On November 12, 1815, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, spokesperson for the rights of women, was born in Johnstown, New York. Stanton formulated the philosophical basis of the woman suffrage movement, blazing a trail many feared to follow.
Stanton’s verbal brilliance combined with the organizational ability and mental focus of her lifelong collaborator Susan B. Anthony made the two women a formidable resource to the early cause.
Although Stanton served as president of the “radical” National Woman Suffrage Association and its successor the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), she found it Increasingly difficult to maintain her leadership role. Interestingly, her agenda was far more radical than that of many younger, more conservative feminists.
Stanton’s belief that organized religion subjugated women alienated some supporters. In The Woman’s Bible, she brought considerable notoriety upon herself by criticizing the treatment of women in the Old Testament.
“The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world…wherever we turn, the history of woman is sad and dark, without any alleviating circumstances, nothing from which we can draw consolation.”
~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Declaration of Sentiments.”
Sources: Library of Congress