedings in federal courts, the right to trial by jury and the lack of provisions to appeal criminal convictions." [76] She said that, "Justice Hunt's decision to direct the jury to find Anthony guilty—without allowing the jurors to deliberate and without polling them—was so egregious that lawyers, politicians and the press spoke out against his violation of the constitutional guarantee of trial by jury." [76] She also said, "Anthony's role in providing impetus for protecting a defendant's rights in jury trials should not be overlooked." [76]


Susan B. Anthony's Washington County home may finally get its due

1 of 53 Buy Photo Debi Craig, immediate past president of the Washington County Historical Society and member of the Greenwich Easton Historical Association, stands outside Susan B. Anthony's early childhood home on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, on State Route 29 in Battenville, N.Y. Several local history groups have been trying to entice the state to renovate this historic home, but so far to no avail. (Will Waldron/Times Union) Will Waldron/Albany Times Union Show More Show Less

2 of 53 Buy Photo Debi Craig, immediate past president of the Washington County Historical Society and member of the Greenwich Easton Historical Association, stands outside Susan B. Anthony's early childhood home on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, on State Route 29 in Battenville, N.Y. Several local history groups have been trying to entice the state to renovate this historic home, but so far to no avail. (Will Waldron/Times Union) Will Waldron/Albany Times Union Show More Show Less

4 of 53 Buy Photo Debi Craig, immediate past president of the Washington County Historical Society and member of the Greenwich Easton Historical Association, shows where Susan B. Anthony's grandparents are buried in Battenville Cemetery on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Battenville, N.Y. (Will Waldron/Times Union) Will Waldron/Albany Times Union Show More Show Less

5 of 53 Buy Photo Debi Craig, immediate past president of the Washington County Historical Society and member of the Greenwich Easton Historical Association, stands outside Susan B. Anthony's early childhood home on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, on State Route 29 in Battenville, N.Y. Several local history groups have been trying to entice the state to renovate this historic home, but so far to no avail. (Will Waldron/Times Union) Will Waldron/Albany Times Union Show More Show Less

Three unidentified women make history by becoming the first of their sex to vote in an election after the 19th Amendment was passed, San Francisco, California, late 1910s or early 1920s. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

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10 of 53 Depicting women's right to vote. Yale Joel/Getty Images Show More Show Less

11 of 53 circa 1865: Lucy Stone (1818 - 1893). American suffragist who lectured on women's rights and the abolition of slavery. She organized the first National Women's Rights Convention, the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association and was coeditor of 'Woman's Journal.' Original Artwork: Engraving by J C Buttre from the photo by J Nolan. Hulton Archive/Getty Images Show More Show Less

13 of 53 Members of the Woman Suffrage Party march down the road with sashes and American flags, circa 1917. FPG/Getty Images Show More Show Less

14 of 53 Women, joined by others across the country, seek to secure the passage of the 19th Amendent, which granted women the right to vote, seen in San Francisco in the late 1910s or early 1920s. Underwood Archives / Underwood Archives / Getty Images Show More Show Less

Women line up to vote in a municipal election, Boston, Massachusetts, December 11, 1888. Prior to the 19th Amendment, some cities extended to women the right to vote in local elections. (Photo by FPG/Getty Images)

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American suffragist Alice Paul (1885 - 1977) unfurls a banner after receiving the news of the Tennessee suffrage vote, Washington, DC, August 18, 1920. The banner has thirty-six stars, one for each state that had voted for a national admendment guaranteeing women the right to vote, and the 19th Amendment was ratified after the agreement of three-fourths of the states was obtained. (Photo by FPG/Getty Images)

19th April 1917: American suffragettes Mrs Phil Lydig and Mrs John C Blair marching in the 'Wake Up America' parade in New York. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

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circa 1920: A poster, published by the League of Women Voters, urging women to use the vote which the 19th amendment gave them. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

American activist and suffragette Ellen Clark Sargent (1826 - 1911) circa 1870. She was a leading member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in the late 19th century. (Photo by Kean Collection/Getty Images)

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American politician, US Representative Jeanette Rankin (1880 - 1973) stands at the podium and speaks before Congress, Washington DC, May 1917. The first female member of Congress, Rankin was the elected to the House before the passage of the US Constitutional amendment that gave women the right to vote (the 19th amendment), a right that they did have in her home state of Montana. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)

American suffragist Alice Paul (1885 - 1977) toasting Tennessee's Ratification of the 19th Amendment, 3rd September 1920. The amendment gives women the right to vote. (Photo by Harris & Ewing/FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

At the National Women's Party headquarters, a group of American suffragists watch as Alice Paul (1885 - 1977) (third left) sews stars onto a banner in celebration of the state of Tennessee's ratification of the 19th Ammendment, which guarenteed women the right to vote, Washington DC, August, 1920. (Photo by National Photo/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

Mrs Carrie Chapman Catt (1859 - 1947), a leader of the American women's suffrage movement which resulted in the adoption of the 19th amendment, early twentieth century. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)

Portrait of American suffragist Alice Paul (1885 - 1977), who was the founder of the National Woman's Party in 1916 and was instrumental in getting the 19th Amendment passed by Congress, thereby giving millions of American women the vote, early twentieth century. (Photo by George Grantham Bain/PhotoQuest/Getty Images)

Surrounded by mostly women, many with 'Votes for Women' sashes, American politician Governor of Kentucky Edwin P. Morrow (1877 - 1935) signs his states ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Kentucky, January 6, 1920. Also known as the Anthony Amendment, after Susan B. Anthony one of the original co-drafters of the ammendment, it prohibited sexual discrimination in the right to vote, and Kentucky was the twenty-fourth state to ratify it. (Photo by Stock Montage/Getty Images)

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Statues of US pioneers for women's suffrage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (L), Susan B. Anthony (C), and Lucretia Mott (R) are seen Septembder 30, 2013 in the US Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC. Women's suffrage in the United States was achieved gradually, at state and local levels during the late 19th century and early 20th century, culminating in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provided: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." AFP PHOTO / Michael MATHES (Photo credit should read MICHAEL MATHES/AFP/Getty Images)

Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, 1920. Image courtesy National Archives. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

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Women line up to vote for the first time in New York after the passage of the 19th Amendment, New York, New York, 1920. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

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TODAY -- "Women's Rights: Illusion or Reality" -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC News' Barbara Walters, Pauline Frederick, Aline Saarinen during a special edition of "TODAY" on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote -- (Photo by: NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)

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Original paper from congressional session ratifying the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, granting women the right to vote, 1919. Image courtesy National Archives. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

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Alice Paul and other women celebrating (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)

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41 of 53 This anti-suffrage postcard mocked how women would start looking like men if they were given the vote and allowed to “roll in the muck” of politics. From the collection of Darlene Thorne. Show More Show Less

Street Car in the Susan B. Anthony Pageant (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)

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Portrait of Susan B. Anthony sitting at a desk, circa 1868. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images).

American suffragettes Susan B. Anthony (1820 - 1906) and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815 - 1902) sit at a desk together, circa 1890s. (Photo by Kean Collection/Getty Images)

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Florence Jaffray "Daisy" Harriman with banner (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)

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Main Parlor of Susan B. Anthony House (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)

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Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, 1923 (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)

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Mrs. Dora J. Crittenden of San Francisco, celebrates a 19th Amendment victory. Mrs. Crittenden had joined Susan B. Anthony suffrage convention in 1848. From the June 10, 1919 San Francisco Chronicle.

BATTENVILLE &ndash Throughout her childhood, historian Debi Craig remembers driving past Susan B. Anthony&rsquos house with her father. And every time he said the same thing.

&ldquoDon&rsquot forget Susan B. Anthony lived there. She&rsquos part of the reason you can vote,&rdquo recalled Craig, the immediate past president of the Washington County Historical Society. &ldquoHe did it my entire childhood and adulthood. It became a joke.&rdquo

Yet even as a child, she wondered why the childhood home of one of America's most stalwart leaders in the cause for women&rsquos rights wasn&rsquot a museum. As she watched a series of private owners &ndash separated by long stretches of abandonment &ndash come and go over the years, Craig became passionate about saving the house that Anthony&rsquos father built in 1833.

