Susan B. Anthony

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We assert the province of government to be to secure the people in the enjoyment of their unalienable rights. We throw to the winds the old dogma that governments can give rights.

Susan Brownell Anthony (15 February 182013 March 1906) was an American civil rights leader who, along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, led the effort to secure Women's suffrage in the United States.


Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation.
Woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself
I want you to understand that I never could have done the work I have if I had not had this woman at my right hand.
The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world.
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do to their fellows because it always coincides with their own desires.
  • The true woman will not be exponent of another, or allow another to be such for her. She will be her own individual self, — do her own individual work — stand or fall by her own individual wisdom and strength... She will proclaim the "glad tidings of good news" to all women, that woman equally with man was made for her own individual happiness, to develop every power of her three fold-nature, to use, worthily every talent given to her by God, in the great work of life.
    • Statement of Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1856), partially quoted in The Right to Vote (2001) by Claudia Isler, p. 50, and in Perfecting the Family : Antislavery Marriages in Nineteenth-Century America (1997) by Chris Dixon, p. 144
  • The men and women of the North are slaveholders, those of the South slaveowners. The guilt rests on the North equally with the South.
    • Speech on No Union with Slaveholders (1857)
  • Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation.
    • On the Campaign for Divorce Law Reform (1860)
  • Many Abolitionists have yet to learn the ABC of woman's rights.
    • Journal (June 1860)
  • I do not demand equal pay for any women save those who do equal work in value. Scorn to be coddled by your employers; make them understand that you are in their service as workers, not as women.
    • The Revolution, Women's Suffrage Newspaper (8 October 1868)
  • Join the union, girls, and together say Equal Pay for Equal Work.
    • The Revolution (18 March 1869)
  • Woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself.
    • Speech in San Francisco (July 1871)
  • I shall work for the Republican party and call on all women to join me, precisely... for what that party has done and promises to do for women, nothing more, nothing less.
  • Every discrimination against women in the constitutions and laws of the several States is today null and void, precisely as in every one against Negroes.
    • Woman's Rights to the Suffrage Speech (1873)
  • Here, in the first paragraph of the Declaration [of Independence], is the assertion of the natural right of all to the ballot; for how can "the consent of the governed" be given, if the right to vote be denied?
  • Marriage, to women as to men, must be a luxury, not a necessity; an incident of life, not all of it. And the only possible way to accomplish this great change is to accord to women equal power in the making, shaping and controlling of the circumstances of life.
    • Speech on Social Purity (Spring 1875)
  • Though women, as a class, are much less addicted to drunkenness and licentiousness than men, it is universally conceded that they are by far the greater sufferers from these evils.
  • I want you to understand that I never could have done the work I have if I had not had this woman at my right hand.
  • The time has come when women should organize a stock company and run a newspaper on their own basis. When woman has a newspapers which fear and favor cannot touch, then it will be that she can freely writer her own thoughts...We need a daily paper edited and composed according to woman’s own thoughts, and not as a woman thinks a man wants her to think and write. As it is now, the men who control the finances control the paper. As long as we occupy our present position we are mentally and morally in the power of the men who engineer the finances. Horace Greely once said that women ought not to expect the same pay for work that men received. He advised women to go down into New Jersey, buy a parcel of ground, and go to raising strawberries. Then when they came up to New York with their strawberries the men wouldn’t dare to offer them half price for their produce. I say, my journalistic sisters, that it is high time we were raising our own strawberries on our own land.
  • On bicycling: "I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. It makes her feel as if she were independent. The moment she takes her seat, she knows she can't get into harm unless she gets off her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammelled womanhood." On teaching: "In those days, we did not know any other way to control children. We believed in the goodness of not sparing the rod. As I got older, I abolished whipping. If I couldn't manage a child, I thought it my ignorance, my lack of ability, as a teacher. I always felt less the woman when I struck a blow." "I must have an audience to inspire me ... to save my life, I couldn't write a speech". "It all rose out of the men refusing to let me speak" at a temperance meeting. "Women were the bond slaves of men". "I know God never made a woman to be bossed by a man". "The law says that only idiots, lunatics and criminals shall be denied the right to vote. So you see with whom all women are classed." "When two people take each other on terms of perfect equality, without the desire of one to control the other to make the other subservient, it is a beautiful thing. It is the truest and highest state of life." "I never felt I could give up my life of freedom to become a man's housekeeper and drudge. ... Once men were afraid of women with ideas and a desire to vote. Today, our best suffragists are sought in marriage by the best class of men."
  • The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball — the further I am rolled the more I gain.
    • The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony: Including Public Addresses, Her Own Letters and Many from Her Contemporaries During Fifty Years, Volume 2 (1 January 1898) by Ida Husted Harper, published by Bowen-Merrill Company
  • The one distinct feature of our Association has been the right of the individual opinion for every member. We have been beset at every step with the cry that somebody was injuring the cause by the expression of some sentiments that differed with those held by the majority of mankind. The religious persecution of the ages has been done under what was claimed to be the command of God. I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do to their fellows, because it always coincides with their own desires.
    • A defense of Elizabeth Cady Stanton against a motion to repudiate her Woman's Bible at a meeting of the National-American Woman Suffrage Association 1896 Convention, The History of Woman Suffrage (Hollenbeck Press, Indianapolis, 1902) volume IV, page 263
  • I never saw that great woman, Mary Wollstonecraft, but I l have read her eloquent and unanswerable arguments in behalf of the liberty of womankind. I have met and known most of the progressive women who came after her — Lucretia Mott, the Grimké sisters, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone — a long galaxy of great women. I have heard them speak, saying in only slightly different phrases exactly what I heard these newer advocates of the cause say at these meetings. Those older women have gone on and most of those who work with me in the early years have gone. I am here for a little time only and then my place will be filled as theirs was filled. The fight must not cease; you must see that it does not stop. There have been others also just as true and devoted to the cause — I wish I could name every one — but with such women consecrating their lives, failure is impossible!
    • speech February 15, 1906 — 38th Annual Convention, National American Woman Suffrage Association, Baltimore MD
  • The fact is women are in chains, and their servitude is all the more debasing because they do not realize.
    • Quoted in: Kabir, Hajara Muhammad (2010). Northern women development. [Nigeria]. ISBN 978-978-906-469-4. OCLC 890820657.

