Elizabeth Cady Stanton
A Leader for Woman's Rightsby Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in 1815 to Daniel and Mary Livingston Cady, a prestigious family of Johnstown, NY. Sadly, one of Stanton's first memories was the when her sister was born. The fact that her sister was born was not sad; it was how her parents reacted to her birth. Daniel and Mary preferred boys to girls and were greatly disappointed when Elizabeth and her sister were born. Somehow or another, this sparked a fire in Stanton and she became the catalyst of the Woman's Rights Movement.
One of Stanton's greatest motivations when she was growing up was to please her parents. She tried to do so by being as much like her brothers as possible. She attended Johnstown Academy and studied Greek and Mathematics. She learned to ride a horse and became a very good debater. She graduated from Johnstown Academy in 1830 and then attended Troy Female Seminary, the only school at the time to offer an academic program equal to that of a boy's school.
After graduating from the Seminary, she observed her father, a lawyer, as he handled cases. She saw how partial he was to males and how unfairly the law treated women. If a woman wanted a divorce, her father would not take the case, even if the woman had the money and the woman's husband was being abusive. If a man came in and wanted a divorce from the same woman as in the above sentence, Mr. Cady would try his hardest to get all the woman's money and help the man, even if the man wasn't short on money. While observing, she met Henry Stanton, who she later married in 1840.
She attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840 and there she met Lucretia Mott. The convention would not recognize women as delegates and that angered Mott and Stanton. In 1848, they held a convention in Seneca Falls, NY that started the woman's rights movement. At the convention, Stanton wrote the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments, which included a woman's bill of rights and the demands of the women present.
After meeting Susan B. Anthony in 1851, the threesome (Anthony, Stanton, and Mott) worked together and started the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1868. in this same year Stanton declared, "the remedy for the "crying evil" of abortion was "the complete enfranchisement and elevation of women." In addition, Stanton began to publish a woman's rights paper called "Revolution". In 1881, Stanton and Anthony joined the two major woman's rights groups into the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
Stanton was the catalyst of the Woman's Rights Movement. Like Anthony, who referred to abortion as "infanticide", Stanton stated, ""When we consider that women have been treated as property it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." However, she had some very strange biblical views. She believed that the Bible was partial to men. She wrote a book called The Women's Bible which talked about sexism in the Bible. This outraged many of her colleagues and caused them to betray her. She wrote in Eighty Years and More, "The memory of my own suffering has prevented me from ever shadowing one young soul with the superstitions of the Christian religion."
When she died in 1902, she was almost shunned from the Woman's Rights community. Elizabeth Cady Stanton never lived to see women get the right to vote, but her work for the Woman's Rights Movement helped women get the right to vote.
Banner, Lois W. Elizabeth Cady Stanton: A Radical for Woman's Rights Little,
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady 80 Years or More T. Fisher Unwin, 1898
"Stanton, Elizabeth Cady" Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Standard 2001 Edition
"Elizabeth Cady Stanton" Encyclopedia Britannica Standard 1999 Edition
"Important People: Elizabeth Cady Stanton" http://www.huntington.org/vfw/imp/stanton.html
"PBS: Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony http://www.pbs.org/stantonanthony/