STRENGTH OF CONVICTION (Illustration) American History Biographies Civil Rights Famous People Government History Social Studies Trials

Susan Anthony was born in Adams, Massachusetts. This 1905 postcard gives a bird’s-eye view of nearby North Adams.  Published by the Detroit Photographic Company, it is online via Wikimedia Commons. Click on the image for a better view.


Born in the Berkshire Hills of northwestern Massachusetts - near Mt. Greylock - Susan was reading by age three. A very bright child, she was crushed when her teacher (saying girls did not need to know) refused to show Susan how to do long division.

Upset, Daniel - who encouraged his children to be the best they could be - removed her from class and hired Mary Perkins to teach school in the Anthony home.

At age 28, Susan was a teacher herself in Rochester, New York. She had already lost one teaching position because she protested unfair wages. She had been paid 80% less than her male colleagues for doing the same work.

While she was principal of the Girl's Department at Canajoharie Academy in Rochester, Susan joined the local temperance society. Denied the right to speak at the state convention of the Sons of Temperance because she was a woman, she organized the Daughters of Temperance.

At about the same time, in 1853, Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton presented petitions to the New York State Legislature to pass a law limiting the sale of liquor. Their petition was rejected since most of the 28,000 signatures were from women and children.

Before the Civil War, Anthony and other suffragists tried to gain rights for women, to no avail. After the War, Anthony and her colleagues worked hard to help Republicans pass the 13th amendment, ending slavery.

She was sure women would be rewarded for all their efforts. When the 15th amendment was passed, women asked for the word "sex" to be included. It was not.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

All the dismissive, discriminating episodes made the picture extremely clear to Susan. American women had absolutely no clout with politicians. There was only one solution: Get women the vote.

Susan Anthony single-mindedly gave up all her other passions to focus on that one important objective. She used her limited resources to start a newsletter, Revolution.  With a circulation of 3,000 it was influential, but it ran out of funds by 1872. It had lasted four years.

The activist stage was set for a bold move on Susan's part. All prior cues had failed. This time she would do something more drastic.

She would participate in the presidential campaign of 1872.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Feb 23, 2015

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"STRENGTH OF CONVICTION" AwesomeStories.com. Jul 01, 2000. Sep 21, 2018.
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