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born 1820

Susan B. Anthony died more than a century ago...14 years before the voting rights amendment that bears her name was enacted. Issues she championed then are still central to political debates + policies today.

Never afraid to raise her voice for the sake of social justice, she campaigned for abolition alongside Frederick Douglass, was arrested for attempting to vote as a woman, and led the fight for equal rights for women ~ "Equal pay for equal work!" is not a new rallying cry. Ridiculed as much as revered, Susan never stopped believing in her causes. Even though she admitted it was cruel to die without seeing women get the right to vote, her last public words were "Failure is impossible!"

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Susan B. Anthony (26)

"What an absurd notion that women have not intellectual and moral faculties sufficient for anything but domestic concerns."

to brother-in-law, Aaron McLean {quoted in Ida Husted Harper's Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony} | around 1840

"Be the future what it may, our happiness in the present is far more complete if we live an upright life."

quoted in Ida Husted Harper's Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony | around 1840

"Woman must have a purse of her own, & how can this be, so long as the wife is denied the right to her individual and joint earnings. Reflections like these, caused me to see and really feel that there is no freedom for woman without the possession of all her property rights..."

Susan B. Anthony | november 1853

"Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation."

on Wendell Phillips' withdrawal of support for divorce law reform | may 1860

"Forget conventionalisms; forget what the world will say, whether you are in your place or out of your place; think your best thoughts, speak your best words, do your best works, looking only to suffering humanity, your own conscience, and God for approval."

Meeting of the Loyal Women of the Republic | may 1863

"Think your best thoughts, speak your best words, do your best works, looking only to suffering humanity, your own conscience, and God for approval."

Meeting of the Loyal Women of the Republic | may 1863

"Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less."

The Revolution | february 1868

"Scorn to be 'petted' by your employers; make them understand you are in their service AS WORKERS not AS WOMEN; and that you will ask and will accept, nothing less nor more because of your sex."

The Revolution | october 1868

"Join the union, girls, and together say, 'Equal Pay for Equal Work!'"

Women's Typographical Union No. 1 Meeting | october 1869

"Away with your man-visions! Women propose to reject them all, and begin to dream dreams for themselves."

to her family, from Salt Lake City | july 1871

"Woman must not depend on the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself."

"Power of the Ballot" and defense of murderer Laura Fair | july 1871

"It is we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union."

Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote? | november 1872

"Robbed of the fundamental privilege of citizenship, I am degraded from the status of a citizen to that of a subject; and not only myself individually, but all of my sex, are, by your honor's verdict, doomed to political subjection under this, so-called, form of government."

An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony on the Charge of Illegal Voting | june 1873

"Marriage, to women as to men, must be a luxury, not a necessity; an incident of life, not all of it."

Social Purity | march 1875

"And I say, give to woman the ballot, the political fulcrum, on which to plant her moral lever, and she will lift the world into a nobler purer atmosphere."

"social purity" | march 1875

"I never could have done the work I have if I had not had this woman at my right hand."

at Susan's 70th birthday banquet, Riggs House, Washington, DC | february 1890

"Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride on a wheel. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance."

Champion Of Her Sex: Miss Susan B. Anthony | february 1896

"Oh, if I could live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done."

The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, Vol. III | january 1902

"It is all at sea—but the Laws of Nature are still going on—with no shadow or turning— What a world it is—it goes right on & on—no matter who lives or who dies!!"

to Ida Husted Harper on the death of Elizabeth Cady Stanton | october 1902

"How shall we ever make the world intelligent?"

to Ida Husted Harper upon the death of Elizabeth Cady Stanton | october 1902

"I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth. The sense of independence and security is very sweet."

with Edwin Tracy of the New York Press | january 1905

"The modern girl sees the dawn of a new day. Women at the editor's desk, women teaching in college, women healing the sick, women practicing in the courts, women preaching from the pulpit and lecturing from the platform ~ call them new women or what you please ~ they are the women the world welcomes today."

on the occasion of her 85th birthday | february 1905

"Failure is impossible."

National Woman Suffrage Association | february 1906

"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."

to her sister {quoted in New York Times obituary} | march 1906

"To think I have had more than 60 years of hard struggle for a little liberty, and then to die without it seems so cruel."

to Anna Shaw {quoted in New York Times obituary} | march 1906

"'Tis strange, 'tis passing strange that a girl possessed of common sense should be willing to marry a lunatic—but so it is."

quoted in Ida Husted Harper's Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony | around 1840
  • Quotabelle profile
  • Susan B. Anthony

curated with care by Meghan Miller Brawley {july 2014}