A big hand for the little lady

by chuckofish


On this day in 1906 Susan Brownell Anthony died at the age of 86 of heart failure and pneumonia in her home in Rochester, New York. At her birthday celebration in Washington a few days earlier, she spoke of those who had worked with her for women’s rights: “There have been others also just as true and devoted to the cause—I wish I could name every one—but with such women consecrating their lives, failure is impossible!”

Truly she consecrated her life to her mission. Anthony did not live to see the achievement of women’s suffrage at the national level, but she was proud of the progress the women’s movement had made. At the time of her death, women had achieved suffrage in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Idaho, and several larger states followed soon after.

Anthony traveled extensively in support of women’s suffrage, giving as many as 75 to 100 speeches per year and working on many state campaigns. In September 1877, at the age of 57,  she  visited the mining town of Lake City, Colorado where our ancestors, the Houghs, lived. Well, Lake City was a happening place in those days.

Here she describes the 84-mile stagecoach journey from Del Norte to Lake City, bumping over

mountains and through their various passes, crossing the divide between the waters that flow into the Atlantic and Pacific, at its highest point over 11,000 feet. And the ride down the mountain pass, “Slum Gullion” they call it, was the most fearful rough and tumble I ever experienced…even here, in this deep ravine, just wide enough for the Gunnison River and one street on its bank, the height is still 8,500 feet. All that fearfully long, but beautiful, frosty night the moon shone brightly and on scenery most magnificent. At midnight I alighted at Wagon Wheel Gap, and with tin cup in hand trudged through the sand to the Rio Grande bank, bound to drink fresh from the pure, cold waters from the snow peaks above.

She filled the newly-built Hinsdale County Courthouse to the point that the meeting had to be moved outside. She stood on a wooden box to give her speech. I wish I had a picture of that!

She was, indeed, an amazing woman. You can read about her here.