&ldquoI want to see the house preserved so people can come and visit,&rdquo said Craig, a Greenwich-Easton Historical Association member.

She knows it will be a challenge as the large brick house, where Anthony lived from age 6 to 19, is in a weakened state. Backed against a ridge where rain runs off and pools in and around the foundation, the house has been inundated with water for years.

&ldquoThere is fungus growing out of the floors and walls,&rdquo said Craig, a retired Saratoga Springs school music teacher. &ldquoThere is an issue of black mold. There is a major problem with moisture in the house.&rdquo

Craig was hopeful, however, when the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation bought the foreclosed property in 2006 at auction for $1. But since then, the state has done little &ndash until now. Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said the agency is prepared to put $700,000 into the house this year.

&ldquoA stabilization will take place,&rdquo Kulleseid said. &ldquoIn some ways, it&rsquos fortunate timing.&rdquo

Indeed it is. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote, Anthony&rsquos signature issue. It&rsquos also the 200th anniversary of Anthony&rsquos birth.

Alane Ball Chinian, the parks agency's Saratoga-Capital District regional director, said the money will go into drainage improvements, roof repairs, mold abatement and work on chimneys, one of which was struck by lightning.

A substantial portion of the funding was secured by state Sen. Betty Little ($150,000) and state Assembly member Carrie Woerner ($250,000), who both believe the house is worth preserving and could be a major attraction in the coming years for rural Washington County.

&ldquoI&rsquom happy to see it happening,&rdquo Little said. &ldquoIt&rsquos a significant building and we can&rsquot let it sit there and get dilapidated. We have to take pride in it.&rdquo

Woerner agreed, adding that the state talked of razing the home and simply putting up a plaque to mark the spot, something she and Craig resisted.

&ldquoIt&rsquos not going to happen,&rdquo Woerner said. &ldquoWe care too much about the history of the home. And if we don&rsquot do anything, it will continue to deteriorate.&rdquo

No easy life

Anthony was born on Feb. 20, 1820, in Adams, Mass., and came to Battenville, a hamlet of Greenwich, when her father, Daniel Anthony, was offered a job managing its cotton mill in 1826. The house he built, casting the bricks onsite, was Greek Revival style and, conveniently for him, overlooked the mill on the Battenkill River.

In addition to housing his wife, Lucy, their six children and his in-laws, the Reads, Daniel Anthony's home also added and opened a school inside the house for his children and those of workers from the mill to attend. He opened the school after he learned the teacher across the river in the one-room schoolhouse in Jackson would not instruct his daughter in long division.

&ldquoThe teacher told her she needed to learn needlework,&rdquo Craig said. &ldquoSusan told her teacher she was cold, stood by the stove and listened to the lesson. She learned long division.&rdquo

Things were going well for the family until the Panic of 1837, a nationwide financial crisis that saw sharp drops in prices, including for cotton. Anthony&rsquos father wrote to his brother at the time, &ldquomy goods at present will not sell at the actual cost of manufacturing.&rdquo

&ldquoThey lost everything they owned,&rdquo Craig said. &ldquoHe lost his job at the mill. They lost their house. They sold the sugar out of their pantry, their eyeglasses, their underwear, everything personal had to go.&rdquo

They moved 2 miles down the road to a former inn and tavern in what was then known as Hardscrabble, which Daniel Anthony soon renamed Center Falls as the former name was unseemly, Craig said. There he tried managing another mill and starting a lumber and logging business, both of which were unsuccessful. Defeated, the family moved to Rochester in 1845.

Chinian said that part of the problem with the history of Susan B. Anthony in Greenwich, aside from the house, is &ldquothere is no material culture," he said, referring to objects from the home. Even their Center Falls home has been demolished.

However, she added, the Anthonys having to sell everything &ldquois an interesting part of the story. It made her who she was.&rdquo

So too, said Craig, was the influence of her father, a Quaker. When he managed the mill, he would not buy cotton from the South. The Greenwich Journal also noted that her father formed a temperance (anti-alcohol) society in Battenville, composed mainly of his employees. Not surprisingly, some of Anthony&rsquos first organizing efforts centered on temperance and abolition.

Anthony, who started teaching at age 17, may too have been frustrated by her salary. When she taught at Reid&rsquos Corner, now North Greenwich, she was paid $1.50 a week. Her predecessor, a man, had been paid $10 a week. She also taught in Easton, Fort Edward and Cambridge, earning between $2 to $2.50 per week with board, the Greenwich Journal reported.

Despite the family relocation, Anthony returned to Washington County often, both to visit two of her sisters who married local men (one of whom Anthony was reportedly in love with) and to speak at the area&rsquos political equality clubs. Historian Ted Corbett wrote in the book &ldquoA Home in the Battenville Valley&rdquo that she spoke at the Congregational Church in Greenwich in 1854. That same year, she organized the first women&rsquos rights convention in Saratoga Springs, a practice she repeated in 1855 and 1856. Over the holiday season of 1874 to 1875, she spoke in Granville and Center Falls. In 1894, Anthony, along with her friend Mary Hubbard, hosted a suffrage convention at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge. Craig also said she lectured at suffrage rallies at Burton Hall in Easton.


It’s Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday!

Mid-February is jammed with holidays. Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, and President’s Day, which marks the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and George Washington (February 22). Between these two birthdays is February 15, the anniversary of the birth of another great American, Susan B. Anthony. Although it is not a federal holiday, the states of Florida, California, Wisconsin, and New York celebrate Susan B. Anthony Day and it has been commemorated with fervor and fanfare at some places, such as Washington, D.C., for more than a century.

In 1900, at her 80th birthday party at the Corcoran Art Gallery in D.C., Anthony was seated in a queen’s chair at the head of a receiving line. For three hours, she shook hands with thousands who amassed to extend congratulations. “There never has been before,” an observer wrote, “and, in the nature of things, there can never be again, a personal celebration having the significance [in] relation to the woman suffrage movement that marked the celebration of Miss Anthony’s eightieth birthday, February 15.”

After greeting Anthony, the crowds made a pilgrimage to the marble portrait busts of Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott displayed in the gallery. Six years later, on February 15, 1906, the portrait bust of Susan B. Anthony was accepted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City. Adelaide Johnson, sculptor of the bust, considered it “a crowning achievement” since institutions almost never accepted portraits of a living person as part of their permanent collections. The location also pleased Johnson “in symbolic recognition of where she [Anthony] belongs,” the marble bust stood “at the head of the grand stairway as if to greet the visiting throngs.”

Less than a month later, on March 13, 1906, Anthony passed away, but suffragists continued to mark her birthday.

The 100-year anniversary of Anthony’s birth was again celebrated at her marble likeness in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The centennial event, attended by sculptress Adelaide Johnson and a few friends, turned out to be rather modest. But the next year it was a gloriously spectacular celebration. In August of 1920, the 19th Amendment—known as the Anthony Amendment—was ratified, giving women the right to vote, and Johnson was sculpting a suffrage masterpiece.

On February 15, 1921, the 101st birthday of Susan B. Anthony, the Woman Suffrage Statue (formally named the Portrait Monument to Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony) was unveiled in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol before a gathering of more than 1,000 women. The Washington Star News proclaimed, “The final chapter in the history of their long struggle for political equality was written last night by the women of America.”

While the papers espoused the idea of women’s equality, the monument that symbolized their inclusion in government was being subordinated. The day after the unveiling celebration, the statue was moved out of the Rotunda and down to the Crypt on the first floor of the Capitol. A few months later, the inscription was erased from the artwork. Despite repeated appeals to Congress over the next seven decades, the inscription was not restored nor was the monument relocated to the Rotunda. However, in 1935, Congress did give Susan B. Anthony a birthday present. “Congress honored Susan B. Anthony by washing her statue on her 115th birthday,” reported Ruby Black, “but left it in the basement.”

