On February 15 we celebrate Susan B. Anthony’s birthday in 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. When she was a girl, there were only seven professions open to women. Wives had no say over their children’s welfare or their money, even if they earned it themselves, brought it into the marriage, or inherited it. They could be “disciplined” with anything smaller in diameter than a man’s thumb.
Susan’s quest for women’s rights was inclusive, encompassing stronger liquor laws to protect women from domestic violence; female education for and entrance into many professions; and voting rights across the United States.
Indirectly or directly, her campaigns helped to bring about reforms outlined in five constitutional amendments:
- 13th—freeing African-American slaves
- 14th—extending citizenship to former slaves
- 15th—extending the vote to African-American men
- 16th—outlawing liquor consumption
- 19th—extending the vote to American women
I have profiled Susan in an easy-reading biography, Susan B. Anthony And Justice For All. After portraying her for many years, I became interested in her activist family and wrote the first in my saga about the Anthonys—The Truth About Daniel. Learn more about both books here.