Susan B. Anthony

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Diligence, Faith, Persecution, Perseverance, Persistence

Susan B. Anthony: A familiar name to most Americans though perhaps not to the rest of the world.

I will admit that I, personally, had never heard of her. My wife had; but when asked who she was, all she could come up with was that she was the first woman to ever appear on an American coin!

What neither of us realized was just how ironic that actually was…

Born in 1820 in Massachusetts, Susan B. Anthony was raised in large Quaker family. She never married, but spent the first few years of her adult life working as a teacher. She, along with some of her siblings were from the beginning adamant that slavery be ended; but after meeting a couple of friends of her father a few years into her teaching career, and after listening to them speak out against slavery, a passion for abolition was birthed in Susan’s heart. Even though it wasn’t socially correct in her day for women to speak out in public, Susan became an ardent abolition activist.

It would appear that she didn’t spend a lot of time worrying what people thought about her…

The life of an activist seemed to suit her personality well; and in 1851, she added women’s suffrage to her fight. Again, she didn’t appear to worry about what people thought, for despite the fact that speaking out for a woman’s right to vote was considered a crime punishable by law, she and her friend, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, founded the American Equal Rights Association. They then became editors of The Revolution, a printed platform for spreading the ideals of equality and women’s rights. The paper and organization needed financial support to continue, and Susan B. Anthony continued to speak publicly to raise money. In 1872, she was arrested and fined one hundred dollars, a formidable sum in her day, for trying to vote, and this one act brought national attention to the suffrage movement.

Susan B. Anthony continued her work until 1906, when she died of heart failure and pneumonia. Interestingly, although she did live to see the abolition of slavery in the United States, she wouldn’t see the fruit of her labour for her lifework in women’s suffrage. It wasn’t until 1920, 16 years after her death, that the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States constitution was passed, officially giving women the right to vote. The amendment was nicknamed the “Susan B. Anthony Amendment” in her honour.

No wonder Susan was honoured as being the first woman to appear on an American coin!

Unfortunately the Susan B. Anthony dollar coins were not widely used. It was roughly the same size as a US 25 cent piece. Blind people couldn’t tell the difference by feeling them, and they were often being cheated when they handed over a dollar coin instead of a quarter. As a result, the Susan B. Anthony dollar has primarily become a collector’s item.

The world’s wisest man tells us: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 NIV). No one could argue that Susan B. Anthony lived her life doing what her hand found to do with all her might. What about you? What has God called you to do? Are you doing it? Are you doing it with all your might? Even if it is dangerous? Even if it could get you arrested? Fined? Jailed? Even killed?

Just like Susan, many of you will never live to see the fruit of your labours. Nonetheless, you are called to, “do it with all your might”. Jesus taught that when we are persecuted for doing the “right thing”, you will receive — not an earthly reward, but a heavenly one: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…” (Matthew 5:11-12a NIV)!

What is keeping you from doing what God has called you to do with “all your might”? Whatever it is, let the life of Susan B. Anthony be an inspiration to you. Go on reaching out to people, even when it puts you in personal danger. Understand the truth of Psalms 118:6: “The LORD is with me. I will not be afraid. What can people do to me?” (ICV)! Just know that, “…great is your reward in heaven…”!

In His love,
Rob Chaffart
Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries


Susan B. Anthony