This guest post from Brooke Napier is part of the 2012 Midpoint Series. See all of the posts in the series here.
Susan B. Anthony (born February 15, 1820) played an invaluable role in the women’s rights movement during the 19th century in the United States. Though women’s suffrage was not fully achieved until the early 20th century, there is no doubt Anthony began the social movement that eventually passed the 19th Amendment in the United States.
Anthony, born and raised in Adams, Massachusetts, began her activism at an early age. She co-founded the first Women’s Temperance Movement after being refused admission to a convention on account of her sex in 1851. Additionally, she co-founded the civil rights journal, The Revolution, which promoted women’s and African-Americans’ right to suffrage, equal pay for work, and the church’s position on women’s issues.
Despite being arrested for voting in 1872, Anthony persevered and turned this misfortune into a platform for spreading her arguments to a wider audience. Spending most of her life touring around the world, speaking on topics such as “Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?”
Later in her life, Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), an organization dedicated to gaining women’s suffrage, which later merged with another organization in 1890 to make the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Anthony acted as the dominant figure in NAWSA from 1890-1900. The NAWSA acted as the largest and most important suffrage organization in the United States by gathering national support to bring the 19th Amendment to a vote in Congress and eventually being passed in 1920.
Anthony should be remembered every year, on her birthday, in honor of her advocating and leading the way for women’s rights to be acknowledged by the United States government. Anthony gave women their voices and their right to use them.
— Brooke Napier
Brooke Napier is a Ph.D. candidate at Emory University in the Microbiology & Molecular Genetics program, and has a BA in Neuroscience from Agnes Scott College (Decatur, GA). Her passions in life include (but are not limited to): human pathogens and other microbes, her dogs, religiously updating Pinterest, biking, running, and cross fit. She and Sarah Scoles dedicate their free time to the popular science blog Smaller Questions (Twitter: @Smallerquestion).