Sunday, February 15, 2015

Susan B. Anthony, born February 15, 1820



"There have been others also just as true and devoted to the cause--I wish I could name every one--but with such women consecrating their lives,
failure is impossible."

~ Susan B. Anthony




Susan Brownwell Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. Her parents were Daniel and Lucy Read Anthony. She was the second of their seven children; they named her for one of her father's sisters, Susan Anthony Browwnell. 

Daniel Anthony was the oldest of nine children of Humphrey and Hannah Lapham Anthony of Adams. Daniel attended Nine Partners Quaker boarding school in Dutchess County, New York and later became a teacher there. One of his students was Lucy Read, a neighbor from Adams. Lucy was the second child of Daniel and Susannah Richardson Read's seven children. The children were raised as Baptists. Both the Anthony and the Read families had lived in New England since the colonial period; Lucy Read's father fought in the Revolutionary War. According to the biography, "The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony," (L&WofSBA) by Ida Harper Husted:
Lucy Read, a tall, beautiful girl with glossy brown hair, large blue eyes and a fine complexion, was the belle of the neighborhood. . . . The Anthonys were Quakers, the Reads were Baptists, and a Quaker was not permitted to "marry out of meeting." Love laughed at rules and restrictions eighty years ago, just as it does to-day, and Daniel refused to let the Society come between him and the woman of his choice, but Lucy had many misgivings. Thanks to her father's ideas she had been brought up in a most liberal manner, allowed to attend parties, dance and wear pretty clothes to her heart's content, and it was a serious question with her whether she could give up all these and adopt the plain and severe habits of the Quakers. She had a marvelous voice, and, as she sang over her spinning-wheel, often wished that she might "go into a ten-acre lot with the bars down" so that she could let her voice out to its full capacity. The Quakers did not approve of singing, and that pleasure also would have to be relinquished. That the husband could give up his religious forms and accept those of the wife never had been imagined.
Love finally triumphed, and the young couple were married July 13, 1817. A few nights before the wedding Lucy went to a party and danced till four o'clock in the morning, while Friend Daniel sat bolt upright against the wall and counted the days which should usher in a new dispensation. A committee was sent at once to deal with Daniel, and Lucy always declared he told them he "was sorry he married her," but he would say, "No, my dear, I said I was sorry that in order to marry the woman I loved best, I had to violate a rule of the religious society I revered most." The matter was carefully talked over by the elders, and as he had said he was sorry he had to violate the rule, and as the family was one of much influence, and as he was their most highly educated and cultivated member, it was unanimously decided not to turn him out of meeting.

Lucy learned to love the Friends' religion and often said she was a much more consistent Quaker than her husband, but she never became a member of the Society, declaring she was "not good enough." She did not use the "plain language," though she always insisted that her husband should do so in addressing her; nor did she adopt the Quaker costume, but she dressed simply and wore little "cottage" straw bonnets with strings tied demurely under her chin and later had them made of handsome shirred silk, the full white cap-ruche showing inside. She sang no more except lullabies to the babies when they came, and then the Quaker relatives would laugh and ask her why she did it. Her long married life was very happy, notwithstanding its many hardships, and she never regretted accepting her Quaker lover.
The manufacture of cotton becoming a prominent industry in New England at this time, the alert mind of Daniel Anthony conceived the idea of building a factory and using the waters of Tophet brook and of a rapid little stream which flowed through the Read farm. This was done, and proved a success from the beginning. . . . The factory hands for the most part came down from the Green mountain regions, glad of an opportunity never before enjoyed of earning wages and supporting themselves. They were girls of respectability, and, as was the custom then, boarded with the families of the mill-owners. Those of the Anthony factory were divided between the wife and Hannah Anthony Hoxie, a married sister. Lucy Anthony soon became acquainted with the stern realities of life. Her third baby was born when the first was three years and two months old. That summer she boarded eleven factory hands, who roomed in her house, and she did all the cooking, washing and ironing, with no help except that of a thirteen-year-old girl, who went to school and did "chores" night and morning. The cooking for the family of sixteen was done on the hearth in front of the fire-place and in a big brick oven at the side. . . . No matter how heavy the work, the woman of the household was expected to do it, and probably would have been the first to resent the idea that assistance was needed.

During the first seventeen years of this marriage eight children were born. One died at birth and one at the age of two years. The eldest, born July 1, 1818, was named for the wife of William Penn, who married a member of the Anthony family, Gulielma Penn, which was contracted to Guelma. 
Susan was their second oldest daughter; her siblings were Guelma Penn (named for the wife of Quaker William Penn), Hannah Lapham (named for her grandmother), Daniel Read (called D.R. by the family), Mary, Eliza (died at age 2), and Jacob Merritt (called Merritt).

L&WofSBA:
Lucy Read Anthony was of a very timid and reticent disposition and painfully modest and shrinking. Before the birth of every child she was overwhelmed with embarrassment and humiliation, secluded herself from the outside world and would not speak of the expected little one even to her mother. That mother would assist her overburdened daughter by making the necessary garments, take them to her home and lay them carefully away in a drawer, but no word of acknowledgment ever passed between them.

Susan was very intelligent and precocious. At the age of three she was sent to the grandmother's to remain during the advent of the fourth baby at home, and while there was taught to spell and read. Her memory was phenomenal, and she had an insatiable ambition, especially for learning the things considered beyond a girl's capacity.
One of the recollections of Grandmother Anthony's house is of the little closet under the parlor stairs, where was set the tub of maple sugar, and, while the elders were chatting over neighborhood affairs, the children would gather like bees around this tub and have a feast. Always when they left, they were loaded down with apples, doughnuts, caraway cakes and other toothsome things which little ones love. Along the edges of the pantry shelves hung rows of shining pewter porringers, and the pride of the children's lives was to eat "cider toast" out of them. This was made by toasting a big loaf of brown bread before the fire, peeling off the outside, toasting it again, and finally pouring over these crusts hot sweetened water and cider. The dish, however, which was relished above all others was "hasty pudding," cooked slowly for hours, then heaped upon a platter in a great cone, the center scooped out and filled with sweet, fresh butter and honey or maple syrup.

In those days every sideboard was liberally supplied with rum, brandy and gin, and every man drank more or less, even the elders and preachers. When the farmers came down the mountain road with their loads of wood or lumber, they always stopped at Grandfather Read's for a slice of bread and cheese and a drink of hard cider, but the elders and preachers were regaled with something stronger. This was the custom, and criticism would have been considered fanatical.
Daniel Anthony  built the family's first farmhouse outside of Adams; Mount Greylock, the highest mountain in Massachusetts, was visible from the house.  He built a small mill on a brook across the road from his house; the mill, with 20 looms, was staffed by young girls.  Eleven of them boarded in the Anthony's house, and the others with his sister Hannah.  Lucy Anthony was responsible for getting the meals for the family and boarders. 

L&WofSBA:
By 1826, Daniel Anthony had become so well-known for business management that he received an offer from Judge John McLean, of Battenville, Washington county, N.Y., who already had built a factory there, to go into cotton manufacturing on an extensive scale, the judge to furnish capital, Mr. Anthony executive ability. There was much opposition from the two older families to having their children go so far away (forty-four miles) and Lucy Anthony's heart was almost broken at the thought of leaving her aged father and mother, but Daniel was too good a financier to lose such an opportunity. 

. . . The first year the Anthonys lived in part of Judge McLean's house, where were two slaves not yet manumitted, and the children saw negroes for the first time and were dreadfully frightened.

Afterwards the family moved into an old but comfortable story-and-a-half 
house where they remained several years.



 Meanwhile a great deal of expensive machinery had been put into the factory and a large brick store erected.

For a long time Daniel Anthony had been very much interested in the temperance cause. At Adams he had sold liquor, like every other merchant, but when a man was found by the roadside frozen to death with an empty jug which told the story, although Mr. Anthony had not sold him the rum, he resolved, as this was only one of many distressing cases, to sell no more. He was the first in that locality to put intoxicating liquors out of his store. He had not thought to discuss this question with Judge McLean when their contract was made, and had gone to Troy and selected goods for the store. The judge looked on while they were being unloaded and finally asked, "Why, Anthony, where are the rum barrels?" "There aren't any," he answered. "You don't expect to keep store without rum, do you? If you don't 'treat,' nobody will trade with you," said the judge. "Well, then I'll close the store," was the reply. It was opened; the farmers would come in, look around, peer behind the counter, finally go down cellar and make a search, and then declare they would not trade at a temperance store; but, as they found here the best goods and lowest prices, with square dealing, they could not afford to go elsewhere and the store soon enjoyed a large business.

. . . A saw-mill and a grist-mill were built and no man was employed who drank to excess. The tavern keeper, who had expected to reap a rich harvest from the factory, was very indignant at the temperance regulations. He put every temptation in the way of the mill-hands, but Daniel Anthony remained firm. Among his papers are found several letters of repentance and pledges from his men who had fallen from grace and wanted another trial. He organized a temperance society, composed almost entirely of his men and women employees. The pledge, as was the custom, required "total abstinence from distilled liquor," but allowed wine and cider.

He also established an evening school for them, many never having had any chance for an education, and it became unpopular not to attend. This was in session also a few hours on Sunday. It was taught by Mr. Anthony himself or his own family teacher without expense to the pupils. . . . Mr. Anthony looked upon his employees as his family and their mental and moral culture as a duty. Even thus early he was so strong an opponent of slavery that he made every effort to get cotton for his mills which was not produced by slave labor.

The only persons ever allowed to smoke or drink intoxicants in the Anthony home were Quaker preachers. The house was half-way between Danby, Vt., and Easton, N.Y., where the Quarterly Meetings were held and the preachers and elders stopped there on their way. In a closet under the stairs were a case of clay pipes, a paper of tobacco and demijohns of excellent gin and brandy, from which the "high seat" brothers were permitted to help themselves. It is not surprising to find in the annals that a dozen or more would drop in to get one of Mrs. Anthony's good dinners and the refreshments above mentioned.

. . . About this time Daniel Anthony was again brought under Quaker criticism. On one of his journeys to New York he had bought a camlet cloak with a big cape, as affording the best protection for the long, cold rides he had to take. The Friends declared this to be "out of plainness" and insisted that he leave off the cape and cease wearing a brightly colored handkerchief about his neck and ears. Daniel, who was beginning to be rather restive under these restraints, refused to comply, but, as he was a valuable member, it was finally decided here also to condone his offense.

, , , When the family first moved to Battenville the children went to the little old-fashioned district school taught by a man in winter and a woman in summer. None of the men could teach Susan "long division" or understand why a girl should insist upon learning it. One of the women maintained discipline by means of her corset-board used as a ferule.

As soon as Mr. Anthony finished the brick store he set apart one room upstairs for a private school, employed the best teachers to be had and admitted only such children as he wished to associate with his own. When the new house was built a large room was devoted to school purposes. This was the first in that neighborhood to have a separate seat for each pupil, and, although only a stool without a back, it was a vast improvement on the long bench running around the wall, the same height for big and little. The girls were taught sewing as carefully as reading and spelling, and Susan was noted for her skill with the needle.
In 1835, Susan began teaching in her father's school. She also collected petitions as part of an organized response to the gag rule prohibiting anti-slavery petitions in the United States House of Representatives. In 1837, Anthony was sent to Deborah Moulson's Female Seminary, a Quaker boarding school in Philadelphia.

L&WofSBA:
In the fall she joined Guelma at boarding-school. . . . This was Susan's first long absence from home, and her letters and journals give a good idea of the thoughts and feelings of a girl at boarding-school in those days. She developed then the "letter-writing habit," which has clung to her through life. The letters of that time were laborious affairs, often consuming days in the writing, commencing even to children, "Respected Daughter," or "Son," and rarely exceeding one or two pages. They were written with a quill pen on foolscap paper, and almost wholly devoted to the weather and the sickness in the family. The amount of the latter would be appalling to modern households.. . . The Anthonys were exceptional letter-writers. It cost eighteen cents to send a letter, but Daniel Anthony was postmaster at Battenville, and his family had free use of the mails. If he had had postage to pay on all of homesick Susan's epistles it would have cost him a good round sum. The rules of the school required these to be written on the slate, submitted to the teacher and then carefully copied by the pupil, so it is not unusual to find that a letter was five or six days in preparation. For the same reason it is impossible to tell how much sincerity there is in the frequent references to the "dear teacher" and the "most excellent school." 
. . . It is Susan's diary, however, which affords the most satisfactory glimpses of her true character, serious, devotional, deeply conscientious and strong in affection:

"Five weeks have been spent in Hamilton and to what purpose? Has my mind advanced either in Virtue or Literature? I fear that every moment has not been profitably spent. O, may this careless mind be more watchful in the future! O, may the many warnings which we every day receive, tend to make me more attentive to what is right!

"We were cautioned by our dear Teacher to-day to beware of self-esteem and of all signs that would indicate an untruth. We were referred to the condition of Ananias and Sapphira, who intended to deceive the Apostle. Would that I were wholly free from that same Evil Spirit which tempted those persons in ancient times. The Spirit of Truth must have dominion in the mind in order to attain a state of happiness. . .

"Resolves and resolves fill up my time. I resolve at night to do better on the morrow, and when the morrow comes and I mingle with my companions all the resolutions are obliterated. . . .

"Deborah requested eight of us larger girls to remain last evening, for the purpose of reproving us. The cause was the levity and mirthfulness which were displayed on Third day of the week previous. She compared us to Judas Iscariot, who betrayed his master with a kiss. She said there were those amongst us who would surely have to suffer deep affliction for not attending to the manifestations of truth within.--I have been guilty of much levity and nonsensical conversation and have also permitted thoughts to occupy my mind which should have been far distant, but I do not consider myself as having committed any wilful offence. Perhaps the reason I can not see my own defects is because my heart is hardened. O, may it become more and more refined until nothing shall remain but perfect purity. . .

"2nd mo. 12th day.--Deborah came down in the afternoon to examine our writing. She looked at M.'s and gave her a severe reproof; she then looked at C.'s and said nothing. I, thinking I had improved very much, offered mine for her to examine. She took it and pointed out some of the best words as those which were not well written, and then she asked me the rule for dotting an i, and I acknowledged that I did not know. She then said it was no wonder she had undergone so much distress in mind and body, and that her time had been devoted to us in vain. This was like an Electrical shock to me. I rushed upstairs to my room where, without restraint, I could give vent to my tears. She said the same as that I had been the cause of the great obstruction in the school. If I am such a vile sinner, I would that I might feel it myself. Indeed I do consider myself such a bad creature that I can not see any who seems worse. . .

"2nd mo. 15th day.--This day I call myself eighteen. It seems impossible that I can be so old, and even at this age I find myself possessed of no more knowledge than I ought to have had at twelve. Dr. Allen, a Phrenologist, gave us a short lecture this morning and examined a few heads, mine among them. He described only the good organs and said nothing of the bad. I should like to know the whole truth."
At the school, Susan met Lydia Mott, who would become one of her best friends.
 Lydia was a cousin of James Mott, the husband of Lucretia Coffin Mott, a well-known abolitionist.  Susan first heard Lucretia Mott lecture while she was a a student at the Molson school.

In 1838, Susan was forced to end her formal studies because her father, like many others, was financially ruined during the Panic of 1837. The family's losses were so great that they were forced to sell everything in an auction.  Their most personal belongings were saved at the last minute when Susan's uncle, Joshua Read, bid for them in order to restore them to the family.

The following year, the Anthony family moved to Hardscrabble, New York.

L&WofSBA:
The attic in this old house was finished off for a ball-room; it was said that great numbers of junk bottles had been laid under the floor to give especially nice tone to the fiddles. The young people of the village came to Daniel Anthony for permission to hold their dancing-school here but, with true Quaker spirit, he refused. Finally the committee came again and said: "You have taught us that we must not drink or go about places where liquor is sold. The only other dancing-hall in town is in a disreputable tavern, and if we can not come here we shall be obliged to go there." So Mr. Anthony called a council of his wife and elder daughters. The mother, remembering her own youth and also having a tender solicitude for the moral welfare of the young people, advised that they should have the hall. Mr. Anthony at last agreed on condition that his own daughters should not dance. So they came, and Susan, Guelma and Hannah sat against the wall and watched, longing to join them but never doing it. They danced every two weeks all winter; Mrs. Anthony gave them some simple refreshments, they went home early, there was no drinking and all was orderly and pleasant.

The Quakers at once had Daniel Anthony up before the committee, there was a long discussion, and finally they read him out of meeting "because he kept a place of amusement in his house." Reuben Baker, one of the old Quakers, said: "It is with great sorrow we have to disown friend Anthony, for he has been one of the most exemplary members in the Society, but we can not condone such an offense as allowing a dancing-school in his house."

