Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a civil rights activist who advocated for abolition and universal suffrage her entire life. She lived to see emancipation, but not woman suffrage.
Photograph by Veeder, courtesy Library of Congress

Download this file

  • On November 12, 1815, civil rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in Johnstown, New York. Stanton was a leading figure in the women’s rights movement in the United States. Her father was a judge on the New York State Supreme Court, and Elizabeth grew up reading his library of law books. This made her realize how American law favored men over women in issues of income, employment, and personal rights.
     
    In 1848, Stanton attended the first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York. At the meeting, she read a "declaration of sentiments," based on the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which declared that men and women should be treated equally under the law. The declaration included the suggestion that women be given suffrage—the right to vote. She joined forces with fellow suffragist Susan B. Anthony, and the two traveled around the country writing and speaking about civil rights. Stanton died in 1902. Eighteen years later, women were granted the right to vote in the United States.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    civil rights Plural Noun

    set of fundamental freedoms guaranteed to all individuals, such as participation in the political system, ability to own property, and due process and equal protection under the law.

    employment Noun

    job or work.

    income Noun

    wages, salary, or amount of money earned.

    law Noun

    public rule.

    suffrage Noun

    the right to vote.