New York. October 4, 1869. p. in purple ink on a folded quarto sheet, with original envelope (addressed in Anthony's hand) including canceled stamp. Old folds, a few light fingerprints, light soiling to envelope. Very good. Item #WRCAM56844
A brief note from Susan B. Anthony, part of a larger conversation discussing a possible speaking engagement for her in Cambridge, New York. The recipient, A.H. Comstock, organized a "Regular Lecture Course" for the small city which, for the 1869-70 season included not only Anthony, but also Mark Twain, who spoke the following January. In this note, Anthony explains that she's willing to come and speak for $50 (a bit on the low side for lecturers during the period), and that Comstock should suggest a day. Anthony may have had some sentimental connection as well, since she grew up in nearby Battenville, and taught school in Cambridge as a young woman. The note is on stationery of THE REVOLUTION, the newspaper founded by Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in New York City in 1868, with the headline: "Devoted to the discussion of suffrage, the only means by which equal rights can be secured to woman in the state, the church, the home and the world of work. An American monetary system - greenbacks for money, as well for bondholders and capitalists, as for the working classes."
In the years leading up to the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment the suffrage movement grew substantially. In 1866, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Lucy Stone, Frederick Douglass, and others formed the American Equal Rights Association (AERA) "to secure Equal Rights to all American citizens, especially the right of suffrage, irrespective of race, color or sex." Yet, in the final proposal, the Fifteenth Amendment prohibited the federal government and each state from denying a citizen the right to vote based only on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude." Anthony and Stanton opposed the amendment unless it was accompanied by a Sixteenth Amendment that would guarantee suffrage for women; Stone, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Julia Ward Howe supported it and feared that it would not win congressional approval if it included women's suffrage. And so, in 1869, they split into the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) led by Anthony and Stanton; and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) led by Stone, Howe, and Harper. THE REVOLUTION served as one of the avenues of delivering the NWSA's message, as did regular speaking engagements by Anthony and Stanton, which helped fund the NWSA.