Seneca Falls, New York

Central New York has a long history of fighting for Women’s Rights. On this sunny March day decided to take a trek to this area starting at the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Home.

Early Beginnings

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born of privilege to a Boston based family where her father was a prominent lawyer and later circuit district judge. She was educated at the now Emma Willard School in Troy, New York, where women such as Jane Fonda were educated in present day. She married Henry Stanton, a young lawyer whom she met through friends. He was an abolitionist, and with his health poor, it is believed he suffered from asthma, and career not blossoming, her father suggested the young family move to Seneca Falls where he owned a home.

Her father gave Elizabeth the home on two conditions – she would maintain the home in her name, and renovate the property as it was in disrepair. Elizabeth did both as she cared for her 2 sons and increased their family during their stay from 1847 to 1862 to 5 boys and 2 girls. In this area Henry’s health and career also prospered.

Views of the Property

The Drawing Room

An 1840 desk similar to what Elizabeth would have written on.

Intellectual Stymie

Though Elizabeth enjoyed the area her intellectual stimulation was dwarfed. In Boston she had contact with many educated neighbors such as Thoreau and Emerson, however, this area was filled with Irish immigrants, and those who spoke no English. No longer did she have the interesting conversation or debates of Boston.

She wrote her friends and began contact with Susan B. Anthony, a married woman without children who was the direct opposite of Elizabeth, a known party girl. Together they promoted the cause for women’s rights with Elizabeth’s stories blending with Susan’s travel information.

Besides writing Elizabeth also farmed the land having a functional homestead with vegetables and an orchard. And in 1862, when her husband was given a post at the Customs House in New York City, the home was then sold with the family moving to New York.

However, this was not the end of Elizabeth’s work, she continued working as an agent of social change in New York City.

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