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Anthony, Susan B.

LETTER: Autograph letter signed, garnering support for her first Congressional appearance,


Seeking support for her first Congressional appearance
mentioning Stanton, Bennett
Anthony, Susan B. Autograph letter signed to Margaret Livingston Wilkeson Corson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Niece, Rochester, NY, March 19 1887; one leaf of NWSA letterhead, two pages.
My dear Mrs. Corson, In memory of your Auntie Lib - as most of the nieces call my friend Mrs. Stanton - I send you Vol II & III of History of Woman Suffrage - to complete your set of the huge work.  I hope you will loan them and make them do good service in educating the people of your city. You will find in the Pennsylvania Chapter in Vol III a nice tribute paid to Dr. Bennett of your city - or rather state asylum.  Won't you be so good as to show it to her. I hear from your Aunt now and then - and I called on your mother & the aunties at no. 8 - Jan. 20th, just last month.
We can trace only one letter from Anthony to Stanton herself outside of institutional hands - sold at auction in 1979 - and only this letter from Anthony to a Stanford family member. Anthony and Stanton met in Seneca Falls in 1851, and would spend the next several decades together fighting for the rights of women, Anthony as organizer and tactician and Stanton as writer and orator.  On Stanton's death, Anthony related that Stanton had "forged the thunderbolts" that she had fired.  Theirs is one of the more consequential relationships of the 19th century and images of them together are synonymous with the women's suffrage movement.
Their goal was not simply to secure women equal rights, but to elevate the women pioneers of their movement to equal status as male historical figures.  In 1876, Anthony and Stanton conceived of a monumental project memorializing their movement and its early pioneers.  This became their magnum opus, the four volume History of Woman Suffrage sent herewith as part of Anthony's solicitation to Corson for her to spread the word about the cause.
Among the women honored in the work was Dr. Alice Bennett - referenced in this letter - who in 1880 became the first woman to obtain a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and the first woman superintendent of the women's section of the State Hospital for the Insane in Norristown, Pennsylvania. In 1890 she was the first woman to be elected president of the Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) Medical Society.  She improved the treatment of women patients with mental illness by abolishing restraints and introducing occupational therapy at the state hospital where she served as superintendent.

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