Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 – October 26, 1902) was an American social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early women's rights movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the first women's rights convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized women's rights and women's suffrage movements in the United States.

Before Stanton narrowed her political focus almost exclusively to women's rights, she was an active abolitionist together with her husband, Henry Brewster Stanton and cousin, Gerrit Smith. Unlike many of those involved in the women's rights movement, Stanton addressed various issues pertaining to women beyond voting rights. Her concerns included women's parental and custody rights, property rights, employment and income rights, divorce, the economic health of the family, and birth control. She was also an outspoken supporter of the 19th-century temperance movement.

After the American Civil War, Stanton's commitment to female suffrage caused a schism in the women's rights movement when she, together with Susan B. Anthony, declined to support passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. She opposed giving added legal protection and voting rights to African American men while women, black and white, were denied those same rights. Her position on this issue, together with her thoughts on organized Christianity and women's issues beyond voting rights, led to the formation of two separate women's rights organizations that were finally rejoined, with Stanton as president of the joint organization, approximately twenty years after her break from the original women's suffrage movement.

Read more about Elizabeth Cady StantonChildhood and Family Background, Education and Intellectual Development, Marriage and Family, Early Activism in The Women's Rights Movement, Ideological Divergence With Abolitionists and The Women's Rights Movement, Later Years, Death, Burial, and Remembrance

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Famous quotes by elizabeth cady stanton:

    We are the only class in history that has been left to fight its battles alone, unaided by the ruling powers. White labor and the freed black men had their champions, but where are ours?
    Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902)

    ... all the cares and anxieties, the trials and disappointments of my whole life, are light, when balanced with my sufferings in childhood and youth from the theological dogmas which I sincerely believed, and the gloom connected with everything associated with the name of religion, the church, the parsonage, the graveyard, and the solemn, tolling bell.
    Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902)

    I consider women a great deal superior to men. Men are physically strong, but women are morally better.... It is woman who keeps the world in balance.
    Mrs. Chalkstone, U.S. suffragist. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 2, ch. 16, by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage (1882)