12 facts about Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) was never able to vote by law, although she helped secure that right for women across America. As a philosopher of the women’s rights movement in the 19th century America, she expressed what she felt no matter what others might think. Continue reading for more facts about one of the most important women in history.

1. Her father was sorry that she was not a boy.

Father Cady Stanton, Daniel Cady, served in the Congress and Legislative Assembly of the State of New York, and was a New York member of the Supreme Court. He and his wife Margaret had 11 children; Five daughters, including Elizabeth and one son would survive to adulthood. When her brother Eliezer died at age 20, Father Elizabeth allegedly told her, “Oh, my daughter, I’m sorry that you were not a boy!”

This may have been her father’s way of mourning the difficulties she would endure as a woman, but Elizabeth responded by rushing into the study of Greek, chess and horse riding, swearing “to make her father happy, being all, the son may have been,” writes Laurie D. Ginzberg in Elizabeth Cady Stanton: American Life. Daniel Cady really encouraged his smart and self-assured daughter when she was upset that the laws could not help one of his female clients: “When you grow up and are able to prepare a speech, you have to go down to Albany and talk with lawmakers,” said about her. “If you can convince them to pass new laws, the old ones will be obsolete law.”


Even as a young man, Elizabeth bristled against the Presbyterian beliefs of her family. In 1831, as an indispensable part of her lessons at the Seminary of the Woman of Troy, she attended a revival in which the noted evangelist Charles Grandison Finney spoke. She found his ideas about sin so troubling that she had to find time from school to recover. Eventually she rejected, organized the dependence of Christianity on fear, and later came to view religion as contrary to her work in the feminist movement.


In 1840 Elizabeth married Henry Stanton, a famous abolitionist who was active in the New York Anti-Slavery Society. After the wedding, the new couple went to the World Anti-Slavery Agreement in London, where Henry was a delegate, and Elizabeth was forced with other female visitors to the far end of the lecture hall [PDF]. There she met the feminist Lucretia Mott, who shared her support for the rights of women and African Americans.


When you think about an important tea party, the Boston event probably comes to mind – but there was, at least, one more tea-related meeting that was just as historic.

July 9, 1848 Cady Stanton and three other women – Lucrezia Mott, her sister Martha Wright, and Mary Anne McClintock – were invited to Waterloo, the New York home of Jane Hunt, a wealthy Quaker dedicated to social reform. During the gathering they discussed how women were not allowed to vote or own property and why the Quaker religion tried not to get involved with women’s rights and anti-slavery movement. The decision to create an organized meeting to protect women’s equality was decided right then and there, although the one who came up with the idea is not known.


Cady Stanton, Mott and their colleagues announced “about the Agreement to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of women.” Ten days after the tea, more than 300 people attended the event (also known as the Seneca Autumn Convention). The first day, July 19, was planned as a discussion of all-women, and on July 20 was open to the public.

Stanton wrote and read the “Declaration of Feelings and Complaints” for the case, a conversation based on the Declaration of Independence, describing the oppression of women and the rights to which they were entitled. It began with these famous lines: “We support these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal, that they are provided by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, which among them are life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.” (The Declaration of Independence had an almost identical formulation with the exception of “and the woman” part.) Sixty-eight women and 32 men signed a declaration. The fall of Seneca began annual agreements to protect women’s rights and was the beginning of a long battle, which ultimately earned women the right to vote.

6. Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony were the best friends.

Cady Stanton met Susan B. Anthony in 1851, and they quickly became an unstoppable couple. In their common goal of achieving women’s equality, Anthony treated the campaign and speeches, while Cady Stanton made the lion’s share of the letter from her house in the Seneca Falls. While Anthony objected to Cady Stanton, allowing her role as mother to intervene in her reform work, she also helped her take care of the seven children of Stanton. Cady Stanton said of Anthony:

“In the division of labor, we exactly complemented each other. In writing, we really worked better than anyone could alone. While it is slow and analytical in composition, I’m quick and synthetic. I am the best writer, she is the best critic. It delivers facts and statistics, I’m philosophy and rhetoric, and, together, we brought arguments that stood unshaken through storms of long years – arguments that no one answered. Our speeches can be considered a joint product of our two brains. “

Together, they formed an anti-slavery Women’s Loyal National League and published the first three of the six volumes of the History of Women’s Electoral Law.


