Susan B. Anthony: Voice for Women’s Voting Rights

The book tells us about Susan’s life and what she did to help push for women's rights. It also talks about how she fought for slaves' freedom and the right to vote.

The author used some pictures of the events, Susan’s diary, and also some of Susan’s published speeches. All of these sources helped the reader get an understanding of Susan B. Anthony throughout her life and the things she did to help shape the history of women’s rights.

The book starts when Susan B finally voted on November 1st, 1872. She and her three sisters and 12 of her female friends voted in the election. She was charged with unlawfully voting, but she did not see why her gender made it unlawful. When she was arrested her bail was set to $500, but after stating that the government had no right to imprison her because she believed she had not committed a crime the judge increase their bail to $1,000, and her attorney paid for it. When she went to court she claims her gender should not make a difference, but the judge Word hunt did not believe that. The courtroom in Canandaigua, New York, was packed with people both for and against the idea of women voting. Even Millard Fillmore, a former president, had come to see what would happen. Her case was considered a test to see whether American women should be allowed to vote. At the trial, her attorney, Henry Seldon, defended her for over three hours. He claimed that just like any citizen of the United States she has the right to vote, but the judge had barely paid attention to Selden. Hunt called the defendant incompetent as a woman to speak for herself and he refused to let her testify. He directed The Jury to find Susan B Anthony guilty. Normally People on a jury are supposed to discuss a case among themselves reach a decision and then report their verdict to the judge but instead judge hunt dismissed the jury before any member had the chance to speak. He also denied them a new trial. Susan B Anthony claimed that because of her unfair treatment in the trial the judge could not legally sentence her, but the judge ordered her to pay her fine of $100. She never ended up paying it and was not punished because judge hunt knew that from jail she could appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. The case made it in many papers, some people acknowledge that the judge had acted improperly and some emphasized his behavior.

Challenges were not new to the Anthony Family. Her father Daniel Anthony went against is Quaker religion when married Susan's mom Lucy Read. Her mom understood that marrying a Quaker would end her playful ways because Quakers believe in a plain lifestyle. He satisfied the Quakers by writing an apology but it still took years to be fully accepted again.

Susan was born on February 15th,1820. She lived in Massachusetts. She was raised in the Quaker fashion, which meant they were not allowed toys, music, or games. In 1826, John McLean of Battenville, New York, contacted Daniel Anthony and proposed he got into the cotton manufacturing company, and he agreed. When Susan was six, the Anthony family moved to Bentonville. Susan's father also established a general store but the store followed a new policy because most storekeepers offered their customers a drink of rum to conclude a business contraction but Daniel Anthony did not. Like most Quakers, he opposed drinking alcohol. He had seen many women and children abused by drunken husbands, and he did not want to add to the problem. Susan went to the school that her father had made so she could get Well educated Since most schools did not teach women at the same level that they taught men. From the mill workers, Susan and her sister saw that young woman could earn their own money. When a spooler at the Mill was sick, both Susan and her younger sister Hannah ask their father to let them substitute in for her. He decided they could draw straws to see who would work, and the winner would split the $3 wages with the loser, Susan won. She worked for two weeks and with her share of the money Hannah bought a green beaded bag, and Susan bought her mother six Blue China cups. in 1837, when the serious economic depression hit the country Daniel Anthony found themselves on the edge of bankruptcy.

In November her father took her to Hamilton. The school’s strict headmistress, Debrah Molson, Was harsh and critical of the students, for example, she scolded Susan because in one of the compositions she had written the eyes were not dotted properly. She caused Susan to stop from ever writing freely again. when she changed to Eunice Kenyon’s School she ended up getting to be in charge of the school for a few days. After that, she went on to teach at Canajoharie Academy near Albany, New York. She stayed with her non-Quaker cousin Margaret and her family. She got to try many new luxuries like colorful clothes and earrings. Susan B lived with Margaret and her family for two years until Margaret gave birth to her fourth child and grew ill and died. After that, Susan B craved a new outlet for her talents. As a headmistress, she had reached the top of the career ladder and the most respectable field for women. She earned less than a man and had no possibility of further promotion. The marriage did not offer the freedom she sought out. Marriage women had almost no rights, a lesson Susan B had learned when her mother’s possessions were auctioned to pay her father's debts in Battenville. She headed back to Rochester in 1849 and while there decided that she wanted to help right the wrongs of society.

In 1850, Rochester was in a debate about one of society's evils, and Susan B's family was caught up in the middle of the controversy. The subject of slavery divided the Quaker society. The more conservative friends believe slavery should not be expanded beyond the states where it already existed, but Daniel Anthony sided with the radicals who demanded the abolition of slavery altogether. Many abolitionist speakers Came to Anthony's Farm to discuss their views. Susan observed as a guest while she listened to their ideas. During this time her father encouraged her to speak in social reforms. Susan B joined the Rochester Daughters of Temperance. She organized fairs festivals and suppers. At first, Susan thought that bringing up women's rights would weaken the family bond, she thought it was too big. She tried to avoid women suffrage workers, but that was not easy because Elizabeth Cady Stanton abolitionist speaker who Susan admired organized the first woman's Rights Convention three years earlier.