Mr. Anthony felt this very keenly. He said: "For one of the best acts of my life I have been turned out of the best religious society in the world;" but he had kept his wife, his cloak and his ideas of right, and was justified by his conscience. He continued to attend Quaker meeting but grew more liberal with every passing year and, long before his death, had lost every vestige of bigotry and believed in complete personal, mental and spiritual freedom. In early life he had steadfastly refused to pay the United States taxes because he would not give tribute to a government which believed in war. When the collector came he would lay down his purse, saying, "I shall not voluntarily pay these taxes; if thee wants to rifle my pocket-book, thee can do so." . . .

Mr. Anthony had the name Hardscrabble changed to Center Falls, and was made postmaster. Susan and Hannah secured schools, and Daniel R., then not sixteen, went into the mill with his father. Susan had several schools offered her and finally accepted one at New Rochelle. She went down the Hudson by the steamboat American Eagle, her father going with her as far as Troy. She speaks in her journal of several Louisiana slaveholders being on board, the discussion which took place in the evening and her horror at hearing them uphold the institution of slavery.
. . .Miss Anthony went to New Rochelle as assistant in Eunice Kenyon's boarding-school, but the principal being ill most of the time, she has to take entire charge, and the responsibility seems to weigh heavily on the nineteen-year-old girl. She speaks also of watching night after night, with only such rest as she gets lying on the floor. She gives some idea of the medical treatment of those days:

"The Doctor came and gave her a dose of calomel and bled her freely, telling me not to faint as I held the bowl. Her arm commenced bleeding in the night and she lost so much blood she fainted. Next day the Doctor came, applied a blister and gave her another dose of calomel."
. . . She does not hesitate to write to an uncle, Albert Dickinson, and reprove him for drinking ale and wine at Yearly Meeting time. Uncle Albert retorts:

"Thy aunt Ann Eliza says to tell thee we are temperate drinkers and hope to remain so. We should think from the shape of thy letter that thou thyself hadst had a good horn from the contents of the cider barrel, a part being written one side up and a part the other way, and it would need some one in nearly the same predicament to keep track of it. We hope thy cranium will get straightened when the answer to this is penned, so that we may follow thy varied thoughts with less trouble. A little advice perhaps would be good on both sides, and they that give should be willing to receive. See to it that thou payest me down for this."
In September, 1839, Guelma married Aaron M. McLean, the grandson of John McLean, Daniel Anthony's business partner. Because Aaron was raised in the Presbyterian faith, the Quakers withdrew Guelma's membership for "marrying out of meeting." 

L&WofSBA:


Later, when visiting her irrepressible brother-in-law, Aaron McLean, she made some especially nice cream biscuits for supper, and he said, "I'd rather see a woman make such biscuits as these than solve the knottiest problem in algebra." "There is no reason why she should not be able to do both," was the reply. There are many references in the old letters to "Susan's tip-top dinners."
Susan B. Anthony was 41 years old when the Civil War began.






L&WofSBA:
From 1840 to 1845 Susan and Hannah taught almost continuously, receiving only $2 or $2.50 a week and board, but living with most rigid economy and giving the father all they could spare to help pay interest on the mortgage which rested on factory, mills and home. . . . It was in these early days of teaching that Miss Anthony saw with indignation the injustice practiced towards women. Repeatedly she would take a school which a male teacher had been obliged to give up because of inefficiency and, although she made a thorough success, would receive only one-fourth of his salary. It was the custom everywhere to pay men four times the wages of women for exactly the same amount of work, often not so well done.
On September 4, Hannah was married to Eugene Mosher, a merchant at Easton.
. . . On November 7, 1845, the parents and three children took the stage for Troy, and from there went by railroad to Palatine Bridge for a short visit to Joshua Read. The journey from here to Rochester was made by canal on a "line boat" instead of a "packet," because it was cheaper and because they wanted to be with their household goods. . .The family arrived in Rochester late in the
afternoon of November 14. They landed at Fitzhugh street and went to the National Hotel. The father had just ten dollars, and it was out of the question to remain there over night; so he took the old gray horse and the wagon off the boat, with a few necessary articles, and with his family started for the farm, three miles west of the city. The day was cold and cheerless, the roads were very muddy, and by the time they reached their destination it was quite dark. An old man and his daughter had been left in charge and had nothing in the way of food but cornmeal and milk. Mrs. Anthony made a kettle of mush which her husband pronounced "good enough for the queen." The only bed was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Anthony, and the rest slept on the floor. Next day the household goods were brought from the city and all were soon busy putting the new home in order. That was a long and lonesome winter.
In 1845, the family moved to a farm on the outskirts of Rochester, New York, purchased with the inheritance of Anthony's mother. The Anthony farmstead soon became the Sunday afternoon gathering place for local activists, including Frederick Douglass, who moved there in 1847. Douglass started publishing his first abolitionist newspaper, The North Star, from the basement of the Memorial AME Zion Church in Rochester.  The North Star′s motto was
 "Right is of no Sex – Truth is of no Color –  
God is the Father of us all, and we are all brethren."





In 1846, her sister, Hannah married Eugene Mosher; Susan Anthony began work at the
Canajoharie Academy on May 11, 1846. According to L&WofSBA:
Miss Anthony arrived at the home of her uncle Joshua Saturday morning, May 2. He had lived many years at Palatine Bridge, just across the river, was school trustee, bank director, one of the owners of the turnpike, the toll bridge and the stage line, and also kept a hotel. . . . Miss Anthony boarded with them . .  She found her uncle very ill and being treated by the doctor "with calomel, opium and morphine." In a conversation he told her that "her success would depend largely upon thinking that she knew it all." . . . Here Miss Anthony was for the first time entirely away from Quaker surroundings and influences, and her letters soon show the effects of environment. The "first month, second day," expressions are dropped and the "plain language" is wholly abandoned. She has more money now than ever before and is at liberty to use it for her own pleasure. A love of handsome clothes begins to develop. "I have a new pearl straw gypsy hat," she writes, "trimmed in white ribbon with fringe on one edge and a pink satin stripe on the other, with a few white roses and green leaves for inside trimming." The beaux hover around; a certain "Dominie," a widower with several children, is very attentive; another widower, a lawyer, visits the school so often as to set all the gossips in a flutter; a third is described as "very handsome, sleek as a ribbon and the most splendid black hair I ever looked at." She takes many drives with still another, "through a delightful country variegated with hill and valley, past fields of newly-mown grass, splendid forests and gently winding rivulets, with here and there a large patch of yellow pond lilies."

Susan's letter to her family on November 6, 1846, said:

Margaret little Mary & myself went to Lutheran Church this morning, heard
Susan in her plaid dress
Mr. Sholl preach, did very well. I put on my new gound [sic] which is plaid, white, blue, purple & brown, has two puffs around the skirt, cups to the sleeves, with puffs and buttons where they end & puff at the rist sleves cupy up like M[ary]s Cashimere, & undersleeves I have made out of my linen wristlets & some linen off Mr. C’s ruffled shirts & a new colaret about my neck, Mags Gold pencil with a pen [in] it, & Susan watch & black chain That makes up the costume & in fine all say the School marm looks beautiful & I heard some of the Scholars expressing fears lest some one might be smitten & they thus be deprived of their teacher.

In 1848, she became involved with the teacher’s union when she discovered that male teachers had a monthly salary of $10.00, while the female teachers earned $2.50 a month.


In Rochester, the Anthony family began to attend services at the First Unitarian Church, which was associated with social reform. A women's rights convention was held at that church in 1848, inspired by the first women's rights convention at Seneca Falls, which was held two weeks earlier. Anthony's parents and her sister Mary attended the Rochester convention and signed the Declaration of Sentiments that had been first adopted by the Seneca Falls Convention.

The Unitarian movement began almost simultaneously in Poland, Lithuania and Transylvania in the mid-16th century. In England the first Unitarian Church was established in 1774 in London. The first official acceptance of the Unitarian faith on the part of a congregation in America was in Boston. William Ellery Channing became the leader of the Unitarian movement.

Unlike her parents, who were committed to the abolition of slavery, her Canajoharie relatives, Joshua Read and his sons-in-law, were conservative Democrats. Like most landowners of his generation, Joshua Read--before the abolition of slavery in 1827—had owned people in slavery. Joshua Read kept his proslavery views. Susan wrote home,

Uncle is Old Hunker to the back bone,” and would not allow that the North had any more right to interfere with Southern Slavery, than the South had with the Northern system of manufacturing. 
Susan Anthony began her career as a reformer when she gave her first lecture to the
Daughters of Temperance in Canajoharie. On March 2, 1849, she spoke to the Montgomery Union No. 29 of the Daughters of Temperance, and wrote to her mother,
One week ago this P.M. the Daughters of T. invited the ladies of the Village to meet with them at their room & listen an address from their P.S. [Presiding Sister] S. B. Anthony. The story was written on about 8 sheets, the import was the necessity for all to help, & do something more than merely say your cause is good we wish you well.  Dan S. [Daniel Stafford Read, son of Joshua Read] came here the next day said that he had that day heard it remarked that Miss Anthony was the Smartest woman that is now or ever was in Canajoharie. 

L&WofSBA:

In March, 1849, her beloved cousin Margaret, with whom she had been living for the past two years, gave birth to a child and she remained with her through the ordeal. In a letter to her mother immediately afterwards, she expressed the opinion that there are some drawbacks to marriage which make a woman quite content to remain single. She quotes a little bit of domestic life: 

"Joseph had a headache the other day and Margaret remarked that she had had one for weeks. 'Oh,' said the husband, 'mine is the real headache, genuine pain, yours is a sort of natural consequence.'" 

For seven weeks she was at Margaret's bedside every moment when out of school, and also superintended the house and looked after the children. There were a nurse and a girl in the kitchen, but the invalid would eat no food which Cousin Susan did not prepare; there was no touch so light and gentle as hers; her very presence gave rest and strength. At the end of this time Margaret died, leaving four little children. Susan's grief was as intense as if she had lost a sister, and she decided to remain no longer in Canajoharie.

In 1849, at age 29, Anthony quit teaching and moved to the family farm in Rochester. She joined her family in attending services at the Unitarian church, and she remained with the Rochester Unitarians for the rest of her life.


L&WofSBA:

In 1847 Frederick Douglass had brought his family to Rochester and established his paper, the North Star. As soon as Miss Anthony reached home she was taken by her father to call on Douglass, and this was the beginning of another friendship which was to last a lifetime.
The year 1849 saw the whole country in a state of great unrest and excitement. Eighty thousand men had gone to California in search of gold. Telegraphs and railroads were being rapidly constructed, thus bringing widely separated localities into close communication. The unsettled condition of Europe and the famine in Ireland had turned toward America that tremendous tide of immigration which this year had risen to 300,000. The admission of Texas into the Union had precipitated the full force of the slavery question. Old parties were disintegrating and sectional lines becoming closely drawn. New territories were knocking at the door of the Union and the whole nation was in a ferment as to whether they should be slave or free. Threats of secession were heard in both the North and the South. A spirit of compromise finally prevailed and deferred the crisis for a decade, but the agitation and unrest continued to increase. The Abolitionists were still a handful of radicals, repudiated alike by the Free Soil Whigs and Free Soil Democrats. Slavery, as an institution, had not yet become a political issue, but only its extension into the territories.
. . . The year 1850 was for her one of transition. A new world opened out before her. The Anthony homestead was a favorite meeting place for liberal-spirited men and women. On Sunday especially, when the father could be at home, the house was filled and fifteen or twenty people used to gather around the hospitable board. Susan always superintended these Sunday dinners, and was divided between her anxiety to sustain her reputation as a superior cook and her desire not to lose a word of the conversation in the parlor.
Garrison, Pillsbury, Phillips, Channing and other great reformers visited at this home, and many a Sunday the big wagon would be sent to the city for Frederick Douglass and his family to come out and spend the day. Here were gathered many times the Posts, Hallowells, DeGarmos, Willises, Burtises, Kedzies, Fishes, Curtises, Stebbins, Asa Anthonys, all Quakers who had left the society on account of their anti-slavery principles and were leaders in the abolition and woman's rights movements. Every one of these Sunday meetings was equal to a convention. The leading events of the day were discussed in no uncertain tones. All were Garrisonians and believed in "immediate and unconditional emancipation.
William Lloyd Garrison was one of the most prominent American abolitionists; best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, which he founded in 1831 in Massachusetts.  He was one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, and promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves.  Garrison had begun writing in the 1820s for Benjamin Lundy's abolition newspaper, The Genius of Universal Emancipation





Wendell Phillips was an abolitionist, advocate for Native Americans, and attorney.  In 1835,

the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society announced that George Thompson, the British abolitionist, would be speaking' pro-slavery forces posted notices of a $100 reward for the citizen that would first lay violent hands on him. Thompson canceled at the last minute, and William Lloyd Garrison replaced him. A lynch mob formed, putting a noose around Garrison's neck.  Several strong men intervened and took him to jail for safekeeping.  Phillips was a witness to the attempted lynching. After being converted to the abolitionist cause by Garrison, Phillips stopped practicing law in order to dedicate himself to the movement. He joined the American Anti-Slavery Society and  frequently made speeches at its meetings; he was known as "abolition's Golden Trumpet". Like many of his fellow abolitionists who honored the free produce movement, Phillips avoided cane sugar and wore no clothing made of cotton, since both were produced by the labor of Southern slaves. In the 1850s, Phillips would become a mentor and ally to Susan B. Anthony.




Parker Pillsbury also became Anthony's close colleague and friend.  Pillsbury was an
American minister and advocate for abolition and women's rights.  He earned a reputation for successfully dealing with hostile crowds through nonresistance tactics.

William Henry Channing was the nephew of William Ellery Channing, the prominent Unitarian minister. William Henry was born in Boston; his father died when he was an infant, and responsibility for his education was assumed by his uncle. The younger William graduated from Harvard College in 1829 and from Harvard Divinity School in 1833. He was ordained and installed in the Unitarian church in Cincinnati in 1835. He moved to Boston in 1847, and later to New York, where, both as preacher and editor, he became a leader in a movement of Christian socialism.  Channing took active part in the early years of the woman’s rights movement. He signed the call for and attended the first National Woman’s Rights Convention, where he was appointed to the National Woman’s Rights Central Committee. 


L&WofSBA:

In 1850 the Fugitive Slave Law was passed and all the resources of the federal
government were employed for its enforcement. Its provisions exasperated the Abolitionists to the highest degree. The house of Isaac and Amy Post was the rendezvous for runaway slaves, and each of these families that gathered on Sunday at the Anthony farm could have told where might be found at least one station on the "underground railroad."

Isaac and Amy Post, were radical Hicksite Quaker from Rochester.  Amy Kirby was born in 1802 Joseph and Mary Kirby, members of the Society of Friends.  Isaac Post was born  in 1798 in Long Island, New York to a Quaker family.  Around 1821, Isaac married Amy's elder sister, Hannah Kirby. In 1827 Hannah fell ill, and Amy joined the Posts to help care for her sister’s two children. Hannah soon died, and Amy stayed on with Isaac to continue caring for the children. In 1828 Amy Kirby married Isaac Post, with whom she had four children.  Isaac and Amy moved to Rochester in 1836, where Isaac went into business as a druggist. 

Amy Post became an active member of the Gennesee Yearly Meeting of Hicksite Friends (GYM).  In 1837, Amy Post went against the desires of the Society of Friends elders, who disapproved of slavery but distrusted radical abolitionism. In 1842, Amy and Isaac Post became two of the founders of the Western New York Anti-Slavery Society (WNYASS). Among its members were evangelical Protestants and deists; as an officer of the society, it was Amy Post’s duty to organize fundraising fairs and group conventions. Despite the fact that the Society of Friends was a firmly anti-slavery group, the elders of the Rochester Monthly Meeting (RMM) accused Post of being too worldly in her efforts of trying to abolish slavery. Post disregarded the RMM’s investigations of her “worldly” efforts and continued to be a Quaker abolitionist. 


Radical Quakers began to hold abolitionist meetings in the Post home, where prominent reform lecturers such as Garrison, Douglass, and Sojourner Truth visited and spoke. Douglass became a close personal friend of the Posts who helped establish him in Rochester. Douglass and the Posts collaborated in ferrying fugitive slaves to freedom in Canada, and their home served as a station on the Underground Railroad, holding as many as 20 escaped slaves at a time.  Rochester was an important link on the Underground Railroad. Both black and white people managed the railroad, as well as people of different denominations. 

In 1848, the Posts left the Gennesse Yearly Meeting due to pressure from elders to end their abolitionist activities.  In 1848, Amy began to be involved as an organizer in the women's movement. Amy Post attended the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls; Amy and Mary Post, her stepdaughter, were two of the one hundred women who signed the Declaration of Sentiments. Amy and Mary Post and two other female abolitionists organized the Rochester Woman’s Rights Convention, held two weeks after, which placed emphasis on women’s economic equality. 

