Remember Susan B. Anthony on March 13

sba_fullOn March 13, 1906, at forty minutes past midnight, Susan B. Anthony died at the age of 86 in her own bed on the second floor of the house on Madison Street, her home of 40 years.

At her request, much of the ceremonial mourning of the day was not observed: no shades were drawn, no black crepe hung. Only a simple wreath of violets was placed on the front door. For two days, close friends and family came to call. Then on March 15, the world said good-bye at an immense funeral held in Central Presbyterian Church (now the Hochstein School of Music). Amid a raging blizzard, thousands of mourners filled the church and over ten thousand more passed by her flag-draped coffin that was flanked by an honor guard of women students from the University of Rochester—the school she’d finally opened up to them in 1901. Next to the coffin was a silk suffrage flag with four gold stars, representing the only states where women then could vote; pinned on her breast was a jeweled flag pin with four diamond stars, a gift from women of Wyoming, the first in our nation to win the vote, thanks to all of her efforts on their behalf.IMG_3042

The Rochester newspaper of the day reported: “Rochester made no secret of its personal grief. There must have been people of every creed, political party, nationality, and plane of life in those long lines that kept filing through the aisles of Central Church. The young and the aged of the land were represented. Every type was there to bow in reverence, respect and grief. Professional men, working men, financiers came to offer homage. Women brought little children to see the face of her who had aimed at being the emancipator of her sex, but whose work had ended just as victory seemed within reach. Priests, ministers…, rabbis …, came to look upon her who had more than once given them inspiration in dark moments.”

The service in the church lasted an hour and a half. It took another 2 or more hours for the thousands of mourners to file past the coffin. Finally, in late afternoon, with the snowstorm still raging, Susan B’s most intimate friends and relatives accompanied her to her final resting place in Mt. Hope Cemetery. There, beneath a simple white stone engraved only with her name and dates, she was laid to rest. The final words were spoken by her dear friend, the Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, who in tender and reverent voice, pronounced these solemn words: “Dear friend, thou hast tarried with us long; thou has now gone to thy well-earned rest. We beseech the Infinite Spirit who has upheld thee to make us worthy to follow in thy steps and carry on the work. Hail and farewell.”

Some years earlier, during a family reunion at her birthplace in Adams, Massachusetts, Susan B. Anthony had written her own epitaph. As the family gathered out in the yard on a glorious summer day, amid the horse-drawn carriages of all those who had come to call, someone remarked that the scene looked like a funeral. Anthony immediately replied:

“When it is a funeral, remember that I want there should be no tears.
Pass on, and go on with the work.”

Please join us for a memorial wreath ceremony on Monday, March 13, at 11:45 am. The short ceremony will be followed by a Lunch and Lecture in our Carriage House (that event is sold out). The wreath hanging is free and open to the public. Dress for the weather.

Anthony Museum Announces “VoteTilla” Event to Mark Suffrage Centennial

Rochester, NY – The National Susan B Anthony Museum & House has begun major plans to commemorate the centennial of woman suffrage in New York State in 2017. VoteTilla – a weeklong navigational celebration – will take place along the Erie Canal from July 16 – 22, 2017. A core group of canal boats will set out from Seneca Falls and travel to Rochester, with a concluding celebration at the Anthony Museum on Madison Street.

Throughout the week, VoteTilla boats will dock at several towns and villages along the route. Local residents and partner organizations are invited to share in the celebration by offering programming and excursions or by adding their own boats to the traveling fleet. Current partners include Bristol Valley Theatre, Canal Society of New York State, the City of Rochester, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, the RIT Women’s and Gender Studies Coordinating Committee, Rochester Museum & Science Center, Susan B Anthony Neighborhood Association, the Seward House, and the University of Rochester’s Susan B Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership.

Superintendent Ami Ghazala stated, “The National Park Service at Women’s Rights National Historical Park is thrilled to partner with women’s organizations in the Finger Lakes. We strive to bring attention to historical and current stories that highlight the diversity of the United States.”

National Women’s Hall of Fame president Jeanne Giovannini stated, “This consortium will strengthen the ties and collaboration among these cultural and historical organizations, helping to bring national and international attention to the Finger Lakes Region for its significance and place in our nation’s history in the promotion of human rights.”

