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Thank you, Susan B. Anthony!

The legendary American civil rights leader is perhaps best known for her work on women's voting rights, but there is so much more to this amazing figure. Learn about her early life and influences, her work toward the abolition of slavery, her famous trial for voting in 1873, and the legacy which endures today.

Susan B Anthony's Early Life & Family Influences

Susan B. Anthony was heavily influenced by the tenets of her Quaker faith and a family of reformers. This sampler, created in her preteen years, lists the members of her immediate family.

Susan B. Anthony's younger colleague, Carrie Chapman Catt, shares that the Anthony family did not shy away from controversy.

Susan B. Anthony's father, Daniel, was a textile mill owner & abolitionist. This letter, written by Daniel to his father, tells of "Uncle Abram" being excommunicated for his "rebellious acts".

Daniel Anthony's letter to his father continues.

Daniel Anthony to his brother John, offers a recommendation of Frederick Douglass and "The North Star" newspaper.

The letter continues:" I feel a deep interest in the encouragement of a race of People who have been So inhumanely treated & who have their champions posesing talent and independence of mind to Speak the truth even to their most eloquent oppressors"

Susan B. Anthony as a young woman in her late 30's. This would prove to be a pivotal time in her life, as she grew into a leader for equal rights.

A letter from Susan B Anthony to her Uncle Albert & Aunt Ann Eliza, dated November 9, 1851. Amidst family & personal updates, she writes, "The question is what business shall S.B. Anthony embark in."

Susan B. Anthony's 1851 letter to her Uncle Albert & Aunt Ann Eliza continues.

The Cause: Fighting for Equal Rights

The DeGarmos were also Quakers & abolitionists, with a farm that was a documented stop on the Underground Railroad. Rhoda DeGarmo was one of fourteen women who voted with Susan B. Anthony in 1872.

Elizabeth Smith Miller, daughter of Gerrit Smith & cousin of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was a feminist, philanthropist, and social reformer. She is best known as the creator of the "Bloomer" costume.

Susan B Anthony's letter to her Aunt Ann Eliza, in 1853. Offering condolences on the recent loss of a child, Anthony also implores her to remember the suffering of enslaved mothers.

Anthony's letter continues, "The deep affliction, the sore trial you are now called to suffer, is but as a drop in the bucket when compared with that of the crushed and bleeding Slave Mother."

Ida B. Wells was an African-American journalist and activist. She most famously led an anti-lynching campaign in the 1890s. Wells was a guest of Susan B. Anthony's at the home on Madison Street.

Susan B. Anthony's letter to Rev. William Channing Gannett, urging Gannet and his wife, Mary Thorn Lewis Gannett, to endorse Ida B. Wells-Barnett's anti-lynching campaign.

Anthony's letter, written during the Spanish-American War, continues.

Mary Church Terrell, the first president of the National Association for Colored Women, spoke throughout the United States on the need for full voting rights for black women.

Gertrude Page, of Brockport NY, shares her memories of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony.

Gertrude Page recalls visiting the Douglass home in Washington DC on the day of Frederick Douglass' death.

Gertrude Page fondly recalls her visits to the Anthony home on Madison Street.

Votes for Women!

Henry R. Selden, Susan B. Anthony's attorney, argues on her behalf at trial in 1873.

Susan B.Anthony to Lucy Hawley Calkins, Ithaca, New York, "nothing ever will bring justice to woman...until they are equal factors in the political world."

Susan B. Anthony to Laura A. Reynolds, Port Huron, Michigan, urging her to secure Anna Howard Shaw & Carrie Chapman Catt as speakers in support of the Michigan American Woman Suffrage Association.

Susan B. Anthony's letter to B.S. Williamson, Esq. questioning the judgment of US Supreme Court Associate Justice Ward Hunt, who presided over her trial in 1873.

Known for her red shawl and alligator bag, Susan B. Anthony also often wore this dress made from silk given to her by the Mormon women of Utah on the occasion of her 80th birthday.

Susan B. Anthony at home in her study on Madison Street, surrounded by the images of her colleagues and compatriots.

The Legacy of Susan B Anthony

Susan B. Anthony receives eighty roses from children at her 80th birthday celebration.

A delegate badge for the 1906 New York State Woman Suffrage Association, posthumously honoring Susan B. Anthony.

Jeannette Rankin was the first woman to hold national office in the United States, when she was elected to the House of Representatives in 1916.

The first all-female jury in the world was empaneled in San Diego in 1928. Susan B. Anthony was denied such a jury of her peers in 1873.

Alice Paul pays tribute to Susan B. Anthony at Mt Hope Cemetery in Rochester NY, 1923. Paul was the founder of the National Women's Party & later worked to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.

Credits: Exhibit

Photo of Ida B Wells Barnett courtesy of the Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College (Northampton, MA).

Letter from Susan B Anthony to Rev. William Channing Gannett courtesy of the William Channing Gannett Papers, Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, University of Rochester.

National Susan B Anthony Museum & House staff: Sarah Murphy Abbamonte, Deborah L Hughes, Linda Lopata, and Joshua Stapf

Credits: All media
The exhibit featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.