Amy Post became good friends with Harriet Ann Jacobs, and encouraged her to write her book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

Susan Anthony took over the operation of the family farm in Rochester so her father could devote more time to his insurance business.  She also took part in temperance conventions and gatherings.






L&WofSBA:
In 1851, the License Law having been arbitrarily repealed a few years before, there was practically no regulation of the liquor business, nor was there any such public sentiment against intemperance as exists at the present day. Drunkenness was not looked upon as an especial disgrace and there had been little agitation of the question. The wife of a drunkard was completely at his mercy. He had the entire custody of the children, full control of anything she might earn, and the law did not recognize drunkenness as a cause for divorce. Although woman was the greatest sufferer, she had not yet learned that she had even the poor right of protest. Oppressed by the weight of the injustice and tyranny of ages, she knew nothing except to suffer in silence; and so degraded was she by generations of slavish submission, that she possessed not even the moral courage to stand by those of her own sex who dared rebel and demand a new dispensation. 

The old Washingtonian Society of the first half of the nineteenth century, composed entirely of men, because reformed drunkards only could belong to it, was succeeded by the Sons of Temperance, and these had permitted the organization of subordinate lodges called Daughters of Temperance, which, as subsequent events will show, were entitled to no official recognition. It was in one of these, the only organized bodies of women known at this time, that Miss Anthony first displayed that executive ability which was destined to make her famous. During 1851 she was very active in temperance work and organized a number of societies in surrounding towns. 

In the winter of 1851 Miss Anthony attended an anti-slavery meeting in Rochester, conducted by Stephen and Abby Kelly Foster. This was her first acquaintance with Mrs. Foster, who had been the most persecuted of all the women taking part in the anti-slavery struggle. She had been ridiculed, denounced and mobbed for years; and, for listening to her on Sunday, men and women had been expelled from church. Her strong and heroic spirit struck an answering spark in Miss Anthony's breast. She accompanied the Fosters for a week on their tour of meetings in adjoining counties, and was urged by them to go actively into this reform.

Abby Kelley Foster was an abolitionist and radical social reformer, a fundraiser, lecturer and committee organizer for the American Anti-Slavery Society. She worked closely with William Lloyd Garrison. Her views became progressively more radical as she worked with abolitionists such as Angelina Grimke; she became an “ultra”, advocating not only the abolition of slavery, but also full civil equality for blacks. Garrison's influence led her to adopt the position of “non-resistance", which went beyond opposing war to opposing all forms of government coercion.  She married fellow abolitionist Stephen Symonds Foster in 1845; in 1847, she and her husband purchased a farm in the Tatnuck region of Worcester, Massachusetts and christened it "Liberty Farm". She gave birth to their only daughter in 1847. The farm served both as a stop on the Underground railroad and as a refuge for fellow reformers. 

 L&WofSBA:

The following May she went to the Anti-Slavery Anniversary in Syracuse. This
convention had been driven out of New York by Rynders' mob in 1850 and did not dare go back. On the way home she stopped at Seneca Falls, the guest of Mrs. Amelia Bloomer, to hear again Wm. Lloyd Garrison and George Thompson, the distinguished Abolitionist from England, who had stirred her nature to its depths. Here was fulfilled her long-cherished desire of seeing Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Their meeting is best described in that lady's own words . . .

Elizabeth Cady Stanton's wrote her account of being introduced to Susan B. Anthony on a street in Seneca Falls:  
I met my future friend and coadjutor for the first time. How well I remember the day! George Thompson and William Lloyd Garrison having announced an anti-slavery meeting in Seneca Falls, Miss Anthony came to attend it. These gentlemen were my guests. Walking home, after the adjournment, we met Mrs. Bloomer and Miss Anthony on the corner of the street, waiting to greet us. 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. She accuses me of that neglect, and has never forgiven me, as she wished to see and hear all she could of our noble friends. I suppose my mind was full of what I had heard, or my coming dinner, or the probable behavior of three mischievous boys who had been busily exploring the premises while I was at the meeting.

L&WofSBA:

In the summer Miss Anthony went to Seneca Falls to a meeting of those interested in founding the People's College. Horace Greeley, Lucy Stone and herself were entertained by Mrs. Stanton. The three women were determined it should be opened to girls as well as boys. Mr. Greeley begged them not to agitate the question, assuring them that he would have the constitution and by-laws so framed as to admit women on the same terms as men, and he did as he promised, making a spirited fight. Before the college was fairly started, however, it was merged into Cornell University. This was Miss Anthony's first meeting with Lucy Stone and may be called the commencement of her life-long friendship with Mrs. Stanton. 

Lucy Stone was a prominent abolitionist and advocate of rights for women.  In 1847, Stone  had become the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree. Lucy Stone was born in 1818, on her family's farm in Massachusetts, the eighth of nine children. Another member of the Stone household was Sarah Barr, “Aunt Sally” to the children– her father's sister who had been abandoned by her husband and left dependent upon her brother. Stone recalled that “There was only one will in our family, and that was my father’s.” Her mother, Hannah, earned a modest income through selling eggs and cheese but had no control over that money. Believing she had a right to her own earnings, Hannah sometimes stole coins from her husband's purse or secretly sold a cheese. As a child, Lucy resented instances of what she saw as her father’s unfair management of the family’s money. but she later came to realize that custom was to blame.  From the examples of her mother, Aunt Sally, and a neighbor neglected by her husband and left destitute, Stone early learned that women were at the mercy of their husbands’ good will. Resolving to “call no man my master,” she determined to keep control over her own life by never marrying, obtaining the highest education she could, and earning her own living.

At age sixteen, Stone began teaching in district schools, as her brothers and sister Rhoda also did. Her beginning pay of $1.00 a day was much lower than that of male teachers, and when she substituted for her brother Bowman one winter, she received less pay than he received. When she protested to the school committee that she had taught all the subjects Bowman had, it replied that they could give her “only a woman’s pay.” 

In 1843, a deacon of her church was recommended for expulsion because of antislavery activities, including giving countenance to Abby Kelley’s anti-church views by driving her to lectures and entertaining her at his home. When the first vote was taken, Stone raised her hand in his defense. The minister discounted her vote, saying that, though she was a member of the church, she was not a voting member. Like Kelly, she stubbornly raised her hand for each of the remaining five votes.

Stone gave her first public speeches on women's rights in the fall of 1847, first at her brother Bowman’s church. Stone became a lecturing agent for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in 1848, persuaded by Abby Kelley Foster. Stone proved to be an effective speaker. She was described as “a little meek-looking Quakerish body, with the sweetest, modest manners and yet as unshrinking and self-possessed as a loaded canon.” In 1849, Stone was invited to lecture for the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, and Lucretia Mott took advantage of her presence to hold Pennsylvania’s first women’s rights meeting, on May 4, 1849. Stone conducted Massachusetts’ first petition campaigns for the right of women to vote and hold public office, and William Lloyd Garrison published them in the Liberator for readers to copy and circulate. With the support of Garrison and other abolitionists, Stone arranged the May 30, 1850, meeting at Boston’s Melodeon Hall that called the first National Woman’s Rights Convention. In May 1851, while in Boston attending the New England Anti-Slavery Society’s annual meeting, Stone went to the exhibit of Hiram’s Powers’s statue of The Greek Slave. She was so moved by the sculpture that when she addressed the meeting that evening, she poured out her heart about the statue being emblematic of all enchained womanhood. The society’s general agent, Samuel May, Jr., reproached her for speaking on women’s rights at an antislavery meeting; she replied: “I was a woman before I was an abolitionist. I must speak for women.” Three months later Stone notified May that she intended to lecture on women’s rights full-time and would not be available for antislavery work. Stone launched her career as an independent women’s rights lecturer on October 1, 1851. When May continued to press antislavery work upon her, she agreed to lecture for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society on Sundays. Arranging women’s rights lectures around these engagements, she used pay for her antislavery work to defray expenses of her independent lecturing until she felt confident enough to charge admission.

Susan Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were instrumental in founding the short-lived Women's New York State Temperance Society (1852–1853). During her presidency of the organization, Stanton scandalized many supporters by suggesting that drunkenness be made sufficient cause for divorce. 


Stanton had four young sons when she met Susan Anthony, and in the following ten years would give birth to two daughters and another son.  Stanton wrote in her memoirs:  

It is often said, by those who know Miss Anthony best, that she has been my good angel, always pushing and goading me to work, and that but for her pertinacity I should never have accomplished the little I have. On the other hand it has been said that I forged the thunderbolts and she fired them. Perhaps all this is, in a measure, true. 
With the cares of a large family I might, in time, like too many women, have become wholly absorbed in a narrow family selfishness, had not my friend been continually exploring new fields for missionary labors.
. . . In thought and sympathy we were one, and in the division of labor we exactly complimented each other. In writing we did better work than either could alone. While she is slow and analytic in composition, I am rapid and synthetic. I am the better writer, she the better critic. She supplied the facts and statistics, I the philosophy and rhetoric, and, together, we have made arguments that have stood unshaken through the storms of long years; arguments that no one has answered. Our speeches may be considered the united product of our two brains. . . 
Night after night, by an old-fashioned fireplace, we plotted and planned the
coming agitation; how, when, and where each entering wedge could be driven, by which women might be recognized and their rights secured. Speedily the State was aflame with disturbances in temperance and teachers' conventions, and the press heralded the news far and near that women delegates had suddenly appeared, demanding admission in men's conventions; that their rights had been hotly contested session after session, by liberal men on the one side, the clergy and learned professors on the other; an overwhelming majority rejecting the women with terrible anathemas and denunciations. Such battles were fought over and over in the chief cities of many of the Northern States, until the bigotry of men in all the reforms and professions was thoroughly exposed. Every right achieved, to enter a college, to study a profession, to labor in some new industry, or to advocate a reform measure was contended for inch by inch.
Many of those enjoying all these blessings now complacently say, "If these pioneers in reform had only pressed their measures more judiciously, in a more lady-like manner, in more choice language, with a more deferential attitude, the gentlemen could not have behaved so rudely." I give, in these pages, enough of the characteristics of these women, of the sentiments they expressed, of their education, ancestry, and position to show that no power could have met the prejudice and bigotry of that period more successfully than they did who so bravely and persistently fought and conquered them.
Stanton wrote about the bloomer costume:
Mrs. Amelia Bloomer was assistant postmistress; an editor of a reform paper
advocating temperance and woman's rights; and an advocate of the new costume which bore her name! Although she wore the bloomer dress, its originator was Elizabeth Smith Miller, the only daughter of Gerrit Smith. In the winter of 1852 Mrs. Miller came to visit me in Seneca Falls, dressed somewhat in the Turkish style–short skirt, full trousers of fine black broadcloth; a Spanish cloak, of the same material, reaching to the knee; beaver hat and feathers and dark furs; altogether a most becoming costume and exceedingly convenient for walking in all kinds of weather. To see my cousin, with a lamp in one hand and a baby in the other, walk upstairs with ease and grace, while, with flowing robes, I pulled myself up with difficulty, lamp and baby out of the question, readily convinced me that there was sore need of reform in woman's dress, and I promptly donned a similar attire. What incredible freedom I enjoyed for two years! Like a captive set free from his ball and chain, I was always ready for a brisk walk through sleet and snow and rain, to climb a mountain, jump over a fence, work in the garden, and, in fact, for any necessary locomotion.

Bloomer is now a recognized word in the English language. Mrs. Bloomer, having the Lily in which to discuss the merits of the new dress, the press generally took up the question, and much valuable information was elicited on the physiological results of woman's fashionable attire; the crippling effect of tight waists and long skirts, the heavy weight on the hips, and high heels, all combined to throw the spine out of plumb and lay the foundation for all manner of nervous diseases. But, while all agreed that some change was absolutely necessary for the health of women, the press stoutly ridiculed those who were ready to make the experiment.

A few sensible women, in different parts of the country, adopted the costume, and farmers' wives especially proved its convenience. It was also worn by skaters, gymnasts, tourists, and in sanitariums. But, while the few realized its advantages, the many laughed it to scorn, and heaped such ridicule on its wearers that they soon found that the physical freedom enjoyed did not compensate for the persistent persecution and petty annoyances suffered at every turn. To be rudely gazed at in public and private, to be the conscious subjects of criticism, and to be followed by crowds of boys in the streets, were all, to the very last degree, exasperating.
. . . The patience of most of us was exhausted in about two years; but our leader, Mrs.
Miller, bravely adhered to the costume for nearly seven years, under the most trying circumstances. While her father was in Congress, she wore it at many fashionable dinners and receptions in Washington. She was bravely sustained, however, by her husband, Colonel Miller, who never flinched in escorting his wife and her coadjutors, however inartistic their costumes might be. . . . Mrs. Miller was also encouraged by the intense feeling of her father on the question of woman's dress. To him the whole revolution in woman's position turned on her dress. The long skirt was the symbol of her degradation. The names of those who wore the bloomer costume, besides those already mentioned, were Paulina Wright Davis, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Sarah and Angelina Grimke, Mrs. William Burleigh, Celia Burleigh, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, Helen Jarvis, Lydia Jenkins, Amelia Willard, Dr. Harriet N. Austin, and many patients in sanitariums, whose names I cannot recall. Looking back to this experiment, I am not surprised at the hostility of men in general to the dress, as it made it very uncomfortable for them to go anywhere with those who wore it. People would stare, many men and women make rude remarks, boys followed in crowds, with jeers and laughter, so that gentlemen in attendance would feel it their duty to show fight, unless they had sufficient self-control to pursue the even tenor of their way, as the ladies themselves did, without taking the least notice of the commotion they created. . . .

Though we did not realize the success we hoped for by making the dress popular, yet the effect was not lost. . . .  After giving up the experiment, we . . . were too happy to move about unnoticed and unknown, to risk, again, the happiness of ourselves and our friends by any further experiments. I have never wondered since that the Chinese women allow their daughters' feet to be encased in iron shoes, nor that the Hindoo widows walk calmly to the funeral pyre; for great are the penalties of those who dare resist the behests of the tyrant Custom.

In 1852, Anthony was elected as a delegate to the state temperance convention, but the chairman stopped her when she tried to speak, saying that women delegates were there only to listen and learn. Anthony and some of the other women immediately walked out and announced a meeting of their own, which created a committee to organize a women's state convention. Largely organized by Anthony, the convention of 500 women met in Rochester in April and created the Women's State Temperance Society, with Stanton as president and Anthony as state agent.  Anthony and her co-workers collected 28,000 signatures on a petition for a law to prohibit the sale of alcohol in New York State. She organized a hearing on that law before the New York legislature, the first that had been initiated in that state by a group of women. At the organization's convention the following year, however, conservative members attacked Stanton's advocacy of the right of a wife of an alcoholic to obtain a divorce. When Stanton was voted out as president, she and Anthony resigned from the organization.


In 1852, Anthony attended her first National Women's Rights Convention, which was held in Syracuse, New York.  Anthony participated in every subsequent annual National Women's Rights Convention, and served as convention president in 1858.



Her good friend, Lydia Mott, lived in Albany with her sister, Abigail, where they taught school, ran a men's clothing store and a boarding house for New York state legislators.  Their home was also an Underground Railroad station.  Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote that Lydia Mott was "one of the quiet workers who kept all things pertaining to the woman's rights reform in motion at the capital."


