Susan B. Anthony taught school in New Rochelle and Canajoharie, New York, and discovered that male teachers were paid several times her salary. She devoted her first reform efforts to anti-slavery and to temperance, the campaign to curb alcohol. But when she rose to speak in a temperance convention, she was told, “The sisters were not invited here to speak!” Anthony promptly enlisted in the cause of women’s rights.
In a lifelong partnership with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Anthony’s organizational skill and selfless dedication built the women’s rights movement. The ballot, she became increasingly to believe, was the necessary foundation for all other advances. When she and Stanton published a newspaper, they called it The Revolution. Its motto was “Men their rights and nothing more; women their rights and nothing less.” In order to press a test case of her belief that women, as citizens, could not be denied the ballot, Anthony voted. She was tried, convicted and fined for voting illegally.
For over thirty years she traveled the country almost ceaselessly working for women’s rights. In 1906, her health failing, Anthony addressed her last women’s suffrage convention. Although she sensed that the cause would not be won in her lifetime, she looked out across the assembled women and told them, “Failure is impossible.”