The Susan B. Anthony Quote That's Sharing Fast

SUSAN B. ANTHONY (1820 – 1906) [1][2]

Susan B. Anthony was a leader of the women’s suffrage (right to vote) movement in the U.S.—a pioneer in the struggle to gain equality for women.

Susan was born on February 15, 1820, in Massachusetts, to Daniel and Lucy Read Anthony. She was the second of seven children, many of whom became activists for justice and the emancipation of slaves. Her father was raised as a Quaker, a man who taught his children to show their love for God by working to help other people. He was the owner of a cotton mill, until he had to sell his business due to debts. The family moved to a farm near Rochester, New York.

Susan worked for 15 years as a teacher to help her family pay the bills. In 1849 she went home to run the family farm. Famous reformers like William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass, friends of Susan’ father at the time came to visit. Hearing their discussions helped form her strong views on slavery, women’s rights, and temperance (the avoidance of alcohol). She became an abolition activist. Although it was considered improper for women to do so, she gave many speeches against slavery.

Susan’s family’s Quaker beliefs played a big part in what she did with her life—as an abolitionist and a fighter for women’s rights.


In 1848, a group of women held the first Women’s Rights Convention in the United States at Seneca Falls. Thus began the suffrage movement. In 1851 Susan B. Anthony took up the cause. She realized then that women needed to fight for the right to speak in public. And before that could happen, they would need the right to vote.

It was then that she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They became good friends and fought women’s rights together, traveling the country and giving speeches, demanding the right for women to vote. At times, she risked being arrested for sharing her ideas in public.

From 1852, when Anthony attended her first women’s rights convention, to the end of the Civil War (1861-65), she campaigned from door-to-door, in legislatures, and in meetings for the causes of women’s rights and the abolition of slavery.

In 1868, Anthony and Stanton founded the American Equal Rights Association, becoming editors of the Association’s newspaper, The Revolution. This paper helped spread the ideas of equality and rights for women. Anthony became famous as she lectured to raise money for the paper and to support the suffrage movement. Many people admired her, but others despised her.

Why would people despise her? I believe it shows how out of sync Anthony was with the women’s world of the day. Women at the time were looked down on by many—maybe even by women themselves. To see individuals who were not willing to accept the typical women’s role, must have looked to others like an effort to show superiority they did not deserve.

Anthony closed her last public speech with the words, “Failure is impossible.” When she died on March 13, 1906, only four states had granted women the right to vote. Fourteen years later, the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, was added to the U.S. Constitution.

[1] MLA – Hayward, Nancy. “Susan B. Anthony”. National Women’s History Museum, 2017,

[2] Encyclopedia of World Biography,

This has been Part 22 of the series A LIFE WORTH LIVING. Read Part 23 – Emily Stowe