L&WofSBA:
Miss Anthony's public life may be said to have fairly begun in 1852. The Sons of
Temperance had announced a mass meeting of all the divisions in the state, to be held at Albany, and had invited the Daughters to send delegates. The Rochester union appointed Susan B. Anthony. Her credentials, with those of the other women delegates, were accepted and seats given them in the convention, but when Miss Anthony rose to speak to a motion she was informed by the presiding officer that "the sisters were not invited there to speak but to listen and learn." 
She and three or four other ladies at once left the hall. The rest of the women had not the courage to follow, but called them "bold, meddlesome disturbers," and remained to bask in the approving smiles of the Sons. 
They sought advice of Lydia Mott, who said the proper thing was to hold a meeting of their own; so they secured the lecture-room of the Hudson street Presbyterian church, and then went to the office of the Evening Journal, edited by Thurlow Weed, to talk the situation over with him. He told them they had done exactly right, and in his paper that evening he announced their meeting and related their treatment by the men. The night was cold and snowy. The little room was dark, the stove smoked and the pipe fell down during the exercises, but the women were sustained by their indignation and sense of justice and would not allow themselves to be discouraged. 
Rev. Samuel J. May, who was in the city attending the "Jerry Rescue" trials, seeing the notice of their meeting, came to offer his assistance, accompanied by David Wright, husband of Martha C. Wright and brother-in-law of Lucretia Mott. These two, with a reporter, were the only men present at this little assemblage of women who had decided that they could do something better for the cause of temperance than being seen and not heard. Mr. May opened the meeting with prayer, and then showed them how to organize. Mary C. Vaughn, of Oswego, was made president; Miss Anthony, secretary; Lydia Mott, chairman of the business committee. Mrs. Vaughn gave an address. A letter had been received from Mrs. Stanton so radical that most of the ladies objected to having it read, but Miss Anthony took the responsibility. She read, also, letters from Clarina Howard Nichols and Amelia Bloomer, which had been intended for the Sons' meeting. Mrs. Lydia F. Fowler, who happened to be lecturing in Albany, spoke briefly, and Mr. May paid high tribute to the valuable work of women in temperance and anti-slavery, declaring their influence as indispensable to the state and the church as to the home. Miss Anthony then said their treatment showed that the time had come for women to have an organization of their own; and the final outcome was the appointment of a committee, with herself as chairman, to call a Woman's State Temperance Convention.
Samuel Joseph May was a radical reformer who championed multiple reform movements including abolition and education. He was born in 1797 in an upper class Boston area, the son of Colonel Joseph May, a merchant, and Dorothy Sewell, who was descended from or connected to many of the leading families of colonial Massachusetts, including the Quincys and the Hancocks. His sister was Abby May Alcott, mother of novelist Louisa May Alcott.  May graduated from Harvard Divinity School and became a Unitarian minister.  In 1830, May met and developed a strong friendship with William Lloyd Garrison.  Although his abolitionist views alienated his family, friends, and other clergymen, he helped Garrison found the New England Anti-Slavery Society, the American Anti-Slavery Society, and the New England Non-Resistance Society. In addition to speaking and writing about abolition, May was an advocate of women’s rights: he wrote The Rights and Condition of Women in 1846 in favor of giving women the right to vote and allowing them equality in all aspects of life. May’s work with the women’s movement prompted him to move towards socialist economic views including redistribution of the nation’s wealth, overhaul of the legal system, and a “soak-the-rich” income tax.

L&WofSBA:
After weeks of hard work, writing countless letters, taking numerous trips to various towns, and making almost without assistance all the necessary arrangements, the convention assembled in Corinthian Hall, Rochester, April 20, 1852. The morning audience was composed entirely of women, 500 being in attendance. Miss Anthony opened the meeting, read the call, which had been widely circulated, and in a clear, forcible manner set forth the object of the convention. The call urged the women to "meet together for devising such associated action as shall be necessary for the protection of their interests and of society at large, too long invaded and destroyed by legalized intemperance." It was signed by Daniel Anthony, William R. Hallowell and a number of well-known men and women, many of whom were present and took part in the discussions. . . .  Elizabeth Cady Stanton was elected president; Mrs. Gerrit Smith, Mrs. E.C. Delavan, Antoinette L. Brown and nine others, vice-presidents; Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Bloomer, secretaries. In accepting the presidency, Mrs. Stanton made a powerful speech, certain parts of which acted as a bombshell not only at this meeting, but in press, pulpit and society. The two points which aroused most antagonism were: 

"1st. Let no woman remain in the relation of wife with a confirmed drunkard. Let no drunkard be the father of her children.... Let us petition our State government so to modify the laws affecting marriage and the custody of children, that the drunkard shall have no claims on wife or child. 

"2d. Inasmuch as charity begins at home, let us withdraw our mite from all associations for sending the Gospel to the heathen across the ocean, for the education of young men for the ministry, for the building up of a theological aristocracy and gorgeous temples to the unknown God, and devote ourselves to the poor and suffering around us. Let us feed and clothe the hungry and naked, gather children into schools and provide reading-rooms and decent homes for young men and women thrown alone upon the world. Good schools and homes, where the young could ever be surrounded by an atmosphere of purity and virtue, would do much more to prevent immorality and crime in our cities than all the churches in the land could ever possibly do toward the regeneration of the multitude sunk in poverty, ignorance and vice."

. . . The Men's State Temperance Society had issued an official call for a convention to be held at Syracuse in June, containing these words: "Temperance societies of every name are invited to send delegates." Acting upon this invitation, the executive committee of the Woman's State Temperance Society appointed Gerrit Smith, Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Bloomer as delegates. Mr. Smith was not able to attend and, after their experience at Albany, there were serious doubts in the minds of the women whether they would be received. . . . Miss Anthony and Mrs. Bloomer went to Syracuse, and on the morning of the convention received a call from Mr. May. He came to inform them that their arrival had caused great excitement among the clergy, who comprised a large portion of the delegates and threatened to withdraw if the women were admitted. Their action had alarmed the other delegates, who feared a disturbance in the convention, and they had requested Mr. May, as probably having the most influence, to call upon the ladies and urge them not to ask for recognition. When they told him they should go to the meeting and present their credentials, he expressed great satisfaction and said that was just the decision he had hoped they would make. They quietly entered the hall and took seats with other ladies at one side of the platform. Immediately Rev. Mandeville, of Albany, turned his chair around with back to the audience and, facing them, attempted to stare them out of countenance. William H. Burleigh, secretary, read the annual report, which closed, "We hail the formation of the Woman's State Temperance Society as a valuable auxiliary." 

This precipitated the discussion. Rev. Mandeville sprung to his feet and moved to strike out the last sentence. His speech was filled with such venom and vulgarity as the foulest-mouthed politician would hesitate to utter. He denounced the Woman's State Temperance Society and all women publicly engaged in temperance work, declared the women delegates to be "a hybrid species, half man and half woman, belonging to neither sex," and announced finally that if this sentence were not struck out he would dissolve his connection with the society. A heated debate followed. 

. . . Miss Anthony made only one attempt to speak and that was to remind them that over 100,000 of the signers to a petition for a Maine Law, the previous winter, were women, but her voice was drowned by Rev. Fowler, of Utica, shouting, "Order! Order!" Herman Camp, of Trumansburg, the president, ruled that she was not a delegate and had no right to speak. Amid great confusion the question was put to vote and the decision of the chair sustained. As no delegates had yet been accredited, everybody in the house was allowed to vote, but the secretary, J.T. Hazen, announced that he did not count the votes of the women!

. . . Soon afterwards she wrote her father: "I feel there is a great work to be done which none but women can do. How I wish I could be daily associated with those whose ideas are in advance of my own, it would enable me to develop so much faster;" and then, notwithstanding all her rebuffs, she signed herself, "Yours cheerily." 

The anti-slavery convention this year was held in Rochester, and Miss Anthony had as a guest her dear friend, Lydia Mott, and again met Garrison, Phillips, May, the Fosters, Pillsbury, Henry C. Wright and others of that glorious band who together had received the baptism of fire. Although intensely interested in the anti-slavery question she did not dare think she had the ability to take up that work, but she did resolve to give all her time and energy to the temperance cause. The summer of 1852 was spent in traveling throughout the State with Mrs. Vaughn, Mrs. Attilia Albro and Miss Emily Clark. They canvassed thirty counties, organizing societies and securing 28,000 signatures to a petition for the Maine Law.

The Maine law, passed in 1851 in the state of Main, was one of the first statutory implementations of the temperance movement in the United States. The passage of the law, which prohibited the sale of all alcoholic beverages except for "medicinal, mechanical or manufacturing purposes," quickly spread elsewhere, and by 1855 twelve states had joined Maine in total prohibition. The act was unpopular with many working class people and immigrants.  Opposition to the law turned violent in Portland, Maine on June 2, 1855. The riot was a contributing factor to the law being repealed in 1856.  The New York state legislature passed a prohibitory liquor law in 1854, only to be vetoed by Governor Seymour. The same year, Governor Seymour was replaced by the prohibition candidate Myron H. Clark, and early the next year, the legislature re-passed the "Maine Law," though it had spotty enforcement.

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On September 8, 1852, she went to her first Woman's Rights Convention,which was held at Syracuse. . . . At the preliminary meeting, held the night before, she was made a member of the nominating committee with Paulina Wright Davis, of Providence, R.I., chairman. Mrs. Davis had come with the determination of putting in as president her dear friend Elizabeth Oakes Smith, a fashionable literary woman of Boston. Both attended the meeting and the convention in short-sleeved, low-necked white dresses, one with a pink, the other with a blue embroidered wool delaine sack with wide, flowing sleeves, which left both neck and arms exposed. At the committee meeting next morning, Quaker James Mott nominated Mrs. Smith for president, but Quaker Susan B. Anthony spoke out boldly and said that nobody who dressed as she did could represent the earnest, solid, hard-working women of the country for whom they were making the demand for equal rights. Mr. Mott said they must not expect all women to dress as plainly as the Friends; but she held her ground, and as all the committee agreed with her, though no one else had had the courage to speak, Mrs. Smith's name was voted down. . . . Lucretia Mott was made president, and the Syracuse Standard said: "It was a singular spectacle to see this Quaker matron presiding over a convention with an ease, grace and dignity that might be envied by the most experienced legislator in the country." Susan B. Anthony and Martha C. Wright were the secretaries.
The queen of the platform at this time was Ernestine L. Rose, a Jewess who had fled from Poland to escape religious persecution. She was beautiful and cultured, of liberal views and great oratorical powers. Her lectures on "The Science of Government" had attracted wide attention. Naturally, she took a prominent part in the early woman's rights meetings.
Ernestine Rose was an abolitionist and feminist who was also known as an atheist.  She was
born in 1810 as Ernestine Louise Polowsky, the daughter of a Jewish family in Trybunalski, Poland. Her father was a wealthy rabbi and her mother was the daughter of a wealthy businessman.  At the age of five, Rose began to "question the justice of a God who would exact such hardships" as the frequent fasts that her father performed. As she grew older, she began to question her father more and more on religious matters, receiving only, "A young girl does not want to understand the object of her creed, but to accept and believe it." in response. By the age of fourteen, she had completely rejected the idea of female inferiority and the religious texts that supported that idea.

When she was sixteen her mother died, and her father, betrothed her to a young Jew who was a friend of his. Rose, not wanting to enter a marriage with a man she neither chose nor loved, confronted him, professing her lack of affection towards him and begging for release. Since Rose was from a rich family, and the fiance rejected her plea. Rose went to the secular civil court, where she pleaded her case herself" the courts ruled in her favor, not only freeing her from her betrothal, but ruling that she could retain the full inheritance she received from her mother. She returned home to discover that in her absence her father had remarried, to a sixteen-year-old girl. Tension grew in the family that developed eventually forced her to leave home at the age of seventeen.

Rose traveled to Berlin, where she found herself hampered by an anti-Semitic law that required all non-Prussian Jews to have a Prussian sponsor. She appealed directly to the king and was granted an exemption from the rule. She traveled to Belgium, the Netherlands,France and England.  The ship in which she sailed was wrecked; all her possessions were destroyed, and she found herself destitute. In order to support herself, she sought work as a teacher in the languages of German and Hebrew. While in England, she met Robert Owen, a Utopian socialist, who was so impressed by her that he invited her to speak in a large hall for radical speakers. In spite of her limited knowledge of English, the audience was so impressed that from then on her appearances were regular. She and Owen were close friends, and she helped him to found the Association of All Classes of All Nations, a group that espoused human rights for all people of all nations, sexes, races and classes. She also met William Ella Rose, an "Owenite" who was a jeweler and silversmith. They were married by a civil magistrate; they considered their union a civil contract rather than a religious one.

In 1836 the Roses emigrated to the United States, where they later became naturalized citizens.  The Roses opened a small "Fancy and Perfumery" store in their home in New York City, where Rose sold perfumed toilet water and William ran a silversmith shop.  Rose soon began to give lectures, and traveled to speak on the abolition of slavery, religious tolerance, public education and equality for women. When she was in the South to speak against slavery, one slaveholder told her he would have "tarred and feathered her if she had been a man". In 1855, when she delivered an anti-slavery lecture in Bangor, Maine, a local newspaper called her "a female Atheist... a thousand times below a prostitute."

Rose was elected president of the National Women's Rights Convention in October, 1854, in spite of objections that she was an atheist. Her election was heavily supported by Susan B. Anthony, who declared that, "every religion – or none – should have an equal right on the platform." Anthony considered her, with Mary Wollstonecraft and Frances Wright, to have pioneered the cause of woman suffrage. 


L&WofSBA:
According to The Syracuse Star . . ."The women of the Tomfoolery Convention, now being held in this city, talk as fluently of the Bible and God's teachings in their speeches as if they could draw an argument from inspiration in maintenance of their woman's rights stuff.... The poor creatures who take part in the silly rant of "brawling women" and Aunt Nancy men are most of them "ismizers" of the rankest stamp, Abolitionists of the most frantic and contemptible kind . . . " 
The New York Herald, which from the beginning of the demand had been the inveterate foe of equal rights for women, contained the following editorial, September 12, 1852: 
"The farce at Syracuse has been played out. We publish today the last act, in which it will be seen that the authority of the Bible, as a perfect rule of faith and practice for human beings, was voted down, and what are called the laws of nature set up instead of the Christian code. We have also a practical exhibition of the consequences that flow from woman leaving her true sphere, where she wields all her influence, and coming into public to discuss morals and politics with men. . . . How did woman first become subject to man, as she now is all over the world? By her nature, her sex, just as the negro is and always will be to the end of time, inferior to the white race and, therefore, doomed to subjection; but she is happier than she would be in any other condition, just because it is the law of her nature . . .How funny it would sound in the newspapers that Lucy Stone, pleading a cause, took suddenly ill in the pains of parturition and perhaps gave birth to a fine bouncing boy in court! Or that Rev. Antoinette Brown was arrested in the pulpit in the middle of her sermon from the same cause . . .presented a "pledge" to her husband and the congregation; or that Dr. Harriot K. Hunt, while attending a gentleman patient for a fit of the gout or fistula and found it necessary to send for a doctor, there and then, and to be delivered of a man or woman child--perhaps twins. A similar event might happen on the floor of Congress, in a storm at sea or in the raging tempest of battle, and then what is to become of the woman legislator?"
. . . A World's Temperance Convention had been called to meet in New York September 6 and 7, 1853 , , ,The call invited "all friends of temperance" to be present. After attending the Anti-Slavery Anniversary in New York, Miss Anthony and Emily Clark went as representatives of the New York Woman's Temperance Society, and Abby Kelly Foster and Lucy Stone were sent from Massachusetts. The meeting was opened with prayer, asking God's blessing on the proceedings about to take place. A motion was made that all the gentlemen present be admitted as delegates. Dr. Trail, of New York City, moved that the word "ladies" be inserted, as there were delegates present from the Woman's State Temperance Society. The motion was carried, their credentials received, and every man and woman present became members of the convention. 
A business committee of one from each State was appointed and a motion was made that Susan B. Anthony, secretary of the Woman's Temperance Society, be added to the committee. This opened the battle with the opposition and one angry and abusive speech followed another. Abby Kelly Foster, the eloquent anti-slavery orator, tried to speak, but shouts of "order" drowned her voice and, after holding her position for ten minutes, she finally was howled down. Almost the entire convention was composed of ministers of the Gospel. Hon. Bradford R. Wood, of Albany, moved that, as there was a party present determined to introduce the question of woman's rights and run it into the ground, the convention adjourn sine die. He finally was persuaded to withdraw this and substitute a motion that a committee be appointed to decide who were members of the convention, although this had been settled at the opening of the meeting by the accepting of credentials.  , , , They were out fifteen minutes and reported that, as in their opinion the call for this meeting was not intended to include female delegates, and custom had not sanctioned the public action of women in similar situations, their credentials should be rejected. 
Rev. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, pastor of the Unitarian church in
Worcester, Mass., at once resigned from the business committee and withdrew from the meeting, as did also the women delegates and such gentlemen, including several ministers, as thought the ladies had been unjustly treated. They met at Dr. Trail's office and decided to call a Whole World's Temperance Convention which should not exclude one-half the world, and that the half which was doing the most effective work for temperance.  
Rev. Chambers. said he rejoiced that the women were gone, as they were "now rid of the scum of the convention." Mayor Barstow, who had threatened to resign rather than put the motion that Miss Anthony should be on the business committee, made a speech which the press declared too indecent to be reported. It must be remembered that this entire discussion was founded on the mere proposal to place Miss Anthony on a committee of a temperance meeting.
. . . Miss Anthony, on reaching home, immediately began active preparations for the first annual meeting of the Woman's State Temperance Society, which was to be held in Rochester. As usual she wrote hundreds of letters, raised the money, printed and circulated the call, looked after the advertising, engaged the speakers and took the whole responsibility. 
The convention assembled in Corinthian Hall, June 1, 1853, with a large attendance. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the president, after stating that the society had over 2,000 members, and was in a most flourishing condition, said: 
"It has been objected that we do not confine ourselves to the subject of temperance, but talk too much about woman's rights, divorce and the church. . . We have been obliged to preach woman's rights because many, instead of listening to what we had to say on temperance, have questioned the right of woman to speak on any subject. . . .  Let it be clearly understood then that we are a Woman's Rights Society; that we believe it is woman's duty to speak whenever she feels the impression to do so; that it is her right to be present in all the councils of Church and State." 
Gerrit Smith wrote to the convention: 
"I know not why it is not as much the duty of your sex as of mine to establish newspapers, write books and hold public meetings for the promotion of the cause of temperance. The current idea that modesty should hold women back from such services is nonsense and wickedness. Female modesty! female delicacy! I would that I might never again hear such phrases. There is but one standard of modesty and delicacy for both men and women; and so long as different standards are tolerated, both sexes will be perverse and corrupt.... The Quakers are the best people I have ever known, the most serious and chaste and yet the most brave and resisting; but there are no other people who are so little concerned lest women get out of their sphere. None make so little difference between man and woman. Others appear to think that the happiness and safety of the world consist in magnifying the difference. But when reason and religion shall rule, there will be no difference between man and woman, in respect to the intellect, the heart or the manners."
There was a strong undercurrent of opposition to Mrs. Stanton on account of
her radical views in regard to equal rights, divorce for drunkenness and the subjection of woman to Bible authority, but those opposing her being wholly inexperienced did not know how to prevent her re-election. As the majority of the men, for obvious reasons, agreed with them in wishing to get rid of Mrs. Stanton, they proceeded to teach them political tactics, got out a printed opposition ticket and defeated her for president by three votes. . . .Miss Anthony was almost unanimously re-elected secretary but refused to serve, stating that "the vote showed they would not accept the principle of woman's rights and, as she believed thoroughly in standing for the equality of woman, she could not act as officer of such a society. . . "  
Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton at once severed all connection with the organization they had founded; it passed into the hands of a body of conservative women, who believed they could accomplish by prayer what these two knew never could be done except through legislation with a constituency of women behind it.  
The society had a precarious existence of one or two years and finally went to pieces. There was not another strong, concerted movement of women in the cause of temperance for twenty years. Miss Anthony, although a total abstainer all her life, was never again connected with a temperance organization. 
. . . Miss Anthony makes this entry in her journal: 
"Thus as I passed from town to town was I made to feel the great evil of woman's utter dependence on man for the necessary means to aid reform movements. I never before took in so fully the grand idea of pecuniary independence. 
"Woman must have a purse of her own, and how can this be so long as the law denies to the wife all right to both the individual and the joint earnings? 
"Reflections like these convince me that there is no true freedom for woman without the possession of equal property rights, and that these can be obtained only through legislation."
. . . With her, to think was always to act. She reached Rochester on the morning of election day, and went at once to the home of William and Mary Hallowell, that home whose doors never were closed to her, where for more than fifty years she was welcome day or night, where she always turned for advice, assistance and sympathy and ever found them in the fullest measure. She explained to them her idea of calling a meeting in Rochester for the specific purpose of starting a petition for more extended property rights to women.
Mary Post Hallowell was a niece/stepdaughter of Amy Kirby Post; she became an anti-slavery activist as a young woman. In 1842, she joined the newly-formed Western New York Anti-Slavery Society (WNYASS), a group which her parents had helped to found. After she married, her home, like that of her parents, provided a refuge for fugitive slaves as part the Underground Railroad.