Year after year, women gathered in the Crypt at the Portrait Monument on February 15 to pay tribute to Susan B. Anthony. They also tried to honor her in other ways, such as asking for her portrait on Mount Rushmore as it was being carved in the 1930s. Although advocates failed in that effort, they succeeded in their campaign for the government’s issue of the 3-cent Anthony memorial stamp in 1936. Women’s groups also lobbied for February 15 to be proclaimed Susan B. Anthony Day. Governors of several states announced a commemoration each year, but most resisted making it an official annual holiday.

Through the 1930s to the 1970s, as women and men rallied for the passage and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, it was recognized that suffrage represented only one milestone – the goal of the woman’s movement had always been human rights. Susan B. Anthony became the “Magnificent Maiden Mother of Equal Rights” and the Portrait Monument became the statue of the Equal Rights Pioneers.

By the end of the twentieth century, the ERA was not ratified, but Congress finally had approved the relocation of the statue of Anthony, Stanton, and Mott. In 1997, after years of negotiations and setbacks, and the necessity of raising $75,000 in private funds, the Portrait Monument was squeezed up a stairway and rolled through the hallway to its new home. Susan B. Anthony now stood with her peers, the outstanding leaders in our nation’s history, in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.

With that promotion came deliberation of Anthony’s worthiness. Some argue that the contributions of other women are ignored or demoted in favor of hero worship for this one white woman. I strongly support the study and promotion of all women and have spent most of my life researching and celebrating the lives of women considered ordinary, extraordinary, or otherwise. This work does not preclude praise for the premier leaders.

There is no need for divisiveness there is still plenty to explore and learn about all of these women. As the jagged marble in the Portrait Monument illustrates, we have lots of unfinished work.

Has Susan B. Anthony been fully recognized? Has she been analyzed and praised and commemorated as much as Washington or Lincoln? As the general of a bloodless battle for human rights on behalf of 50 percent of its citizens, is she not of equal merit?

February 15 should be a day of national commemoration. And ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment would be the proverbial sweet, chocolate fudge frosting on Susan B. Anthony’s birthday cake.


Old Friends Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Made History Together

“We little dreamed when we began this contest, optimistic with the hope and buoyancy of youth, that half a century later we would be compelled to leave the finish of the battle to another generation of women.” —Susan B. Anthony

Illustration by Andrea Heiss

“It is fifty-one years since we first met, and we have been busy through every one of them, stirring up the world to recognize the rights of women,” Susan B. Anthony wrote her friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1902.

The letter, in honor of Stanton’s eighty-seventh birthday, was printed in Pearson’s Magazine. It continued: “We little dreamed when we began this contest, optimistic with the hope and buoyancy of youth, that half a century later we would be compelled to leave the finish of the battle to another generation of women. But our hearts are filled with joy to know that they enter upon this task equipped with a college education, with business experience, with the fully admitted right to speak in public—all of which were denied to women fifty years ago. They have practically one point to gain—the suffrage we had all.”

Anthony’s reflections reveal a friendship that was public and political but also private and genuine. From their activist beginnings in the antislavery and temperance movements to their leadership of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), the two women—Anthony as an on-the-ground organizer and strategist and Stanton as a writer, thinker, and commentator—were an inseparable force.

The women had first met in 1851 when Anthony traveled to an antislavery meeting in Seneca Falls, New York, where Stanton had organized the first national woman’s rights convention there in 1848. In remembering the day Amelia Bloomer introduced them on a street corner, Stanton said, “There she stood with her good, earnest face and genial smile, dressed in gray delaine, hat and all the same color, relieved with pale blue ribbons, the perfection of neatness and sobriety. I liked her thoroughly, and why I did not at once invite her home with me to dinner, I do not know.”

Both women were in their thirties: Anthony had been teaching, and Stanton was married to abolitionist Henry B. Stanton. Their involvement in the antislavery movement had cultivated a shared interest in broader equality issues, and each was passionate about the right of women to participate in the governing process and have control over their own lives. Anthony was inspired by Stanton’s vision for advancing women, and Anthony’s organizing skills were soon apparent to Stanton, who had young children and could not travel regularly. Together, they launched a national woman’s suffrage movement, published the newspaper The Revolution, and lectured, lobbied, and protested for equal rights.

Remembering their earlier struggles, Anthony closed her letter: “And we, dear old friend, shall move on the next sphere of existence—higher and larger, we cannot fail to believe, and one where women will not be placed in an inferior position, but will be welcomed on a plane of perfect intellectual and spiritual equality.” The sentiment was timelier than anyone expected. Stanton, who had been homebound and in ill health but still publishing commentaries, died before the letter was published on October 26, 1902, two-and-a-half weeks before her birthday.

In her letter, Anthony sounds optimistic, despite her lament that only in death will they experience equality. She seems confident in the suffrage movement’s new leaders. There is a sense that things can only move forward for women.

In fact, the previous five years had tested the two women’s faith in progress. As they were handing over the reins to a new generation of suffragists, America went to war with Spain, gained control of new island territories, and set up governments that limited women’s rights. On the mainland, a post-Reconstruction backlash against African-American civil rights was growing stronger in the South. By the turn of the century, Anthony and Stanton worried the fight for equality was moving backward. Overall, voting rights for anyone other than white men were becoming more restricted, not less. Women’s gains in the workplace—as public school teachers, for instance—were also under fire. And the elder suffragists weren’t sure their young coworkers understood the threat.

The sixth and final volume of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony Papers Project, An Awful Hush, 1895–1906, offers an intimate look at how Stanton and Anthony confronted these issues at the end of their lives. Through a selection of personal letters, articles, and other papers, the book documents their last political project together and their concerns about the future of the suffrage movement. The book also shows the tenacity with which the two worked until their deaths and how each still depended on the other to debate new ideas and spearhead action. Their letters to each other reveal what made the partnership work: unfailing respect for each other, scathing honesty when one thought the other was wrong, and a commitment to take on challenges as a team.

One such challenge came in early 1896, when delegates at the NAWSA convention passed a resolution to denounce Stanton’s two-volume work The Woman’s Bible, a collection of commentaries by Stanton and others on religion and women’s subjugation. In the controversial best-seller, Stanton analyzed scripture and rebutted those who used the Bible to justify denying women rights. Some more conservative members of the suffrage association disapproved of the book, and others thought it detracted from their suffrage goal.

At the time, Anthony was president of the association, having succeeded Stanton four years earlier. She had no desire to champion Stanton’s Bible and saw no reason for the convention to take up the issue. “Anthony did not like the book, but she certainly agreed with Stanton on religion,” says Ann D. Gordon, editor of the Papers project and research professor emeritus of history at Rutgers University. Anthony opposed the book on strategic grounds—she felt it was a damaging digression from their suffrage work. But in a letter to Stanton, she disparaged those “who voted for this interference with personal rights” of their “co-worker.” She wrote: “No, my dear, instead of my resigning and leaving those half-fledged chickens without any mother, I think it my duty and the duty of yourself and all the liberals to be at the next convention and try to reverse this miserable, narrow action.”

Reaction to The Woman’s Bible, along with poor health, isolated Stanton from the suffrage movement toward the end of her life, but Anthony remained her eyes and ears on the ground. Stanton continued to write, and her unrelenting critiques of religion—and other topics that Anthony felt were tangential to suffrage—fueled an ongoing disagreement between them. “How many topics can you associate with suffrage and still win? Susan B. Anthony almost always wanted a clean ticket,” Gordon says.

Take a letter Anthony sent Stanton from the 1896 California campaign for suffrage, which was ultimately unsuccessful: “You say ‘women must be emancipated from their superstitions before enfranchisement will be of any benefit,’ and I say just the reverse, that women must be enfranchised before they can be emancipated from their superstitions.” Superstition, in this case, referred to women’s irrational belief in oppressive religion. Anthony believed that when women could vote and be participants in civic society, other types of “emancipation” would follow. “Women would be no more superstitious today than men, if they had been men’s political and business equals and gone outside the four walls of home and the other four of the church into the great world, and come in contact with and discussed men and measures on the plane of this mundane sphere, instead of living in the air with Jesus and the angels,” she argued.

