At her marriage in 1840, she asked that the "promise to obey" be removed from the wedding vows. "I obstinately refused to obey one with whom I supposed I was entering into an equal relation."
She refused to be addressed as Mrs. Henry B. Stanton, asserting that women were individuals in their own right. Her marriage lasted 47 years.
The world has seen few more committed activists capable of spending a lifetime working for such varied issues as abolition and women's rights, and being at the forefront of leading those movements.
Formally educated, Stanton took a very broad and modern view of women's rights. The right to vote was central but she saw clearly how the law favored men over women in many spheres.
She advocated for women's divorce rights, parental and custody rights, the right to own property, employment and income rights, and birth control. Stanton thought women should have control over their sexual relationships and childbearing. She was also a supporter of the Temperance Movement.
Early on she displayed wit and determination. As a youngster, she wrote:
"I was wondering why it was that everything we like to do is a sin, and that everything we dislike is commanded by God or someone on earth. I am so tired of that everlasting no! no! no! At school, at home, everywhere it is 'no.’ Even at church all the commandments begin 'Thou shalt not.' I suppose God will say 'no' to all we like in the next world, just as you do here."
Her daughter Margaret described Stanton as "cheerful, sunny, and indulgent"
One of her most cherished and enduring relationships was her 50-year friendship with Susan B. Anthony. Together they worked for women's suffrage and other rights. Stanton wrote, "No power in heaven, hell or earth can separate us, for our hearts are eternally wedded together." Stanton died in 1902, 18 years before women got the right to vote.
Here in her own words, "ELIZABETH CADY STANTON As Revealed in Her Letters Diary and Reminiscences" is available for the first time as a well-formatted, affordable e-book.
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"In presenting to our readers, the second volume of the “History of Woman Suffrage,” we gladly return our thanks to the press for the many favorable notices we have received from leading journals, both in the old world and the new. The words of cordial approval from a large circle of friends, and especially from women well known in periodical literature, have been to us a constant stimulus during the toilsome months we have spent in gathering material for these pages. It was our purpose to have condensed the records of the last twenty years in a second volume, but so many new questions in regard to Citizenship, State rights, and National power, indirectly bearing on the political rights of women, grew out of the civil war, that the arguments and decisions in Congress and the Supreme Courts have combined to swell these pages beyond our most liberal calculations, with much valuable material that cannot be condensed nor ignored, making a third volume inevitable.
By their active labors all through the great conflict, women learned that they had many interests outside the home. In the camp and hospital, and the vacant places at their firesides, they saw how intimately the interests of the State and the home were intertwined; that as war and all its concomitants were subjects of legislation, it was only through a voice in the laws that their efforts for peace could command consideration".