In this new recurring feature, we’ll tell you fun facts about feminist history that we happen to trip across in the course of research or just feel like discussing.
Lawyer and journalist Henry Brewster Stanton was among the few, but instrumental, prominent men (along with Frederick Douglass) who identified as women’s suffrage activists in the 1800s. He joined the cause, as many did, by first fighting for abolition. (He was moved to action by his affection for the slave woman who sang him to sleep at night as a child.) No doubt his wife, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, had a hand in persuading him, too. Love the fact that she continued to use her maiden name, hardly common at that time, and that this couple saw the value of campaigning for women’s rights together. Who knows how truly egalitarian their relationship was, or even could be, in the 19th Century. They traveled all over the world, both together and separately, speaking about the causes that mattered most to them. They also somehow had seven children while doing all of that! Henry died after an unexpected bout of pneumonia in 1887, while Elizabeth was in London campaigning for women’s voting rights.