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Susan B. Anthony collection

Identifier: D-Mss-0028

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection contains correspondence, photographs, writings, and newspaper clippings related to Susan B. Anthony's career as a leader in the women's suffrage movement. The content includes several articles written by Susan B. Anthony as well as numerous articles written about her life's work. Although some of the material is from her lifetime, the bulk epitomizes her legacy and how she is eulogized after her death. The collection also contains numerous photographs and ephemera from her days as a leading suffragist. Although the date of many of the pieces is unknown, the dated material in the collection ranges from the 1850s to 1984 with the bulk dating from 1900 to 1952.


  • Creation: 1850-1984
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1900 - 1952


Language of materials

Languages represented in the collection: English


Collection open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish must be submitted in writing to Denison Library.


Susan B. Anthony (15 Feb. 1820-13 Mar. 1906), reformer and organizer for woman suffrage, was born Susan Brownell Anthony in Adams, Massachusetts. In 1851 Anthony met Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In 1852 Anthony and Stanton founded the Women's New York State Temperance Society, which claimed an equality with the leading male society and featured women's right to vote on the temperance question and to divorce drunken husbands. In 1863 Anthony, again with Stanton, founded the Women's Loyal National League; employing a loose network of individuals and soldiers' aid and antislavery societies, the league gathered petitions with 400,000 signatures, which were presented to Congress. This effort marked advent of a focus on the federal government for women's rights. The Thirteenth Amendment and subsequent debate about securing citizenship for freed slaves introduced Anthony and her co-workers to the potential for sweeping change through amendment to the national Constitution.

In 1865 Anthony became convinced that universal suffrage was the only just solution to the challenges of Reconstruction. With a lecture on universal suffrage, she worked her way east. By year's end, the core of women's rights activists in the Northeast had reassembled to launch their first national campaign for woman suffrage. Hopes for universal suffrage bound former abolitionists together in the American Equal Rights Association, established in 1866. As its corresponding secretary Anthony oversaw petitions to Congress and coordinated several campaigns to amend state constitutions. She divided her time in 1867 between campaigns in New York and Kansas, and with Stanton, accepted an offer of capital to launch a newspaper, the Revolution, first appearing in New York in January 1868. Though the Revolution preserves the worst pronouncements of Anthony and Stanton in this period--opposing the Fifteenth Amendment and casting the enfranchisement of freedmen as a threat to the safety of white women--it also captures their excitement about women's potential and their growing rebelliousness. Their convictions about an independent movement led Anthony and Stanton to form the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) in 1869; Henry Blackwell and his wife, Lucy Stone, set up the rival American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), which called for suffrage by state, rather than federal, law. The strategy of the NWSA remained uncertain and subject to change until 1875.

By the 1890s Anthony had access to the platform of any women's organization in the country. Two years of acrimonious negotiations with Lucy Stone's representatives from the AWSA succeeded in merging the rival associations as the National-American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1890. Stanton presided over the new organization from 1890 to 1892, when Anthony replaced her. Anthony served until her eightieth birthday in 1900. When Anthony died, she left an enormous legacy to those other generations. Her image, words, and standards of work permeated the struggle for what women called the "Susan B. Anthony amendment." So thoroughly had she become the embodiment of women's aspirations for political equality that suffragists fought long after their victory in 1920 over their competing claims to be her true political descendants.

(Adapted from the American Nationald Biography Online,


2.25 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes and 1 oversize folder)


Susan B. Anthony's public career spanned a half-century. She was a leader in the women's suffrage movement, temperance and abolition organizer, ardent reformer, speaker, and author who spent most of her life fighting for equality. This collection contains publications, ephemera, photographs, correspondence and writings related to her life's work.


The collection is organized into five series:

Series 1: Publications, circa 1869-1984

Series 2: Ephemera, circa 1900-1976

Series 3: Photographs, circa 1850-1941

Series 4: Correspondence, circa 1941-1953

Series 5: Writings, circa 1880-1950

Physical location

Please consult repository.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Una R. Winter. Individual items donated by Miss Katherine Boyles, Miss Anthony's niece, Alice Parks, and Ada Watkins Hatch, no date.


No additions to the collection are expected.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the 01 - Special Collections & Archives, The Claremont Colleges Library Repository

800 North Dartmouth Ave
Claremont CA 91711 United States