“VoteTilla will be a vivid reminder of the work and cooperation required to secure the vote for women,” says Anthony Museum president & CEO, Deborah L Hughes. “Educational, historical, and civic organizations and community members of all ages can come together to host events, greet the passing boats, and participate in special events, on both land and water.”

The VoteTilla celebration immediately follows both the July 4th Bicentennial Celebration of the New York State Canals and the Convention Days weekend in Seneca Falls.

For information on partnering with the Anthony Museum for this special event, please email or call our office at 585/279-7490.

“Thank you, Susan B Anthony!” Online Exhibit Launched

Rochester, NY – The National Susan B Anthony Museum & House is proud to announce the launch of a new online exhibit, “Thank you, Susan B Anthony!”, in partnership with Google Cultural Institute.

tysba_googleThrough this virtual exhibition, users are able to view artifacts, documents, and other items from the Museum’s permanent collection that bring to light new aspects of one of the world’s greatest social reformers. Viewers will encounter a young Susan B through the cross-stitch sampler she created as a preteen, images of her as a young woman, and letters penned in her own hand.

“We are excited to share these images, some of them never before published, with the world,” said Deborah L. Hughes, president and CEO of the National Susan B Anthony Museum & House. “Telling Susan B Anthony’s story through this innovative platform will help us inspire and challenge people around the world in a new way.”

“Thank you, Susan B Anthony!” is a part of the Google Arts & Culture’s American Democracy collection, which brings together over sixty online exhibits and more than 2500 individual artifacts from forty-four institutions dedicated to the preservation of U.S. political history and the practice of American democracy. The exhibition is accessible at or through the Google Arts & Culture mobile app for iOS and Android.

Highlights of the “Thank you, Susan B Anthony!” exhibit include:tysba_google2

  • A letter from Susan B Anthony to her aunt and uncle, pondering her future as a champion of equal rights
  • A letter by Daniel Anthony, Susan B’s father, to his brother, endorsing Frederick Douglass and his newspaper, the North Star
  • A pamphlet transcription of Henry R. Selden’s remarks on behalf of Anthony at her 1873 trial for voting


Google Arts & Culture is a product of the Google Cultural Institute and its partners designed to put the world’s cultural treasures at the fingertips of internet users and to assist the cultural sector in sharing more of its diverse heritage online. The Google Cultural Institute has partnered with more than 1100 institutions, providing the Arts & Culture platform to over 400 thousand artworks and a total of 5 million photos, videos, manuscripts, and other documents of art, culture, and history. The exhibitions on Google Arts & Culture are open for all online, for free, on the web and through their mobile app.

The National Susan B Anthony Museum & House interprets the legacy of the great reformer to inspire and challenge individuals to make a positive difference in their lives and communities. We preserve and share the National Historic Landmark that was her home and headquarters, collect and exhibit artifacts related to her life and work, and offer tours and interpretive programs to share her story with the world.

The National Susan B Anthony Museum & House is supported primarily through the contributions of its members and donors. It is not affiliated with other organizations bearing her name.

Anthony Museum Announces Annual Family Tea Event

Grandparent Grandchild Tea 2014 room shot Reservations are now open for our annual Family Tea intergenerational event on

Saturday, April 23

2pm – 4pm


(includes admission for 1 adult/1 child)


Whether you are a grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, or a friend, you and your special little one will enjoy an inspiring afternoon at the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House!

Tour the Anthony House and learn all about the ways people communicated in the 19th century

Enjoy an informal “tea” with hot beverages and yummy light refreshments

Create hand-crafted notecards

Have your photo taken with “Susan B. Anthony”

This event is strictly limited. Advance reservations are required and may be made online or by calling our administrative office at 585/279-7490 x 10.

Grandparent Grandchild Tea 2016 Cards

United, Women Can Accomplish Much

front elevation with historic markerAfter Mary S. Anthony’s death in 1907, the house at 17 Madison Street served as both a single family home and a boarding house. In 1944, the Rochester Federation of Women’s Clubs placed a simple marker to commemorate that this was once the home of the Great Reformer, Susan B. Anthony, and her sister, a reformer in her own right, Mary S. Anthony. The placement of this marker fueled conversations about a more permanent memorial and led, one year later, to the purchase of 17 Madison Street with funds raised by the Rochester Federation of Women’s Clubs.

