Susan Brownell Anthony (1820 - 1906)

Susan Brownell Anthony
1820 - 1906
updated November 05, 2020
Susan Brownell Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. She died on March 13, 1906 at Rochester,Monroe,NY at age 86. We know that Susan Brownell Anthony had been residing in Rochester, Monroe County, New York United States.

Born to Daniel Anthony and Lucy Read, Susan was the 2nd eldest of 7 children. Her father was a Quaker and her mother was Methodist. Susan was a family name but she wasn't given a middle name at birth. But due to a "great craze for middle initials" when Susan was young, she and her sisters chose middle initials. While Susan chose "B" (for her namesake Aunt Susan's married surname "Brownell"), she never used Brownell as part of her name. Technically, her name was - and remains "Susan Anthony" or "Susan B. Anthony". (The same was true for Ulysses S. Grant. He didn't have a middle name so he added "S". Just S. He liked the idea of "US Grant".)

Probably due to their Quaker background, most of Anthony's family became involved in social movements. One brother even fought with John Brown. In 1848, the family joined an organization formed by more socially conscious Quakers called the "Congregational Friends". As a result of this organization, Susan became a compatriot of and life-long friend of ex-slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglas.

Anthony never married but she became friends with married with (7) children Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Stanton's husband said of them: "Susan stirred the puddings, Elizabeth stirred up Susan, and then Susan stirs up the world!"

Susan B. Anthony died at the age of 86 of heart failure and pneumonia in her home in Rochester, New York, on March 13, 1906. She was active in social rights movements up until the end of her life. A few days before her death (at her birthday celebration), she said: "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!"

A contemporaneous obituary from the New York Times, with quotes and more details about her life can be seen below.
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Susan Brownell Anthony Biography

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Susan Brownell Anthony
Most commonly known name
Female
Gender
Susan
First name
Brownell
Middle name
Unknown
Maiden name
Anthony
Last name(s)
Susan B Anthony
Nickname(s) or aliases
Rochester, Monroe County, New York United States
Last known residence
Susan Anthony was born on in Adams, Massachusetts United States
Birth
Susan Anthony died on at Rochester,Monroe,NY,
Death
Susan Anthony was born on in Adams, Massachusetts United States
Susan Anthony died on at Rochester,Monroe,NY,
Birth
Death
Heart failure and pneumonia
Cause of death
Mt. Hope Cemetery,
Burial / Funeral
Unknown
Obituary

Ethnicity & Lineage

Caucasian

Nationality & Locations Lived

United States

Religion

Quaker and Methodist

Education

Quaker boarding school

Professions

Teacher, ran family farm, activist: Temperance, Abolutionist, Suffragist activist and speaker

Personal Life & Organizations

Never married

Military Service

Did Susan serve in the military or did a war or conflict interfere with her life?

Average Age

Life Expectancy

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March 13, 1906 Obituary New York Times

ROCHESTER, March 13, -- Miss Susan B. Anthony died at 12:40 o'clock this morning. The end came peacefully. Miss Anthony had been unconscious practically all of the time for more than twenty-four hours, and her death had been almost momentarily expected since last night. Only her wonderful constitution kept her alive.

Dr. M. S. Ricker, her attending physician, said Miss Anthony died of heart disease and pneumonia of both lungs. She had had serious valvular heart trouble for the last six or seven years. Her lungs were practically clear and the pneumonia had yielded to treatment, but the weakness of her heart prevented her recovery.

Miss Anthony was taken ill while on her way home from the National Suffrage Convention in Baltimore. She stopped in New York, where a banquet was to be given Feb. 20 in honor of her eighty-sixth birthday, but she had an attack of neuralgia on Feb. 18 and hastened home. Pneumonia developed after her arrival here, and on March 5 both her lungs became affected. She rallied, but had a relapse three days ago, and the end after that never was in doubt.

Miss Anthony herself had believed that she would recover. Early in her illness she told her friends that she expected to live to be as old as her father, who was over 90 when he died. But on Wednesday she said to her sister:

"Write to Anna Shaw immediately, and tell her I desire that every cent I leave when I pass out of this life shall be given to the fund which Miss Thomas and Miss Garrett are raising for the cause. I have given my life and all I am to it, and now I want my last act to be to give it all I have, to the last cent. Tell Anna Shaw to see that this is done."

Miss Shaw said:

"On Sunday, about two hours before she became unconscious, I talked with Miss Anthony, and she said: 'To think I have had more than sixty years of hard struggle for a little liberty, and then to die without it seems so cruel."

Susan Brownell Anthony was a pioneer leader of the cause of woman suffrage, and her energy was tireless in working for what she considered to be the best interests of womankind. At home and abroad she had innumerable friends, not only among those who sympathized with her views, but among those who held opinions radically opposed to her. In recent years her age made it impossible for her to continue active participation in all the movements for the enfranchisement of women with which she had been connected, but she was at the time of her death the Honorary President of the National Woman Suffrage Association, the society which she and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized in 1869.

