Feminists from 1848 to the present have rightly viewed the Seneca Falls convention as the birth of the women's rights movement in the United States and beyond. In The Road To Seneca Falls, Judith Wellman offers the first well documented, full-length account of this historic meeting in its contemporary context.
The convention succeeded by uniting powerful elements of the antislavery movement, radical Quakers, and the campaign for legal reform under a common cause. Wellman shows that these three strands converged not only in Seneca Falls, but also in the life of women's rights pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It is this convergence, she argues, that foments one of the greatest rebellions of modern times.
Rather than working heavy-handedly downward from their official "Declaration of Sentiments," Wellman works upward from richly detailed documentary evidence to construct a complex tapestry of causes that lay behind the convention, bringing the struggle to life. Her approach results in a satisfying combination of social, community, and reform history with individual and collective biographical elements.
The Road to Seneca Falls challenges all of us to reflect on what it means to be an American trying to implement the belief that "all men and women are created equal," both then and now. A fascinating story in its own right, it is also a seminal piece of scholarship for anyone interested in history, politics, or gender.
Against an Aristocracy of Sex, 1866-1873 is the second of six volumes of the Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The entire collection documents the friendship and accomplishments of two of America's most important social and political reformers. Though neither Stanton nor Anthony lived to see passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, each of them devoted fifty-five years to the cause of women's suffrage.
The second volume picks up the story of Stanton and Anthony at the end of 1866, when they launched their drive to make universal suffrage the priority of Reconstruction. Through letters, speeches, articles, and diaries, this volume recounts their years as editor and publisher of the weekly paper the Revolution, their extensive travels, and their lobbying with Congress. It touches on the bitter division that occurred among suffragists over such controversial topics as marriage and divorce, and a national debate over the citizenship of women under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. By the summer of 1873, when this volume ends, Anthony stood convicted of the federal crime of illegal citizenship of women under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. By the summer of 1873, when this volume ends, Anthony stood convicted of the federal crime of illegal voting. An irate Stanton warned, "I felt afresh the mockery of this boasted chivalry of man towards woman."
The “hush” of the title comes suddenly, when first Elizabeth Cady Stanton dies on October 26, 1902, and three years later Susan B. Anthony dies on March 13, 1906. It is sudden because Stanton, despite near blindness and immobility, wrote so intently right to the end that editors had supplies of her articles on hand to publish several months after her death. It is sudden because Anthony, at the age of eighty-five, set off for one more transcontinental trip, telling a friend on the Pacific Coast, “it will be just as well if I come to the end on the cars, or anywhere, as to be at home.”
Volume VI of this extraordinary series of selected papers is inescapably about endings, death, and silence. But death happens here to women still in the fight. An Awful Hush is about reformers trained “in the school of anti-slavery” trying to practice their craft in the age of Jim Crow and a new American Empire. It recounts new challenges to “an aristocracy of sex,” whether among the bishops of the Episcopal church, the voters of California, or the trustees of the University of Rochester. And it sends last messages about woman suffrage. As Stanton wrote to Theodore Roosevelt on the day before she died, “Surely there is no greater monopoly than that of all men, in denying to all women a voice in the laws they are compelled to obey.”
With the publication of Volume VI, this series is now complete.
In the School of Anti-Slavery, 1840-1866 is the first of six volumes of The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The collection documents the lives and accomplishments of two of America's most important social and political reformers. Though neither Stanton nor Anthony lived to see the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, each of them devoted fifty-five years to the cause. Their names were synonymous with woman suffrage in the United States and around the world as they mobilized thousands of women to fight for the right to a political voice.
Opening when Stanton was twenty-five and Anthony was twenty, and ending when Congress sent the Fourteenth Amendment to the states for ratification, this volume recounts a quarter of a century of staunch commitment to political change. Readers will enjoy an extraordinary collection of letters, speeches, articles, and diaries that tells a story-both personal and public-about abolition, temperance, and woman suffrage.
When all six volumes are complete, the Selected Papers of Stanton and Anthony will contain over 2,000 texts transcribed from their originals, the authenticity of each confirmed or explained, with notes to allow for intelligent reading. The papers will provide an invaluable resource for examining the formative years of women's political participation in the United States. No library or scholar of women's history should be without this original and important collection.
