Suffrage Bookshelf: The life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Women’s Suffrage and the First Vote by Dawn C. Adiletta

As the 2012 presidential election approaches and all the media coverage about extensive efforts to deny the vote to citizens, the spirit of Elizabeth Cady Stanton is stirring in the wake of her birthday on November 12, 2012. She’ll be 197 years old. Join us in celebrating at her virtual birthday party. For more information about the event, visit this link.

When I was young, my mother made sure my birthday and holiday gifts included books about famous and accomplished women. I didn’t realize then how unusual that was. Sadly though, I never had a book about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These days Elizabeth Cady Stanton has considerably more recognition, although it’s too often, “Oh, that lady and Seneca Falls.” Which brings us to the part we all play in educating young people by passing on the torch of wisdom and appreciation.

This book, featured above, is available on Audible and worth listening to. Type “suffrage” into the Audible search engine, however, and only this work  comes up. It’s an excellent overview of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s life for young audiences. After spending a little over an hour with the audio version, it’s clear how much we owe to this one woman who changed the world. Someday when political parties are more interested in democratic participation rather than manipulating the outcome of elections, our suffrage ancestors will be given their due.

Combined with Stanton’s memoir (free as an ebook online), Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Women’s Suffrage and the First Vote, gifts us with the essentials of a life devoted to equal rights. The work provides details Elizabeth doesn’t tell you herself, including the resistance from her father and husband about her political activities. I love the part describing Elizabeth using her white hair and matronly figure so as to be less threatening to audiences when she laid out her radical views.

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4 responses to “Suffrage Bookshelf: The life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton

  1. Later in her career Stanton, like Gage , focused increasingly on social reforms related to women’s concerns other than suffrage. The two worked together on Stanton’s Woman’s Bible a work rejected by many of the more conservative elements in the movement. The two also collaborated with Anthony in the first three volumes of A History of Woman Suffrage, covering the period 1848 to 1877. Though Gage split completely with Anthony over Anthony’s successful effort to merge the NWSA with its more conservative counterpart into the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Stanton agreed to serve as President of the combined organization for a brief period. At the end she took to having her resolutions introduced by others, so fully was her leadership rejected by the newer forces, many of whom saw suffrage as a step toward introduction of a conservative religious social agenda that Stanton strongly and openly opposed. The resiliency of the friendship between Stanton and Anthony is illustrated in the photograph of the two at Anthony’s home in Rochester late in their lives. Elizabeth Cady Stanton died in 1902, and like Anthony and Gage, did not live to see women’s suffrage in the United States. She is nonetheless regarded as one of the true major forces in the drive toward equal rights for women in the United States and throughout the world. The statue of Stanton, Mott and Anthony housed in the U.S. Capitol was used as the symbol of the American Delegation to the 1995 Peking Conference.

  2. Everything is very open with a precise clarification of the challenges.
    It was definitely informative. Your site is very useful. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Elizabeth Cady Stanton looks like a grandmother even when she wasn’t one. An eternal grandmother.

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