Book Excerpt

While we’re awaiting shipment of the first copies of The Truth About Daniel, here’s an excerpt from chapter 4 where Daniel and his sister Susan B. Anthony discuss his difficulties with courtship:

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D.R.’s Pugnacious Temperament

I love the term “pugnacious,” which describes someone just itching for a fight. That seems a fair representation of Daniel Read Anthony of Leavenworth, who was descended from the same stock as Susan B. Anthony. While this brother and sister were both devoted to the abolition of slavery, she fought with words, attempting to change legislation, while he wrote fiery articles and backed them up with bullets. (Besides being a Union colonel and Kansas Jayhawker, he founded a newspaper dynasty whose owners were all named Daniel Read Anthony.)

Here’s an excerpt from a colorful account of several Kansas editors whose combative natures emphasized their verbal onslaughts:

Dan Anthony I of Leavenworth deserves top billing among the pistol-packing pencil pushers. He fought a duel, was shot at numerous times, was seriously wounded once and killed a rival editor in his own home town. All of these incidents occurred during the territorial or early statehood days, and he carried two big horse pistols for many years and to his dying day these lethal weapons, ready to go, laid on or in the top drawer of his desk. During the later period of forty years he never had occasion to use this armament, but it was well known that “Ole Dan” was always ready. He mellowed a good deal as he grew older and while his likes and dislikes were just as sharply drawn and aggressively supported or opposed he learned to temper his violence materially.

Another significant difference between them is that D.R. married and settled in Leavenworth, KS while Susan remained single and became a citizen of the world. Many years she logged 100 speeches–think of that, two a day–many of them in different towns.

The photo of D.R. above depicts one of his quieter moments. Despite his warlike nature, he died of natural causes at the age of 80. Read about his most deadly encounter in The Truth About Daniel, coming in January.

Who Gathered at the Osborns for Christmas?

dining 1408x1056Annie Osborn had ten siblings spanning three decades, since her father was married three
times (widowed twice). Here are some glimpses of who may have joined her on Martha’s Vineyard for her family Christmas in 1863: Continue reading

Not His Father’s Quaker

Punchbowl that belonged to the Anthony family, displayed at the Leavenworth County Historical Society. Photo by Jeanne Gehret

Punchbowl that belonged to the Anthony family. Photo by Jeanne Gehret

Daniel Anthony, the father of Susan B. and her siblings, was of such an independent mind that he married “out of Meeting,” i.e. someone who was not a Quaker. In fact, he married a girl who had been his student, a Baptist named Lucy Read. For this he was temporarily ousted from the Meeting, as he was at numerous other times during his life. Continue reading

Reminiscing with Susan

remininscing Susan 800Join me at the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum next Sunday, February 15 for her birthday celebration. We’ll have a festive gathering and refreshments, and I will present “Reminiscing With Susan.”

Every year the Museum celebrates Susan’s birth with a party near the house where she was born in Adams, Massachusetts. Nestled at the base of Mount Greylock, the highest mountain in Massachusetts, this home is where Susan was raised in a loving Quaker household. Her family of eight frequently shared their home with others including her maternal grandparents and as many as 11 young women who worked in her father’s mill. I like to look out the bedroom window at the mountain whose heights inspired her for as long as she lived.

The Birthplace Museum celebrates the regional and familial influences that shaped this woman who gave her life to three reforms: woman suffrage, abolition, and temperance. The home includes many textiles and furnishings appropriate to the 1820s, as well as literature and other memorabilia associated with her later career.

 

 

 

19th Amendment

Susan B. Anthony House, Rochester, NY. Photo by Jeanne Gehret

Susan B. Anthony House, Rochester, NY. Photo by Jeanne Gehret

Would there have been a 19th amendment if Susan B. had not tried to vote in 1872? Possibly not. If her vote had been calmly counted instead of causing an uproar, maybe millions of women would have voted in the 1880 election. Continue reading