Susan B. Anthony is one of the most iconic and accomplished spinsters the world has ever known.
It’s difficult to overstate the role of Susan B. Anthony in the rise of equal rights in the United States. While countless suffragists contributed to the eventual acceptance of women in governance, no single figure stands out quite as prominently.
Her Life & Work
Susan B. Anthony made achieving equal rights for women her life’s vocation. Born in 1820, Anthony was raised with the egalitarian beliefs of her Quaker family. At the age of only 17 she already worked for the American Anti-Slavery Society. She worked almost ceaselessly for the abolition of slavery, equal wages for women, as well as women’s right to vote.
She also became close friends with fellow famous suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The pair worked together often, though Anthony complained that Stanton wasted too much of her time pregnant, raising children, and tending to her husband.
In her prolific life, Anthony founded:
- The Revolution newspaper
- Women’s Loyal National League
- American Equal Rights Association
- and co-authored the History of Women Suffrage with Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Why She Makes the List
In addition to all of the incredible work she did toward women’s suffrage, Anthony was the epitome of the American spinster. When question about her lack of husband, she said, “I never felt I could give up my life of freedom.” She also noted that a poor woman became a drudge when she married, and a rich woman a ‘doll.’ Anthony couldn’t be happy with either. While her lifelong friend Stanton married and had child after child (even after she wished to stop), Anthony was unwilling to sacrifice that amount of time and energy. She devoted it all to the cause.
Susan B. Anthony truly had the mindset that failure was impossible. Her steadfast, unwavering belief in the inevitability of her cause of true equal rights galvanized her peers and followers, and ultimately brought about the changes she foresaw. She seemed wholly unflappable, appearing every year for thirty-seven years before a congress that laughed at her cause and her persistence. Her tenacity, perseverance, and dedication continue to inspire even to this day.
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