Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was a social reformer and women’s rights activist. She played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement. She was born in Adams, Massachusetts, the second oldest of seven children. Several family members also shared the passion for social reform. Her father was an abolitionist and a temperance advocate and two of her brothers were supporters of the anti-slavery movement and moved to Kansas to be a part of that. Her sister was also a women’s rights activist.
Susan B. Anthony’s Ties to Rochester, NY
The Anthony family moved to Battenville, NY in 1926 where her father managed a cotton mill. They lived there until 1845 when the Anthony family moved to a farm just outside of Rochester, NY. It was then that the Anthony family began to attend church services at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, which was known for being associated with social reform. The First Unitarian Church of Rochester In Rochester Women’s Rights Convention of 1848 was held at this church, but only Anthony’s parents and sister attended as Susan B. Anthony had moved to Canajoharie to be headmistress for Canajoharie Academy. In 1849, the Academy closed and Anthony moved back to Rochester.
Other Notable Events in Susan B. Anthony’s Life
- At the age of 16, Anthony collected anti-slavery petitions and 15 years later, she helped to organize an anti-slavery convention in Rochester. She played a pivotal role in the Underground Railroad.
- Anthony attended her first National Women’s Rights Convention in Syracuse, NY in 1852.
- In 1854, Anthony began to circulate petitions for married women’s property right and women’s suffrage. When she was denied permission to speak at the Capitol and Smithsonian in Washington, she instead began a campaign for women’s suffrage in Mayville, Chautauqua County.
- In 1869, Anthony called the first Woman Suffrage Convention in Washington, DC.
- In 1872, Anthony was arrested for voting. A year later she was tried and fined $100 after the judge ordered the jury to find her guilty. Anthony refused to pay.
- In 1905, Anthony met with President Roosevelt to discuss submitting a suffrage amendment to Congress.
- In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution is passed, 14 years after her passing. This amendment, also known as the Susan B. Anthony amendment, grants the right to vote to all US women over the age of 21.
Representations of Susan B. Anthony in Rochester Today
Susan B. Anthony died at the age of 86 in her home in Rochester, NY. She is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY. In 2016, on Election Day, her gravesite was visited by thousands of voters who wished to pay respect to the woman who played such a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement. Mount Hope Cemetery is also the final resting place of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
The Susan B. Anthony Museum & House is located in Rochester, NY. A group of Rochester women purchased the home in 1945 to be a permanent memorial to Anthony and the cause of women’s rights.
The Frederick Douglass–Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge (informally known as the Freddie-Sue Bridge) is located in Rochester, NY and was completed in 2007. This bridge carries interstate I-490 over the Genesee River and NY 383 in downtown Rochester, NY.
Celebrate the Work of Susan B. Anthony Year Round with a Susan B. Anthony T-Shirt
Susan B. Anthony is one of the greatest heroes of all time. Celebrate her dedication and work to women’s suffrage by wearing the Susan B. Anthony Tee with pride.