Quotations From SUSAN B ANTHONY


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  • It will be the mistake of your life if you go into print in your own defence [sic]. Your denial will reach a new set of people and start them to talking, while the ones who read the original charges will never see the refutation of them.
    Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), U.S. suffragist, speaker, and editor. As quoted in The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, ch. 48, by Ida Husted Harper (1898-1908). Said in 1896 to a colleague who was considering publishing a response to lies that had been printed about her.

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  • Organize, agitate, educate, must be our war cry.
    Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), U.S. suffragist. As quoted in The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, ch. 41, by Ida Husted Harper (1898). Said in 1893.

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  • ... to be successful a person must attempt but one reform. By urging two, both are injured, as the average mind can grasp and assimilate but one idea at a time.
    Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), U.S. suffragist. As quoted in The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, ch. 7, by Ida Husted Harper (1898). Anthony said this in 1854, on the inadvisability of advocating woman suffrage while wearing a controversial "bloomer" outfit in an attempt to advance dress reform.

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  • There have been others also just as true and devoted to the cause—I wish I could name every one—but with such women consecrating their lives, failure is impossible!
    Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), U.S. suffragist. As quoted in Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, vol. 3, ch. 70, by Ida Husted Harper (1908). At a celebration of her eighty-sixth birthday held in Washington, D.C., on February 15, 1906. Anthony had outlived virtually all of the other founders of the woman suffrage movement. She was in ill health and had struggled to attend the event; these would be the last words she would ever speak to a public gathering. "Failure is impossible," is one of her most famous utterances; she seems to have pronounced it on other occasions as well and certainly believed it. At it turned out, she was correct, though women would not be granted the vote for another fourteen years, a century after her birth.

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  • I'll wager that it was impossible after we got mixed together to tell an anti from a suffragist by her clothes. There might have been a difference, though, in the expression of the faces and the shape of the heads.
    Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), U.S. suffragist. As quoted in Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, vol. 3, ch. 55, by Ida Husted Harper (1908). Reflecting on an annual convention of the National Suffrage Association, held in Washington, D. C., in February 1900; for the first time, antisuffragists had made an appearance.

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  • White men have always controlled their wives' wages. Colored men were not able to do so until they themselves became free. Then they owned both their wives and their wages.
    Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), U.S. suffragist. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4, ch. 15, by Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper (1902). Addressing the twenty-seventh annual convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association, held January 31-February 5, 1895, in Atlanta, Georgia. Anthony was referring to the fact that employed married women had no right of control over their own wages.
  • When will the men do something besides extend congratulations? I would rather have President Roosevelt say one word to Congress in favor of amending the Constitution to give women the suffrage than to praise me endlessly!
    Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), U.S. suffragist. As quoted in Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, vol. 3, ch. 70, by Ida Husted Harper (1908). After listening to a long stream of politicians' congratulatory letters read aloud at a celebration of her eighty- sixth birthday held in Washington, D.C., on February 15, 1906. Despite her entreaties, President Theodore Roosevelt had not actively supported extension of the vote to women.

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  • They let the girls in.
    Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), U.S. suffragist. As quoted in Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, vol. 3, ch. 58, by Ida Husted Harper (1908). With this line written in her diary on September 10, 1900, Anthony noted the success of a long and costly campaign to get women admitted to the University of Rochester on the same basis as men. Despite her advanced age, she had played a major role in the effort. She apparently made the diary entry immediately after returning home from a meeting with the University of Rochester's Board of Trustees.
  • Oh, if I could but live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done.
    Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), U.S. suffragist. As quoted in Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, vol. 3, ch. 60, by Ida Husted Harper (1908). In a 1902 interview. At age 82, Anthony was still active but in poor health. She had worked ceaselessly for woman suffrage for 50 years; once ridiculed and reviled, she had lived to be an internationally honored figure. However, American women would not gain the vote until 1920, fourteen years after her death.

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  • ... even if the right to vote brought to women no better work, no better pay, no better conditions in any way, she should have it for her own self-respect and to compel man's respect for her.
    Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), U.S. suffragist. As quoted in Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, vol. 3, ch. 62, by Ida Husted Harper (1908). In a letter dated June 27, 1903, to Margaret A. Haley, President of the National Federation of Teachers. Anthony believed, and counselled Haley to argue, that women could force improvement in their salaries and working conditions if they had to the power of the ballot; she emphasized, nonetheless, that the vote was inherently essential.

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