Biography Brief: Susan B. Anthony

Biography Brief: Susan B. Anthony

This is a short video summarizing the life and achievements of women's suffragist Susan B. Anthony.


Susan B. Anthony was one of the most important figures of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. What were some of her accomplishments? How is she remembered today?

Susan became an activist at a young age. At the age of 17, she was out collecting petitions for various civil rights causes, particularly William Lloyd Garrison’s Anti-Slavery Society. In addition to playing a role in the Abolitionist Movement, Anthony made a name for herself as an advocate for women’s rights and being an active participant in the Temperance Movement against alcohol.

In 1851, she was introduced to fellow women’s suffrage activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The two became close associates and worked together for the rest of their lives. Anthony traveled all over the world promoting her causes, delivering 75 to 100 speeches a year (this alone changed many people's perception of women).

In 1868, she started a women’s suffrage weekly journal known as The Revolution, and in 1869, she and Stanton started the National Woman Suffrage Association. Her advocacy did not stop at speeches and articles, though. In the 1872 Presidential election, she took the bold step of voting. She was arrested for this and eventually fined $100 (a fine she refused to pay for the rest of her life). Anthony was not deterred, though. During the nation’s centennial celebration in 1876, Anthony delivered the “Declaration of the Rights of Women” in Philadelphia.

Sadly, Women’s Suffrage was not achieved during her lifetime. However, very late in her life, she was asked if women would be allowed to vote. She assured the questioner that it would happen—and of course, it did.

There can be no doubt that she played a large role in achieving not only this goal—but other goals as well. Her involvement in the Temperance Movement cannot be overlooked, since the goal of prohibition of alcohol was achieved as well, leading to widespread cultural shifts in America.

In 1979, Susan B. Anthony was honored with the “Susan B. Anthony silver dollar”. With the minting of this coin, she became the first woman to appear on U.S. currency. This is certainly not the only way she has been recognized. Her image has appeared on postage stamps and she has had schools named in her honor. Additionally, her birth home, as well as the home she lived in throughout her life, are both nationally historic sites.

When one considers the modern world, and all that women have achieved (both professionally and politically), and how powerful the female vote has become, it goes without saying that such a strong advocate for women’s suffrage should be thought of as one of the most influential Americans ever.
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