Beginnings of the Movement
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Though hundreds of women participated in the early women's suffrage movement, undoubtedly the most well known were Elizabeth Cady Stanton (seated) and Susan B. Anthony (standing), both of New York.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton came to the women's rights movement through the abolitionist movement. Her cousin, Gerrit Smith, was a leading abolitionist, and through him and her husband, Henry Stanton, Elizabeth became involved in anti-slavery activism. In 1848, she was the driving force behind the Seneca Falls Convention, considered the birthplace of the women's rights movement. In 1851, she met Susan B. Anthony, who was involved in both the temperance and the abolitionist movement and who quickly became a leader in the drive for women's suffrage. Both women were outraged by the ills of society and by the limitations put on women who wanted to try to right those wrongs.

Over the following decades, Stanton and Anthony comprised the public face of the women's rights movement, with Stanton authoring many of the speeches and documents and setting strategy and Anthony traveling, speaking, and giving interviews.

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

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Page last modified: August 24, 2011