Mary Hallowell left the Society of Friends in the mid-1840s rather than give up her reform activities, as did her parents and many other Rochester Quakers.  Hallowell and her husband were among the many former Rochester-area Quaker anti-slavery activists who met almost every Sunday at the Anthony farm during the late 1840s and early 1850s, where they socialized and discussed their views. In addition to being close friends with Susan B. Anthony, she also worked closely with nationally-known abolitionists like Wendell Phillips and Parker Pillsbury. Like many women of her time, Hallowell was also an advocate of temperance. Hallowell also assisted in the organization of the United Charities of Rochester. She was present at the first women’s rights Convention held in Seneca Falls in July of 1848 and a signer of the Declaration of Sentiments. 

In 1853, Anthony attended the World's Temperance Convention in New York City, which bogged down for three chaotic days in a dispute about whether women would be allowed to speak there. Years later, Anthony observed, 
No advanced step taken by women has been so bitterly contested as that of speaking in public. For nothing which they have attempted, not even to secure the suffrage, have they been so abused, condemned and antagonized.

That same year, Anthony worked with  William Henry Channing, her Unitarian minister, to organize a convention in Rochester to launch a state campaign for improved property rights for married women.  She spoke at meetings, collected signatures for petitions, and lobbied the state legislature. 

In 1854, Anthony's brother, D.R., traveled to Kansas with the New England Emigrant Aid Company.  D.R. became a follower of John Brown, and would make Leavenworth, Kansas his permanent home.
John Brown was an abolitionist who believed armed insurrection was the only way to overthrow the institution of  slavery in the United States.  In the 1850s, he had been a regular visitor in Rochester at the home of Frederick Douglass.  Brown first gained attention when he led small groups of volunteers during the "Bleeding Kansas" crisis. Brown believed that peaceful resistance was ineffective. Dissatisfied with the pacifism encouraged by the organized abolitionist movement, he said, "These men are all talk. What we need is action—action!"  During the Kansas campaign, he and his supporters killed five pro-slavery southerners in what became known as the  Pottawatomie Massacre.


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Miss Anthony decided to abandon the Bloomer costume. The subject had been occupying her sleeping and waking hours for some time, and it was only after a long and agonizing struggle that she persuaded herself to take the step. 
In order to show how very serious a question this had been with the women, it will be necessary to go into a somewhat detailed account of this first movement toward dress reform. The costume consisted of a short skirt and a pair of Turkish trousers gathered at the ankle or hanging straight, and was made of ordinary dress materials. It was first introduced at the various "water cures" to relieve sick and delicate women, often rendered so by their unhealthful mode of dress, and was strongly recommended in the "water cure" journals.  When women began to go into public work, they could not fail to recognize the disadvantages of the unyielding corsets, heavy, quilted and stiffly-starched petticoats, five or six worn at one time to hold out the long, voluminous dress skirts; and to feel that to be consistent they must give freedom to the body. The proprietors of the "water cures" were, for the most part, in touch with all reform movements and their hospitality was freely extended to those engaged in them. In this way the women had an opportunity to see the comfort which the patients enjoyed in their loose, short garments, and began to ask why they also should not adopt what seemed to them a rational dress. 
Hon. Gerrit Smith, of Peterboro, N.Y., the wealthy and influential reformer and philanthropist, became an earnest advocate of this costume, and his daughter, Elizabeth Smith Miller, a beautiful and fashionable woman, was the first to put it on. In Washington she wore it, made of the most elegant materials, during all her father's term in Congress. She was soon followed by his cousin, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and with this social sanction it was adopted in 1851 and '52 by a small number, including Lucy Stone, Amelia Bloomer, Dr. Harriet Austin, Celia Burleigh, Charlotte Wilbour, the Grimk√© sisters, probably less than one hundred in the whole country. In order to be entirely relieved from the care of personal adornment, they also cut off their hair. 
Miss Anthony was the very last to adopt the style. In May, 1852, she wrote Lucy Stone that Mrs. Stanton had offered to make her a present of the costume, but she would not wear it. In December she wrote again, dating her letter from Mrs. Stanton's nursery, "Well, at last I am in short skirt and trousers!" At this time she also sacrificed her abundant brown tresses. The world was not ready for this innovation. There were no gymnasiums or bicycles to plead for the appropriateness of the costume and it was worn chiefly by women who preached doctrines for which the public was no better prepared than for dress reform. The outcry against it extended from one end of the country to the other; the press howled in derision, the pulpit hurled its anathemas and the rabble took up the refrain. On the streets of the larger cities the women were followed by mobs of men and boys, who jeered and yelled and did not hesitate to express their disapproval by throwing sticks and stones and giving three cheers and a tiger ending in the loudest of groans. Sometimes these demonstrations became so violent that the women were obliged to seek refuge in a store and, after the mob had grown tired of waiting and dispersed, they would slip out of the back door and find their way home through the alleys. 
Their husbands and children refused to be seen with them in public, and they were wholly ostracized by other women. Mrs. Bloomer was at this time publishing a paper called the Lily, which was the organ for the reforms of the day. Its columns were freely used to advocate the short dress, the paper thus became the target of attack and, because the costume had no distinctive name, it was christened with that of the editor, much to her grief. Later a substitute for the trousers was adopted, consisting of high shoes with buttoned gaiters fitting in the tops and extending up over the leg, and an effort was made to change the name to the "American costume," but the people would not have it and "Bloomer" it will remain for all time. 
. . . Mrs. Bloomer wore the costume eight years, but very few held out one-fourth of that time. With the exception of Gerrit Smith, all the prominent men, Garrison, Phillips, Channing, May, were bitterly opposed to the short dress and tried to dissuade the women from wearing it by every argument in their power. The costume, however, was adopted as a matter of principle . . .No pen can describe what these women endured for the two or three years in which they tried to establish this principle . . . Mrs. Stanton was the first to capitulate, and as she had tried to induce the others to wear the costume so she endeavored to persuade them to abandon it. She wrote to Miss Anthony and Lucy Stone: "I know what you must suffer in consenting to bow again to the tyranny of fashion, but I know also what you suffer among fashionable people in wearing the short dress; and so, not for the sake of the cause, nor for any sake but your own, take it off! We put it on for greater freedom, but what is physical freedom compared with mental bondage?" 
. . . Miss Anthony appealed to Lucy Stone, who answered: 
"Now, Susan, it is all fudge for anybody to pretend that a cause which deserves
to live is impeded by the length of your skirt. I know, from having tried through half the Union, that audiences listen and assent just as well to one who speaks truth in a short as in a long dress; but I am annoyed to death by people who recognize me by my clothes, and when I travel get a seat by me and bore me for a whole day with the stupidest stuff in the world. Then again, when I go to each new city a horde of boys pursue me and destroy all comfort. . . . Not that I think any cause will suffer, but simply to save myself a great deal of annoyance and not feel when I am a guest in a family that they are mortified if other persons happen to come in. 
"I was at Lucretia Mott's a few weeks ago, and her daughters took up a regular labor with me to make me abandon the dress. They said they would not go in the street with me, and when Grace Greenwood called and others like her, I think it would have been a real relief to them if I had not been there. James and Lucretia defended me bravely. . . 
"To be compelled to travel in rain and snow, mud and dirt, in a long dress would cost me more in every respect than the short dress ever did. I don't think I can abandon it, but I will have two skirts. I have this feeling: Women are in bondage; their clothes are a great hindrance to their engaging in any business which will make them pecuniarily independent, and since the soul of womanhood never can be queenly and noble so long as it must beg bread for its body, is it not better, even at the expense of a vast deal of annoyance, that they whose lives deserve respect and are greater than their garments should give an example by which woman may more easily work out her own emancipation?"
 Miss Anthony herself said in regard to it: 
"I felt the need of some such garments because I was obliged to be out every day in all kinds of weather, and also because I saw women ruined in health by tight lacing and the weight of their clothing; and I hoped to help establish the principle of rational dress. I found it a physical comfort but a mental crucifixion. It was an intellectual slavery; one never could get rid of thinking of herself, and the important thing is to forget self. The attention of my audience was fixed upon my clothes instead of my words. I learned the lesson then that to be successful a person must attempt but one reform. By urging two, both are injured, as the average mind can grasp and assimilate but one idea at a time. I have felt ever since that experience that if I wished my hearers to consider the suffrage question I must not present the temperance, the religious, the dress, or any other besides, but must confine myself to suffrage."  . . . In March, 1854, Miss Anthony decided to go to Washington with Mrs. Rose, and see how the propaganda of equal rights would be received at the capital of the nation. This was her first visit to that city and she enjoyed it, but the meetings were not a financial success. Great prejudice existed against Mrs. Rose on account of her alleged infidelity, there was no interest in the question of woman's rights, and Washington was not a good field for lectures of any sort, Congress furnishing all the oratory for which the public cared. . . . Chaplain Milburn refused to let them have the Representative chamber for a Sunday lecture, "because Mrs. Rose was not a member of any church." Miss Anthony replied that "our country stood for religious as well as civil liberty." He acknowledged the truth of this but still refused the use of the room. . . . They went to Alexandria and to Baltimore, where they had much better houses, but everywhere were warned not to touch on the question of slavery. Miss Anthony was terribly disgusted with the general shiftlessness she saw about the hotels and boarding-houses, and was in a state of pent-up indignation to see on every hand the evils of slavery and not be allowed to lift her voice against them, but later writes in her journal: 

"This noon I ate my dinner without once asking myself, 'Are these human beings who minister to my wants slaves who can be bought and sold?' Yes, even I am growing accustomed to slavery; so much so that I cease to think of its accursed influence and calmly eat from the hands of the bondman without being mindful that he is such. O, Slavery, hateful thing that thou art thus to blunt the keen edge of conscience!" 

Anthony wrote a letter to Garrison that he published in the Liberator in April:

Dear Mr. Garrison

From the land of slavery I write. There is no mistaking the fact.  The saddening, hateful evidences are on every side.  Pro-slavery people, both of the North and the South, have often said to me, "Just go South, and see slavery as it really is, and you will cease to speak of it as you now do."

How strangely blind must that person be, who hates slavery less, by coming in closer contact with its degrading influences!  . . . I have been travelling in company with Ernestine Rose the past three weeks, during which time Mrs. Rose has lectured on Woman's Rights, in Washington, Alexandria, and Baltimore. . . . But few people here seem to be in the least interested in any subject of reform.  The only thing that in any way alarms them is the fear that some word shall be uttered which shall endanger the "pet institution." . . .All are afraid of us; if we don't say any thing, our very presence seems to arouse their suspicions.

May the day soon come when justice and equality shall be fully established between all mankind, without distinction of sex or color! 


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From Baltimore Miss Anthony went to Philadelphia, where she found herself among friends, and as wherever two or three were gathered together in those days they always decided to hold a woman's rights meeting, James Mott sallied forth to arrange for one in the Quaker city, and she comments in her diary: "O, how good it seems to have some one take the burden off my shoulders!" They visited, made excursions, attended anti-slavery meetings and also spiritual seances, which were then attracting great attention. Of the many discussions which arose as to existence or non-existence after death, she writes: "The negative had reason on their side; not an argument could one of us bring, except an intuitive feeling that we should not cease to exist. If it be true that we die like the flower, what a delusion has the race suffered, what a vain dream is life!"
Returning from the South, Anthony and Rose visited the Motts in Philadelphia. Sarah Grimke was also visiting the Motts at the time, and one morning Susan and Sarah went out to look for the location of the tree where William Penn had signed a treaty with the Indians. In the year 1683, under an elm tree immortalized in a painting by Benjamin West, William Penn entered into a treaty of peace with a chief of the Lenape Turtle Clan named Tamanend.  Penn, unarmed in accord with Quaker custom, proclaimed that
We meet on the broad pathway of good faith and good-will; no advantage shall be taken on either side, but all shall be openness and love. We are the same as if one man’s body was to be divided into two parts; we are of one flesh and one blood. 
This peace between the Lenape Turtle Clan and Penn's successors would endure almost a century, until 1782. The famous elm tree under which the treaty was conducted fell during a storm in 1810; afterwards, a monument was erected on the site to commemorate the treaty. The small obelisk remained in the northwest corner of a lumber yard that sat on the site, until actions were taken in 1893 to acquire the land and build the park that exists today. 
L&WofSBA:

In 1854 the Missouri Compromise had been repealed, trouble in Kansas had reached its height, the Know Nothing party was at its zenith, the Whigs were demoralized and the Free Soilers were gaining the ascendency. . . . On October 17th she went to the National Woman's Rights Convention at Philadelphia and gave the report for New York. It was through her determined efforts, overcoming the objection that she was an atheist and declaring that every religion or none should have an equal right on their platform, that Mrs. Rose was made president. She met here for the first time Anna and Adeline Thomson, Sarah Pugh and Mary Grew, and was the guest of James and Lucretia Mott, who entertained twenty-four visitors in their hospitable house during all the convention. This is the quaint invitation sent her by Mrs. Mott: 

"It will give us pleasure to have thy company at 338 Arch street, where we hope thou wilt make thy home. We shall of course be crowded, but we expect thee and shall prepare accordingly. We think such as thyself, devoted to good causes, should not have to seek a home." 

Wm. Lloyd Garrison sat at her right hand at table and Miss Anthony at her left. At the conclusion of each meal she had brought in to her a little cedar tub filled with hot water and washed the silver, glass and fine china, Miss Anthony drying them with the whitest of towels, while the brilliant conversation at the table went on uninterrupted.

