It’s been 100 years since women were given the right to vote, and as I’ve written previously we’ve come so far, and yet, not so much.
Susan B. Anthony was born today in 1820 in nearby Adams, Massachusetts. I say nearby because I live several hours from her birthplace and her final resting place in Rochester, New York. Last year, in fact, my family and I were able to visit her grave site, something that felt very meaningful to both my daughter and me in part of the run up to one hundred years of women’s suffrage and women receiving the vote.
Hers was a family of activism and social reform, from abolition and women’s rights and suffrage to opening their homestead up to meetings of many, including Frederick Douglas. She and Douglas were close friends and anti-slavery collaborators (and are buried in the same cemetary), and she is known to have helped some with Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad. Tubman’s homestead is nearby in Auburn, New York.
In 1872, Susan was arrested at the house she shared with her sister in Rochester, for illegally voting. She was convicted and upon refusing to pay the fine, the authorities ceased any further action.
She became the first woman citizen to be featured on a US monetary coin when her image was portrayed on the dollar coin in 1979. I believe I still have one or two somewhere.
If she were alive today, I imagine she’d be astounded that we still haven’t gotten an Equal Rights Amendment in our Constitution. Perhaps, not astounded as much as disappointed. Hopefully, that can soon be rectified as well as ratified before another one hundred years passes. After all, we are more than half the citizenry; we should have at least the equal rights of men.