Today is my 30th birthday; I have been on this earth for 30 years, to celebrate this event I want to take a little trip in the past, the day I was born. February 15th, 1820 was a cold day in Adams, Massachusetts. The wind was blowing; the snow was falling. The children were playing in the snow while the adults were in front of the fire with hot chocolate. For most people this was an ordinary cold winter day. For me this is the day I live, the day I take my first breath. I am now a part of this big world. People have been waiting for me for a while now. Everyone is so happy I have arrived. I was the center of attention to all of these people. I had an older sister, her name is Guelma she was 2 years old at the time, and she is the oldest of the children. I was the youngest of my family.
A couple months later my mother Lucy Read is pregnant. In 1821 Hannah was born. I was no longer the youngest of the family. I was the middle child. And Hannah was the center of attention. We were a family of three daughters.
In 1824 Daniel was born. We were four children in the family. Daniel was the only boy. In 1827Mary was born, another girl in our family. Five years later, Eliza was born in 1832. In 1834, was a very sad year, Eliza died at the age of 2. But another boy was born, Jacob in 1834. All together we were 2 boys and 4 girls, until Eliza died. At the age of six years old my family and I left Adams, Massachusetts and moved to New York.
My house in Adams, Massachusetts
Exactly ten years ago I was in boarding school. In September 1847, I was sent to boarding school, after my teacher refused to let me go to school long division because of my gender. Since I couldn’t go to the local school in New York, my dad decided to educate me himself. I was a very precocious child, I knew how to read and write by the time I was three years old. It was a very rare thing for girls to attend school, but my father who is a Quaker believed in education upon me and my sisters. He enrolled me in the Quaker boarding school in Philadelphia, we their moved to New York when I was six. I do not like this school at all. I won’t have to stay much longer because my family was financially ruined during the Panic of 1837, like many others. Panic of 1837 was a financial crisis in the United States in 1837. I stayed at this school for less then a year. Even though I am happy to leave this school, I am sad not to continue my education. This is the last school I attend.
My mother Lucy was born in 1793 and died in 1880. My father Daniel was born in 1794 and died in 1862. My mother Lucy went to Daniel’s school where they fell in love and got married in 1817. My family was very active in the reform movements of the day. They worked for the prohibition of alcohol, the anti-slavery movements. Both my parents Daniel and Lucy and my sister Mary signed the “Declaration of Sentiments” at the Second Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848.
Daniel and Lucy
My Brother Daniel Read Anthony was born in 1824; he was an American Publisher and abolitionist.
May 16, 1869
susan B anthony 1850
It’s a lovely spring day, the sun is high in the sky and the wind is blowing softly. Since I moved to New York, I have never felt as happy as I am feeling right now. I am complete. My goal has been achieved by finally forming “The National Women Suffrage Association”. Here in New York, a lot of women, like Carrie Chapman Catt, Frances Willard, Matilda Joslyn Gage and Anna Howard Shaw joined me. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my dear friend Elizabeth Stanton. I’m sure that my parents would be very happy to hear this news, especially my mother; she has always supported me and I’m sad that I haven’t heard from her in a very long time. As soon as I find some time, I will go visit her in Massachusetts. Even though women still can’t vote, this association will help us work on our state campaigns for the vote, so that hopefully, one day our rights will be respected. I am a member of the executive committee, but I’m still a little jealous of Elizabeth, because she is the president of the association. I’m still hoping to, maybe one day, become the vice-president. I have always dreamt of women gaining their freedom and equal rights, I feel that by creating this association, I am one step closer to see my dream come true. I will keep on fighting even though a lot of people are against me. Nothing will stop me from doing what I think is right.
June 18th, 1873
It’s a beautiful, hot summer day. It’s amazing to finally walk around my neighborhood and to feel the wind blowing in my hair. These last seven months have been very rough for me, but voting for the first time was worth staying in prison for so long.
It all started on November 3rd, 1872. I wrote a letter to my dear friend Susan Stanton, who is the only person that understands how much gaining rights for women means to me, to tell her that I had finally decided to vote the Republican ticket. Since the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees "all persons born in the United States the privileges of citizenship” and doesn’t contain a gender qualification, I technically had the right to vote as an American citizen. I knew I would get into a lot of trouble, but I had to vote since I had always dreamed of voting since I was a little girl. I always envied my dad when he left home and went voting. I would dress up in his clothes, which were too big for me, pretending to be a business man, and asked him to bring me with him. Unfortunately, it didn’t go very well. Two weeks afterwards I was arrested by a U.S. Deputy Marshal for illegally voting for the 1872 presidential election in Rochester, New York. And after seven months of being in a horrible prison, I can finally start working on my dream of gaining the women’s right to vote.