Lucretia Mott attended the Fifth Women's Rights Convention at Sansom Street Hall in Philadelphia in October 1854. Ernestine Rose was chosen president in spite of objections to her atheism. Anthony supported her, saying "every religion – or none – should have an equal right on the platform". Rose spoke out to the gathering, saying "Our claims are based on that great and immutable truth, the rights of all humanity." Henry Grew took the speaker's platform to condemn women who demanded equal rights. He described examples from the Bible which assigned to women a subordinate role. Lucretia Mott debated him, saying that he was selectively using the Bible to put upon women a sense of order that originated in man's mind. She said

The pulpit has been prostituted, the Bible has been ill-used... Instead of taking the truths of the Bible in corroboration of the right, the practice has been to turn over its pages to find examples and authority for the wrong.

Anthony rote to Matilda Joslyn Gage that “I know slavery is the all-absorbing question of the
day, still we must push forward this great central question, which underlies all others.” Matilda Gage was an abolitionist, freethinker and suffragist, whose childhood home was a station of the Underground Railroad.  In 1845, she married Henry Gage, a businessman. She faced prison for her actions under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, which criminalized assistance to escaped slaves. Gage became involved in the women's rights movement in 1852 when she attended the National Women's Rights Convention in Syracuse, where she met Susan Anthony.


Anthony took her lecture and petition campaign into almost every county in New York
during the winter of 1855, despite the difficulty of traveling in snowy terrain by horse and buggy.

Miss Anthony left home on Christmas Day, 1854, and held her first meeting at Mayville, Chautauqua Co., the afternoon and evening of the 26th. On her expense account is the item: "56 cents for four pounds of candles to light the courthouse." The weather was cold and damp and the audiences small, although people were present from eight towns, attracted by curiosity to hear a woman. . . .  At Sherman, the next evening, there was a large audience and the diary says: "I never saw more enthusiasm on the subject; even the orthodox churches vied with each other as to which should open its doors." 

The plan adopted was to hold these meetings every other day, allowing for the journey from place to place; but whenever distances would permit, one was held on the intervening day. . . . In the afternoon she would read half of her one and only speech and try to form a society, but there was scarcely a woman to be found who would accept the presidency. In the evening she would read the other half, sell as many tracts as possible and secure names to the petitions. In almost every instance she found the sheriff had put up her posters, inserted notices in the papers, had them read in the churches and prepared the courthouse for her. From only one of the sixty counties did she receive an insulting reply to her letters, and this was from Schoharie. The postmasters also pasted her hand-bills in a conspicuous place, and they were a source of much amusement and comment. Most of the towns never had been visited by a woman speaker, and wagon-loads of people would come from miles around to see the novelty. The audiences were cold but respectful and, as a rule, she was treated decently by the county papers. Occasionally a smart editor would get off the joke about her relationship to Mark Antony, which even then had become threadbare, and invariably the articles would begin, "While we do not agree with the theories which the lady advocates." Most of them, however, paid high tribute to her ability as a speaker and to the clearness, logic and force of her arguments. A quotation from the Rondout Courier will illustrate: 

"At the appointed hour a lady, unattended and unheralded, quietly glided in and ascended the platform. She was as easy and self-possessed as a lady should always be when performing a plain duty, even under 600 curious eyes. Her situation would have been trying to a non-self-reliant woman, for there was no volunteer co-operator. The custodian of the hall, with his stereotyped stupidity, had dumped some tracts and papers on the platform. The unfriended Miss
Anthony gathered them up composedly, placed them on a table disposedly, put her decorous shawl on one chair and a very exemplary bonnet on another, sat a moment, smoothed her hair discreetly, and then deliberately walked to the table and addressed the audience. She wore a becoming black silk dress, gracefully draped and made with a basque waist. She appears to be somewhere about the confines of the fourth luster in age, of pleasing rather than pretty features, decidedly expressive countenance, rich brown hair very effectively and not at all elaborately arranged, neither too tall nor too short, too plump nor too thin--in brief one of those juste milieu persons, the perfection of common sense physically exhibited. Miss Anthony's oratory is in keeping with all her belongings, her voice well modulated and musical, her enunciation distinct, her style earnest and impressive, her language pure and unexaggerated." 

Judging from other friendly notices this must be an accurate description of Miss Anthony at the age of thirty-five. . . .The journal for that year gives a detailed account of the hardships of this winter, one of the coldest and snowiest on record. Many towns were off the railroad and could be reached only by sleigh. After a long ride she would be put for the night into a room without a fire, and in the morning would have to break the ice in the pitcher to take that sponge bath from head to foot which she never omitted. All that she hoped from a financial standpoint was to pay the expenses of the trip, and had she desired fame or honor, she would not have sought it in these remote villages.

. . . At Auburn, Mrs. Stanton came over from Seneca Falls to assist and they were entertained by Martha Coffin Wright.

Martha Coffin was born in Boston in 1806,  the youngest child of the Quakers Anna Folger and Thomas Coffin.  Her older sister was Lucretia Coffin Mott.  Martha married Captain Peter Pelham of Kentucky in 1824 and moved with him to a frontier fort at  Tampa Bay, Florida.  Because he was non-Quaker, she was written out of meeting.  They had a daughter; Peter died in July 1826, leaving Martha a nineteen-year-old widow with an infant child. She moved to upstate New York to teach painting and writing at a school for girls. She later married a young law student named David Wright and had six more children. 

In July 1848, Lucretia Mott visited Martha's home in Auburn, New York.  During that visit, Martha and Lucretia met with two Quaker women and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  They  decided to hold a convention in nearby Seneca Falls, New York to discuss rights for women. After the first convention, Martha Wright participated in a number of state conventions and at the annual national conventions,  often serving as President. She was active in the abolition movement, and her home was part of the Underground Railroad, where she harbored fugitive slaves. Martha Wright became a close friend and supporter of Harriet Tubman.  Martha also became one of Susan Anthony's closest friends.  


L&WofSBA:

She closed her campaign May 1, having made a thorough canvass of fifty-four counties, during which she sold 20,000 pamphlets. The total receipts for the four months were $2,367, and the expenses were $2,291, leaving a balance of $76. Out of this she sent Mr. Phillips the $50 he had advanced, but he returned it saying he thought she had earned it. . . . 

From New York she went to her birthplace, Adams, Mass., and spoke in the Baptist church. Just as she began, to her amazement, her Quaker grandfather eighty-five years old came up the aisle and sat down on the pulpit steps. While he had been very anxious that she should speak and that her lecture should be well advertised she had not expected him to be present, as he was not in the habit of entering an orthodox church. She stopped at once, gave him her hand and assisted him to a seat in the pulpit, where he listened with deep interest. When she finished he said: "Well, Susan, that is a smart talk thee has given us tonight."

Antoinette Brown was the first woman to be ordained as a mainstream protestant minister in the United States.  Antoinette taught school and saved enough money to cover the cost of her tuition at Oberlin College in Ohio. In 1847, after graduating with her bachelor's degree, she lobbied the college for admission to the college’s theological course with its emphasis on Congregationalist ministry. The administration, opposed to the idea of a woman engaging in any kind of formal theological learning and training, eventually capitulated but with a specific set of pre-conditions: Antoinette could enroll in the courses, but she was not to receive formal recognition. 

Antoinette was asked to speak in Ohio and New York about anti-slavery and on women's rights.Without a preaching license following graduation, Brown decided to pause her ministerial ambitions to write for Frederick Douglass' abolitionist paper, The North Star.She spoke in 1850 at the first national women's rights convention, giving a speech that served as the beginning of a speaking tour in which she would address issues such as abolition, temperance, and women's rights. Brown spoke at many of the subsequent annual National Women's Rights Conventions. Brown believed that it was best to remain single, because single women experienced greater levels of independence than married women. After meeting Samuel Blackwell, (the brother of Henry Blackwell, Lucy Stone's husband) her opinions began to change in favor of marriage. They married on January 24, 1856, and had seven children.

L&WofSBA:

To Miss Anthony's great regret, Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown were married. Both were very active in the reforms of the day, and there was such a dearth of effective workers she felt that they could ill be spared. Their semi-apologetic letters and her half-sorrowful, half-indignant remonstrances are both amusing and pathetic. They assure her that marriage will make no difference with their work, that it will only give them more power and earnestness. She knew from observation that the married woman who attempts to do public work must neglect either it or home duties, and that the advent of children necessarily must compel the mother to withdraw practically from outside occupation. She was not opposed to marriage per se, but she felt that such women as Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown might make a sacrifice and consecrate themselves to the great needs of the world which were demanding the services of the ablest women. . . . Lucy Stone, enjoying her honeymoon at the Blackwell home near Cincinnati, wrote in a playful mood: 

"When, after reading your letter, I asked my husband if I might go to Saratoga, only think of it! He did not give me permission, but told me to ask Lucy Stone. I can't get him to govern me at all.... The Washington Union, noticing our marriage, said: 'We understand that Mr. Blackwell, who last fall assaulted a southern lady and stole her slave, has lately married Miss Lucy Stone. Justice, though sometimes tardy, never fails to overtake her victim.' They evidently think him well punished. With the old love and good will I am now and ever, LUCY STONE (only)."
Henry Blackwell was an advocate for social and economic reform, who became one of the founders of the Republican Party. Henry had been born in England; the family moved to Cincinnati in 1838, where Blackwell’s father intended to establish another refinery. However, within months of their arrival, he died, leaving the family destitute. Blackwell’s mother, aunt, and three elder sisters opened a school in their home, while thirteen-year-old Henry and his brother Sam took clerking jobs.Around 1845 he became a partner in a flour mill business; within a year he had made enough profit to purchase a small brick house in Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills section, which remained the Blackwell family home until they moved east in 1856. 

Blackwell met Lucy Stone in Cincinnati when she visited in 1850. In 1853 on a trip to Boston, he became reacquainted with her . Although Stone accepted him as a friend, she rejected him as a suitor because she believed marriage would require her to surrender control and prevent her from pursuing her chosen work. Blackwell determined to convince Stone that marriage to him would require sacrifice of neither individuality nor career. He maintained that a marriage based on equality would enable each of them to accomplish more than they could alone. He wanted to work for the good of humanity, but believed he must wait until he had attained the freedom to command his own time and action-- "pecuniary independence," which he expected to achieve in three years. Through their correspondence over the summer, Blackwell and Stone discussed the nature and faults of the marriage institution and the benefits of a true, ideal marriage. Blackwell offered to arrange a lecture tour for her in the mid-western states of Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky. She accepted, and he wrote to business acquaintances to engage halls and place newspaper notice while personally printing and mailing broadsides for posting. From mid-October 1853 through the first week of January 1854, Stone lectured on women’s rights in more than ten cities in five states, including Cincinnati, Louisville, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Chicago. Newspaper reports described her enthusiastic reception by the largest audiences ever assembled in some of the cities, as well as the influence she was having on those who heard her. During a rendezvous before she returned east, Stone expressed not only her deep gratitude to Blackwell for making her success possible, but also a genuine affection. As the long-distance courtship continued, Blackwell shifted his arguments to how couples could shape their own marriages, regardless of society’s laws. After nine additional months of correspondence and brief meetings, Blackwell met Stone in Pittsburgh for a clandestine three-day rendezvous, after which Stone agreed to marry him.

When they married on May 1, 1855, they read a protest they had written for the ceremony performed by Reverend Thomas W. Higginson; the protest was published in abolitionist newspapers:
While we acknowledge our mutual affection by publicly assuming the relationship of husband and wife, yet in justice to ourselves and a great principle, we deem it a duty to declare that this act on our part implies no sanction of, nor promise of voluntary obedience to such of the present laws of marriage, as refuse to recognize the wife as an independent, rational being, while they confer upon the husband an injurious and unnatural superiority, investing him with legal powers which no honorable man would exercise, and which no man should possess. We protest especially against the laws which give to the husband:
1. The custody of the wife's person.
2. The exclusive control and guardianship of their children.
3. The sole ownership of her personal, and use of her real estate, unless previously settled upon her, or placed in the hands of trustees, as in the case of minors, lunatics, and idiots.
4. The absolute right to the product of her industry.
5. Also against laws which give to the widower so much larger and more permanent interest in the property of his deceased wife, than they give to the widow in that of the deceased husband.
6. Finally, against the whole system by which "the legal existence of the wife is suspended during marriage," so that in most States, she neither has a legal part in the choice of her residence, nor can she make a will, nor sue or be sued in her own name, nor inherit property.
We believe that personal independence and equal human rights can never be forfeited, except for crime; that marriage should be an equal and permanent partnership, and so recognized by law; that until it is so recognized, married partners should provide against the radical injustice of present laws, by every means in their power.
Lucy Stone kept her own name rather than adding her husband's.

L&WofSBA:

Miss Anthony called the Woman's Rights Convention to order in Saratoga, August 15, 1855, and Martha C. Wright was made president. The brilliant array of speakers addressed cultured audiences gathered from all parts of the country at this fashionable resort. The newspapers were very complimentary; the Whig, however, declared, "The business of the convention was to advocate woman's right to do wrong." . . . On September 18 she attended the Massachusetts Woman's Rights Convention, and wrote home:  
"I went into Boston with Lucy Stone and stopped at Francis Jackson's, where we found Antoinette Brown and Ellen Blackwell, a pleasant company in that most hospitable home. As this was my first visit to Boston, Mr. Jackson took us to see the sights; and then we dined with his daughter, Eliza J. Eddy, returning in the afternoon. In the evening, we attended a reception at Garrison's, where we met several of the literati, and were most heartily welcomed by Mrs. Garrison, a noble, self-sacrificing woman, loving and loved, surrounded with healthy, happy children in that model home. Mr. Garrison was omnipresent, now talking with and introducing guests, now soothing some child to sleep, and now, with his wife, looking after the refreshments. There we met Caroline H. Dall, Elizabeth Peabody, Mrs. McCready, the Shakespearian reader, Caroline M. Severance, Dr. Harriot K. Hunt, Charles F. Hovey, Wendell Phillips, Sarah Pugh and others. Having worshipped these distinguished people afar off, it was a great satisfaction to meet them face to face. Saturday morning, with Mr. and Mrs. Garrison and Sarah Pugh, I visited Mount Auburn. What a magnificent resting-place! We could not find Margaret Fuller's monument, which I regretted. I spent Sunday with Charles Lenox Remond at Salem, and we drove to Lynn with his matchless steeds to hear Theodore Parker preach a sermon which filled our souls. We discussed its excellence at James Buffum's where we all dined. Monday Mr. Garrison escorted me to Charlestown; we stood on the very spot where Warren fell and mounted the interminable staircase to the top of Bunker Hill Monument. Then we called on Theodore Parker; found him up three nights of stairs in his library which covers that whole floor of his house; the room is lined with books to the very top--16,000 volumes--and there at a large table in the center of the apartment sat the great man himself. It really seemed audacious in me to be ushered into such a presence and on such a commonplace errand as to ask him to come to Rochester to speak in a course of lectures I am planning, but he received me with such kindness and simplicity that the awe I felt on entering was soon dissipated. I then called on Wendell Phillips in his sanctum for the same purpose. I have invited Ralph Waldo Emerson by letter and all three have promised to come."

Charles Lenox Remond was an African American abolitionist and activist based in Massachusetts. He lectured against slavery across the Northeast, and in the British Isles on an 1840 tour with William Lloyd Garrison.  Remond was born in Salem, Massachusetts to John Remond, a free man of color who was a hairdresser, and Nancy Lenox, daughter of a prominent Boston caterer. In 1830, at the first national Colored Convention in Philadelphia, Remond and Frederick Douglass proposed a resolution that blacks should leave "en masse" any church "that discriminated against them in seating or at the communion table." Their resolution was adopted.  Remond and his sister Sarah Parker Remond were anti-slavery lecturers; Anthony was the agent who made the arrangements for their speeches, lodging and travel. He wrote her from Cincinnati:

Cincinnati, Ohio, November 26, 1857 .
My dear friend Susan B. Anthony,By this you will learn the whereabouts of the Remond's and all there is of them, and after all it is not enough to make any fuss about. Still some editors and scribblers are foolish to do so, and if it does them any good I won't find fault. 
Now in the first place I want to hope you are, together with your entire family in the enjoyment of good health and a large share of worldly prosperity. Sarah is well and I find myself improved since our seperation in Cleveland in regard to meetings since that time, with the exception of a few places. I cannot say much, for the weather & travelling has every way unpleasant and uncomfortable, and getting money or subscribers seems out of the question.  
We seperated with our friend Mr. Foss on tuesday week past and started for this City by the way of Columbus, and where at we held or tried to hold three meetings but all of which proved miserable failures, the entire citizens both colored & white gave us a rascally letting alone. And this you know uses me up a little quicker than any other demonstration, and if I could have got hold of about five hundred of the twice dead citizens on the last evening of our stay, I think I would have piled the epithets upon them pretty thick for I do consider it a little the most heartless place I ever visited. 
In this City we have held three meetings very well attended by the colored people and tomorrow (Friday) evening we hold our fourth and last, and on Saturday morning we start for Carrol and Harrison Counties whereat we remain six or eight days, and then go into Pennsylvania on our way home, and shall probably reach home about the 20th of next month, and after being at home a few weeks shall be ready I hope to start again for another campaine. 
. . . At any rate please drop me a line intimating your plans for the winter. Its possible I am expected to spend the winter in Vermont but if what I hear is true of the climate of that state and among the mountains especially, I should not expose my health by going there, and I prefer Western N. York any how, at any rate if the party of Yourself— Aaron, Sarah and my self can be made I am in for it. 
So you can depend upon me if you wish as one who is willing to be a soldier under your generalship. now that ain't flattery greater than you can bear is it? for if it impresses you that way, I have not designed it. 
. . . When you see Isaac & Amy please give my love to them, and tell them I hope they will not allow Rochester to slumber or sleep through the winter but have the agitators in again who will torment them within an inch of their lives. Remember me also, very kindly to your parents and Sister Mary and in the meantime, I remain Very Truly, Yr friend

C. Lenox Remond
Anthony agreed to become the New York State agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society with the understanding that she would also continue her advocacy of women's rights. Anthony organized anti-slavery meetings throughout the state under banners that read "No compromise with slaveholders. Immediate and Unconditional Emancipation."

