Kurt's Historic Sites

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony

Interment LocationVisited 
Rochester, NYApril 13, 2023 

Photographed April 13, 2023.

“Organize, agitate, educate.” Susan B. Anthony lived by these words for her entire adult life. Anti-slavery and pro-temperance, Anthony often teamed up with Elizabeth Cady Stanton to found organizations intended to elevate the status of women in the United States over the span of several decades. Anthony was both a speaker and a doer, noted for her many speeches across the nation, as well as her arrest and conviction for voting in the 1872 election, when it was illegal for women to cast ballots. She was the author and namesake of the proposed constitutional amendment that, eventually, ensured enfranchisement regardless of sex. In 1979, more than 70 years after she was buried in her adopted home of Rochester, New York, Anthony was commemorated on the dollar coin. She was the first female whose likeness graced American coinage.

Anthony is interred in a family plot, alongside a collection of kin that includes her parents and her sister, Mary, who was a suffragist like her older sibling. When my father and I first visited Mount Hope Cemetery in April 2010, we did so to pay our respects to Anthony’s contemporary, Frederick Douglass. Regrettably, I completely forgot that Ms. Anthony was interred at Mount Hope as well. It took us 13 years, but in April 2023 we remedied my oversight.

Photographed April 13, 2023.
Photographed April 13, 2023.

“If I could live another century!” 82-year-old Anthony said in 1902, four years before she died. “I do so want to see the fruition of the work for women in the past century. There is so much yet to be done, I see so many things I would like to do and say, but I must leave it for the younger generation. We old fighters have prepared the way, and it is easier than it was fifty years ago when I first got into the harness. The young blood, fresh with enthusiasm and with all the enlightenment of the twentieth century, must carry on the work.” It was 18 years later that the late activist’s work came to fruition. In August 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment went into effect, prohibiting states from denying the right to vote on the basis of sex. It must be noted, however, that the amendment was not applied in a way that secured suffrage for American women of all races, but primarily just whites. It took additional legislation throughout the twentieth century to protect the voting rights of Black, Asian, and Indigenous women. Since at least 2014, it has been a tradition for women around Rochester to pay their respects at Anthony’s grave by leaving their “I Voted” stickers on her headstone. A clear, plastic sheet was placed temporarily in front of her and Mary’s markers for the 2020 election so that they might be shielded from damage caused by the adhesives.

Fast Facts

Born: February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts

Died: March 13, 1906 in Rochester, New York

Cause of Death: Heart Failure; Pneumonia

Age: 86

Last Recorded Words: “Come back soon; I’ll sleep while you are gone and then we’ll have a good visit, doctor or no doctor.”

Interment: Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester, New York

"To refuse to qualified women and colored men the right of suffrage and still count them in the basis of representation is to add insult to injury as it is unreasonable. The trouble, however, is farther back and deeper than the disenfranchisement of the negro. When men deliberately refused to include women in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the National Constitution that left the way open for all forms of injustice to their and weaker men and peoples. Men who fail to be just to their mothers cannot be expected to be just to each other. The whole evil comes from the failure to apply equal justice to all mankind, men and women alike. Therefore I am glad to join those who are like sufferers with my sex in a protest against counting the basis of representation in the Congress of the United States, or in the Legislatures of the States, those of any class to sex who are disenfranchised."
- Susan B. Anthony
February 1903, in a letter read aloud to a meeting held at Cooper Union in Manhattan concerning Black male disenfranchisement in the South

Sources Consulted and Further Reading

Blakemore, Erin. “Why Women Bring Their ‘I Voted’ Stickers to Susan B. Anthony’s Grave.” Smithsonian Magazine. Updated October 28, 2020. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-women-bring-their-i-voted-stickers-susan-b-anthonys-grave-180958847/.

Harper, Ira Husted. The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony vol. 3. Indianapolis: Hollenbeck Press, 1908.

National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House. “Susan B. Anthony Quotes.” Accessed August 31, 2023. https://susanb.org/susan-b-anthony-quotes/.

Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum. “Home.” Accessed September 4, 2023. https://www.susanbanthonybirthplace.com/.

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