Susan B. Anthony is a corker! Find out for yourself!

Cartoon of Susan B. Anthony

They called her Aunt Susan and she had so many adopted nieces, people couldn’t keep count. That’s why this post features a ten-minute audio clip from “Jailed for Freedom” by Doris Stevens, published back in Grandmother Edna’s day, that gives you a feeling of almost being there.

Susan B. Anthony died before the ratification of the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote in 1920. So when August 26th comes around this year, at a time when people aren’t usually thinking about Aunt Susan, consider the possibility of having a party. There are lessons to be learned by putting on a skit about Susan. How about courage? Vision. Inner strength. She had her eye on the prize of women voting and wouldn’t give up. These themes are eternal.

I didn’t even have a script when I directed and produced my own Susan skit back in 2010. I went to the primary sources, lifted lines straight from the record, recruited the cast, and everyone had a blast with dress ups. The audience got the point.

So if you’ve been toying with the idea of putting on a program for August 26th (Women’s Equality Day) or a special fundraiser or other event for your friends, organization, or club, try Susan B. Anthony’s arrest in 1872 and her trial for voting. The trial was a hit at the Susan B. Anthony birthday party I organized in February of 2010, and it’s especially relevant for other special events because it’s an example of nonviolent civil disobedience. Susan was arrested for voting, and everyone knew back then that women couldn’t vote.

The audio clip on this post is a wonderful resource, plus the internet is a great resource for finding quotes from Susan, as well as her speeches, for reading out loud.  Here’s Susan B.’s petition to Congress in January of 1874. And resources from Susan’s trial record. Think about it! It’s a great way to introduce young people to Aunt Susan and there are great parts: Susan, the officer who arrests her, the district attorney, and the judge. Drama, conflict, plenty of action. Great lines.

Now –see how you do on a quiz about Susan B. Anthony.

15 responses to “Susan B. Anthony is a corker! Find out for yourself!

  1. Oh, fun quiz! You always have the best links…

  2. The mix of audio and video and music and more on this site helps me to engage on the subject. Never knew much about the suffrage movement before this.

  3. Canadian Candy

    Such unpredictable stories and links. Keeps me on my toes.

  4. Clara Bennington

    We forget sometimes how difficult it was for women like Susan B. Anthony to go against the tide. It doesn’t seem so awesome now. But back then, it was unthinkable for a woman to go off and barnstorm for a cause. Even with something big like slavery wasn’t enough to get some folks off dead center. Bring the oppression home and it’s a different story that brought together women from all walks of life. Am glad that Susan B. walked the good earth.

  5. Margie Mcguire

    Some woman, that Susan. I bet she wouldn’t like how she has become an icon for those opposing the right of a woman to make decisions about her OWN body. I mean, what year is it? You’d think we’d be farther along than this. And old guys in charge of taking away people’s right to vote. I don’t believe it.

  6. Susan sure is a corker. I would love to get inside her skin and live her life, vicariously of course.

  7. I saw the Ken Burns film the other day again. Was really bummed out when Netflix took it off the instant play. I must have watched it five times.

  8. Velma Harrington

    OK. I’m convinced. I’m gonna devote a Sunday morning brunch to celebrate Susan’s life and invite my friends. Susan had hutzpah. Did I spell that right? She had what it took to keep trucking even when nobody fell into line behind her. Cool woman.

  9. Sandi Patricia

    I love Susan B. Anthony. And because she was energetic and had a vision and didn’t stop until she reached her goal of equality. She wasn’t about forcing women into having children if they weren’t in a position to do so.

  10. My second visit to your blog. I’m not disappointed. You always have fresh content.

  11. Wish more young women knew their history. It would make a difference.

  12. In the 1870s Anthony supported the Rochester women organizers of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, although she told them that women would need to get the vote to reach their goal. She refused to support Prohibition because she believed it detracted attention from the cause of woman suffrage.

  13. Susan B. Anthony was raised in New York as a Quaker. She taught for a few years at a Quaker seminary and from there became a headmistress at a women’s division of a school. At 29 years old Anthony became involved in abolitionism and then temperance. A friendship with Amelia Bloomer led to a meeting with Elizabeth Cady Stanton , who was to become her lifelong partner in political organizing, especially for women’s rights and woman suffrage .

  14. Long after Susan B. Anthony’s death, Charlene Connors , who portrays her, became interested in women’s history and developed a multi-media presentation on the suffrage movement.

  15. Pingback: Little Susan

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