Elizabeth Cady Stanton – writer and reformer
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a writer and reformer. She helped to start the women’s rights movement in the United States. She fought to give women the right to vote in elections. Stanton was perhaps the most gifted and versatile feminist leader in American history.
Elizabeth Cady was born on November 12, 1815 in Johnstown, New York, into the family of a judge. She was the eighth of eleven children of Daniel Cady and Margaret Livingston Cady; five of her brothers and sisters died at an early age.
She was a clever girl, but couldn’t go to college, because colleges did not accept women then. Elizabeth attended Troy Female Seminary in New York. In 1840 she married a lawyer and abolitionist leader Henry Stanton. Between 1842 and 1856, the couple had six children. The seventh, unplanned, was born in 1859, when Elizabeth was 44 years old.
In 1848 Stanton and her friend Lucretia Mott held a meeting in Seneca Falls, which became the first women’s rights meeting in the United States.
After 1851 Stanton worked with Susan B. Anthony, another women’s rights activist. During the Civil War they created the National Woman’s Loyal League. They gave speeches, talked to politicians, and wrote books and pamphlets on women’s rights.
In 1890, Stanton became a president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
At that time it was hard for women to divorce their husbands and Stanton wanted to make it easier. She was also a supporter of the movement for sobriety that arose in the 19th century.
Since 1868, Stanton together with Anthony and the leading male feminist Parker Pillsbury published the weekly Revolution.
Stanton and Matilda Gage wrote the first three volumes of the massive History of Woman Suffrage and edited The Woman’s Bible.
Stanton died on October 26, 1902 in New York City. Eighteen years later women in the United States gained the right to vote.