Miss Anthony possessed a figure of medium size, a firm but rather pleasing face, clear hazel eyes, and dark hair which she always wore combed smoothly over the ears and bound in a coil at the back. She paid much attention to dress and advised those associated in the movement for women suffrage to be punctilious in all matters pertaining to the toilet. For a little over a year in the early fifties she wore a bloomer costume, consisting of a short skirt and a pair of Turkish trousers gathered at the ankles. So great an outcry arose against the innovation both from the pulpit and the press that she was subjected to many indignities, and forced to abandon it.

Miss Anthony was born at South Adams, Mass., on Feb. 15, 1820. Daniel Anthony, her father, a liberal Quaker, was a cotton manufacturer. Susan Anthony was first instructed by teachers at home. She was sent afterward to finish her education at a Friends' boarding school in Philadelphia. She continued to attend this school until, at the age of fifteen, she was occasionally called on to help in the teaching. At seventeen she received a dollar a week with board by teaching in a private family, and the next summer a district school engaged her for $1.50 a week and "boarded her round." She continued to teach until 1852, when she found her taste for this profession entirely gone, a school in Rochester being her last charge.

Miss Anthony had become impressed with the idea that women were suffering great wrongs, and when she abandoned school teaching, having saved only about $300, she determined to enter the lecture field. People of to-day can scarcely understand the strong prejudices Miss Anthony had to live down. In 1851 she called a temperance convention in Albany, admittance to a previous convention having been refused to her because it was not the custom to admit women. The Women's New York State Temperance Society was organized the following year. Through Miss Anthony's exertions and those of Elizabeth Cady Stanton women soon came to be admitted to educational and other conventions, with the right to speak, vote, and act upon committees.

Miss Anthony's active participation in the movement for woman suffrage started in the fifties. As early as 1854 she arranged conventions throughout the State and annually bombarded the Legislature with messages and appeals. She was active in obtaining the passage of the act of the New York Legislature in 1860 giving to married women the possession of their earnings and the guardianship of their children. During the war she was devoted to the Women's Loyal League, which petitioned Congress in favor of the thirteenth amendment. She was also directly interested in the fourteenth amendment, sending a petition in favor of leaving out the word "male."

In company with Mrs. Stanton and Lucy Stone, Miss Anthony went to Kansas in 1867, and there obtained 9,000 votes in favor of woman suffrage. The following year, with the co-operation of Mrs. Stanton, Parker Pillsbury, and George Francis Train, she began the publication in this city of a weekly paper called The Revolutionist, devoted to the emancipation of women.

In order to test the application of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments she cast ballots in the State and Congressional election in Rochester in 1872. She was indicted and ordered to pay a fine, but the order was never enforced.

Miss Anthony succeeded Mrs. Stanton as President of the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1892, Mrs. Stanton having resigned because of old age. This office she held until February, 1899, her farewell address being delivered at a meeting of the association in Washington. For a number of years she averaged 100 lectures a year. She engaged in eight different State campaigns for a Constitutional amendment enfranchising women, and hearings before committees of practically every Congress since 1869 were granted to her.

She was the joint author with Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Ida Husted Harper, and Mrs. Matilda Joslyn Gage of "The History of Woman Suffrage." She also was a frequent contributor to magazines.

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Susan Anthony Obituary

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Susan Brownell Anthony died on March 13, 1906 at Rochester,Monroe,NY at 86 years of age. She was buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery. She was born on February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. We have no information about Susan's family. We know that Susan Brownell Anthony had been residing in Rochester, Monroe County, New York United States.
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1820 - 1906 World Events

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In 1820, in the year that Susan Brownell Anthony was born, on February 23rd, a plot to murder the Cabinet of the United Kingdom - called the Cato Street Conspiracy - was discovered in England. Thirteen people were arrested of which five were hanged and decapitated (some people paid for a good view of the hanging, attendance was so large). These were the last beheadings in Great Britain.

In 1858, at the age of 38 years old, Susan was alive when on January 14th, Felice Orsini and others tried - but failed - to assassinate Napoleon III of France. The bombs they set off did kill 8 people - and wounded 142 others. Some of the conspirators were French émigrés who lived in Britain, setting off a short anti-British feeling in France. But the emperor refused to support the sentiment and it died out. Orsini was executed by guillotine on March 13th.

In 1863, at the age of 43 years old, Susan was alive when on June 20th, West Virginia was admitted as the 35th state of the United States. West Virginia was formed when the pro-Union citizens in northwest Virginia wanted to separate from Virginia - which had joined the Confederacy.

In 1879, at the age of 59 years old, Susan was alive when on November 10th, Bell Telephone and Western Union reached an agreement. Bell Telephone would keep out of the telegraphy business and Western Union would stay out of the telephone business - leading to success for both.

In 1906, in the year of Susan Brownell Anthony's passing, abolitionist and suffragette leader Susan B. Anthony died, before women's right to vote nationally was realized (in 1920). She, along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, founded the National American Woman Suffrage Association which later became the League of Women Voters. She died at the age of 86 of heart failure and pneumonia in her home in New York.

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