What Women Can Do: Letter From Susan B. Anthony to Elizabeth Cady Stanton

our foremothers ... our teachers

susan b anthony elizabeth cady stanton

Want to feel proud to be a woman? This will do it.

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton met in 1851. For the next fifty years they would campaign for both black and women’s suffrage. They founded the National Women’s Suffrage Association in 1869. Women did eventually win the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th amendment on August 19th, 1920.Stanton died only a few days after receiving this letter.

This letter is an example of the power women have when unified in their belief that all humankind are equal and deserving of the respect and esteem by all. Heels off to our foremothers Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Women will continue your quest for full equality of body, mind and spirit.

October 1902,

My dear Mrs. Stanton,

I shall indeed be happy to spend with you November 12, the day on which you round out your four-score and seven, over four years ahead of me, but in age as in all else I follow you closely.  It is fifty-one years since first we met and we have been busy through every one of them, stirring up the world to recognize the rights of women. The older we grow, the more keenly we feel the humiliation of disfranchisement and the more vividly we realize its disadvantages in every department of life and most of all in the labor market.

We little dreamed when we began this contest, optimistic with the hope and buoyancy of youth, that half a century later we would be compelled to leave the finish of the battle to another generation of women. But our hearts are filled with joy to know that they enter up on this task equipped with a college education, with business experience, with the fully admitted right to speak in public — all of which were denied to women fifty years ago. They have practically but one point to gain–the suffrage; we had all. These strong, courageous, capable young women will take our place and complete our work. There is an army of them, where we were but a handful. Ancient prejudice has become so softened, public sentiment so liberalized and women have so thoroughly demonstrated their ability as to leave not a shadow of doubt that they will carry our cause to victory.

And we, dear old friend, shall move on to the next sphere of existence–higher and larger, we cannot fail to believe, one where women will not be placed in an inferior position but will be welcomed on a plane of perfect intellectual and spiritual equality.

Ever lovingly yours,

Susan B. Anthony

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