WeWalk: Behind the Scenes of Opening the Way

Opening the Way is a walking tour celebrating women's history in downtown Manhattan. It is a multifaceted new project developed by the award-winning nonprofit organization Women's eNews. The walk honors the achievements of women such as Margaret Sanger, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Ida B. Wells -- 21 women in all. This blog has been created to update fans of the walk on its exciting developments and expansion. Please join us in revitalizing history that has been ignored or forgotten!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Susan B. Anthony: Led the Battle for Women's Rights from New York

The profile of Susan B. Anthony on Opening the Way's official website describes the suffragist as a "Tireless Traveler," in the category of "Seven Who Led the Battles." She was, and did lead activists to many victories, beginning in Rochester and throughout her time on Park Row in New York City where we pay tribute to her on our walking tour.

Anthony was born to a Quaker family in Massachusetts on February 15, 1820. She moved to Rochester, New York with her parents and six siblings in 1826, and began teaching in 1839. 10 years later, she started to get involved in the temperance and anti-slavery movements. In 1851, she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton -- who had previously led the Woman's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls in July 1848, stating a powerful Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions -- and in 1852, attended her first woman's rights convention in Syracuse.

Anthony infamously casted a vote in Rochester on November 5, 1872, after intimidating ballot officials. "It is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government -- the ballot," she declared in a speech after her historic arrest. She was later tried in court and given a $100 fine, which she never paid. Anthony remained committed to equal rights until her death in 1906. She was a pioneer in women's suffrage, and is one of the most well-known names in women's history today.

Anthony and Stanton ran their publication "The Revolution" at 37 Park Row in New York City from 1868 to 1870, in an office in the same building that housed the New York World, and just feet away from the site of other major newspapers. Anthony was the manager of the paper, which promoted women's suffrage in addition to other social reform issues such as abolitionism, workers' rights, and rights for the impoverished. This mission distinguished it from other suffrage newspapers of the time.

We're excited to reveal this clip of Lynn Sherr, former ABC correspondent and author, quoting Anthony in a powerful passage about women in journalism -- from Sherr's own biography of her, titled "Failure is Impossible."

1 comment:

  1. I believe the speech you link to was one Anthony gave before the trial took place. Her indictment was a heaven-sent development in terms of bringing attention to the cause, and Anthony made the most of it by giving many speeches in the district where the trial was to be held. The powers that be were convinced that Anthony had thoroughly swayed the potential jurors to her point of view and so moved the trial to another district. Anthony started her intensive speaking in the new district as well, and ultimately the trial judge (a political hack) felt compelled to take the case away from the jury and direct a verdict of guilty without allowing the jury to deliberate. At least in the present day, this would be regarded as clearly improper and a blatant violation of the defendant's right to a trial by jury.

    ~~Nate Levin

    ~~Nate Levin