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Susan Brownwell Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. She was the second of eight children in a strict Quaker family. Her parents believed in discipline, education and social justice. The entire family was active in the abolitionist and anti-slavery movements. Susan got her start in public activism through the temperance (anti-alcohol) movement.
She taught at a private school, and petitioned the administration for the same pay as the male teachers. She was refused. She also was refused to be allowed to speak at a temperance rally. She promptly formed her own women's temperance society. Through this group, she began to lobby more and more for the rights and suffrage of women.
In 1851 she was introduced to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who became her closest friend and partner in activism. Cady Stanton was the "brains" of the duo; she would write speeches and strategize. Anthony was known as "Napoleon"; she was the one travelling constantly, making speeches and appearing before Congress. Her views were not popular. For her anti-slavery views, she was hung in effigy in Syracuse.
Women's suffrage was her most important concern. She and several other women attempted to vote in the 1872 presidential election. Anthony was arrested and thrown in jail. At her trial, the judge ordered the jury to find her guilty, and he fined her $100. She refused to pay.
Susan B. Anthony never married or had children, but she nursed several famliy members through illness and kept travelling and busy throughout her long life. Her last public speech included the words, "Failure is impossible."
Susan B. Anthony died on March 13, 1906. It would be another 14 years before women would have the right to vote in America. Susan B. Anthony paved the way for women to have that right.