Cady Stanton and Anthony also founded the National Association of Women’s Elections in 1869 in response to the proposed 15th Amendment. According to Ginzberg, feminists faced a choice after the civil war, when Congress discussed the suffrage for liberated slaves. “There was a battle among the abolitionists – whom Stanton considered herself – between the presence of the 15th Amendment, which gave black men the vote or the demand for an amendment to the suffrage that voted for all adult Americans,” NPR Gintsberg said. “Stanton and her friend Susan B. Anthony stood on what they demanded was the highest moral land, demanding universal human rights for all and – historians have argued about it since then – not to be ready to sacrifice women’s rights to a politically expedient problem of obtaining rights for black men “. The 15th Amendment, giving men the right to vote regardless of “race, color, or previous slavery condition,” was ratified in 1870. The women did not end up reaching the franchise until 1920.


Women could run for government office even though they could not vote, the situation that Cady Stanton sought to challenge. She ran for the US House of Representatives – the first woman to do so – as an independent representation of New York in 1866. She knew that a new land was pacing when she announced she was running. “I do not have political antecedents to recommend to me your support, but my credo – freedom of speech, free press, free men and free trade are cardinal points of democracy,” she explained in a letter. She received only 24 votes of these 12,000 shots, possibly reflecting that no women could vote – but her bold campaign probably inspired others. Six years later Victoria Woodhull became the first candidate for the president. Only in 1916, a woman, Rep. Janet Rankin of Montana, was elected to Congress.


Her book of 1895, the Women’s Bible, which criticized the way religion, portrayed women as less than men, drove a wedge between Stanton and the women’s movement. Cady Stanton claimed that the Bible taught “the subjection and degradation of a woman” and that equality required a review of their lessons. Anthony felt that it was more important to greet people of all religious beliefs in the struggle for suffrage. Thanks to the contradiction, the book became a bestseller.

10. She BELIEVED that the BICHENS will free women.

When the feminist slogan of the 1970s goes, “the needs of a woman’s man as a fish need a bicycle.” On the day of Cady Stanton, the bicycle made it so that the woman did not need a man, at least when it came to transportation. Cycling became popular by the 1890s and was strongly associated with a modern woman of the late part of the 19th century, freed from stifling social and marital expectations. In 80, Stanton told the American magazine Wheelman that “the bike will inspire women more courage, self-esteem [and] self-confidence,” ultimately leading to women’s voting right. Both she and Susan B. Anthony were credited with saying “a woman who goes to suffrage on a bicycle”. They saw beyond the convenience of getting from point A to point B: Bicycles symbolized a new freedom for women.


Cady Stanton died in 1902, before turning 87. Susan B. Anthony was depressed. “I’m too overwhelmed to speak,” she told the author of the obituary of the New York Times.

But Cady Stanton tried to ensure that she would still help women’s causes after her own death. Her friend Helen Gardener, the same suffragist, persuaded her to sacrifice her brain to Cornell University, so scientists will have an outstanding female brain to match those of the prominent men. Stanton told her family her plan, and Gardener announced her wishes publicly. Gardener said that Cady Stanton “felt that the brain as it would be useful forever in a report that he would give to the world, for the first time – a scientific account of the thinker among women,” Kimberly A. Hamlin writes in the Eve of Evolution: Darwin, Science and Rights women in the Gilded Age America. The Cady Stanton family, however, refused to believe that she had agreed to the plan, and the brain was buried with the rest of her at Woodon Bronx Cemetery.


The 19th Amendment, which finally gave women the right to vote, celebrates its century in 2020. To commemorate the anniversary, a new $ 10 bill will be released with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucrezia Mott, Sojorner Truth, Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul on the back – for the first time in more than 100 years, that the female portrait was shown on paper money. (Alexander Hamilton will remain at the front.) You can also expect to see Cady Stanton and Anthony memorialized in a bronze statue in Central Park of New York that will be known as the Women’s Election Law Memorial of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Surprisingly, the pioneers of suffrage are the first two women to be awarded statues in Central Park and only fourth and fifth American women represented by public statues in any park in New York City.