During the two-day meeting in Seneca Falls, Elizabeth read her Declaration of Rights and sentiments. She demanded women's equality before the law, in the church, and education, in the family, and in employment. Her most controversial resolution called for the women's right to vote. People who attended were mostly curious about what they were here but many people attending were Quakers, genuinely open-minded compared to the rest of the population. But an uproar resulted when Stanton called for the women's right to vote. Frederick Douglass also spoke persuasively to support the woman. As a black man, he understood the pain of being denied the right to vote. Susan lived in Canajoharie at the time, and her main interest was with Temperance and ablation. Soon Susan had plugged into the fight for women's rights. Less than a year after being introduced to Cady Stanton, Susan attended a large Sons of Temperance meeting in Albany in 1852. Many women from various branches of the Daughters of Temperance came as well. The men told her that the sisters were not invited here to speak but to listen and learn. Susan left the hall and instead organized an alternative meaning for the woman. People gathered in the basement to let their voices be heard. Women's State Temperance Society had Susan schedule a convention in the spring. Elizabeth Cady Stanton promised to deliver the main speech. She proposed that women should be allowed to divorce drunk and husbands. During this time divorce was considered scandalous, but Susan B. somehow persuaded the assembly to elect Staton president and Susan be accepted the position of secretary. Women were still not allowed to speak at Men's Temperance organization so Susan organized alternative meetings where she addressed large groups of many women and few men. In 1852 Susan b. Attended her first national woman's Rights Convention. She admired the impressive speaking skills of Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown. Like Susan B. none of the women were married. They also dedicate their lives to social reform.

During this time women wore long, heavy skirts that made movement slow and cumbersome oh, and to avoid tripping women used one hand to hold up their skirt. Susan’s cousin Elizabeth Smith Miller designed a new outfit consisting of short skirts over a pair of very loose-fitted trousers gathered at the ankle. It allowed women much more freedom of movement, and also freed women's hands. The new fashion was domed Bloomers but few women wore it because those who did were taunted and laughed at for their choice. Men believed it made them less womanly. Susan B wore bloomers and also cut her hair short. In many ways, haircuts and Bloomers represented a sincere Revolt on the part of the woman. Instead of accepting the conventional fashion Susan B and her friends asserted their right to dress the way they wanted. Susan B was free to travel and lecture to promote women's rights. The liberal Anthony family couraged Susan’s reform work, and her fundraising skills helped to pay her way.

Susan soon learned that even though she enjoyed bloomers, during her speeches she was haunted and stared at. she could never stop thinking about her appearance. As she stated in her diary, she realized her audience is fixed upon her clothes instead of her words so after a year she went back to wearing long skirts. In 1853, New York State teacher’s meeting, Susan addressed that women should have the right to speak at the convention Because they paid the same entry fee as the men. Eventually, they let Susan speak. Returning to the original topic the men have been discussing, she talked about society's poor attitude towards teachers. She said that teaching was a little respected profession just because women were allowed to do it. Women were not thought to have enough intelligence to be doctors or lawyers, so it seemed that anyone who taught, female or male was not considered very smart. The next day Susan argued for a resolution and favor for equal pay for women. It passed, but getting equal pay, or even an equal right to speak at conventions was still a long way off.

Susan traveled to women's rights conventions in Ohio and across New York State, she felt upset when she discovered that many local chapters of women's Temperance organizations had fallen apart because they did not have enough money. Working women made small salaries that they had little to contribute, and married women had no legal right to any of the money they or their husbands earned. Employers paid married woman's earnings directly to their husbands. A father could also apprentice his and his wife's children to whoever he wished, without her consent. It could say in his will what would become of the children upon his death, regardless of the mother's wishes. Susan called a convention to begin a petition to drive extend property rights to women. She planned to show the legislators that the citizens of New York State wanted women to have control over their own money and property. In 1854, Susan B made a four-month tour of New York State's 60 counties. Susan’s petition called for married women to be allowed to keep their wages and have equal rights with their husbands over their children. Susan wanted to present the petition to Albany. She also planned to deliver them to lawmakers and to attend the New York State Women's Rights Convention being held there. The convention had so many people that it stretched from its schedule of two days to two weeks. Elizabeth Cady Stanton gave a speech that Susan B. printed, she distributed copies of it to every member of the state legislator. She also presented a State Assembly with the petition in favor of women's property rights. 10,000 people had signed their names to it. She demanded property rights and also women's suffrage, the right to divorce, and the right to hold political office. The lawmakers passed none of them.

A year after Susan attended the New York State teacher's conventions, always arguing for women's right to speak, hold office, serve on committees, and earn equal pay. She also pushed for educating boys and girls in the higher grades together, and for admitting women to colleges and universities with men. Only a few places allowed women to attend college. Susan B's demands for social change included the ending of slavery.

07 July 2022
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