Determined to preserve that “clean ticket,” Anthony refused to introduce any other issues into the California campaign. She had finally succeeded in convincing the Women’s Christian Temperance Union to stay out, she reported. “Now, for heaven’s sake, don’t you propose a ‘Bible invasion,’” she wrote Stanton. “I shall not circulate your ‘Bible’ literature a particle more than Frances Willard’s prohibition literature.”

“People see a fight and assume they’re not getting along,” Gordon says. “I don’t think these two ever gave up on each other.” Anthony wrote in another letter from California, “Oh how I have longed for you at my side to put into your matchless sentences the words that wait the saying—none of the young women are good—clear, crisp writers. . . . the two of us together being an invincible team—I feel every day—like Sampson shorn of his locks—without you.”

Anthony relied on Stanton’s “matchless sentences,” and Stanton knew Anthony would keep things moving and focused. While preparing for the fiftieth anniversary of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention for women’s rights, Anthony wrote Stanton: “I hope you are concentrating your every thought on the addresses which you wish to make to go down to history as your final and most complete utterances on the question of the enfranchisement of women. I wish it were possible for me to be in two places and do two things at once. If it were, I should certainly be with you and keep you stirred up,” she wrote. “If possible, you should overtop and surpass anything and everything you have written or spoken before. Now my dear, this is positively the last time I am ever going to put you on the rack and torture you to make the speech or the speeches of your life.”

In the end, Stanton’s poor health—including near blindness—kept her from attending the February 1898 celebration in Washington, D.C., but she wrote an address that suffrage leader Clara Colby read. Toward the end of the speech, Stanton asserted: “The suffrage question is practically conceded. With full suffrage in four States, municipal suffrage in another, and school suffrage in half the States of the Union . . . the opposition with their flimsy protests and platitudes are wandering in fields where long ago the harvests were gathered and garnered.”

Later that year, however, a confluence of events seemed to call Stanton’s assertion into question. At its 1898 convention, the American Federation of Labor—historically a backer of woman’s suffrage—heard a resolution that called on Congress to remove all women from government jobs and set a precedent for keeping women in the home. Delegates shot it down, but its mere introduction was disconcerting. The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad adopted a new policy of “promoting from within,” and, to avoid having women in management, fired many female employees. A commission led by University of Chicago president William Rainey Harper to study Chicago’s public schools claimed that pay raises won by the teachers’ union for the majority female workforce were unearned. Harper said men should be paid more because they showed “superior physical endurance,” and he advocated promoting men to better paid positions over women.

All this followed the short Spanish-American War, which resulted in U.S. control of islands in the Caribbean and Pacific. At the same time, the United States annexed the sugar-rich Hawai’ian Islands after helping to take down the monarchy. Congress was deciding what type of governance to foist on the territories. On the mainland, Jim Crow legislation was in full swing in the South. In this same decade, the Supreme Court had affirmed “separate but equal” in Plessy v. Ferguson, and Southern states had begun passing laws to limit black men’s suffrage. The country’s political language was thick with references to race and sex, writes Gordon. “War and empire complicated the whole nation’s understanding of what it meant to talk about the consent of the governed.”

To Stanton and Anthony, one thing was clear: The country was in danger of regressing. While women in some states were winning elections for municipal office, the proposed constitution for Hawai’i was more discriminatory than any state’s. Not only were women denied voting rights, they were banned from holding public office. Stanton and Anthony thought this set a dangerous precedent for suffrage. “They look at this [and think,] ‘It’s like my whole adult life has been erased,’” Gordon says.

Younger suffragists didn’t seem to get it. Anthony was appalled that her potential successors had nothing to say. “I really believe I shall explode if some of you young women don’t wake up. . . . Do come into the living present & work to save us from any more barbaric male governments,” she wrote one activist. “Our souls ought to be on fire—& yet no one seems awake to the threatening signs of the times,” she wrote to another.

Of course, she could count on Stanton to be on fire. “The old Slave Ocrats are bound to push out every man & woman of color from the enjoyment of civil rights,” Anthony wrote her friend. Every day she saw another instance of “colorphobia & sexphobia” that she thought Stanton should write about. Yet she questioned Stanton’s insistence that religion was the root of discrimination: “On every hand American civilization—which we are introducing into Isles of the Atlantic & Pacific—is putting its heel on the head of the negro race—Now this barbarism does not grow out of ancient Jewish Bibles—but out of our own sordid meanness!! and the like of you ought to stop hitting poor old St Paul . . . Nobody does right or wrong because Saint Paul [tells] them to—but because of their own black “true inwardness”—The trouble is in ourselves to day—not in men or books of thousands of years ago.” She chided Stanton: “I do wish you could centre your big brain on the crimes we ourselves as a people are responsible for—to charge our offenses to false books or false interpretations—is but a way of seeking a “refuge of lies.” Anthony signed off “lovingly yours.”

For all their debate, the two women always agreed on the basics. So they teamed up for a last political project with the proposed Hawai’ian constitution in their crosshairs. In their 1899 open letter to Speaker of the House Thomas B. Reed, who had previously been a supporter of woman’s suffrage, they wrote: “The women of Hawaii should be accorded the highest position occupied by any in the United States. . . . By limiting all official positions to ‘male’ citizens there is a new depth to women’s degradation we of the States have not yet experienced.”

Today, many historians believe Stanton and Anthony’s advocacy amounts to collaboration with the imperial project, writes Gordon, but the two women saw it as good political strategy, she says. They operated on the conviction that “my Congress should not treat women this way.” Their “Petition for the Women of Hawaii,” which ran in The Sun in New York and other national publications, read: “As in four States of the Union women now enjoy civil and political equality, to create a male oligarchy, by restricting the right to vote and hold office to men, would be to ignore all the steps of progress made during the last fifty years and reestablish at the very dawn of the new century a government based upon the invidious distinctions of sex, which have ever blocked the way to a higher civilization.”

They encouraged women to sign and send the petition to Congress, noting, “When the emancipation of black men was under discussion the Women’s Loyal League sent 400,000 petitions to Congress in favor of that measure. Shall we do less for the political freedom of the women of Hawaii?”

In the end, Hawai’i’s new government was instituted as written. But Stanton and Anthony had weathered numerous defeats together—for them, it was all part of a long revolution. The next year, in 1900, Anthony retired as president of NAWSA, though she would continue to crisscross the country, agitating. On the occasion of her eightieth birthday that year, Stanton wrote her a poem that ran in national newspapers. She remembered their first meeting and instant inseparability: “We’ve traveled West, years together, Day and night, in stormy weather.” Stanton remembered “sleighs, ox-carts, and coaches, Besieged with bugs, and roaches.” She closed the poem looking forward:

United down life’s hill we’ll glide,

Whate’er the coming years betide—

Parted only when first in time

Eternal joys are thine or mine.


Contents

The formation of the SBA List was catalyzed in March 1992 when Rachel MacNair, head of Feminists for Life, watched a 60 Minutes television documentary profiling IBM-heiress Ellen Malcolm and the successful campaign-funding activities of her Democratic abortion-rights group EMILY's List. [9] [10] MacNair, a peace activist and anti-abortion Quaker, was motivated to organize the Susan B. Anthony List for the purpose of countering EMILY's List by providing early campaign funds to anti-abortion women candidates. [1] [9] Led by FFL and MacNair, 15 anti-abortion groups formed an umbrella organization, the National Women's Coalition for Life (NWCL), which adopted a joint anti-abortion statement on April 3, 1992. [11]

Also inspired by EMILY's List, in 1992, the WISH List was formed to promote Republican candidates who favored abortion rights. [12] In November 1992, after many of the candidates who favored abortion rights won their races to create what was termed the "Year of the Woman", MacNair announced the formation of the SBA List, describing its purpose as endorsing and supporting women who held anti-abortion beliefs without regard to party affiliation. [13] MacNair determined to challenge the EMILY's List and the WISH List notion that the top female politicians primarily supported abortion rights. [14] [15] She said the SBA List would not support right-wing political candidates. "We want good records on women's rights – probably not Phyllis Schlafly". [13] The NWCL sponsored the SBA List with $2,485 to create it as a political action committee (PAC) [16] [17] [18] on February 4, 1993, listing MacNair as the first secretary the group operated out of MacNair's office inside a crisis pregnancy center on East 47th Street in Kansas City, Missouri. [18] [19] [20] The first SBA List public event was held the same month at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the National Woman's Party. [21] Organized by founding board member Susan Gibbs, the "kickoff" event raised "more than $9000". [22]