L&WofSBA:

Anthony started with Mrs. Gage January 4, 1856. As many of their meetings were off the railroad, there was a hard siege ahead of them. The diary says: 
"January 8: Terribly cold and windy; only a dozen people in the hall; had a social chat with them and returned to our hotel. Lost more here at Dansville than we gained at Mount Morris. So goes the world.... January 9: Mercury 12° below zero but we took a sleigh for Nunda. Trains all blocked by snow and no mail for several days, yet we had a full house and good meeting."
HALL'S CORNERS, January 11, 8-1/2 o'clock. Just emerged from a long line of snowdrifts and stepped at this little country tavern, supped and am now roasting over a hot stove. Oh, oh, what an experience! No trains running and we have had a thirty-six mile ride in a sleigh. Once we seemed lost in a drift full fifteen feet deep. The driver went on ahead to a house, and there we sat shivering. When he returned we found he had gone over a fence into a field, so we had to dismount and plough through the snow after the sleigh; then we reseated ourselves, but oh, the poor horses!
WENDTE'S STATION, January 14, 12-1/2 o'clock P. M. We stopped at a little tavern where the landlady was not yet twenty and had a baby fifteen months old. Her supper dishes were not washed and her baby was crying, but she was equal to the occasion. She rocked the little thing to sleep, washed the dishes and got our supper; beautiful white bread, butter, cheese, pickles, apple and mince pie, and excellent peach preserves. She gave us her warm bedroom to sleep in, and on a row of pegs hung the loveliest embroidered petticoats and baby clothes, all the work of that young woman's fingers, while on a rack was her ironing perfectly done, wrought undersleeves, baby dresses, embroidered underwear, etc. She prepared a 6 o'clock breakfast for us, fried pork, mashed potatoes, mince pie, and for me, at my especial request, a plate of delicious baked sweet apples and a pitcher of rich milk.
Now for the moral of this story: When we came to pay our bill, the dolt of a husband took the money and put it in his pocket. He had not lifted a hand to lighten that woman's burdens, but had sat and talked with the men in the bar room, not even caring for the baby, yet the law gives him the right to every dollar she earns, and when she needs two cents to buy a darning needle she has to ask him and explain what she wants it for.
Here where I am writing is a similar case. The baby is very sick with the whooping cough; the wife has dinner to get for all the boarders, and no help; husband standing around with his hands in his pockets. She begs him to hold the baby for just ten minutes, but before the time is up he hands it back to her, saying, "Here, take this child, I'm tired." Yet when we left he was on hand to receive the money and we had to give it to him. We paid a man a dollar to take us to the station, and saw the train pull out while we were stuck in a snowdrift ten feet deep, with a dozen men trying to shovel a path for us; so we had to come back. In spite of this terrible weather, people drive eight and ten miles to our meetings.
. . . The public was not in a mood for woman's conventions. The presidential
campaign was at its height, with three tickets in the field, and the troubles in Kansas were approaching a crisis. In September came the news of the raid at Osawatomie and that thirty out of the fifty settlers had been killed by the "border ruffians." This brought especial gloom to the Anthony homestead, as the dispatches also stated that the night before the encounter, John Brown had slept in the cabin of the young son Merritt, and for weeks they were unable to learn whether he were among the thirty who died or the twenty who lived.  At last the welcome letters came which related how the coffee was just ready to be put on the table in the cabin when the sound of firing was heard, and how without waiting to drink it, John Brown and his little band rushed to the conflict. The old hero gave strict orders to Merritt not to leave the house, as he had been very ill, but as soon as they were out of sight he seized his gun, staggered down to the bank of the Marais du Cygne and was soon in the thick of the fight. When it was over he crawled on his hands and knees back to his cabin, where he lay ill for weeks, entirely alone and uncared for. A letter from Miss Anthony to this brother shows the tender, domestic side of her nature, which the public is seldom permitted to see:

"How much rather would I have you at my side tonight than to think of your daring and enduring greater hardships even than our Revolutionary heroes. Words can not tell how often we think of you or how sadly we feel that the terrible crime of this nation against humanity is being avenged on the heads of our sons and brothers.... Wednesday night, Mr. Mowry, who was in the battle, arrived in town. Like wild fire the news flew. D.R. was in pursuit of him when father reached his office. He thought you were not hurt. Mother said that night, 'I can go to sleep now there is a hope that Merritt still lives;' but father said: 'I suppose I shall sleep when nature is tired out, but the hope that my son has survived brings little solace to my soul while the cause of all this terrible wrong remains untouched.' 
. . . "Evening.--Father brings the Democrat giving a list of killed, wounded and missing, and the name of our Merritt is not therein, but oh! the slain are sons, brothers and husbands of others as dearly loved and sadly mourned. Later.--Your letter is in to-day's Democrat, and the Evening Advertiser says there is 'another letter from our dear brother in this morning's Shrieker for Freedom.' The tirade is headed 'Bleeding Kansas.' The Advertiser, Union and American all ridicule the reports from Kansas, and even say your letters are gotten up in the Democrat office for political effect. I tell you, Merritt, we have 'border ruffians' here at home--a little more refined in their way of outraging and torturing the lovers of freedom, but no less fiendish."
. . . The Seventh National Woman's Rights Convention met in the Broadway Tabernacle, New York, November 25 and 26. Lucy Stone presided and Wendell Phillips was one of the prominent speakers. The election was over, the mob spirit temporarily quieted, and the convention was not disturbed except when certain of the men attempted to make long speeches or introduce politics. The audience had come to hear women plead their own cause and insisted that this should be the program.
In 1856, Susan Anthony's youngest brother, Merritt, followed John Brown to Osawatomie in the Kansas Territory to defend settlers against "border ruffians"  He fought there and was injured in the raid.  The Battle of Osawatomie took place on August 30, 1856 when  hundreds of "Border Ruffians" led by John W. Reid attacked the town of Osawatomie.  Reid was intent on destroying the free state settlement and then moving on Topeka and Lawrence  to do more of the same.  John Brown learned of the raiders when they shot his son Frederick; with 40 or so men, Brown tried to defend the town against the pro-slavery partisans, causing heavy casualties before being forced to withdraw.  The town of Osawatomie was then looted and burned. 

Like his brother, D.R., Merritt would settle permanently in Kansas.  Their youngest sister, Mary, a teacher, returned to Rochester and began teaching in the city's public schools.


Susan Anthony's favorite book was Aurora Leigh, a novel/poem published by Elizabeth
Barrett Browning in 1856. Anthony would carry Aurora Leigh with her as she travelled through America campaigning for women's rights; she interpreted it as a vision of a new woman. Near the end of her life, Anthony presented her treasured copy to the Library of Congress in 1902 and wrote on the flyleaf:
This book was carried in my satchel for years and read & re-read. ... With the hope that Women may more & more be like ‘Aurora Leigh’.
She underlined the following passage:

The world waits
For help. 
 Beloved, let us love so well,
Our work shall still be better for our love,
And still our love be sweeter for our work
And both commended, for the sake of each
By all true workers and true lovers born.

L&WofSBA:
The "Dred Scott decision" by the Supreme Court of the United States, declaring "slaves to be not persons but property" and the Missouri Compromise to be unconstitutional and void, had roused a whirlwind of indignation throughout the Northern States. Those who were seeking to prevent the extension of slavery into the Territories were stigmatized by their opponents as traitors defying the Constitution. While this supported the claim of the Garrisonians that the Constitution did sanction slavery and protect the slaveholder, yet the majority of the anti-slavery people were not ready to accept the doctrine of "immediate and unconditional emancipation, even at the cost of a dissolution of the Union." The Republicans had polled so large a vote as to indicate that further extension of slavery could be prevented through that organization, and they were excessively hostile toward any element which threatened to antagonize or weaken it. 
Thus into whatever town Miss Anthony took her little band, the backbone of the Garrison party, they had to encounter not only the hatred of the pro-slavery people, but also the enmity of this new and rapidly increasing Republican element, which at this time did not stand for the abolition of slavery, but simply for no further extension. 
In her speech, "Make the Slaves Case our Own," she said
It is argued that we of the North are not responsible for the crime of slave-holding - that the guilty ones dwell in the South . . . thus do we put the slaves case far away from us - forgetting that he is a human being like ourselves - forgetting that we, ourselves, are bound up with the slave-holder in his guilt - forgetting that we of the North stand pledged to the support of the Federal Government, the tenure of whose existence is vested in the one idea of protection to the slave-holder, in his slave property.

She joined the Congregational Friends, an organization that was created by Quakers in western New York after the 1848 split among Quakers there. This group soon ceased to operate as a religious body, however, and changed its name to the Friends of Human Progress, organizing annual meetings in support of social reform that welcomed everyone, including "Christians, Jews, Mahammedans, and Pagans". Anthony served as secretary of this group in 1857.
L&WofSBA:
Her speeches from that time were made from notes or headings and among those used during the winter of 1857 are the following: 
"Our mission is to deepen sympathy and convert it into right action; to show that the men and women of the North are slave-holders, those of the South slave-owners. 
"The guilt rests on the North equally with the South, therefore our work is to rouse the sleeping consciences of the North.... No one is ignorant now. . . . We ask you to feel as if you, yourselves, were the slaves. . . . 
"We preach revolution; the politicians reform. We say disobey every unjust law; the politician says obey them, and meanwhile labor constitutionally for repeal." 

. . . Abby Hutchinson, the only sister in the famous family of singers, wrote from
their Jersey home, Dawnwood: "I want so much to help you; I have longed to do some good with my voice but public life wears me out very fast." Nevertheless she came and sang for them. Mrs. Stanton and Mrs. Brown Blackwell brought new babies into the world a few weeks before the convention, to Miss Anthony's usual discomfiture. She wrote to the latter: "Mrs. Stanton sends her love to you and says if you are going to have a large family, go right on and finish up as she has done. She has only devoted eighteen years out of the very heart of her existence to this great work. But I say, stop now."

...Brief records in the little diary say: "Sister Mary and I passed New Year's Day, 1859, most quietly and happily in the dear farm-home. Mother is in the East with sister Hannah, and father dined in the city with sister Guelma, who sent us a plate of her excellent turkey.... In the afternoon Mary and I drove to Frederick Douglass' and had a nice visit; stayed to tea and listened to a part of his new lecture on "Self-Made Men."...Father and Mary gone to their work in the city, and I am writing on my lecture "The True Woman." .... Ten degrees below zero. . . . Just helped two fugitive slaves, perhaps genuine and perhaps not.... Took tea with the Hallowells."

Anthony summarized her image of the "new true woman" in her speech:
The true woman will not be exponent of another, or allow another to be such for her.  She will be her own individual self  - do her own individual work -  stand or fall by her own individual wisdom and strength. . . . 
The old idea that man was made for himself and woman for him-that he is the oak, she the vine, he the head, she the heart, he the great conservator of wisdom principle, she of love - will be reverently laid aside with other long-since-exploded philosophies of the ignorant past. 
She will proclaim . . that women equally with man was made for her own individual happiness, to develop every power of her three-fold nature, to use, worthily, every talent given her by God, in the great work of life, to the best advantage of herself and the race.
L&WofSBA:

 Among Miss Anthony's many schemes for regenerating the world was one to have a Free church in Rochester, after the manner of Theodore Parker's in Boston, similar to an ethical society, where no doctrines should be preached and all should be welcome, contributing what they chose. This was in her mind for years, and at the beginning of 1859 she engaged Corinthian Hall for Sunday evenings, her good friend, William A. Reynolds, as usual making her a reduced rate; and here Antoinette Brown Blackwell and Parker Pillsbury each preached for a month. . .She related a significant incident which occurred when she and Antoinette Blackwell spent a Sunday at Gerrit Smith's. He had established at Peterboro and was maintaining at his own expense a Free church. Mrs. Blackwell, under the influence of Theodore Parker, Chapin and other liberal thinkers, had become very broad in her doctrines, and was greatly pleased at an opportunity to preach for Mr. Smith, thinking to find perfect appreciation and sympathy. After church Miss Anthony went to her room and found her weeping bitterly, but she begged to be left to herself. When more composed she sent for her and told how in the midst of her sermon, when she felt herself surpassing anything she ever had done, she heard a gentle snore, and looking down beheld Mr. Smith sound asleep! She was terribly disappointed and now had made up her mind there was but one thing for the human soul, and that was to live absolutely within itself. There is no friend, no relative, who can enter into the depths of another individuality. A husband and wife may be very happy together; in all the little occurrences which really make up the sum of everyday life, they may be perfectly congenial; but there will be times when each will feel the other separated by an immeasurable distance. Henceforth she would enjoy what solace there was in her religious faith for herself but would expect no other soul to share it with her. "This was to me a wonderful revelation," said Miss Anthony, "and I realized, as never before, that in our most sacred hours we dwell indeed in a world of solitude." 

. . . To her brother Daniel R., in Kansas, who was somewhat skeptical on the woman question, she sent this strong letter: 

"Even the smallest human right denied, is large. The fact that the ruling class withhold this right is prima facie evidence that they deem it of importance for good or for evil. In either case, therefore, the human being is outraged. . . .For any human being or class of human beings, whether black, white, male or female, tamely to submit to the denial of their right to self-government shows that the instinct of liberty has been blotted out. You blunder on this question of woman's rights just where thousands of others do. You believe woman unlike man in her nature; that conditions of life which any man of spirit would sooner die than accept are not only endurable to woman but are needful to her fullest enjoyment. . .  

"It was not because the three-penny tax on tea was so exorbitant that our Revolutionary fathers fought and died, but to establish the principle that such taxation was unjust. It is the same with this woman's revolution; though every law were as just to woman as to man, the principle that one class may usurp the power to legislate for another is unjust, and all who are now in the struggle from love of principle would still work on until the establishment of the grand and immutable truth, 'All governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.'" 

Speaking at the Ninth National Women’s Rights Convention on May 12, 1859, Anthony asked "Where, under our Declaration of Independence, does the Saxon man get his power to deprive all women and Negroes of their inalienable rights?"

L&WofSBA:
She spoke in various towns all the way to New York where she arrived in time to attend the Anti-Slavery Anniversary and make final arrangements for the convention in Mozart Hall, May 12. She had written asking Lucretia Mott to preside, who answered, "I am sure there needs not a better presiding officer than thyself," but agreed to come. When the hour arrived the hall was so packed that it was impossible for Mrs. Mott to reach the platform and Miss Anthony was obliged to open the meeting. This convention, like several which preceded it, was greatly disturbed by noise and interruptions from the audience, until finally it was turned over to Wendell Phillips who "knew better than any one else how to play with and lash a mob and thrust what he wished to say into their long ears." At the end of his speech Miss Anthony immediately adjourned the convention, to prevent violent demonstrations.
. . . While at Easton among her old friends Miss Anthony attended Quaker meeting and the spirit moved her to speak very forcibly, as she relates in a letter: "A young Quaker preacher from Virginia, who happened to be there, said: 'Christ was no agitator, but a peacemaker; George Fox was no agitator; the Friends at the South follow these examples and are never disturbed by fanaticism.' This was more than I could bear; I sprung to my feet and quoted: 'I came into the world not to bring peace but a sword.... Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites that devour widow's houses!' Read the New Testament, and say if Christ was not an agitator. Who is this among us crying 'peace, peace, when there is no peace?'--and sat down." 
. . . On December 2, 1859, occurred that terrible tragedy in the country's history,
the execution of John Brown for the raid on the United States arsenal at Harper's Ferry. The nation was shaken as by a great earthquake. Its dreadful import was realized perhaps by none so strikingly as by that little band of Abolitionists who never had wavered in their belief that slavery must ultimately disrupt the Union. When the country was paralyzed with horror and uncertainty, they alone dared call public meetings of mourning and indignation. It was natural that in Rochester they should turn to Susan B. Anthony for leadership. Without a moment's hesitation for fear of consequences she engaged Corinthian Hall and set about arranging a meeting for the evening of that day. . . .She went from door to door selling tickets and collecting money. Samuel D. Porter, a prominent member of the Liberty party, assisted her, as did that circle of staunch Quaker friends who never failed her in any undertaking; Frederick Douglass had been obliged to flee to England. An admission fee of fifty cents kept out the rabble, and not more than 300 were present. The masses of the people, even those in full sympathy, were afraid to attend.

