On November 12, 1815, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, spokesperson for the rights of women, was born in Johnstown, New York. Stanton formulated the philosophical basis of the woman movement, blazing a trail many feared to follow.
In advocating suffrage for women as a central point in her manifesto of woman's rights, the "Declaration of Sentiments," Stanton forged ahead of Quaker minister, Lucretia Mott and other organizers of the Seneca Falls Convention of July 19 and July 20, 1848. As the suffragists gathered adherents to the cause, however, Stanton refused to limit her demands to the vote. She remained in the movement's vanguard, arguing vigorously for woman's right to higher education, to a professional life, and to a legal identity that included the right to own property and to obtain a divorce.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 – October 26, 1902) was an American social activist abolitionist, and leading figure of the early woman's movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the first women's rights convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized woman's rights and woman's suffrage movements in the United States.
Before Stanton narrowed her political focus almost exclusively to women's rights, she was an active abolitionist together with her husband, Henry Brewster Stanton and cousin, Gerrit Smith. Unlike many of those involved in the women's rights movement, Stanton addressed a number of issues pertaining to women beyond voting rights. Her concerns included women's parental and custody rights, property rights, employment and income rights, divorce laws, the economic health of the family, and birth control. She was also an outspoken supporter of the 19th-century temperance movement.
The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world…wherever we turn, the history of woman is sad and dark, without any alleviating circumstances, nothing from which we can draw consolation.— Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "Declaration of Rights and Sentiments,"