Susan B. Anthony House

What a whirlwind day… The Market, Highland Park, Mount Hope Cemetery, and the Susan B. Anthony House tour. Amazing. While the tour was to last 45 minutes my docent, Martha, and I spent 90 minutes touring, and talking of the life of this astonishing woman. Susan B. Anthony was born a Quaker into a large family. While she had minimal formal education she used her talents to light the world in her mission for equality of women, in voting, in marriage, and in the financial arena. She began her career teaching in Canajoharie, N.Y., where here she acquired her love for fashion after assisting with her family needs. She made $100 annually.

Her father was a businessman but when he lost all in a depression of this era he moved the family to Rochester buying a farm. Susan worked on the farm, and later the family moved to the City where he began an insurance company. It was at that time the family acquired the home. The adjacent home was acquired decades later for a Visitor Center through the efforts of Hillary Clinton.

Her alligator bag which accompanied her on all her travels.

In the City of Rochester Susan became an activist working on many initiatives. She worked with Clara Barton to begin nursing schools, abolitionists to ensure rights for slaves working closely with Frederick Douglass, and lecturing throughout the country and world to promote these initiatives. She was known to write over 100 letters per week to influence these causes.

Susan B. Anthony Square is not far from the home. Here is this statute of she and Frederick Douglass discussing issues.

At 5’6″ and 140 pounds she was known to be a health nut taking cold sponge baths daily as well as exercising daily. Dying at 86 in this time period these items seemed to work.. Susan befriended, and worked with many throughout the world and was the motivation of the 1920 amendment giving women the vote, which occurred 14 years after her death.


The Home

Susan’s Bedroom – A dress she wore given to her by Mormon women. When the dress was found in disrepair Mormon women of recent date took the garment and had it repaired for inclusion at the home.

The third floor of the home was the “offices” of the suffragist movement for over 40 years. Here the work of the organization was conducted. Susan was a great fundraiser, and much of her support came from Vanderbilt women.

A Parlor in the Home

A picture of a friend who was part of the Underground Railroad, and one of Susan’s traveling trunks. This trunk was returned by family and housed a treasure trove of papers Susan had written.

A chair given to her on her 80th birthday by a furniture designer friend.

Wonder if she ever took the time to sit in it??

Susan was an avid gardener, and gardens are maintained in the back of her home by the conservators.

This woman spurred a revolution without weapons, or anarchy. Perhaps a paraphrase of her last comments given publicly says it all,

Failure is impossible. When women gather good things happen.

A simple headstone for a woman of greatness.

Connie Cook, A Documentary

Central New York has always been a hot-bed of female rights beginning with the Suffragettes voting rights work in the early 19th century.

At the Auburn Public Theater during this weekend a documentary filmed in 2015 on the life of the woman who began reproductive rights legislation in New York State was shown. This Theater is a public organization with theater, movies, art education programs, and a Cafe.

It was only appropriate that here the documentary on Constance Cook, a republican leader, legislator, advocate, reformer, and

A Woman Ahead of Her Time was shown.

Sponsored by the Democratic Women of Cayuga County, this film documented Connie Cook’s life and achievements as a republican New York State legislator. She sponsored the New York State legislation which later went on to be the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision.

Connie began her education at Hunter College High School in New York City. She later attended Cornell University where she studied graduating with a law degree in 2 years. With the advent of WW II in 1941, she worked in the New York City corporate world, then also for Governor Thomas Dewey. Disgruntled with that path and lack of money in government work, she journeyed to Norway studying as a Fulbright scholar. Upon her return there were no Washington DC jobs for female lawyers so she returned to her home base in Ithaca, New York.

Here she became involved in politics, and married. Her husband cared for the home, and raised their 2 children. Her daughter, Cathy, spoke in the film stating her mother always felt an obligation to make things right and fix things.

Sue Perigut, the film Director/Writer, and Lee Michaels. Lee’s father ,George, gave the deciding vote for the NYS Abortion laws acceptance. After this he lost his seat in the NYS legislature and was shunned by his community for several years. He was a Democrat who was the first since the Civil War to hold a seat in the NYS legislature from his district. Since that time there have been no other Democrats from that district.


Connie also worked to change Episcopal laws to allow for female ministers, worked to improve the NYS college system, and on many environmental issues.

What a mover and shaker! Recommend all to view this amazing documentary.

Gutsy Women

Out of their book Gutsy, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, were asked to develop a television series. This Apple TV venture in eight episodes explores the lives of gutsy women who are making an impact. In one episode they are speaking with a former white supremacist who now works to recondition the minds of those who harbor hate.

Would love to see that episode.

Nora O’Donnell provided a great interview from Katz Deli in New York City with the duo. Then later she interviewed the women separately. Chelsea, now 42, with 3 children, has no aspirations for a political career, and Hillary has closed that door as well. Both remain strong advocates for females in public service, and are supportive of women’s issues.

With only 2 months till mid-term elections these ladies stated female voter registration is rising wildly.

Can’t wait.

Photo by cottonbro on