Birth of Susan B. Anthony

U.S. #784 was issued to honor the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820, in Adams, Massachusetts.

Anthony’s father was a Quaker and abolitionist that taught all of his children how to be self-sufficient from an early age. When Anthony was six, her father moved the family to Battenville, New York to manage a cotton mill. She then attended – and later taught at – a Quaker boarding school.

U.S. #1051 – Anthony stamp issued as part of the Liberty Series.

Anthony’s family moved again in 1845, to Rochester, New York. They soon found their home to be the gathering place of local activists, including Frederick Douglass, who became a lifelong friend to Anthony. The following year she began serving as headmistress of the female department of the Canajoharie Academy. When she realized she was making less money than men doing similar jobs, she grew interested in the women’s rights movement. Interestingly, her family had attended a women’s rights conference while she away. At the time she claimed, “I wasn’t ready to vote, didn’t want to vote, but I did want equal pay for equal work.”

After the school closed, Anthony briefly ran her family’s farm before choosing to dedicate all of her time to reform work – the abolition of slavery, temperance (the prohibition of alcohol), and women’s rights. Then she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the organizers of the Seneca Falls Convention for women’s rights, in 1851. The two were ideal collaborators, with Stanton providing ideas and Anthony delivering rousing speeches. When Anthony was denied the right to speak at a temperance event, she realized women wouldn’t be taken seriously unless they had the right to vote.

Item #M5654 – 1995 Women’s Suffrage (U.S. #2980) First Day Cover with U.S. #784. Both stamps cancelled on August 26, Women’s Suffrage Day.

With the Civil War over and slavery abolished, Anthony helped found the American Equal Rights Association, which demanded the same rights for everyone regardless of race or sex. She later helped create the National Woman Suffrage Association, with which she traveled the country delivering speeches for the cause. Then, in 1872, Anthony illegally voted in the presidential election. She was arrested and fined $100 (which she never paid).

In 1878, Anthony and Stanton proposed the Anthony Amendment to Congress, aimed at giving women the right to vote. Though it didn’t pass at the time, she didn’t give up. Anthony continued to campaign, delivering up to 100 speeches per year toward the cause. She helped create the International Council of Women as well as the Worlds Congress of Representative Women at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893.

Item #4530012 – Set of three Susan B. Anthony dollars on decorative panel.

Anthony even met with President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 to lobby for her amendment. However, she died a year later, 14 years before her life’s work was realized and women received the right to vote in 1920. In 1979, she was honored as the first woman on a U.S. coin.

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  1. All these years and women are still fighting to receive equal pay for equal work. I wonder what it is that makes men feel superior to women. Interesting article.

  2. Thank God for wonderful and courageous people like Susan B. Anthony for her lifetime work and lifetime accomplishments associated with ‘equal rights’ and ‘equal pay for equal work’ regardless of race or gender. Susan B. Anthony is a standout hero in my book of heroes. America is a great country because of the work, perseverance, and ideas of great people like Susan B. Anthony.
    Best Regards Dr. Doug

  3. Amazing that this right to vote took so long to come. The Republic of Texas allowed women to vote back in 1836. However they failed in giving rights to African Americans who were held as slaves. Texas could have been a leader in that area, but failed.

  4. Happy Birthday Susan B. Anthony! After a positive and successful life, may she RIP.

    Ms. Armstrong — I just want you to know that I was a registered nurse for 40 years and there were a lot of women — other nurses who were my colleagues, but had more education and more responsibility than I had, nurse anesthetists, pharmacists, administrators, doctors and other health professionals who made a LOT more money than I did. I don’t know if it is the “old boys club,” mentality in some professions that keep some women from earning the same as their peers, but that was never a problem where I worked. If you earned your degrees and put in the effort to advance yourself, the pay was there for you. I hope that in the future everyone, men and women will be equally paid for their efforts, no matter what profession they enter. Thank you.

  5. Right on Ms Armstrong, although these days we get women earning near $700000 from Goldman Sachs for three speeches to the Bank’s top brass, what millions of women in America can only dream of earning in a lifetime or two.

    If you want real change in ‘pay and equality’, it’s time for anyone to stop backing those who actively oppose it, as they blatantly threaten women voting for others (think of true women advocates such as Dr Jill Stein, or even B Sanders) with a ‘special place in hell’ if they don’t toe the line. Yuk! GdR

  6. Thank you for remembering her birthday. March 13, 2016 will be the 100th anniversary of her death. I have two questions,; has the post office used any other amendment so often on a stamp as the 19th (1936, 1970, 1995)? And why did the PO issue the second stamp for Anthony in Louisville Ky?

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