Susan B. Anthony and early feminist connection Edit

MacNair named the SBA List after the famous suffragist, Susan B. Anthony. [23] The leaders of the SBA List say that Anthony was "passionately pro-life". [24] [25] According to Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the SBA List, Anthony "referred to abortion as 'the horrible crime of child murder ' ". [26] [27]

The portrayal of Susan B. Anthony as a passionate opponent of abortion has been subject to a modern-day dispute. The National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House said, "The List's assertions about Susan B. Anthony's position on abortion are historically inaccurate." [28] Anthony scholar Ann D. Gordon and Anthony biographer Lynn Sherr said that "Anthony spent no time on the politics of abortion. It was of no interest to her." [8] They said the "child-murder" quote attributed to Anthony actually appeared in an article written anonymously by someone else and that other quotes attributed to Anthony have been misattributed or taken out of context. [29] Gordon said that Anthony "never voiced an opinion about the sanctity of fetal life . and she never voiced an opinion about using the power of the state to require that pregnancies be brought to term". [29] The Anthony Museum and House provided evidence for the idea that the author of the "child-murder" article was a man. [30]

Early activities and re-organization Edit

Founding board member Susan Gibbs, later the communications director for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, said, of the early years for the SBA List, "None of us had political experience. None of us had PAC experience. We just had a passion for being pro-life." [21] Shortly after its founding, experienced political activists Marjorie Dannenfelser and then Jane Abraham were brought on board — Dannenfelser served as executive director, leading the organization from her home in Arlington, Virginia. [31] In 1994, the SBA List was successful in helping 8 of its 15 selected candidates gain office. [21] In 1996, only two challengers who were financially backed were elected, while five SBA-List-supported incumbents retained their positions, a disappointing election for the group. [9] [21]

In 1997, the SBA List was re-organized by Dannenfelser and Abraham into its current form as a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization with a connected PAC, the SBA List Candidate Fund. [6] Abraham became president and Dannenfelser held the position of Chairwoman of the Board. [32] The rules for endorsing and financially supporting candidates were tightened: in addition to the politician having to be female, she must have demonstrated an anti-abortion record (a simple declaration was not enough), and she must be seen as likely to win her race. [9] In 1998, the SBA List began backing male anti-abortion candidates as well, endorsing three men in a pilot program. [21] One of the three won election to office: Republican Peter Fitzgerald who received $2,910 from the SBA List to assist him in his $12.3 million win over Democrat Carol Moseley Braun in a battle for the U.S. Senate seat in Illinois. [33] [34] [29] Abraham served as president from 1997 until 2006 when Dannenfelser became president.

In 2000 the SBA List contributed $25,995 to its favored candidates, in contrast to the WISH List and EMILY's List, which contributed $608,273 and $20 million, respectively, to their favored candidates. [35] [36]

Recent history Edit

Contributions from supporters grew by 50% from 2007 to 2009. [37] As of December 2009, the SBA List had outspent the National Organization for Women in every election cycle since 1996. [38]

Former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave joined the SBA List in March 2009 and works as a project director and spokesperson. [39] The organization tried to keep abortion coverage out of any health care reform legislation in 2009 and 2010. [40] It had targeted Senator Bob Casey to ensure abortion was not covered in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), [41] [42] and lobbied for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to H.R. 3962 [43] The group criticized Senator Ben Nelson for what it called a "fake compromise" on abortion in the PPACA [44] and condemned the Christmas Eve passage of the Senate bill. [45]

The group had planned to honor Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) at its March gala, but after Stupak's deal with President Obama, in which Obama would issue an executive order banning federal funding for abortion under the bill, [46] Stupak was stripped of his "Defender of Life Award" three days before the gala because of the SBA List's doubts, shared by the most prominent anti-abortion groups, about the effectiveness of the Executive Order. [47] [48] Stupak had told Dannenfelser, "They [the Democratic leadership] know I won't fold. There is no way." [49] On the day of the vote, Dannenfelser said she promised Stupak that the SBA List was "going to be involved in your defeat". [49] In a statement, Dannenfelser said, "We were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform. We will no longer be doing so. Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this health care bill can no longer call themselves 'pro-life.'" [46] No one received the award in his place, and Dannenfelser instead used the occasion to condemn Stupak. [50] The group dropped its plans to help Stupak fend off a primary challenge [50] from Connie Saltonstall, who decided to challenge Stupak on the basis of his anti-abortion views. [51] Stupak later dropped out of the race, announcing his retirement from Congress. [52]

In 2010, the SBA List hosted events featuring prominent anti-abortion political figures as speakers, including Sarah Palin, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann. [53] [54]

In August 2010, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, the SBA List held a colloquium with five scholars at the Yale Club of New York City, billed as "A Conversation on Pro-Life Feminism". [55] [56]

An SBA List project, "Votes Have Consequences", was headed by former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave and was aimed at defeating vulnerable candidates in 2010 whom they considered insufficiently anti-abortion, for instance those who supported health care reform. [57] Under this project, the group endorsed Dan Coats of Indiana for Senate against Rep. Brad Ellsworth, who had voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. [58] In January 2011, along with Americans for Tax Reform and The Daily Caller, the organization sponsored a debate between candidates for chair of the Republican National Committee. [59]

Peter Roff writing for U.S. News and World Report credited the SBA List for the passage in the House of an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood of federal dollars for fiscal year 2011. [60] Writing for In These Times, social media activist Sady Doyle wrote that in striving against Planned Parenthood, the SBA List registered its priority as ending abortion rather than helping women prevent unwanted pregnancies. [61]

In March 2011, the SBA List teamed with Live Action for a bus tour through 13 congressional districts either thanking or condemning their representatives for their votes to defund Planned Parenthood of tax dollars in the Pence Amendment. In response, Planned Parenthood launched its own tour to follow the SBA List bus. [62] The SBA List also bought $200,000 in radio and television ads backing six Republicans who voted to defund Planned Parenthood in response to a $200,000 ad buy by Planned Parenthood against the Pence Amendment. [63]

In July 2011, the SBA List held a rally in New Hampshire supporting the New Hampshire Executive Council's decision to cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood. [64] The SBA List has lobbied for passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a federal bill which would ban abortions after 20 weeks. [65] Also in 2011, the SBA List founded the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Named after Charlotte Denman Lozier, the institute has served as the SBA List's research and education institute ever since. [66]

In May 2018, President Donald Trump addressed the SBA List's 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala, becoming the first sitting president to address the group. [67] [68] [69] In his address, Trump asked listeners to "vote for life". [70]

The SBA List employs many strategies in order to attract the public to its mission. Lawyer and Scholar Tali Leinwand explains that the SBA List encourages Republicans not to endorse personhood amendments, and attempts to link the anti-abortion movement to less controversial causes like opposition to the Affordable Care Act. [71] These strategies, Leinwand argues, attempt to de-stigmatize the anti-abortion movement. [71]

2006 elections Edit

The 2006 midterm elections were very successful for the SBA list. They won 21 of the 38 contests that they endorsed. [72]

2008 presidential election Edit

The SBA List gained renewed attention during the 2008 presidential election following Sarah Palin's nomination for Vice President. They had endorsed her 2006 run for governor of Alaska. [73] In 2008, the SBA List also started a social networking service and blog called "Team Sarah", which is "dedicated to advancing the values that Sarah Palin represents in the political process". [74]

Palin headlined the organization's 2010 "Celebration of Life" breakfast fundraiser, an event which got extensive media coverage and in which she coined the term "mama grizzly". [75] [76] [77] [78]

According to Politico, Palin's criteria for endorsing candidates is whether they have the support of the Tea Party movement and whether they have the support of the SBA List. [79]

