All for Suffrage, part 2

Susan B. Anthony’s five siblings, like her parents, were all for suffrage. They supported the right of every American Continue reading

The Anthonys’ Quaker Roots

 

Quaker Meeting House, Adams. Photo by Jeanne Gehret

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of presenting “All for Suffrage: Susan B. Anthony’s Kin” at Susan’s birthplace museum in Adams, MA, near the border of New York State.

After my presentation, my friend and I received a private tour by Adams Historical Society president Eugene Michalenko of the East Hoosuk Quaker Meetinghouse not far from Susan’s home. That is where Susan’s Aunt Hannah Hoxie (her father’s sister) sat on the “high seat” sharing spiritual insights during meetings. Hannah was regarded by the congregation as a gifted speaker in an era when women outside of Quakerism rarely spoke in public.

The high seat turned out to be on the top row of pews facing the congregation, nearest the center. Hannah’s central position connotes some importance. Measuring about 45×45 feet, the building features separate doors for men and women, who held their own meetings and kept separate records.

Once inside, a movable partial wall divides the two sides, with women and children sitting on the side with a huge open fireplace. (How kind those Quaker gentlemen were!) The dividing wall was removed during worship; thus, Hannah could be seen (and heard) by both men and women.

The Meetinghouse website includes more photos and describes many tenets of Quaker beliefs, including their opposition to war. Annually Daniel Anthony, Susan’s father, greeted the taxman by telling him that he refused to support a government that wages war and if he must extract the tax, he should riffle through Anthony’s wallet and take it himself.

Later, Susan’s brother D.R. Anthony ran afoul of Quaker pacificism when he killed a rival publisher in a streetfight in Leavenworth. By that time, the Anthonys belonged to the Rochester, NY Meeting, and a delegation wrote to D.R. questioning his adherence to the beliefs of his ancestors. Read more about that conflict in my book The Truth About Daniel, published in January.

Author Talk on Susan B. Anthony’s Kin

“All For Suffrage: Susan B. Anthony’s Kin” will be Jeanne Gehret’s topic in an evening presentation at the Penfield (N.Y.) Public Library this coming Thursday, April 27, from 7-8:30. Admission is free.

Miss Anthony’s devotion to woman suffrage is well-known. Lesser-known is how she also campaigned for black suffrage–and how her entire family supported her in both efforts.

Come discover how the members of Susan’s family thought for themselves and stood up for their beliefs–even when they risked public disapproval, arrest, the ruin of career, or death.

Copies of The Truth About Daniel, the first in the Dauntless Series about this amazing family, will be available for sale and author signing. This talk commemorates the 100th anniversary of woman suffrage in New York State.

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

Following Susan B.

Connie and Jinnie visit the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester with Jeanne Gehret

Connie and Jinnie visit the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester with Jeanne Gehret

This week my two new friends Connie Logan and Jinny Vogel-Polizzi retraced Susan B.’s steps from Susan B.’s birthplace in Adams, Massachusetts to her adult home in Rochester, NY. (Click on picture to enlarge it.) But it isn’t the first time they’ve “followed” Susan. Continue reading

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

When Frederick Douglass went to dine at the Anthony home, powerful forces went to work.

Join me for a look at the striking statues of these two at the Susan B. Anthony Square near her home in Rochester, NY.

Continue reading

Preparing for Society Wedding on Martha’s Vineyard

    Fed Cong church steeple 2        D.R. Anthony married Anna Eliza Osborn in January 1864 in the Congregational Church (now known as the Federated Church) located on the same block Anna’s beautiful home that faced the sea. Continue reading

Anthony Family on Erie Canal

Erie Canal ten miles east of Rochester, NY. Photo by Jeanne Gehret

Erie Canal ten miles east of Rochester, NY. Photo by Jeanne Gehret

In 1845, when several of the Anthony family moved to Rochester, NY, this section of the Erie Canal probably looked much as it does today. Continue reading

Quakers At Heart

Quaker Meeting House, Adams. Photo by Jeanne Gehret

Quaker Meeting House, Adams. Photo by Jeanne Gehret

Quakerism was at the center of the Anthony family. It was a bee in the bonnet of Susan’s antislavery activities that began in New York State, and a spur atop the saddle for Merritt and Daniel as they rode with the Kansas cavalry in the Civil War.

Continue reading

Susan B. Anthony Family Origins: Massachusetts

 

Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum kitchen. Photo by Jeanne Gehret

Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum kitchen. Photo by Jeanne Gehret

The Anthony story begins in Adams, Massachusetts at the family homestead and Friends’ Cemetery. That home represents a fairly stable period in the relationship between the Anthonys and the Quakers.
Continue reading