Susan B anthony and Susan Stanton
August 31, 1878
I feel like I haven’t made any major progress lately, and that my goal, to give women the right to vote will not be very soon achieved. I have to admit that this feeling is very scary, I am now 58 years old and I have fought my entire life to give women their equal rights, and I can’t imagine not succeeding, and letting women down. This fear motivated me to write my own amendment in case I died before accomplishing my dream. I hope that, my amendment, “The right of citizens to vote shall not be abridged by the United States or by any State on account of gender”. It will soon appear as an official amendment and that it will inspire women all across the country to fight for what’s right. I will soon try to go to court. I’m going to try to ask the senate, in the House of Representatives to make it official. I know it will take a long time and since all of the jury members are men, it will make it really hard, because they can already vote and don’t think that women should vote, it’s not fair, but let’s face it, is there anything fair in this world? I can just hope to impress everybody in the senate and to convince them to approve my amendment. It would mean so much to me and to millions of women, to have my own official amendment, and I’m sure that this amendment won’t mean the world just to me but also to every woman living in this country and that has never been able to express her opinion and to be taken seriously.
Susan B Anthony, 1898
Wednesday March 29th 1888`
Today, the International Council of Women’s first meeting took place in WashingtonDC. The economic situation in our century led some highly educated women, such as myself, to realize the social injustice against women.The International Council of Women was created by my friend May Wright Sewell, sturdy, independent and strong willed Frances Willard, other women’s right activists, and I. Together, we created this organization to promote health, peace, equality and education. When I arrived in WashingtonDC, a photographer asked if he could take a picture of me for the newspaper .I felt so flattered knowing that people are starting to care about social injustice other than myself. The reason I am standing up and doing something about this is because I believe it’s important to improve the status of women and the well being of society.
As I started to approach the room, the noise grew gradually louder, and when I entered about 50 delegates filled the meeting room. They came from different countries such as the United States, France, India, England, and Ireland just to attend this meeting. During the meeting we established future meeting dates: National meetings were to be held every 3 years and international meetings every 5 years. I feel this is my duty, the reason why I am here. Finally, my dreams and my goals in life are starting little by little to become action. I’m starting to feel proud but still reminding myself at the same time that it is not yet finished and there are still new accomplishments to come.
Thursday March 13, 1906
Dear Susan’s journal,
I’m Mary Stafford, Susan’s younger sister, and I am writing in her journal today to conclude it. Today is a sad and dull day. I will always remember it like that. Today is the day of Susan B. Anthony’s death.. When I was young I never imagined my older sister dying of pneumonia but dying for something she loved and being courageous.I knew it was going to happen one day since she was breathing noisily and painfully and had a very high fever for a while now; I just didn’t think I would be so soon. Through out her entire life we were very close. We shared the same thoughts as our father against women’s social injustice and we made a great team. Even though I’m a school teacher, I still have as much passion as Susan did in helping women. She devoted her entire life to securing equal civil rights for women. I mean she got arrested in 1872 for illegal voting for god sakes.
My sister Susan accomplished a lot. Thanks to her exertions and those of other women activists, women had the right to speak, vote and have the possibility to get a proper education. She didn’t always have time to talk to me, so I would read the weekly paper she would write called “The Revolutionist” which consistently discussed the emancipation of women. She was an extraordinary person and sister.
Tuesday December 14th 1878
Today, I gave a speech after my arrest for casting an illegal vote in the presidential election of 1872. I was confident and straight forward with my thoughts. I told the audience that what I had done was not a crime but instead I just exercised one of my rights as an American citizen. These rights are not only guaranteed to me but to all of the citizens in the United States. Even though I am a woman, I should be able to do anything that men can do legally.I explained that we the people does not mean we the white men citizens but we the whole. I told them that no state has the right to make sex a qualification to vote. I said that we are also people and that no one could disagree with that. We women being people should have the right to vote just like any man. To make this country perfect we must establish justice and secure our liberty. Even if I am a woman I might just have the same intelligence and potential than many men. A woman not being able to vote is not a blessing of liberty at all and is voiding the constitution of America. My last question is : “Are women people?”. I believe none of you men will have the strength to say they’re not. Being people then, women are citizens: and no state has the right to take away our privileges.