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Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Reconstruction

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) was co-leader of the American suffrage movement along with her good friend and colleague, Susan B. Anthony. Stanton was the more talented orator, while Anthony was her perfect counterpart as master tactician and organizer.

In 1866, Stanton and Anthony established the American Equal Rights Association, an organization for white and black women and men dedicated to the goal of universal suffrage. Both women opposed granting suffrage to freedmen without also giving it to women. Stanton infamously appealed to several prevalent racial and ethnic stereotypes when she declared, after passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, "Patrick and Sambo and Hans and Yung Tung, who do not know the difference between a monarchy and a republic," could not make laws for educated women.1 This issue splintered the movement into two factions, one of which was the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), which Anthony and Stanton organized in 1869. Stanton served as NWSA's president until the 1890 merger. In 1868, Stanton and Parker Pillsbury became coeditors of The Revolution, a weekly newspaper devoted to women's rights. She filled its pages with her passionate editorials for two years, until the paper went out of business. Stanton published a number of books, including the first three volumes of the six-volume History of Woman Suffrage, along with Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage. Sadly, she did not live to see women enfranchised on the national level.

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