Download Susan B. Anthony Worksheets
Do you want to save dozens of hours in time? Get your evenings and weekends back? Be able to teach Susan B. Anthony to your students?
Our worksheet bundle includes a fact file and printable worksheets and student activities. Perfect for both the classroom and homeschooling!
- Background and early career
- Activism and reform works
- Women's suffrage movement
Key Facts And Information
Let’s know more about Susan B. Anthony!
- Susan B. Anthony was a pioneer of the women's suffrage movement in the United States. Born to a family involved in social reforms, she began to participate in reform work at age nineteen, including temperance, women's rights, equal pay for equal work, women’s education, liberalisation of divorce laws, abolition of slavery, and women's suffrage. She became president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, which she founded with Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Her friendship with Stanton proved essential to the women's movement during the period.
- Anthony's work assisted in the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution in 1920, fourteen years after her death.
Background and early career
- Born on 15 February 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts, Susan Brownell Anthony was the second oldest of seven children of Daniel Anthony and Lucy Read. Her family had a passion for social reform and activism.
- Anthony's parents were brought up in different religious denominations: Daniel was a Quaker whilst Lucy was a Methodist.
- Her mother raised her and her siblings in a more tolerant version of her father's religion.
- At an early age, her father taught them to be self-supporting and responsible.
- At age six, the family moved to Battenville, New York, where a large cotton mill was supervised by her father.
- Their house had a schoolroom where she received her formal education together with her siblings and other neighborhood children.
- She began teaching before she turned sixteen but felt that her own education could be improved.
- At age seventeen, she was sent to Deborah Moulson’s Female Seminary, a Quaker boarding school in Philadelphia, where she studied bookkeeping, literature and science.
- During the Panic of 1837, she was pulled out from her formal studies due to the financial ruin shared by many families at the time.
- The family had to sell almost all their properties to survive.
- Her uncle helped them restore their most personal belongings.
- The family moved to Hardscrabble, New York in 1839.
- To help with the family debts and expenses, she left home and started teaching at Eunice Kenyon’s Friends’ Seminary in New Rochelle, New York.
- In 1845, Anthony's family moved to a farm in Rochester, New York.
- They became involved with a group of Quaker social reformers who founded the Congregational friends in 1848.
- The family's farm became the gathering place for the organisation and local activists.
- They also began attending services at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, which hosted the Rochester Women's Rights Convention of 1848.
- Anthony failed to attend the convention due to her teaching post at the Canajoharie Academy in 1846, where she eventually became headmistress of the female department.
- Frustrated at being paid less than men with similar jobs, her interest in social reform grew, which was supported by her parents.
- When the Canajoharie Academy closed down in 1849, she managed the operation of the family farm in Rochester for a couple of years until she focussed more on reform work.
Activism and reform works
- As she settled into the family home, Anthony was acquainted with many leading abolitionists, such as Frederick Douglass, Parker Pillsbury, Wendell Phillips, William Henry Channing and William Lloyd Garrison. She also met Amelia Bloomer and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the organisers of the Seneca Falls Convention who introduced her to the controversial resolution in support of women's suffrage.
- Anthony's friendship with Stanton proved essential to the women's movement.
- In 1852, Anthony was elected as a delegate to the state temperance convention but was told to listen and learn when she attempted to speak.
- This prompted her to walk out with other women, and later to organise the Woman’s New York State Temperance Society.
- She was state agent and Stanton was president.
- Temperance is the restraint in the use of alcoholic liquors.
- Through the organisation, they were able to gather 28,000 signatures for a law to prohibit the sale of alcohol in New York State.
- Anthony and Stanton resigned from the organisation the following year when conservative members attacked Stanton's advocacy of the right of a wife of an alcoholic to obtain a divorce.
- After the World's Temperance Convention in 1853 in New York City turned futile, Anthony decided to focus more on abolitionist and women's rights activities.
- During the early 1850s, Anthony also integrated women’s rights in reform movements.
- She helped a group of Rochester, New York seamstresses draft a code outlining fair wages for working women in the city.
- She called for women to be allowed to participate in discussions formerly opened only to men at a New York State Teachers’ Association meeting in Rochester.
- In 1854, she organised and circulated petition drives for married women’s property rights and women’s suffrage.
- She started her campaign for women’s suffrage in Mayville, Chautauqua County and subsequently visited each county in New York, going door to door to obtain signatures for the petition.
- Whilst refusing to abandon her commitment to women's rights, Anthony served as chief New York agent of Garrison’s American Anti-Slavery Society from 1856.
- When the American Civil War war broke out, she founded the Women’s Loyal National League with Stanton, which was able to secure hundreds of thousands of signatures urging the abolition of slavery.
- This assisted the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which ended slavery.
- In 1866, Anthony, Stanton and other activists formed the Eleventh National Women's Rights Convention which eventually transformed into the American Equal Rights Association (AERA).
- The AERA campaigned for the equal rights of all citizens, especially the right of suffrage.
- However, the association grew increasingly divided and was effectively dissolved in 1869 having failed to achieve its goals.
- In 1868, Anthony and Stanton began working on a new periodical, The Revolution, which was originally financed by George Francis Train.
- With Anthony as publisher and Stanton as editor, they upheld women's suffrage, equal pay for equal work, women’s education, the rights of working women, the opening of new occupations for women, and the liberalisation of divorce laws.
Women's suffrage movement
- Anthony had established herself as an excellent organiser and political strategist. Following the collapse of the AERA in 1869, she formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) with Stanton whilst others formed the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA).
- The NWSA and AWSA were in competition with each other, caused by the proposed Fifteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.
- Anthony and Stanton were against the use of the word 'male' in the amendment, believing that the fight for the right to vote for women would be more difficult once it passed.
- They demanded that enfranchisement of women and African Americans should be implemented at the same time.
- The two groups also had other differences which would eventually be resolved, leading to the merging of the two to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1890.
- Leaving her position at The Revolution in 1870, Anthony went on a series of lecture tours to settle the paper's accumulated debts.
- The NWSA Convention of 1871 urged women to vote and to challenge the legality of the suffrage provision of the Fourteenth Amendment.
- Anthony cast a vote in the 1872 presidential election in Rochester, New York, and was arrested.
- Other suffragists who tried to vote were turned away.
- She was tried in the US District Court located in Canandaigua, New York and was given a fine of $100, which she refused to pay. The case was carried no further.
- Anthony travelled constantly with Stanton during the 1870s, working on winning the franchise for women in various states and giving as many as 75 to 100 speeches each year.
- In the late 1870s, she began writing the History of Woman Suffrage, along with Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage.
- The first volume of the book was published in 1881 followed by Volumes II, III and IV in 1882, 1885 and 1902. Volumes V and VI were published in 1922 by the NAWSA, long after Anthony's death.
- After Stanton resigned from the NAWSA in 1892, Anthony became president and was later succeeded by Carrie Chapman Catt.
- Remaining committed to women's rights, she co-founded the International Council of Women in 1888 and continued her efforts campaigning for women's admission to the University of Rochester, which finally became possible in 1900.
- Throughout the 1890s, Anthony travelled extensively on suffrage work, engaged in local protests, and spoke publicly in numerous places.
- A few weeks after attending a women’s suffrage convention in Baltimore, she died of heart failure in her home in Rochester on 13 March 1906 and was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery.
- The Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibited the denial of suffrage on the basis of sex, was ratified on 18 August 1920. It was colloquially known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment.
- Anthony also became the first woman to be featured on a circulating coin from the U.S. mint on 2 July 1979.