2009 elections Edit

In the 2009 special election to fill the vacant House seat for the New York's 23rd congressional district in upstate New York, the group endorsed Doug Hoffman, the candidate of the Conservative Party of New York, over the Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava, who favors abortion rights. [80] [81] The SBA List spent over $100,000 on Hoffman's behalf, [82] joining with the National Organization for Marriage and other socially conservative groups in supporting Hoffman's campaign. [83]

2010 elections Edit

For the 2010 elections, the SBA List planned to spend $6 million [84] (including $3 million solely on U.S. Senate races [85] ) and endorsed several dozen candidates. [86] The SBA List spent nearly $1.7 million on independent expenditure campaigns for or against 50 candidates. [87]

The SBA List conducted a 23-city bus tour to the Congressional districts of self-described "pro-life" Democrats in Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania who voted for the health care reform bill and to rally supporters to vote them out. [88] [89] [90] The bus tour attracted counterprotests at some stops, such as one in Pennsylvania where a group called Catholics United accused the SBA List of lying about health care reform. [91]

The organization launched a "Life Speaking Out" petition to urge the Republican Party to include opposition to abortion in its Pledge to America. [92] The petition was sent with over 20,000 signatures on it. [93] [94]

In the California Senate race, the group endorsed Carly Fiorina against incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer, [95] and spent slightly under $235,000 in independent expenditures in support of Fiorina. [96] The SBA List partnered with the National Organization for Marriage to air Spanish-language TV commercials attacking Boxer's positions on abortion and gay marriage. [97] [98] However, Boxer prevailed over Fiorina in the November 2010 election. [99]

Other notable endorsements included Sharron Angle, who unsuccessfully [100] challenged incumbent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada the SBA List endorsed Angle despite having previously endorsed Angle's primary opponent, Sue Lowden. [101] [102] In September 2010, the SBA List launched a $150,000 campaign on behalf of New Hampshire Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte for the Republican primary. [103] Ayotte won the primary to become the nominee, [104] and later prevailed in the general election. [105] In October 2010, the SBA List endorsed Joe Miller, Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Alaska. [106] The SBA List endorsed Miller after Sen. Lisa Murkowski decided to stage a write-in campaign after losing the Republican primary to Miller, and they launched a $10,000 radio campaign to air ads attacking Murkowski for turning a "deaf ear" to the will of voters who voted her out in the primary. [107] Murkowski defeated Miller, who conceded after two months of court battles over contested ballots. [108]

Driehaus political ad litigation Edit

In the 2010 campaign, the organization purchased billboard advertisements in the district of Rep. Steve Driehaus of Ohio that showed a photo of Driehaus and intoned, "Shame on Steve Driehaus! Driehaus voted FOR taxpayer-funded abortion" [109] The advertisement referred to Driehaus's vote in favor of the health care overhaul bill. [110] [111] The SBA List has taken the position that the legislation in question allows for taxpayer-funded abortion, a claim which was ruled by a judge to be factually incorrect. [112]

In response, Driehaus, who represented Ohio's heavily anti-abortion [109] 1st congressional district, filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission (OEC), saying the advertisements were false and violated Ohio election law. [113] The OEC ruled in Driehaus' favor in a probable cause hearing on October 14, 2010. [114] In response, the SBA List asked a federal judge to issue an injunction against the OEC on the grounds that the law at issue stifles free speech [113] [115] and that its ads were based on the group's own interpretation of the law. [112] The ACLU of Ohio filed an 18-page amicus brief on the SBA List's behalf, arguing that the Ohio law in question is "unconstitutionally vague" and has a "chilling" effect on the SBA List's right to freedom of speech. [116] [117] A federal judge rejected the SBA List's federal lawsuit on abstention grounds and allowed Driehaus's OEC complaint to move forward. [110] [118]

After the OEC complaint was filed, the SBA List began airing a radio ad in Driehaus's district in which Dannenfelser stated that the group "[would] not be silenced or intimidated" by Driehaus's legal action. [119] Driehaus persuaded the billboard company to withdraw the SBA List's advertisement, which was never erected. [111] Driehaus lost the seat to Steve Chabot, the incumbent whom Driehaus had defeated two years earlier, in the November general election. Driehaus sued the SBA List in a second case on December 3, 2010, accusing the organization of defamation that caused him a "loss of livelihood", [120] arguing the "First Amendment is not and never has been an invitation to concoct falsehoods aimed at depriving a person of his livelihood". [111] The SBA List countered by stating the organization would "continue to defend the truth and the right to criticize our elected officials". [111]

The List continued to seek to have the law in question overturned the ACLU joined in the organization's fight against the law. [121] On August 1, 2011, judge Timothy Black dismissed the SBA List's challenge to the Ohio law, holding that the federal court lacked jurisdiction since the billboards were never erected and the OEC never made a final ruling [122] and denied a motion for summary judgment by the List in the defamation case, allowing Driehaus's defamation claims regarding other SBA List statements to go forward. [123] Black also directed the SBA List to desist from claiming on its website that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) subsidized abortion as the law does not directly mention abortion. [124] SBA List argued that its statements were opinions and were thus protected, but the court rejected this argument given that SBA List itself had claimed that this was a "fact". [125] [126]

On August 19, 2011, the SBA List appealed the decision on the Ohio law to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. [127] In May 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the SBA List could not challenge the law under the First Amendment. [128] On August 9, 2013, the SBA List petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review the law. [129] [130] On January 10, 2014, the Supreme Court accepted the case. The Court heard the case on April 22, 2014. [131]

On June 16, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled 9–0 in SBA List's favor, allowing them to proceed in challenging the constitutionality of the law. [132]

On September 11, 2014, Judge Timothy Black of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio struck down the law as unconstitutional. [133] Black said in his ruling, "We do not want the government (i. e., the Ohio Elections Commission) deciding what is political truth — for fear that the government might persecute those who criticize it. Instead, in a democracy, the voters should decide." [134]

2011 elections Edit

In October 2011, the SBA List announced it would involve itself in the 2011 Virginia state Senate elections, endorsing challengers Bryce Reeves against Edd Houck, Caren Merrick against Barbara Favola for an open seat, Patricia Phillips against Mark Herring, and incumbent Sen. Jill Vogel in an effort to flip control of the state Senate, which the group described as a "graveyard for pro-life legislation". [135] It also announced it was spending $25,000 against Sen. Edd Houck to expose his "extreme record on abortion". [136] Merrick and Phillips lost, but Vogel won re-election and Reeves defeated Houck by just 222 votes. [137]

2012 presidential election Edit

In 2011, the SBA List began to ask 2012 Republican presidential candidates to sign a pledge to appointing only anti-abortion judicial nominees and cabinet members, preventing taxpayer funding of abortion, and supporting legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the fetal pain concept. [138] Candidates Rick Perry, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Thaddeus McCotter, Herman Cain, and Ron Paul all signed the pledge, but Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Jr., and Gary Johnson declined. Romney's refusal (he said the pledge might have "unintended consequences") sparked heated criticism from the SBA List, some of the other candidates, and political observers given Romney's past support for legalized abortion. [138] [139] [140] Huntsman said he would not sign any pledges from political groups during the campaign [141] and was criticized by the SBA List as well. [141] Cain initially said he agreed with the first three parts, but objected to the wording in the pledge which said he would have to "advance" the fetal pain bill he said he would sign it but Congress would have to advance it. [142] Cain later signed the pledge in November 2011. [143] Johnson, who supports abortion rights, declined.