National Protection for National Citizens, 1873 to 1880 is the third of six planned volumes of TheSelected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The entire collection documents the friendship and accomplishments of two of America's most important social and political reformers. Though neither Stanton nor Anthony lived to see passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, each of them devoted fifty-five years to the cause of woman suffrage.
The third volume of the Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony opens while woman suffragists await the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in cases testing whether the Constitution recognized women as voters within the terms of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. At its close they are pursuing their own amendment to the Constitution and pressing the presidential candidates of 1880 to speak in its favor. Through their letters, speeches, articles, and diaries, the volume recounts the national careers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony as popular lecturers, their work with members of Congress to expand women's rights, their protests during the Centennial Year of 1876, and the launch that same year of their campaign for a Sixteenth Amendment.
Their Place Inside the Body-Politic is a phrase Susan B. Anthony used to express her aspiration for something women had not achieved, but it also describes the woman suffrage movement’s transformation into a political body between 1887 and 1895. This fifth volume opens in February 1887, just after the U.S. Senate had rejected woman suffrage, and closes in November 1895 with Stanton’s grand birthday party at the Metropolitan Opera House.
At the beginning, Stanton and Anthony focus their attention on organizing the International Council of Women in 1888. Late in 1887, Lucy Stone’s American Woman Suffrage Association announced its desire to merge with the national association led by Stanton and Anthony. Two years of fractious negotiations preceded the 1890 merger, and years of sharp disagreements followed. Stanton made her last trip to Washington in 1892 to deliver her famous speech “Solitude of Self.” Two states enfranchised women—Wyoming in 1890 and Colorado in 1893—but failures were numerous. Anthony returned to grueling fieldwork in South Dakota in 1890 and Kansas and New York in 1894. From the campaigns of 1894, Stanton emerged as an advocate of educated suffrage and staunchly defended her new position.
When Clowns Make Laws for Queens, 1880 to 1887 is the fourth of six planned volumes of The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The entire collection documents the friendship and accomplishments of two of America's most important social and political reformers.
At the opening of the fourth volume, suffragists hoped to speed passage of a sixteenth amendment to the Constitution through the creation of Select Committees on Woman Suffrage in Congress. Congress did not vote on the amendment until January 1887. Then, in a matter of a week, suffragists were dealt two major blows: the Senate defeated the amendment and the Senate and House reached agreement on the Edmunds-Tucker Act, disenfranchising all women in the Territory of Utah.
As evidenced in this volume's selection of letters, articles, speeches, and diary entries, these were years of frustration. Suffragists not only lost federal and state campaigns for partial and full voting rights, but also endured an invigorated opposition. In spite of these challenges, Stanton and Anthony continued to pursue their life's work. In 1880 both women retired from lecturing to devote attention to their monumental History of Woman Suffrage. They also opened a new transatlantic dialogue about woman's rights during a trip to Europe in 1883.
Among nineteenth-century women’s rights reformers, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) stands out for the maternal and secular advocacy that shaped her activism and public reception. A wife and mother of seven, she was also a prolific writer, transatlantic women’s rights leader, popular lecturer, congressional candidate, canny historian, and freethought champion. Her lifelong interest in women’s sexual and reproductive rights and late efforts to reform institutional religion are as relevant to our time as they were to her own.
Stanton’s professional life lasted a half-century, ranging from antebellum women’s rights organization and oratory, to a post–Civil War career as a lyceum lecturer, to a late-century role as an incisive religious and cultural critic. Acutely aware of the medical, religious, legal, and educational barriers to women’s independence, she advocated for married women’s right to vote, obtain a divorce, gain custody of their children, and own property. As she grew more radical over the years, she also demanded judicial reform, the separation of church and state, free love, progressive coeducational opportunities, and women’s right to limit their fertility.
In this richly contextualized collection of primary sources, Noelle A. Baker brings together accounts of Stanton’s life and ideas from both well-known and recently recovered figures. From the teacher chiding an assertive young woman to erstwhile allies worrying about her growing radicalism, their voices paint a vivid portrait of a woman of vaunting ambition, powerhouse intellect, and her share of human failings.