Trial on the charge of illegal voting (1874)[edit]

My every right, constitutional, civil, political and judicial has been tramped upon.
Three accounts of the trial of Anthony, at Rutgers University
  • I have many things to say. My every right, constitutional, civil, political and judicial has been tramped upon. I have not only had no jury of my peers, but I have had no jury at all.
    • Account of Matilda Joslyn Gage (20 June 1873) to Kansas Leavenworth Times (July 3, 1873)
  • The only chance women have for justice in this country is to violate the law, as I have done, and as I shall continue to do.
    • Account of Matilda Joslyn Gage (June 20, 1873) to Kansas Leavenworth Times (July 3, 1873)
  • I do not ask the clemency of the court. I came into it to get justice, having failed in this, I demand the full rigors of the law.
    • Account of Matilda Joslyn Gage (June 20, 1873) to Kansas Leavenworth Times (July 3, 1873)
  • Even, under such circumstances, a commoner of England, tried before a jury of Lords, would have far less cause to complain than should I, a woman, tried before a jury of men.
    • An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony on the Charge of Illegal Voting] (1874)
  • But, yesterday, the same man-made forms of law, declared it a crime punishable with $1,000 fine and six months' imprisonment, for you, or me, or any of us, to give a cup of cold water, a crust of bread, or a night's shelter to a panting fugitive as he was tracking his way to Canada. And every man or woman in whose veins coursed a drop of human sympathy violated that wicked law, reckless of consequences, and was justified in so doing.
    • An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony on the Charge of Illegal Voting] (1874)
  • May it please your honor, I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty. All the stock in trade I possess is a $10,000 debt, incurred by publishing my paper — The Revolution — four years ago, the sole object of which was to educate all women to do precisely as I have done, rebel against your man-made, unjust, unconstitutional forms of law, that tax, fine, imprison and hang women, while they deny them the right of representation in the government; and I shall work on with might and main to pay every dollar of that honest debt, but not a penny shall go to this unjust claim. And I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old revolutionary maxim, that "Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God."
    • On her $100 fine, as quoted in An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony on the Charge of Illegal Voting] (1874) The "old revolutionary maxim" Anthony uses here has been variously attributed to William Tyndale, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, as well as to herself.
    • Variant: Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God; I shall never pay a penny of this unjust claim.
      • As quoted in Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World (1900) p. 415
    • Unsourced variants: Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God, and I shall never pay a penny of this unjust claim.
      Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God, and I shall never pay a penny of this unjust fine.