In August 2011, the SBA List, along with the Family Research Council and National Organization for Marriage, conducted a "Values Voter Bus Tour" in Iowa ahead of the Iowa Straw Poll. [144] Candidates Pawlenty, Bachmann, and Santorum and other Republican elected officials, including Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Reps. Steve King and Louie Gohmert, joined. [144] [145]

The SBA List endorsed Rick Santorum for the nomination, [146] spending $512,000 on his behalf. [147]

After Mitt Romney became the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, the SBA List declared that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was unqualified for vice president due to her describing herself as "mildly pro-choice". [148] [149]

In August, SBA released an ad featuring anti-abortion activist Melissa Ohden who says she survived an abortion in 1977. The ad criticized Barack Obama, saying that while serving in the Illinois Senate, he voted four times to deny medical care to infants born alive during failed abortion procedures. [150] [151] In a 2008 analysis, FactCheck drew a mixed conclusion overall, finding both the SBA List and Obama had made misleading and/or inaccurate comments regarding Obama's voting record on the topic in question while he served in the United States Senate. [150] [152]

2013 Virginia gubernatorial election Edit

The SBA List made the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial election a priority for 2013, endorsing Ken Cuccinelli and pledging to spend $1.5 million in the election through its Virginia PAC, Women Speak Out. Cuccinelli was defeated narrowly in the general election by Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe. [153] [154]

2014 elections Edit

The SBA List sought to spend $8 million to $10 million on elections in 2014. [155]

2016 elections Edit

The SBA List spent $18 million in the 2016 elections. [156]

2017 elections Edit

2018 elections Edit

The SBA List typically endorses Republicans, but in 2018 they endorsed Democrat Dan Lipinski in a primary election against his challenger, Marie Newman, who favors abortion rights. The SBA List spent six figures on direct mail and other advertising for Lipinski in his primary, and sent a 70-person canvassing team to turn out voters for Lipinski. [158] [159] Lipinski is one of the few Democrats left that the group considers an ally, and Dannenfelser called him "a pro-life hero of legendary courage and integrity". [160] [158] After Lipinski voted against the Affordable Care Act due to concerns over taxpayer funding of abortion, the group told him "that they would always be there to fight for him if he ever came under fire". [160] Lipinski won the primary by roughly 2,000 votes, and the SBA List, which knocked on 17,000 doors in the district to support Lipinski, [161] was credited with helping to pull him across the finish line. [162] [160]


Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony was a prominent American suffragist and civil rights activist. She campaigned against slavery and for women to be given the vote. She was the co-founder of the Women’s Temperance movement which campaigned to tighten up laws on alcohol. She played a significant role in raising the profile of equal rights for women and is credited with playing a significant role in the passing of the nineteenth amendment (1920) which gave women the vote.

Short Biography Susan B. Anthony

“Men their rights and nothing more, women their rights and nothing less.”

– Motto of the ‘Revolution’ Journal 1868–1870

Susan was born 15th February 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. Her parents were Quakers and activists in the anti-slavery movement. Susan was brought up in a strict Quaker climate, which emphasised concern for others, self-discipline and living a principled life. She later dropped organised religion, describing herself as an agnostic. But she retained many of the Quaker principles she was brought up with.

From an early age, Anthony was a keen student, and when her school wouldn’t teach her long division because of her gender, her father taught her at home. She became well educated at a time when it was not common for women to be educated.

In 1837, her family was hard hit financially by the great financial panic of 1837. In the next few years, Anthony worked as a teacher, scraping a living and helping her father to pay off his debts. By 1846, she had become headmistress at Canajoharie Academy her work as a teacher encouraged her to campaign for equal pay for women teachers who, at the time, were paid considerably less than men.

In 1846, she left teaching and moved to the family farm in Rochester, New York. After retiring from teaching, she spent more time campaigning on political issues. She was closely involved in the local temperance movement – a movement campaigning about the evils of alcohol and for stricter legislation. She was also active in the anti-slavery movement, collecting petitions against slavery and delivering them to Congress. Overcoming a shyness about public speaking, Susan became a prominent public figure in the anti-slavery and Temperance movement.

Once a petition was rejected because the petition contained mainly women’s and children’s signatures. This encouraged Anthony to give more importance to gaining the vote for women. Without equal voting rights, she felt her campaigns against alcohol abuse were too easily dismissed. Also, in 1850, she read a speech by Lucy Stone from the Women’s Rights Convention, which inspired her to devote herself to the cause.

Over the next few years, she became more involved and committed to the women’s suffrage movement. She met fellow women’s suffrage leaders, such as Amelia Bloomer and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

From an early age, Anthony had also followed her family in supporting the end of slavery and giving equal rights to people of color. In 1856 Anthony worked as a very successful agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society. She pioneered effective methods of canvassing and was willing to arrange meetings, make speeches – despite widespread hostility. In Syracuse, New York, she was even hung in effigy. She later saw an opportunity to unite the women’s struggle with the civil rights struggle.

“Where, under our Declaration of Independence, does the Saxon man get his power to deprive all women and Negroes of their inalienable rights?”

The Revolution, Susan B. Anthony c. 1855

However, in 1869, she felt let down when the American Equal Rights Association dropped their support for women’s suffrage and the 13th amendment just focused on giving black men the vote and not women. After this disappointment, she began to focus more on gaining women the vote.

In 1869, along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she founded the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). The organization was dedicated to gaining women the vote. Anthony served as vice-president to Stanton. Anthony frequently sought to make alliances with the many other disparate women’s suffragist groups. This was often at odds with Stanton who was keener on taking a more independent hardline approach. However, Anthony felt the women’s message would be stronger if they spoke with one voice and didn’t appear divided. In February 1890, against the resistance of Stanton and some members, Anthony orchestrated the merger of the NWSA with Lucy Stone’s more moderate American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), creating the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).

“Here, in the first paragraph of the Declaration, is the assertion of the natural right of all to the ballot for how can “the consent of the governed” be given, if the right to vote be denied?”

– On the United States Declaration of Independence in her “Is It a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?” speech before her trial for voting. (1873)

In 1868, Anthony began publishing a weekly journal: The Revolution. The journal advocated equal rights for women and negroes. It called for women to be given the vote and universal civil rights. She also extended the range of issues to tackle problems such as equal pay and divorce law. She was willing to take on unpopular issues and challenge the prevailing customs and beliefs of the day.

“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation.”

– Susan B.Anthony, On the Campaign for Divorce Law Reform (1860)

However, with a policy of paying high wages, and a very strict approach to adverts (rejecting alcohol and morphine-based drugs), the paper incurred large debts, and it was only able to struggle on for two more years, finally closing in 1872.

In 1868 the US Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment which guaranteed equal rights to all citizens – making no reference to gender.

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” (14th Amendment, 1868)

On November 1872, Anthony voted in the US Presidential election, arguing this amendment gave her a constitutional right to vote. However, two weeks later she was arrested. At her trial, the judge, Justice Hunt, denied her the right to testify, then told the jury to give a guilty verdict and read an opinion he had written before the trial. She was given a $100 fine.

However, in protest at the unjust trial, she refused to pay the $100 fine and interrupted the judge as he was speaking. The trial was a major landmark her cause appeared reasonable, and her treatment unfair. The government, embarrassed by the trial, never pressed her to pay the fine, and she walked free. She said at the end of the trial:

“May it please your honour, I will never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.… And I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old Revolutionary maxim, “Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.”

Her trial increased her profile, and she embarked on a national speaking programme to raise funds and spread her message of supporting equal rights for women.

Anthony retired from active political activity in 1900 and died of heart disease and pneumonia in New York, 1906. Fourteen years after Anthony’s death, women’s right to vote was guaranteed by the Nineteenth Amendment (1920).

Achievements of Susan B. Anthony

  • With Elizabeth Cady Stanton, founded the National Woman’s Suffrage Association NWSA in 1869. She was president until 1900.
  • Published “The Revolution” from 1868-1870 which campaigned for women and civil rights.
  • Wrote the Susan B. Anthony Amendment in 1878 which later became the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.
  • First person to be arrested and be put on trial for voting in Nov. 1872.
  • She refused to pay “a dollar of your unjust penalty.”
  • Edited “The History of Woman Suffrage (4 vols. 1881-1902) with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage.
  • Founded the International Council of Women (1888) and the International Woman Suffrage Council (1904)
  • Gave 75-100 speeches a year for 45 years, travelling throughout the United States by stagecoach, wagon, carriage and train.
  • Campaigned for women to learn self-reliance and self-confidence.

“Woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself.”

– Speech in San Francisco (July 1871).

