This post was written by cataloger Catherine Falzone.
The American Historical Manuscript Collection (AHMC) contains seven letters by Susan B. Anthony, American feminist and campaigner for women’s suffrage. The letters mostly concern various speaking engagements—both her own and those of Frederick Douglass, Julia Ward Howe, Theodore Tilton, and Mary L. Booth. The following letter is from Anthony to Booth, a writer and editor, asking her to give a speech on women in journalism at the first convention of the International Council of Women, which was assembled by the National Woman Suffrage Association, March 25–April 1, 1888.
Following a bitter disagreement over the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, the American Equal Rights Association split into two groups in 1869: the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA). Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, of the NWSA, represented a faction that opposed the amendment unless it included voting rights for women, not just African American men. The AWSA, led by Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe, supported the amendment and were willing to wait for women’s suffrage. By 1888, tensions had diminished, and Julia Ward Howe and other members of AWSA participated in the International Council of Women meeting, with Howe scheduled to deliver the first address, as Anthony states in her letter.
Cataloging of the American Historical Manuscript Collection (AHMC), a group of 12,000 small and unique manuscript collections, is made possible by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Peck Stacpoole Foundation, and the Pine Tree Foundation of New York.