March 27, 2018 Archival Materials of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton Now Online
Collection Includes Correspondence, Speeches, Scrapbooks on Women’s Suffrage, Women’s Rights Movement, Abolition of Slavery and Materials from Seneca Falls Convention
Archival materials from one of the most successful political partnerships in history, the collaboration of suffragists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the movement for women’s rights, have been digitized and are now available online for the first time from the Library of Congress.
The collections include about 1,500 items dating primarily from 1840 to 1906 as Anthony and Stanton led the campaign for women’s voting rights. The Anthony Papers (500 items) are online at: loc.gov/collections/susan-b-anthony-papers/about-this-collection/. The Stanton Papers (1,000 items) are online at: loc.gov/collections/elizabeth-cady-stanton-papers/about-this-collection/.
“The close friendship, collaboration and activism of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton changed history and led to fuller equality for women,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “Their papers are part of an unparalleled collection of resources in the Library of Congress documenting the American woman suffrage campaign. As the centennial of the 19th Amendment extending voting rights to women nationally approaches, these collections will be a great resource for researchers and students around the world.”
Highlights of the Anthony and Stanton papers include:
- An official report and newspaper clippings of the historic 1848 convention for women’s rights in Seneca Falls, New York;
- A pamphlet printed by Frederick Douglass’ North Star newspaper after Douglass attended the convention and spoke forcefully for women’s suffrage;
- Stanton’s handwritten draft of her controversial “The Woman’s Bible,” which nearly divided the suffrage movement when it was published in 1895;
- Twenty-five volumes of handwritten diaries kept by Anthony on her activities and events of the day, such as President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination;
- Scrapbooks with newspaper clippings, programs and other accounts of the time that would be impossible to re-create today;
- Correspondence on the multivolume “History of Woman Suffrage,” the first three volumes of which the two women co-edited with Matilda Joslyn Gage;
- Speeches and correspondence on the temperance and antislavery movements.
The collections tell a story of mid-to-late-19th century activism and political protest by two women who inspired a larger movement in the United States and abroad. Their papers offer a window into their relationship. Anthony often served as the researcher, lecturer and organizer. Stanton was the writer and theorist for their core arguments, her travel more constricted while balancing a family and seven children.
In addition to voting rights, Anthony and Stanton also advocated on women’s legal status, health issues, divorce laws, property rights, equality in the church, the abolition of slavery and rights for African-Americans.
The Library acquired Stanton’s papers chiefly as a gift from Anthony in 1903 and from Stanton’s daughter Harriot Stanton Blatch in 1927-1928. Anthony’s papers were donated by her niece, Lucy E. Anthony.
The movement for women’s suffrage is well documented in the Library’s collections, which also include the records and books of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and National Woman’s Party as well as the personal papers of Lucy Stone, Henry B. Blackwell and Alice Stone Blackwell, Harriot Stanton Blatch, Carrie Chapman Catt and others.
The digitization of the Anthony and Stanton papers is part of a larger effort to make historical materials available online. Other newly digitized collections include the papers of U.S. Presidents James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and James K. Polk, and the papers of Alexander Hamilton, Sigmund Freud and Margaret Bayard Smith.
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.