"Is it a Crime For a U.S. Citizen to Vote?" (1872-1873)[edit]

  • There is not the slightest permission for the states to discriminate against the right of any class of citizens to vote. Surely to regulate cannot be to annihilate! Nor to qualify, to wholly deprive. And this principle every republican said amen, when applied to black men by Senator Sumner in his great speeches for “Equal rights to all,” from 1865 to 1869; and when, in 1871, I asked the Senator to declare the power of the United States Constitution to protect women in their right to vote, as he had done for black men, he handed me a copy of all his speeches during that reconstruction period, and said, "Miss Anthony, put sex where I have “race or color,” and you have here the best and strongest argument I can make for woman. There is not a doubt but women have the constitutional right to vote, and I will never vote for a 16th amendment to guarantee it to them. I voted for both the 14th and 15th under protest. Would never have done it but for the pressing emergency; would have insisted that the power of the original Constitution to protect all citizens in the equal enjoyment of their rights should have been vindicated through the courts. But the newly-freed men had neither the intelligence, wealth, nor the time to wait that slow process. Women possess all these, and I insist that they shall appeal to the courts, and through them establish the powers of our American magna charta to protect every citizen of the Republic." But, friends, when in accordance with Senator Sumner’s counsel, I went to the ballot-box, last November, and exercised my citizen’s right to vote, the courts did not wait for me to appeal to them — they appealed to me, and indicted me on the charge of having voted illegally.
  • Does any lawyer doubt my statement of the legal status of married women? I will remind him of the fact that the old common law of England prevails in every state in this Union except where the legislature has enacted special laws annulling it. And I am ashamed that not one state has yet blotted from its statute books the old common law of marriage, by which Blackstone, summed up in the fewest words possible, declared that “The husband and wife are one, and that one is the husband!!”
  • And is all this tyranny any less humiliating and degrading to women, under our democratic republic government to-day, than it was to men, under their aristocratic, monarchical government a hundred years ago? There is not an utterance of Old John Adams, John Hancock, or Patrick Henry but finds a living response in the soul of every intelligent, patriotic woman of the nation.
  • Is there a man who will not agree with me, that to talk of “freedom without the ballot” is mockery, is slavery, to the women of this republic, precisely as New England’s orator, Wendell Phillips, at the close of the late war declared it to be to the newly emancipated black men?


  • Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.
    • This statement was widely used as an abolitionist and feminist slogan in the 19th century and has sometimes been attributed to Anthony, who famously used it, but cited it as an "old revolutionary maxim"; it has also frequently been attributed to Thomas Jefferson, and to Benjamin Franklin, who has been cited as having proposed it as the motto of the United States, as well as to English theologian William Tyndale. The earliest definite citations of a source yet found in research for Wikiquote indicates that it was declared by Massachusetts Governor Simon Bradstreet after the overthrow of Dominion of New England Governor Edmund Andros in relation to the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, as quoted in Official Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the State Convention: assembled May 4th, 1853 (1853) by the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, p. 502. It is also quoted as a maxim that arose after the overthrow of Andros in A Book of New England Legends and Folk Lore (1883) by Samuel Adams Drake. p. 426
  • No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death, but oh, thrice guilty is he who, for selfish gratification, heedless of her prayers, indifferent to her fate, drove her to the desperation that impelled her to the crime!

Quotes about Susan B Anthony[edit]

