Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a social activist and a leading figure of the early women’s rights movement in the United States. With her husband, Henry Stanton and cousin, Gerrit Smith, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was also active in the anti-slavery Abolitionist movement. Stanton had a strong friendship with abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass.
Elizabeth Cady was born in Johnstown, New York to Daniel Cady and Margaret Livingston Cady. Daniel Cady was a prominent attorney who served a term in Congress and later became a judge. Margaret Livingston was the daughter of Colonel James Livingston, an officer in the Revolutionary War. Elizabeth Cady Stanton met Henry Brewster Stanton through her early involvement in the temperance and abolition movements. Henry Stanton was a journalist, an antislavery orator, and, after their marriage, became an attorney. The couple were married in 1840 and had seven children. Stanton died in 1902 and was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in
The Bronx, New York.
Women’s rights movement.
Stanton wrote many of the more important documents and speeches of the women’s rights movement and was, with her friend Lucretia Mott, the primary organizer of the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. For this convention, Stanton drafted a Declaration of Sentiments, declaring that men and women are created equal. She also proposed a resolution, that was voted upon and carried, demanding voting rights for women.
In 1851, Stanton met Susan B. Anthony. They were introduced, on a street in Seneca Falls, by mutual acquaintance Amelia Bloomer, also a feminist. Stanton and Anthony were to remain close friends and colleagues the rest of her life, though unlike Anthony, Stanton wanted to push a broader platform of womens rights than suffrage. Together, in 1869, they founded the National Woman’s Suffrage Association, an organization dedicated to gaining women the right to vote. In 1890, Stanton opposed a merger with the American Woman Suffrage Association, which created a National American
However, after the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and it’s support by the Equal Rights Association and prominent suffragists such as Lucy Stone, a gulf appeared between the women’s rights movement and the move for racial equality. Cady Stanton declared, «I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work for or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman».
«The prejudice against color, of which we hear so much, is no stronger than that against sex. It is produced by the same cause, and manifested very much in the same way» — Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
In a view different from many modern activists, Stanton expressed a negative opinion on abortion. She addressed the issue in an 1873 letter to Julia Ward Howe, recorded in Howe’s diary at Harvard University Library, and in editions of the newsletter The Revolution. Stanton suggested that solutions to abortion would be found, at least in part, in the elevation and enfranchisement of women. Stanton was an outspoken supporter of the 19th century temperance movement, however her views on religion distanced her from the Womens Christian Temperance Union. She also addressed other issues including the guardianship of children, reformation of divorce laws, and the economic health of the family. She was a strong critic of religion in general and Christianity in particular.