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Biography of Susan B. Anthony “, Oxford, UK. www.biographyonline.net – 4th Feb. 2013. Updated 12 September 2017

Quotes of Susan B. Anthony

“The true woman will not be an exponent of another or allow another to be such for her. She will be her own individual self… Stand or fall by her own individual wisdom and strength… She will proclaim the “glad tidings of good news” to all women, that woman equally with man was made for her own individual happiness, to develop… every talent given to her by God, in the great work of life.”

Statement of Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1856), partially quoted in The Right to Vote (2001) by Claudia Isler, p. 50, and in Perfecting the Family: Antislavery Marriages in Nineteenth-Century America (1997) by Chris Dixon, p. 144

“The one distinct feature of our Association has been the right of the individual opinion for every member. We have been beset at every step with the cry that somebody was injuring the cause by the expression of some sentiments that differed with those held by the majority of mankind. The religious persecution of the ages has been done under what was claimed to be the command of God. I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do to their fellows because it always coincides with their own desires.”

A defence of Elizabeth Cady Stanton against a motion to repudiate her Woman’s Bible at a meeting of the National-American Woman Suffrage Association 1896 Convention, HWS, IV (1902), p. 263

“it will come, but I shall not see it…It is inevitable. We can no more deny forever the right of self-government to one-half our people than we could keep the Negro forever in bondage. It will not be wrought by the same disrupting forces that freed the slave but come it will, and I believe within a generation.” Harper (1908), Vol. 3, p. 1259

– Susan B. Anthony asked shortly before her retirement if women would ever see the time when they were given the vote.

Susan B. Anthony: Fighter for Women’s Rights

Women’s Rights Activists – Women who championed the cause of women’s rights. Including Mary Wollstonecraft, Emily Pankhurst, Susan B.Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

– People who campaigned for equality, civil rights and civil justice. Includes Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.

Women who changed the world – Famous women who changed the world. Features female Prime Ministers, scientists, cultural figures, authors and royalty. Includes Cleopatra, Princess Diana, Marie Curie, Queen Victoria, and Joan of Arc.


The Remarkable Friendship of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass

“Agitate. Agitate. Agitate.” That was the advice Frederick Douglass gave to young black Americans shortly before his death, in 1895. The words could easily have served as a motto for Susan B. Anthony, who campaigned tirelessly for women’s suffrage. Each of them International celebrities and fiery spokesmen for their causes, they were friends and allies of longstanding. But over time, their friendship would be severely tested.

Early on, during the 1850’s, they sang from the same hymnal. Paid speakers on the anti-slavery lecture circuit, Douglass and Anthony were accustomed to grueling schedules and angry mobs. In Syracuse, New York in 1861, Anthony defiantly stood her ground on stage while pro-slavery adherents armed with knives and guns threw rotten eggs and broke up benches. Earlier, In Pendleton New York, Douglass fell and broke his hand running from a mob. Thanks to their shared dedication to the cause of anti-slavery, Douglass and his wife even moved to Rochester, Anthony’s hometown, which was also a center of abolitionist ferment.

Unquestionably they made an odd pair. The dashingly handsome Douglass, always impeccably dressed, was a married man and the father of five. Attractive to women, for a time he shared his house, and probably his bed, according to the available evidence, with a prominent German intellectual. Anthony, two years his junior, equated marriage with subjugation and the loss of identity. Her austere attire, severe expression and jutting jaw made her a constant target of ridicule in the press.

Initially, Douglass was the more prominent of the two. An escaped slave and electrifying speaker, he was only 27 when he published the first of his three autobiographies, all best sellers. Anthony, while remaining a fervent opponent of slavery, gradually shifted her focus to the field of women’s rights, where she proved to be a brilliant tactician and organizer. She left the writing and theorizing to her close friend, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who once quipped, “I fashioned the thunderbolts and Susan fires them.”

Both women considered Douglass a good friend, a self-described “woman’s rights man.” He was the only African American present at what is generally considered the birth of the women’s rights movement in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, organized by Stanton and Lucretia Mott. (Anthony did not meet Stanton until a couple of years later.) A resolution urging that women be given the right to vote—considered too radical by many at the time-- was headed for defeat when Douglass took the floor. On the strength of his oratory, the measure passed.

As a matter of theory, both Anthony and Douglass agreed that suffrage should be universal, that all persons, regardless of race, creed, color, or sex should have the vote. Where they began to diverge was over the question of which group should take precedence.

Harsh words were exchanged over the 14 th amendment, which extended the rights of citizenship to black males but made no mention of women. Anthony, ever the absolutist, was incensed. “I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work for or demand the ballot for the Negro and not for the woman,” she declared.

Douglass believed that the inclusion of female suffrage could torpedo the entire amendment, and he argued passionately that the situation of the Negro, particularly in the South, was too dire to wait, that “it was a matter of life and death”:

“When women, because they are women, are hunted down through the cities of New York and New Orleans when they are dragged from their houses and hung upon lamp-posts when their children are torn from their arms, and their brains dashed out upon the pavement when they are objects of insult and outrage at every turn when they are in danger of having their homes burnt down over their heads, when their children are not allowed to enter schools then [women] will have an urgency to obtain the ballot equal to our own."

Then came fight over the 15 th amendment, solidifying the Negro male’s right to vote but once again leaving out women. At an 1869 women’s suffrage convention, Anthony and Stanton felt betrayed and furious when their old abolitionist allies proclaimed it was “the Negro’s hour,” that women would have to wait.

Stanton and Anthony angrily urged that the amendment be defeated altogether, resorting to vile language and racist tropes. Anthony, for example, warned that “horrible outrages” would be perpetrated on white women should black men get the vote. Stanton denigrated both immigrants and blacks: “Think of Patrick and Sambo, and Hans and Yung Tung,” she declared, “who do not know the difference between a monarchy and a republic, never read the Declaration of Independence or Webster’s spelling book, making laws” for women of education and refinement.

Isolated by their rhetoric and intransigence, the two women walked out and formed a new organization, the National Woman Suffrage Association, or the NWSA. (Lucy Stone, their longtime colleague, formed the rival American Women’s Suffrage Association—a split that lasted 20 years.) Douglass, unsurprisingly, was furious at Anthony and Stanton. Yet he continued to publicly express his support for women’s suffrage. And whether out of magnanimity or plain old pragmatism, he was back on the platform of the NWSA convention seven years later and seldom missed another convention for the rest of his life.

Historians differ as to how much animosity remained between Douglass and Anthony, who over the years did not hesitate to disassociate herself from him when she found it expedient. In a recent biography by David Blight, “Frederick Douglass, Prophet of Freedom,” Blight maintains that Douglass never really forgave Anthony for her vitriol during the struggle over the 14 th and 15 th amendments. Yet the facts make one wonder. Only hours before he died of a massive heart attack, Douglass was seated next to Anthony on the platform at a women’s convention in Washington. As soon as Anthony heard the news of his death, she rushed to Cedar Hill, his home in the Anacostia section of DC, where she remained for several days, helping Helen Douglass, his second wife, arrange the funeral services. Not only that, Anthony stayed in a guest room reserved for her visits and where her portrait was hung over the fireplace. (Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s portrait is hung in Douglass’s study. Both can be seen in their original places of honor on National Park Service tours of the house.) Anthony also delivered a eulogy for Douglass at Washington’s Metropolitan AME church.

For all the slights he suffered through the years, Douglass remained a steadfast “woman’s rights man.” 40 years after the fact, he looked back with pride on his role in passing the pro-suffrage resolution in Seneca Falls, telling the 1888 convention, “When I ran away from slavery, it was for myself when I advocated emancipation, it was for my people, but when I stood up for the rights of women, self was out of the question, and I found a little nobility in the act.”

The Agitators ,” a play by Mat Smart, directed by KenYatta Rogers and featuring Ro Boddie and Marni Penning is on stage through November 25, 2018 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Produced by Mosaic Theater Company of DC , a partner of the 2020 OWOV Festival. Tickets and information can be found here.


Watch the video: SACC Rightfully Hers!: Susan B. Anthony