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Susan B. Anthony, 1820-1906
[Mentioned in Miscellaneous Writings, p. 248]
"Failure is impossible," declared Miss Anthony in her last public speech, and the passing in 1920 of the Susan B. Anthony amendment, giving suffrage to the women in the United States, justified her vision.*
At first she did not see the importance of gaining the vote for women, but her own experiences taught her the need. At seventeen, she took up teaching, the only profession open to her that would use her talents and education. She found that men were paid $30 a month for the same services for which women received $4 to $8. The financial panic of 1839 bankrupted her father, and but for the honor of an uncle, who came forward with her mother's share of their father's estate, which she legally could not claim, the family would have been ruined. Although two thirds of the delegates were women, Susan was the first woman ever to speak at a teachers' convention, and she was allowed to do so only after a debate on its propriety.
In the meantime Susan was active in the Daughters of Temperance. When they were asked to send delegates to a Convention of the Sons of Temperance, Susan was sent. However, she was denied the privilege of speaking. The result was a Women's State Temperance Convention and the appointment of Susan as State Agent. This marked the beginning of her public life and of her extensive traveling. Her organizing and speaking abilities also aided the Anti-Slavery Society.
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