Guide to the Susan B. Anthony Collection, 1870-1900


Collection comprises seven letters from Susan B. Anthony to various correspondents, one postcard written to her, a printed item, and a letter by S. J. S. Holden that mentions Anthony, Stanton, and the 1874 National Woman Suffrage Association (N.W.S.A.) convention.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Susan B. Anthony collection
0.1 Linear Feet, 13 items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Materials are in English.

Collection Overview

Collection comprises seven letters from Susan B. Anthony to various correspondents, one postcard written to her, a printed item, and a letter by S. J. S. Holden that mentions Anthony, Stanton, and the 1874 National Woman Suffrage Association (N.W.S.A.) convention. In June 1870, Anthony wrote two letters to Edwin A. Studwell, who became her business manager, regarding payment for lectures in which she participated with Elizabeth Cady Stanton; her need to sell her serial, The Revolution, and plans for its continued success; competition with suffragists in Boston; her life insurance policies; and her general need for ready funds. There is also a Dec. 1873 letter from Anthony to Judge Henry R. Selden requesting copy for his argument made on Anthony's behalf regarding the Rights of Women in the U.S. District Court of New York, to be published in time for the upcoming N.W.S.A. convention. The postscript to this letter was written upon a flyer for a mass meeting of the New York Woman's Suffrage Society. Collection includes a copy of the final, printed version of Selden's argument, "Rights of women under the late constitutional amendments."

In 1894, Anthony wrote two letters to a suffragist concerning problems in Kansas; she wished to identify the Republican, Progressive, or other person responsible for "stirring things up," for the Republicans failed to include suffrage in their platform. On 1900 April 24, Anthony wrote to Rachel [Foster Avery?] regarding several publications in process, including forms for letters to the national conventions of the prohibition, Populist, Democratic, and Republican parties; a "memorial;" an appeal to the Ecumenical Council; along with other work to be shared by the suffrage leadership. A letter from Anthony 1900 July 22 was written to an unnamed suffragist who likely requested an autograph, "Yes indeed--you shall have my pen tracks--not only--but also my wish that you both believe in work for the protection of women in the crowning right of citizenship--the right to vote--and so help to hasten the day when ours shall be a true republic in practice as it now is in theory."

Collection also includes a postcard written to Anthony from Mary L. Lathrop in Jackson, [Miss.?] in 1874 regarding Lathrop's inability to send more money following Anthony's successful speaking engagement there; the money went toward advertising for the event. Another letter, from S. J. S. Holden to Rachel [Foster Avery?], in 1874 describes attendance at the N.W.S.A. convention, the speeches of Anthony and Elizabeth Cay Stanton, and other pastimes in Washington, D.C. Several of the letters in the collection are written on N.W.S.A. or National-American Woman Suffrage Association letterhead; Anthony's 1894 letters are stamped with the ownership mark of the Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington library. Collection includes dealer transcriptions for two of Anthony's letters.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], Susan B. Anthony Collection, 1870-1900, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Folder 1

Historical Note

Susan B. Anthony was born February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. She was brought up in a Quaker family with long activist traditions. Early in her life she developed a sense of justice and moral zeal. After teaching for fifteen years, she became active in temperance. Because she was a woman, she was not allowed to speak at temperance rallies. This experience, and her acquaintance with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, led her to join the women's rights movement in 1852. Soon after, she dedicated her life to woman suffrage. Ignoring opposition and abuse, Anthony traveled, lectured, and canvassed across the nation for the vote. She also campaigned for the abolition of slavery, the right for women to own their own property and retain their earnings, and she advocated for women's labor organizations. In 1900, Anthony persuaded the University of Rochester to admit women. Anthony, who never married, was aggressive and compassionate by nature. She had a keen mind and a great ability to inspire. She remained active until her death on March 13, 1906.

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The Susan B. Anthony Collection was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2017.

Processing Information

Processed by: Alice L. Poffinberger, May, 2015.

Accessions described in this finding aid: 2015-0050-LUBMSS099; 2015-0050-LUBMSS100; 2015-0050-LUBMSS101; 2015-0050-LUBMSS102; 2015-0050-LUBMSS103; 2015-0050-LUBMSS104; 2015-0050-LUBMSS105; 2015-0050-LUBMSS106; 2015-0050-LUBMSS281.