The Federation was recently featured in the Genesee Valley Penny Saver. To read the full article, please visit their website.


Anthony Artifact Returns to Madison Street

Rochester, NY – A cross-stitch sampler created by Susan B. Anthony over a three-year period beginning in 1831 will be returned to the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House on Thursday, March 5, 2015, at 1pm. The artifact has been in the care of conservator Sarah Stevens of Zephyr Preservation Studios.

The conservation work was made possible through a 2014 Museum Conservation Treatment Grant by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, in association with the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

Deborah L. Hughes, President & CEO of the Anthony Museum, noted, “Susan B. Anthony had this sampler prominently displayed in her office when she was in her eighties, so we know that it was important to her. It is precious today because it connects us personally to young Susan and her family. This was her handiwork, long before she was the Great Reformer”.

A second artifact, a pair of kid gloves belonging to Susan B. Anthony and said to have been worn at her 50th birthday party, has been on display at the Museum of the City of New York since December 2014. Initially set to return to the Anthony Museum this month, the gloves will now be on display through August 2015.

National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House Receives Greater Hudson Heritage Network Grant

Credit: National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House
Credit: National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House

Rochester, NY – The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House has been awarded a 2014 Museum Conservation Treatment Grant by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, in association with the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). The $1,856.84 grant will be used to conserve a cross-stitch sampler created by Susan B. Anthony over a three-year period beginning in 1831. Conservation work will be completed by Sarah Stevens of Zephyr Preservation Studios.

Deborah L. Hughes, President & CEO of the Anthony Museum, noted, “Susan B. Anthony had this sampler prominently displayed in her office when she was in her eighties, so we know that it was important to her. It is precious today because it connects us personally to young Susan and her family. This was her handiwork, long before she was the Great Reformer. We are most grateful for this conservation grant from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, and we are pleased that Sarah C. Stevens will be the conservator for this important project”.

Greater Hudson Heritage Network’s grant programs recognize “excellent stewardship of New York State’s cultural heritage”, according to its Executive Director, Priscilla Brendler, and are highly competitive. The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House sincerely thanks the Greater Hudson Heritage Network for this generous grant.


Subtitle: “Anniversary Reception Tendered to Miss Mary S. Anthony”


Subtitle: “The Home of Mrs. Mary Thayer Sanford Was the Scene of the Happy Occasion Yesterday—Addresses and Presentations”

“The citizens of Rochester are ever willing to honor things achieved, and this is especially if the person to whom honor is due is a citizen. This fact was well demonstrated yesterday by the informal reception given to Miss Mary S. Anthony by Mrs. Mary Thayer Sanford, at No. 20 James street. The occasion was the seventieth anniversary of Miss Anthony’s birth, and between the hours of three and five in the afternoon and eight and ten in the evening, hundreds of her friends gathered to offer their congratulations and do homage to one who has done so much toward the advancement of the educational interests of the city and the securing of social and political equality for her sex.

“Miss Mary Anthony, to be sure, has not gained the national reputation which her more famous sister enjoys, yet among the people of Rochester she is regarded as a sharer in the laurels won by Susan B. Anthony. Whenever one is mentioned the personality of the other is immediately brought to mind. They have always been faithful allies in their work, and the success which the older sister has gained is largely due to the care and support of Miss Mary. The sisters have labored together for many years, and they expect to continue for a long time in their chosen work as advocates of the highest interests of women.

“Miss Mary Anthony was born in Battensville [sic], Washington county, in 1827. Her father was one of the most prominent cotton manufacturers in that section of the state. He had the supervision of a private school at his residence, where Mary Anthony received her early education. She afterwards attended a boarding school at some distance from her home, where she finished her preparatory training and laid the foundation for that learning which she was to impart to others. In 1845, the family moved to this vicinity and settled upon a pleasant farm about a mile from the city limits on the old Rapids road. There, Miss Mary began her vocation as a teacher in what was known as the “old Red school house,” on the Rapids road, and afterwards in the “old Stone school house” on the Chili road. After two years in this place, she secured a position on the faculty of a boarding school at Easton, Washington county, not far from the home of her childhood. She spent but a year in this position, however, when she returned to Rochester and began her long and successful career as a teacher in the public schools. This work was taken up in 1856 and was continued for an uninterrupted period of twenty-six years. During this time she gained a record of which she is justly proud, distributing her services among four schools, Nos. 14, 16, 3 and 2. She spent the largest part of her time at No. 14 school and it was at this place that she attained the distinction of being one of the most successful of the public school instructors. Among her scholars who have gained what might be called success in their business and political careers are Cornelius R. Parsons, state senator from the local district; Rev. Dr. Stephen Camp, a famous Unitarian minister of Brooklyn, Alonzo L. Mabbett and many others.

