The brilliant Cady Stanton became the voice for women’s rights, beginning with the document she wrote for that convention, The Declaration of Sentiments. In it she revised sections of the Declaration of Independence to include women and listed 12 grievances on behalf of women which the convention discussed and approved. More conventions followed which advocated for women’s civil rights.
In 1851 Cady Stanton met the abolitionist reformer Quaker Susan B. Anthony. Their partnership led the women’s rights and suffrage movements for 50 years. Seldom do American histories feature the significance of this movement which was ultimately the largest reform movement in United States history.
After the Civil War in 1866, with the expectation that universal suffrage would be reflected in a new constitutional amendment, Susan B. Anthony and others organized the American Equal Rights Association. But this expanded franchise did not happen. Instead, only black men were awarded the vote and women suffrage advocates were told to wait, since “it is the Negro’s hour.” Suffragists differed on acceptance of this snub to women, resulting in two parallel organizations, the American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman Suffrage Association.
Susan B. Anthony became the face of the movement, traveling the country, supporting woman suffrage state by state and surviving ridicule, assaults and criticism for many decades. Always positive in speeches, she often proclaimed that nothing was impossible. Cady Stanton had seven children, yet managed to write speeches for Anthony and do some lecturing and politicking herself. Stanton said “I wrote the thunderbolts and she delivered them!”