. . . The Tenth National Woman's Rights Convention assembled in Cooper Institute, May 10, 1860. Miss Anthony called it to order and read a full and interesting report of the work and progress of the past year. The usual eloquent speeches were made by Phillips, Mrs. Rose, Rev. Beriah Green, Mary Grew, Rev. Samuel Longfellow, brother of the poet, and others.

According to the notes for the convention,
ERNESTINE; L. ROSE being introduced, said:
Frances Wright was the first woman in this country who spoke on the equality of the sexes. She had indeed a hard task before her. The elements were entirely unprepared. She had to break up the time-hardened soil of conservatism, and her reward was sure-the same reward that is always bestowed upon those who are. in the vanguard of any great movement. She was subjected to public odium, slander, and persecution.

But these were not the only things that she received. Oh, she had her reward!-that reward of which no enemies could deprive her, which no slanders could make less precious-the eternal reward of knowing that she had done her duty; the reward springing from the consciousness of right, of endeavoring to benefit unborn generations.
. . . The time will come when society will have out grown its old prejudices, and stepped with one foot, at least, upon the elevated platform on which she took her position.

. . . The women said: "We have rights enough; we want no more " - and the men, as a matter of course, echoed it, and said: " You have rights enough; nay, you have too many already." (Laughter).

But by perseverance in sending petitions to the Legislature, and, at the same time, enlightening the public mind on the subject, we at last accomplished our purpose. We had to adopt the method which physicians sometimes use, when they are called to a patient who is so hopelessly sick that he is unconscious of his pain and suffering. We had to describe to women their own position, to explain to them the burdens that rested so heavily upon them, and through these means, as a wholesome irritant, we roused public opinion on the subject, and through public opinion, we acted upon the Legislature, and in 1848-'49, they gave us the great boon for which we asked, by enacting that a woman who possessed property previous to marriage, or obtained it after marriage, should be allowed to hold it in her own name.

. . . In 1848 we had the first Woman's Rights Convention, and then some of our papers thought it only a very small affair, called together by a few " strong-minded women," and would pass away like a nine-days' wonder. They little knew woman! They little knew that if woman takes anything earnestly in her hands, she will not lay it aside unaccomplished (Applause).

We have continued our Conventions ever since. . . .We have been often asked. "What is the use of Conventions? Why talk? Why not go to work?"

Just as if the thought did not precede the act! Those who act without previously thinking, are not good for much. Thought is first required, then the expression of it, and that leads to action; and action based upon thought never needs to be reversed; it is lasting and profitable, and produces the desired effect.

I know that there are many who take advantage of this movement, and then say: "You are doing nothing; only talking." Yes, doing nothing! We have only broken up the ground and sowed the seed; they are reaping the benefit, and yet they tell us we have done nothing!

Mrs. Swisshelm, who has proclaimed herself to be "no woman's rights woman," has accepted a position as inspector of logs and lumber. (Laughter). Well, I have no objection to her having that avocation, if she have a taste and capacity for it-far from it. But she has accepted still more, and I doubt not with a great deal more zest and satisfaction-the five hundred dollars salary; and I hope she will enjoy it. Then, having accepted both the office and the salary, she folds her arms, and says: " I am none of your strong-minded women; I don't go for woman's rights." Well, she is still welcome to it.

I have not the slightest objection that those who proclaim themselves not strong-minded, should still reap the benefit of a strong mind (applause and laughter); it is for them we work.
. . . You have been told, and much more might be said on the subject, that already the Woman's Rights platform has upon it lawyers, ministers, and statesmen-men who are among the highest in the nation. I need not mention Win. Lloyd Garrison, or Wendell Phillips; but there are others, those even who are afraid of the name of reformer who have stood upon our platform. Brady! Who would ever have expected it? Chapin! Beecher! Think of it for a moment! A minister advocating the rights of woman, even her right at the ballot-box ! What has done it? Our agitation has purified the atmosphere, and enabled them to see the injustice that is done to woman.
L&WofSBA:
The warmest gratitude was expressed "toward Susan B. Anthony, through whose untiring exertions and executive ability the recent laws for women were secured." A hearty laugh was enjoyed at the expense of the man who shouted from the audience, "She'd a great deal better have been at home taking care of her husband and children." 

The proceedings were pleasant and harmonious, but next morning the whole atmosphere was changed and Elizabeth Cady Stanton did it with a little set of resolutions declaring that, under certain conditions, divorce was justifiable. . . . This speech set the convention on fire. Antoinette Blackwell spoke strongly in opposition, Mrs. Rose eloquently in favor. Mr. Phillips was not satisfied even with the motion to lay the resolutions on the table but moved to expunge them from the journal of the convention, which, he said, had nothing to do with laws except those that rested unequally upon women and the laws of divorce did not. It seems incredible that Mr. Phillips could have taken this position, when by the law the wife had no legal claim upon either property or children in case of divorce, and, even though the innocent party, must go forth into the world homeless and childless; in the majority of States she could not sue for divorce in her own name nor could she claim enough of the community property to pay the costs of the suit.

. . . All the prominent newspapers had editorials favoring one side or the other. It produced the first unpleasantness in the ranks of those who had stood together for the past decade. Greeley launched thunderbolts against the right of divorce under any circumstances, and Mrs. Stanton replied to him in his own paper. Lucy Stone, who just before the convention had written to Mrs. Stanton, "That is a great, grand question, may God touch your lips," now took sides with Phillips. To Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony came letters from far and wide, both approving and condemning. Mrs. William H. Seward and her sister, Mrs. Worden, wrote that it not only was a germane question to be discussed at the convention but that there could be no such thing as equal rights with the existing conditions of marriage and divorce. From Lucretia Mott came the encouraging words: 

"I was rejoiced to have such a defense of the resolutions as yours. I have the fullest confidence in the united judgment of Elizabeth Stanton and Susan Anthony and I am glad they are so vigorous in the work." 

Parker Pillsbury sent a breezy note: "What a pretty kettle of hot water you tumbled into at New York! Your marriage and divorce speeches and resolutions you must have learned in the school of a Wollstonecraft or a Sophie Arnaut. You broke the very heart of the portly Evening Post and nearly drove the Tribune to the grave."

. . . During the summer she visited again her birthplace at Adams, Mass., writing home: 

"Found grandfather working in the oat field, just think of it, ninety-and-a-half years old! But in honor of my arrival he remained home and visited all the afternoon. How hard the women here work, and how destitute they are of all the conveniences. It is perfectly barbarous when they have plenty of money. I borrowed a calico dress and sunbonnet and with the cousins climbed to the very top of Old Greylock. Later I visited the 'Daniel House,' as grandfather calls our old home. I rambled through the orchard, but the spice-apple tree is dead and the little tree in the corner that we children loved so well. I visited the old spring up in the pasture, and thought how many times the tired feet of mother and grandmother had trod those paths--and the little brook runs over the stones as merry and beautiful as ever."
In a letter to Lucy Stone, Anthony said, 

The Men, even the best of them, seem to think the Women's Rights question should be waived for the present. So let us do our own work, and in our own way.
 In 1860, when Anthony assisted a woman who had fled an abusive husband, Garrison insisted that the woman give up the child she had brought with her, pointing out that the law gave husbands complete control of children. Anthony reminded Garrison that he helped slaves escape to Canada in violation of the law and said, "Well, the law which gives the father ownership of the children is just as wicked and I'll break it just as quickly."


Phoebe Harris had been born into a prominent family; she married Charles Abner Phelps, who completed Harvard Medical School and went into practice in Boston with his father. She raised their three daughters as he pursued his political ambitions. He was elected to the Massachusetts state legislature in 1855 and eventually rose to the position of speaker.



The abuse began in 1858, according to Phoebe's written accounts. When she caught him with a mistress at their Beacon Hill home and confronted him about his extramarital affairs, he threw her down the stairs.  He later had her committed to the McLean Asylum for the Insane in Belmont, Massachusetts. She protested that she was not crazy, but it was her word against a powerful politician and a medical doctor. She was held in the asylum for nearly 18 months, and was not allowed any visits from family or friends. She eventually managed to prove her sanity and was released to the care of her brother, Ira Harris, in Albany. Ira Harris was a judge, state Assemblyman, U.S. senator, and president of Union College.

L&WofSBA:
At the close of 1860 an incident occurred which attracted wide attention and strikingly illustrated Miss Anthony's unflinching courage and firm persistence when she felt she was right. One evening in December she was in Albany at the depository with Lydia Mott when a lady, heavily veiled, entered and in a long, confidential talk told her story, which in brief was as follows: 

She was the sister of a United States senator and of a prominent lawyer, and in her younger days was principal of the academy and had written several books. She married a distinguished member of the Massachusetts Senate and they had three children. Having discovered that her husband was unfaithful to her and confronted him with the proofs, he was furious and threw her down stairs, and thereafter was very abusive.  When she threatened to expose him, he had her shut up in an insane asylum, a very easy thing for husbands to do in those days. She was there a year and a half, but at length, through a writ of habeas corpus, was released and taken to the home of her brother. Naturally she longed to see her children and the husband permitted the son to visit her a few weeks. When she had to give him up she begged for the thirteen-year-old daughter, who was allowed to remain for two weeks, and then the father demanded her return. The mother pleaded for longer time but was refused. She prayed her brother to interfere but he answered: 

"It is of no use for you to say another word. The child belongs by law to the father and it is your place to submit. If you make any more trouble about it we'll send you back to the asylum." 

Then in her desperation she took the child and fled from the house, finding refuge with a Quaker family, where she stayed until she learned that her hiding-place was discovered, and now as a last resort she came to these women. They assured the unhappy mother that they would help her and, upon making careful inquiry among her friends, found that, while all believed her sane, no one was willing to take her part because of the prominence of her brothers and husband. Finally it was decided that Miss Anthony should go with the mother and child to New York and put them in a safe place, so they were directed to disguise themselves and be at the train on Christmas afternoon. Miss Anthony went on board and soon saw a woman in an old shawl, dilapidated bonnet and green goggles, accompanied by a poorly dressed child, and she knew that so far all was well, but she found the woman in a terrible state of nervousness. She had met her brother coming out of another car where he had just placed his young son to return to boarding-school, after a happy vacation at home, while his sister with her child was fleeing like a criminal; but fortunately he had not recognized her. 

Miss Anthony and her charges reached New York at 10 o'clock at night and went through snow and slush to a hotel but were refused admittance because it did not take women "unaccompanied by a gentleman." They made their weary way to another, only to be met with a similar refusal. Finally she thought of an acquaintance who had had a wretched experience with a bad husband and was now divorced, and she felt that sympathy would certainly impel this woman to give them shelter. When they reached the house they found her keeping boarders and she said all would leave if they learned she was "harboring a runaway wife." It was then midnight. They went in the cold arid darkness to a hotel on Broadway, but here the excuse was made that the house was full. Miss Anthony's patience had reached its limit and she declared: "I know that is not so. You can give us a place to sleep or we will sit in this office all night." The clerk threatened to call the police. "Very well," was the reply, "we will sit here till they come and take us to the station." At last he gave them a room without a fire, and there, cold, wet and exhausted, they remained till morning. Then they started out again on foot, as they had not enough money left to hire a carriage. 



They went to Mrs. Rose but she could not accommodate them; then to Abby Hopper Gibbons, who sent them to Elizabeth F. Ellet, saying if they could not find quarters to come back and she would care for them. Mrs. Ellet was not at home. All day they went from place to place but no one was willing to accept the responsibility of sheltering them, and at night, utterly worn out, they returned to Mrs. Gibbons. She promised to keep the mother and child until other arrangements could be effected, and Miss Anthony left them there and took the 10 o'clock train back to Albany. She arrived toward morning, tired out in mind and body, but soon was made comfortable by the ministrations of her faithful friend Lydia.


It was not long before the family became convinced that Miss Anthony knew the whereabouts of mother and child and then began a siege of persecution. She had at this time commenced that never-to-be-forgotten series of anti-slavery conventions which were mobbed in every town from Buffalo to Albany. In the midst of all this excitement and danger, she was constantly receiving threats from the brothers that they would have her arrested on the platform. They said she had broken the laws and they would make her pay the penalty; that their sister was an "ugly" woman and nobody could live with her. . . . If she had been harassed only by these men, it would have caused her no especial worry, but letters and telegrams from friends poured in urging her to reveal the hiding-place and, most surprising of all, both Garrison and Phillips wrote that she had abducted a man's child and must surrender it! Mr. Phillips remonstrated: "Let us urge you, therefore, at once to advise and insist upon this woman's returning to her relatives. Garrison concurs with me fully and earnestly in this opinion, thinking that our movement's repute for good sense should not be compromised by any such mistake." In a letter from Mr. Garrison covering six pages of foolscap, he argued: "Our identification with the woman's rights movement and the anti-slavery cause is such that we ought not unnecessarily involve them in any hasty and ill-judged, no matter how well-meant, efforts of our own. We, at least, owe to them this--that if for any act of ours we are dragged before courts we ought to be able to show that we acted discreetly as well as with good intentions." Both men spoke kindly and affectionately but they were unable to view the question from a mother's or even from a woman's standpoint. Miss Anthony replied to them: "I can not give you a satisfactory statement on paper, but I feel the strongest assurance that all I have done is wholly right. Had I turned my back upon her I should have scorned myself. In all those hours of aid and sympathy for that outraged woman I remembered only that I was a human being. That I should stop to ask if my act would injure the reputation of any movement never crossed my mind, nor will I now allow such a fear to stifle my sympathies or tempt me to expose her to the cruel, inhuman treatment of her own household. Trust me that as I ignore all law to help the slave, so will I ignore it all to protect an enslaved woman." 

At the anti-slavery convention in Albany Mr. Garrison pleaded with her to give up the child and insisted that she was entirely in the wrong. He said: "Don't you know the law of Massachusetts gives the father the entire guardianship and control of the children?" 

"Yes, I know it," she replied, "and does not the law of the United States give the slaveholder the ownership of the slave? And don't you break it every time you help a slave to Canada?" "Yes, I do." 

"Well, the law which gives the father the sole ownership of the children is just as wicked and I'll break it just as quickly. You would die before you would deliver a slave to his master, and I will die before I will give up that child to its father."  

 . . . Miss Anthony wrote at this time: "Only to think that in this great trial I should be hounded by the two men whom I adore and reverence above all others!" 
Through all this ordeal her father sustained her position, saying: "My child, I think you have done absolutely right, but don't put a word on paper or make a statement to any one that you are not prepared to face in court. Legally you are wrong, but morally you are right, and I will stand by you." 
Mrs. Elizabeth F. Ellet, author of Women of the Revolution and other works, cared for and protected the unfortunates, obtained sewing for the mother and helped her to live in peaceful seclusion for a year. She was placed in the family of a physician who watched her closely and testified, as did all connected with her, that she was perfectly sane. According to her letters still in existence, the husband took possession of her funds in bank, drew all the money due to her from her publishers and forbade them to pay her any more from the sale of her books, as he had a legal right to do. In this extremity one of the brothers sent her some money through Miss Mott, who stood as firm as Miss Anthony in the face of threat and persecution. At length, feeling safe, the mother let the little girl go to Sunday-school alone and at the door of the church she was suddenly snatched up, put into a close carriage and in a few hours placed in possession of the father. The mother and her friends made every effort to secure the child, but the law was on the side of the father and they never succeeded.
Phelps hired security agents to track down and seize the children, and return them to his Boston home.  Anthony helped Phoebe settle in Philadelphia, where she supported herself with sewing jobs and writing projects. She was the author of several books. 

Phoebe died in 1889, a successful children's book author who had happily reunited with her grown daughters.

When Phelps died in 1902 in Boston, his obituary mentioned his wife's name and nothing else about her. He was never charged with domestic violence.








The world waits
For help.   
Beloved, let us love so well, 
Our work shall still be better for our love, 
And still our love be sweeter for our work 
And both commended, for the sake of each 
By all true workers and true lovers born
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh 





2 comments:

  1. Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.

    ReplyDelete