“While teaching No. 14 [sic] school Miss Anthony had the distinction of filling the office of principal for a short time, receiving “a man’s pay” for her services. J. R. Vosburg, who was at the head of the school during the whole of Miss Anthony’s stay there, became ill and a young man who had been a successful teacher in the country districts, was employed in his place. The young man kept the place for one day and then decided that the cares of a city school were too great and resigned his position. Miss Anthony had taken charge of the school temporarily and the board of education asked her if she would assume the duties until Mr. Vosburg’s return. She answered that she would if she could receive the same salary that Mr. Vosburg was getting. The members of the board were astounded at this seeming impudence, but they finally decided to yield to her proposition, so for one term she held the office of principal, with the same pay that a man received, and it is said, will go down to posterity as the first woman to have this distinction.

“Since leaving the school she has been prominently identified with the educational, industrial and political interests of women and in this sphere she is best known to the younger generations in Rochester families. She is, at the present time, president of the Political Equality Club and active member in several kindred organizations.”

“It was with rare hospitality, interwoven with personal love and respect, that Dr. and Mrs. Sanford devoted their handsome home to the celebration of the seventieth birthday of Miss Mary S. Anthony, and if the general interest that was taken by the people of Rochester in their participation in the anniversary reception is any index to the success of such a venture, surely the host and hostess builded [sic] much better than they knew. During the afternoon hours many guests availed themselves of the opportunity of honoring Miss Anthony but in the evening the visitors were numbered by the hundreds.

“As the guests arrived, they were received by Mrs. Sanford, who presented them to Miss Anthony. Attired in simple black satin and duchesse lace, with a pretty bouquet of bride roses in her hand, Miss Anthony presented an attractive womanly appearance. The others who assisted her in receiving were Mrs. Helen Miller, Dr. and Mrs. F. L. H. Willis, Mrs. Harper, Dr. and Mrs. Tozier, of Batavia, Mrs. Jean Brooks Greenleaf, Susan B. Anthony and Mrs. Lynn. After all had been presented the reception resolved itself into something of a formal nature, and Mrs. Sanford then stepped forward and presented Miss Anthony with a handsome cape on behalf of the Political Equality Club…..”[Ed. Note: from an unidentified Rochester newspaper circa April 2, 1897]

Kate Gleason a Remarkable Pioneer

Life and Letters of Kate Gleason book jacketThe Anthony House was delighted to feature author Janis F. Gleason for two programs on March 21, introducing the audience to the new biography of the woman Susan B. Anthony declared to be “the ideal business woman of whom I dreamed fifty years ago.”  Engineer, entrepreneur, bank executive, and philanthropist were among Kate’s accomplishments. “She built a country club and a golf course, ran a trailer car company, and designed what was perhaps the first mobile camper pulled by an automobile. . .bought land. . .built houses. . .constructed a hotel, a resort” and helped “to rebuild the structure and spirit of the war-decimated town” of Septmonts, France, writes Gleason.

Here’s what executive director, Deborah L. Hughes, says about this new biography:

Kate Gleason was born into a world and a century that wasn’t ready for her confidence, courage, or competence,just like her friend and mentor, Susan B. Anthony. Kate was more than ready for the world.  Plunge into the “Life and Letters” to journey with this remarkable woman whose life flows from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the Great Depression, from Rochester to France, and from California to South Carolina.  You will emerge feeling energized and renewed by what woman can accomplish.

The Life and Letters of Kate Gleason is available in our Visitors Center Museum Shop and in our online store.

Alligator Purse Rhyme

The traveling champion of the women’s rights movement, Susan B. Anthony, was recognized by two trademarks: her red shawl and her alligator “purse.”  You can see the famous alligator bag she carried across the United States and to Europe when you visit the Susan B. Anthony House at 17 Madison Street in Rochester, NY.  You may recognize this children’s jump-rope rhyme Read More