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Anthony, Susan B. and Mary Anthony

LETTER: 2 ALS to Mrs. Drake.

Letter(s)

Anthony, Susan and Mary. Anthony Autograph Letter Signed. New York: Dec. 23rd 1863.  
On the letterhead of the "Office of Women's Loyal National League / Room No. 20, Cooper Institute."  Single sheet of foolscap, 10 x 8", folded in half lengthwise and written on 3 sides, folded to fit envelope, Susan B. Anthony 3 cent stamp in glassine holder affixed with wet mount to top of letterhead (easily reversed with no damage to letter), else fine.
This letter, written in that two-year window when the Women's Loyal National League existed, is the first such that we have seen. In fact, the letter refers directly to the push for signatures for their petition and is addressed to a key woman in Massachusetts who was gathering signatures for this petition.
Together with:
Anthony, Mary. Autograph Letter Signed to Mrs. Drake. Rochester: Nov 4/[18]86.
On letterhead of National Woman Suffrage Association with Elizabeth Cady Stanton President.
Four page letter on single sheet, 8-1/2 x 11", folded in half, written on 3 sides, folded to fit envelope, with 3 cent Susan B. Anthony stamp in glassine holder fixed to paper with wet mount (reversible without damage to paper), else fine.
Mary S. Anthony, (1827-1907), Susan's younger sister, was an absolutely indispensable figure in the woman suffrage movement. By keeping a home for Susan in Rochester, NY and looking after their mother, Mary enabled Susan to travel, speak, organize etc.  Susan, herself, acknowledged this debt many times.  In this 1880 letter to Mary, Susan writes, "…but for you I never could have done my public work." In fact, Mary was the first of the sisters to attend a women's rights meetings and often attended the annual conventions of the National Woman Suffrage Association and, later, the National American Woman Suffrage Association.  She was among the most liberal of the suffragists, supporting women's rights in the broadest sense.  For example, when the 1896 convention proposed and passed an amendment disassociating themselves from publication of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's controversial Woman's Bible, Mary voted against the condemnation. Mary worked especially hard in the 1893 push to have an amendment proposed by the NY State Convention in 1893.  She turned her house into the women's headquarters and served as corresponding secretary.  For all this, she declined the $50 salary voted her!
In this letter, it is evident that Mary is serving as Susan's secretary and is as zealous a proselytizer as her sister.  She writes of Susan's trip to Kansas and Wisconsin, mentioning Olympia Brown, and Clara Colby, as well as her niece, Lucy, who has also joined the cause. She details a suffrage rally, with prayer, music, and speeches by men and women, providing information on that period of the movement.  Letters from Mary are not common.  Those documenting her sister's work are particularly important.
Text of S.B. Anthony Letter:
New York, Dec. 23rd, 1863
Dear Mrs. Drake
It is too bad that your letter has been a whole month neglected - but I could not get to it in the rush of Petitions.
Send in all your names and help us to make Mass. Outstrip all the states.
But don't neglect that good husband & home of yours to work for this.
All you say of need of lecturers is true of every part of the Country - but alas where are the women?-
I told you at beginning we could not pay a cent from her for most. We hoped rather agents would be able to send us money. We have close work to meet our large expenses.
We'll send students as you name.
Thanks you a thousand times for all you [do] and sympathies in your misfortune to the ankle.
I am yours
S.B. Anthony
Text of Mary Anthony Letter:
Rochester Nov 4/86
Dear Mrs. Drake/
Your letter & $7.00 by the U.S. & Canada Express, just here. Many thanks for both. Sister Susan is in Kansas & Wisconsin with Mrs. Colby, Mrs. Saxon and Olympia Brown, hold a series of conventions throughout those states.
She writes that the enthusiasm for the suffrage question is perfectly marvelous, and that when Senator Ingalls says the Women of Kansas do not want the vote, he simply belies the people.
Many women traveled 10, 18 - 20 and even 25 miles in lumberwagons, as well as many in their carriages to attend the meetings. And at a meeting at Ft. Scott Kansas, the Methodist Minister took part on committees and etc., and the Presbyterian Minister opened the meeting by prayer, a young lady Miss Lucy E. Anthony niece of Susan B. made her first speech in an Address of welcome, another sang, another presided at the piano, and a number of young men from the State Normal school took an active part, two or three of them making short speeches - of which looks decidedly promising - for when the young people wheel into line, we shall certainly succeed.
I have been thus lengthy for I was sure by your letter, it would please you to hear of Susan's work in the west & of the success.
I will keep your good letter for her on her return in December.
Very truly yours /
Mary S. Anthony
(#6038)

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