The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony - Vol. 5

The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony - Vol. 5

The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony - Vol. 5

The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony - Vol. 5

Synopsis

Their Place Inside the Body-Politic is a phrase Susan B. Anthony used to express her aspiration for something women had not achieved, but it also describes the woman suffrage movement's transformation into a political body between 1887 and 1895. This fifth volume opens in February 1887, just after the U.S. Senate had rejected woman suffrage, and closes in November 1895 with Stanton's grand birthday party at the Metropolitan Opera House.

At the beginning, Stanton and Anthony focus their attention on organizing the International Council of Women in 1888. Late in 1887, Lucy Stone's American Woman Suffrage Association announced its desire to merge with the national association led by Stanton and Anthony. Two years of fractious negotiations preceded the 1890 merger, and years of sharp disagreements followed. Stanton made her last trip to Washington in 1892 to deliver her famous speech "Solitude of Self." Two states enfranchised women--Wyoming in 1890 and Colorado in 1893--but failures were numerous. Anthony returned to grueling fieldwork in South Dakota in 1890 and Kansas and New York in 1894. From the campaigns of 1894, Stanton emerged as an advocate of educated suffrage and staunchly defended her new position.

Excerpt

THEIR PLACE INSIDE THE BODY-POLITIC, 1887 TO 1895, like earlier volumes in this series, documents the lives and work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) and Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906). Imbedded in the design of this edition is an assertion or hypothesis that the Selected Papers of these great reformers belong together. It might be said that, as a private matter, their friendship warrants an intermingling of the historical record, and that, as a public matter, the interconnectedness of their work is best told in a single narrative. But during the years treated in this volume, the accuracy of those claims was the subject of speculation and experiments by contemporaries of Stanton and Anthony. Furthermore, modern biographers and historians of the two women have read changes in their daily lives in this period as evidence of sharp disagreements and divergent interests between them. To a significant degree, this volume of the Papers interrogates its own design.

At the banquet marking Susan B. Anthony’s seventieth birthday in 1890, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the guest of honor testified to their enduring friendship. Before an audience of family members, co-workers, senators, and congressmen, they each described how the other had acted as a catalyst in the discovery of her own better nature. Each of them also traced their political work back to that intimate connection. Speaking first, Stanton proclaimed,

If there is one part of my life that gives me more intense
satisfaction than another, it is my friendship of forty years’
standing with Susan B. Anthony. … I do believe that I
have developed into much more of a woman under Susan’s
jurisdiction, fed on statute laws and constitutional amend
ments, than if left to myself reading novels in an easy
chair, lost in sweet reveries of the golden age to come,
without any effort of my own.

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