Monday, February 15, 2010

Aunt Susan

So, back in the last years of the 19th and the first few years of the 20th century, when Susan B. Anthony was still among the living, she was known as 'Aunt Susan' to her many friends, fans and fellow comrades in the ongoing struggle to pry the Vote out of Uncle Sam's clenched fist. Some of them well knew that today, the 15th of February, was the anniversary of the day when, out in Adams, Massachusetts, Daniel and Lucy Anthony, earnest Friends, welcomed tiny Susan into their family. In their barely-imaginable future, they would have six more babies and Susan would grow up to be a steadfast warrior for Woman Suffrage as well as a steadfast friend to that radical-in-crinolines, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. And even now, 190 years later, Susan is still remembered - at least I hope so, even by such as I, who had to be reminded to write some little something and get it posted, for crying out loud.
When I was working on Remember the Ladies, my big book full of historical dames, I had the privilege of visiting Rochester, New York, walking up to Miss Anthony's front door (through which she dashed many a time, hurrying off to the train station to board one of the rattling cars, off on another speechifying junket across the country), and go inside her house. It's an experience I would recommend to anyone: Arm yourself with a bit of knowledge then go and walk where the great ones walked. Stand where they stood, whether that place be a marble hallway, a long-preserved cabin, or Aunt Susan's parlor - and think on their struggles that went to make your world possible.

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