It wasn’t a midnight ride conducted in the midst of political danger. But then, Paul Revere didn’t ride 30 miles alone across Kansas wilderness in an evening snowstorm, either. Continue reading
Daniel Anthony had finished his military career by this point, but he would have grasped the mixed message that Lincoln was sending. In effect, the president was freeing people whom he did not even control because they were behind enemy lines. However, this may have encouraged African-Americans pressed into Confederate assistance to abandon their posts if they could reach the safety of Union lines, thus weakening the rebel cause. Fewer Southern whites would have been available to fight if they had to do the jobs that black men were forced to do.
Many Northerners, especially Susan B. Anthony, considered this document to have no teeth and pressed for an amendment to the Constitution to permanently outlaw slavery. That went into effect with the Thirteenth Amendment, ratified in December 1865 after the close of the Civil War and the death of Abraham Lincoln.
Susan’s brother D.R. Anthony emigrated to Kansas with the inaugural party of the Emigrant Aid Company in July 1854, and Clarina Nichols arrived with a larger group that fall. By the time Nichols set foot in Kansas, Continue reading
Mount Hope Cemetery, where Susan B. Anthony is buried, has been a special place ever since its founding in 1838 on a rural hillside a mile outside of Rochester, NY.
My new book on Susan B. Anthony’s brother Daniel will soon hit the shelves. I’m anticipating publication this summer or fall. If you love history and enjoy a good romance, watch for news of it on this blog. Continue reading
Recently I had the pleasure of presenting Susan B. Anthony in costume at the World of Inquiry School in the Rochester City School District. Approximately 100 seventh-graders, in groups of 20, cycled through several costumed speakers who introduced students to a variety of 19th century issues, including temperance, antislavery, physical abuse, unequal access to education, child labor, and women’s rights.
We like to think ourselves well-advanced beyond Americans of the 1900s, but are we, really? We still have problems with alcoholism, racism, abuse, and women’s rights. And today, children as young as eight years being trafficked in the sex trade, a form of child labor that is even more appalling than the factory work of 19th century youngsters .
Some of the World of Inquiry classes were all girls, others all boys. Presenting Miss Anthony’s impassioned plea for women’s rights to seventh-grade boys presented a unique opportunity. Why should young males, at the beginning of their adult years, voluntarily rescind some of their natural rights to girls? “Miss Anthony” drew upon her Quaker upbringing to challenge those teenagers to respect themselves and accord the same respect to the females in their lives. She asked them to consider what happens to women who are dependent on men when the men must leave their women, in situations such as military service or death. Would a respectful man want to put a woman he loves at risk for a life of poor education and poor wages just so he can act superior to her when he is present?
We costumed presenters kicked off a curriculum unit entitled “Fighting for Change.” Following our appearances, the teachers have helped students work through some of the nuances of these social problems and take them from the common teenage refrain of “It’s not fair” to “What am I going to do about it?” Sounds to me like a worthy goal.
In the above photo from that event are pictured David Anderson as Frederick Douglass, Victoria Schmidt as an Erie Canal cook, Jeanne Gehret as Susan B. Anthony, Christine Ridarski (historian, City of Rochester), and Jeffrey Ludwig as an early temperance advocate.
Daniel Read (D.R.) Anthony seems to have led a rather unremarkable life until he went to Kansas. In his early teens, his formal schooling was interrupted by his father’s bankruptcy. He helped out in his father’s cotton mill for several years, had a brief stint as a shopkeeper, went to Normal School (for teachers), and then taught for two winters.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, Frederick Douglass was as well-known as Martin Luther King. For many years he lived in Rochester near the Anthony family and frequently dined with them and their Quaker friends.