  • In disposition Miss Anthony is very lovable. She is always good-natured and sunny tempered. Everybody loves her dearly and she never loses a friend. She has a remarkable memory and in speaking is both eloquent and witty. She keeps an audience laughing during an entire evening. Miss Anthony enjoys a good joke and can tell one. She never fails to see the funny side of things though it be at her own expense. Susan Anthony is all that is best and noblest in woman. She is ideal, and if we will have in women who vote what we have in her, let us all help to promote the cause of woman suffrage.
  • Every century has produced a few men and women whose memories the world has adjudged worthy of perpetuation. The dear friend who has gone from us was one of our century’s immortals...There is today an infinitely broader field of opportunity, of happiness and of usefulness for women than when she came. There is an immeasurably sounder, healthier and more rational relationship between the sexes than when she began her work. There is a higher womanhood, a nobler manhood and a better humanity. This woman for a large part of half-a-century was the chief inspiration, counselor and guide of that movement. Few workers have been privileged to sec such large results from their labors...It was that hope which hoped on when others saw nothing to hope for; that splendid optimism which never knew despair; that faith which never forgot the eternal righteousness of her cause; that courage which never recognized disappointment, that tenacity of purpose which never permitted her to deflect in the slightest from the main object of her life, which combined to make her greater than others...her life has given to many nations a higher perception of life and duty and that it has lifted society to a higher plane, and we are grateful...There was something in her one may not describe which won our hearts as well as our devotion. Perhaps it was her simplicity, her forgetfulness of self, her thoughtfulness of others, which made us love her.
  • Little Shirley grew up with a strong sense of her own destiny. Her early heroes were Mary McLeod Bethune, Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony. Miss Anthony, the homeliest of the suffragettes, was one of the movement's best speakers. In her Brooklyn campaign, Mrs. Chisholm would reel off a long quotation from Miss Anthony ("The hour is come when the women will no longer be the passive recipients...") when she was bothered by male hecklers on street corners. "It always stopped them cold," she reports.
    • April 1969 article in Shirley Chisholm: The Last Interview: And Other Conversations (2021)
  • (Book editor's note: In 1880 she met Eugene V. Debs, the perennial Labor and Socialist candidate, who later wrote that Anthony impressed him "as being a wonderfully strong character, self-reliant, thoroughly in earnest, and utterly indifferent to criticism." Debs' observations of her trip to Terre Haute, Indiana, provide a bleak picture of the hostility still evident in the late 1800s.) "I can still see the aversion so unfeelingly expressed for this magnificent woman. Even my personal friends were disgusted with me for piloting such an "undesirable citizen" into the community. It is hard to understand, after all these years, how bitter and implacable the people were, especially the women, toward the leaders of this movement. As we walked along the street I was painfully aware that Miss Anthony was an object of derision and contempt, and in my heart I resented it and later I had often to defend my position, which, of course, I was ever ready to do....To all of this Miss Anthony, to all appearance, was entirely oblivious. She could not have helped noticing it for there were those who thrust their insults upon her, but she gave no sign and bore no resentment. I can see her still as she walked along, neatly but carelessly attired, her bonnet somewhat carelessly awry, mere trifles which were scarcely noticed, if at all, in the presence of her splendid womanhood. She seemed absorbed completely in her mission."
  • As part of the seventy-fifth anniversary ceremonies the Woman's Party organized a pilgrimage to the grave of Susan B. Anthony led by the Mayor and city officials of Rochester. Thousands of women joined this pilgrimage-teachers, students, lawyers, government workers, doctors, business women, musicians, nurses, artists, writers, factory-workers-women from almost every walk in life who could truly say that they owe their present status in society in some measure to the work of Susan B. Anthony. Thus is she honoured at last, that slim gallant Quaker girl, who for most of the years of her life was hounded by the mob and scorned by those in high places.
  • The struggle for the right of women to vote was nationwide and growing. It had started with the first Equal Rights Convention, at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, which was addressed by Frederick Douglass, the great Negro leader. The suffragists had been ridiculed, assaulted by mobs, refused halls, arrested for attempting to vote, disowned by their families. By 1904, groups of working women, especially Socialist women, were banding together to join in the demand for the vote. Two years later, International Women's Day was born on the East Side of New York, at the initiative of these women demonstrating for suffrage. It spread around the world and is universally celebrated today, while here it is deprecated as "a foreign holiday."
  • Brave women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony had been the early pioneers, facing abuse and ridicule, violence and even arrests for attempting to vote. Later, women like Dr. Anna Howard Shaw and Carrie Chapman Catt headed the National American Women's Suffrage Association, which struggled against "the lethargy of women and the opposition of men." But by 1916 a younger, bolder and more militant group emerged, which was dissatisfied with the slower process of winning suffrage, state by state, and fought for a constitutional amendment. They organized the Women's Party in 1916, which planned to mobilize the women's vote in all suffrage states only for parties and candidates who would support national suffrage. That year a group of wealthy suffragists financed and toured in a Suffrage Special. They did not campaign directly for the Republican candidate, Charles Evans Hughes, but their slogan was anti-Wilson: "Vote against Wilson! He Kept Us Out of Suffrage!" Many voted for Eugene V. Debs, then in prison.
  • We, the colored people of Rochester, join the world in mourning the loss of our true friend, Susan B. ANTHONY. Yes, a true friend of our race. Years ago, when it meant a great deal to be a friend to the poor, downtrodden race, Susan B. ANTHONY stood side by side with William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Lucy Stone, Abby Kelly Foster, Frederick Douglass and others, fighting our battles and espousing the cause of an enslaved people...we who have heard thy voice: we who have known something of thy great life work — we pledge ourselves to devote our time and energies to the work thou hast left us to do.
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Bloomer, Carrie Nation, Frances Willard, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, and the later suffragists of whom she [her mother] was one. These courageous women set a pattern not understood yet, standing in their prim strength, in their sweetness and sobriety against cruel ridicule, moral censure, charges of insanity; for there is no cruelty like that of the oppressor who feels his loss of the bit on those it has been his gain to oppress. "Pine knots as we are," Susan Anthony said. They used the only means open to them - they became orators when it was considered immoral for a woman to speak in public; if she went to meetings she was only to listen and learn. But they could use their constitutional right of petition, and they could tramp up and down, getting signatures for the right to work, to get a divorce, to speak in public, to vote.
