According to Susan’s official biography, it was said that Washingtonians marked spring each year with two signs: the return of Congress to the nation’s capital and the return of Miss Anthony in her red shawl to lobby Congress.
In her later years, the shawl was such a beloved trademark that when she stepped up on stage without it one day the newsmen ribbed her that they would not file their stories unless she wore it. She sent someone back to the hotel to fetch it. Only death could stop the indefatigable Anthony.
In 1906 (her 86th year), after making an earlier-than-usual visit to the capital, she contracted pneumonia and died at home on March 13. On her deathbed, she seemed to greet a parade of famous comrades with whom she had worked for universal suffrage. Together, they had labored long and hard and accomplished much, not only for women but for African-Americans. Still, the most precious right of female suffrage eluded her. Holding up her pinkie, she said to her lieutenant, Anna Howard Shaw, “Just think of it, I have been striving for over sixty years for a little bit of justice no bigger than that, and yet I must die without obtaining it. Oh, it seems so cruel.”
The following is an excerpt from the New York Evening Journal’s testimonial upon Susan’s death:
No wrong under which woman suffered was too great for her to dare attack it, no injustice too small to enlist her pity and her attempt to remedy it.
She saw the tears of the slave mother with the child torn from her arms…and she was foremost among those who fought for freedom for the negro.
She saw women with great intellects starving for knowledge, and she fought to open the avenues of education to them. She saw the poverty of the sweat shop women..and she fought to better the conditions under which they worked. She saw the honor of the girl-child made the plaything of the debauchee, and she fought for laws for her protection. She saw the woman working by the side of the man for half the salary, and she fought for equal pay for equal work. She saw the intelligent, educated, tax-paying woman of the country classed by the law with the idiot, the criminal and the insane, and she died fighting, with her face to the foe, to have this monstrous injustice removed.”
Ida Husted Harper, Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, vol III. Indianapolis: Hollenbeck Press, 1908
Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian
The Truth About Daniel was featured today on FOX morning news. Click here to watch the newscast. I liked how they included images, but you may be confused about the picture of people standing in front of a house. It’s not Daniel’s house in Missouri, but the Anthony farm in Rochester. As far as we know, Daniel lived there with his family of origin before he moved to Kansas with the Emigrant Aid Company.
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Happy Valentine’s Day to you! I had fun writing the romance portions of this book, especially the three chapters where Daniel bumbles through a proposal to Annie and finally gets it right.
Thanks to the great people at Fox news. They have also filmed our Tool Thrift Shop and our English country dancing group. (Dancing and romancing go hand in hand in The Truth About Daniel.)
What sacrifices our foremothers made for the right to vote! I’m reposting this since most of it got cut off last time.
Lovers of Anthony memorabilia like to refer to Susan’s youngest sister, Mary, as the wind beneath the famous reformer’s wings. It’s easy to see why, since Mary remained single, cared for mother Lucy Anthony in her widowhood, kept the Madison Street home where numerous family members lodged (including Susan), and was a leader in the Women’s Political Equality Club. But who were the other two sisters, Guelma and Hannah?