  • The women, who at the first woman's rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848 declared boldly and with considerable exaggeration that "the history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her," did not speak for the truly exploited and abused working woman. As a matter of fact, they were largely ignorant of her condition and, with the notable exception of Susan B. Anthony.
    • Gerda Lerner, The Majority Finds Its Past: Placing Women in History’’ (1979)
  • most of the early feminists came to their convictions because of their interest in abolition. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Abby Kelley, and scores of others found that if they wished to work for reforms in general, they would first have to fight for their right as women to engage in public political activity.
    • Gerda Lerner, The Majority Finds Its Past: Placing Women in History’’ (1979)
  • The History of Woman Suffrage is an incomplete, flawed and heavily biased assemblage of sources. It distorts the origins of the movement by ignoring or downplaying the role of many activists and antecedent activists in favor of stressing the leadership of a few women. The strongly secular bias of its editors and their disenchantment with the organized churches in regard to the struggle of women for their emancipation are reflected in the way they defined the movement as mostly political and constitutional, disregarding the important feminist struggles in the various churches during the century.It is also factionally biased in its downplaying of the role of the women who in 1869 split with Stanton and Anthony, a distortion which is particularly striking in regard to the role of Lucy Stone. Yet these volumes have provided the basis for over a hundred years of historiography on the subject and, in what Mary Ritter Beard called "the long history of women," represent a milestone.
  • Suffragists argued that "the state is but the larger family, the nation the old homestead"; hence, by extending their nurturing functions from the family circle to the larger society, women would not abdicate their traditional domestic role. Even Susan B. Anthony, who insisted that women needed the power to control their own lives through the vote and through economic opportunity, believed that the lack of both encouraged immorality, rendering woman "utterly powerless to extract from [men] the same high moral code that she chooses for herself."
    • Margaret S Marsh, Anarchist Women, 1870-1920 (1981)
  • the original amendment, which we called the Susan B. Anthony because the women of the country, if they knew anything about the movement, had heard the name Susan B. Anthony.
  • In the 1880's and '90's Susan B. Anthony's influence on the women of the country-and on the men, too-was still strong. She was over sixty, but still fighting for women's right to vote as earlier she had fought against slavery. Ridiculed and denounced as a "revolutionary firebrand" she kept right on. She and other women pioneers such as Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton traveled and lectured throughout the United States making woman suffrage a national issue.
  • Struggle brought about the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibited the government from denying women the right to vote. The amendment did not just appear: It was the fruit of the struggle of the suffragettes, led by such figures as Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the mid-nineteenth century.
  • The Anthony Interview was an art form. Sometimes she paced the floor and dictated rapidly; sometimes she made a grand entrance into the hotel parlor or sitting room. But mostly she sat patiently and poised, the courtly leader answering the same questions from Maine to Oregon, beguiling some of the most hardened reporters.
  • All honor to the noble women that have devoted earnest lives to the intellectual needs of mankind!...Susan had an earnest soul, a conscience tending to morbidity...In ancient Greece she would have been a Stoic; in the era of the Reformation, a Calvinist; in King Charles's time, a Puritan; but in this nineteenth century, by the very laws of her being, she is a Reformer.
    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton "Susan B. Anthony" from Our Famous Women: An Authorized Record of the Lives and Deeds of Distinguished American Women of Our Times (1884)
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, the greatest of the early leaders
  • I had always resented the pains that militant suffragists took to belittle the work that woman had done in the past in the world, picturing her as a meek and prostrate "doormat." They refused, I felt, to pay proper credit to the fine social and economic work that women had done in the building of America. And in 1909, after we took over the American Magazine, I burst out with a series of studies of leading American women from the Revolution to the Civil War, including such stalwarts as Mercy Warren, Abigail Adams, Esther Reed, Mary Lyon, Catharine Beecher, the fighting antislavery leaders-not omitting two for whom I had warm admiration, if I was not in entire agreement with them, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
  • We colored women own [sic] her a two-fold debt of gratitude. Her persecutions were greater than those of Garrison or Phillips. She was never a coward, not even among pistols. She contributed her work, but while I would not attempt to try to underage her work, there is almost as much work to-day as there was fifty or sixty years ago. In many States colored men are deprived of their right to vote and are held as slaves in peonage.
  • At the close of my address a young man in the audience, whom we afterward learned was a southerner, sneeringly asked, "If the colored people were so badly treated in the South, why was it that more of them didn't come North?" Before I could answer, Miss Anthony sprang to her feet and said, "I'll answer that question. It is because we, here in the North, do not treat the Negroes any better than they do in the South, comparatively speaking,".
    • Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells (1991)
  • Miss Anthony gave me rather the impression of a woman who was eager to hear all sides of any question, and that I am sure is one of the reasons for her splendid success in the organization which did so much to give the women of this country an equal share in all the privileges of citizenship...Such a dear good friend I found her to be, and she had many such just like her there in Rochester.
    • Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells (1991)
  • When Miss Anthony took up the cause of women she did not know them by their color, nationality, creed or birth, she stood only for the emancipation of women from the thraldom of sex. She became an invincible champion of anti-slavery. In the half century of her unremitting struggle for liberty, more liberty, and complete liberty for negro men and women in chains and for white women in their helpless subjection to man’s laws, she never wavered, never doubted, never compromised. She held it to be mockery to ask man or woman to be happy or contented if not free. She saw no substitute for liberty. When slavery was overthrown and the work of reconstruction began she was still unwearied and watchful. She had an intimate acquaintance with the leading statesmen of the times. Her judgment and advice were respected and heard in much of the legislation that gave a status of citizenship to the millions of slaves set free.

"Eulogy for Susan B. Anthony, Anna Howard Shaw (March 15, 1906)[edit]

  • There is no death for such as she. There are no last words of love. The ages to come will revere her name. Unnumbered generations of the children of men shall rise up to call her blessed. Her words, her work, and her character will go on to brighten the pathway and bless the lives of all peoples. That which seems death to our unseeing eyes is to her translation. Her work will not be finished, nor will her last word be spoken while there remains a wrong to be righted, or a fettered life to be freed in all the earth.
  • she taught us that the real beauty of a true life is found in the harmonious blending of diverse elements, and her life was the epitome of her teaching. She merged a keen sense of justice with the deepest love; her masterful intellect never for one moment checked the tenderness of her emotions...she demonstrated the divine principle that the truest self-development must go hand in hand with the greatest and most arduous service for others...Here was the most harmoniously developed character I have ever known — a living soul whose individuality was blended into oneness with all humanity.
  • She knew that where freedom is there is the center of power. In it she saw potentially all that humanity might attain when possessed by its spirit. Hence her cause, perfect equality of rights, of opportunity, of privilege for all, civil and political, was to her the bed-rock upon which all true progress must rest.
  • She was in the truest sense a reformer, unhindered in her service by the narrowness and negative destructiveness which often so sadly hampers the work of true reform...She recognized that it was immeasurably more desirable to be honestly and earnestly seeking that which in its attainment might not prove good than to be hypocritically subservient to the truth through a spirit of selfish fear or fawning at the beck of power...She was never found in the cheering crowd that follows an already victorious standard... She was truly great; great in her humility and utter lack of pretension.
  • She did not gain the little bit of freedom for herself, but there is scarcely a civilized land, not even our own, in which she has not been instrumental in securing for some woman that to which our leader did not attain.
  • We have followed her leadership until we stand upon the mount of vision where she today leaves us. The promised land lies just before us. It is for us to go forward and take possession...Already the call to advance is heard along the line, and one devoted young follower writes: “There are hundreds of us now, her followers, who will try to keep up the work she so nobly began and brought so nearly to completion. We will work the harder to try to compensate the world for her loss.”

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