Monday, May 3, 2010
"Susan B. Anthony" from Edcon Publishing
This famous woman spent much of her life winning rights for all people.
Susan was the fortunate daughter of a rich factory owner. She had many things that other American girls of the 1830s did not have. Susan and her five brothers and sisters had good teachers who came to their house to teach them. When Susan was old enough, she became a teacher.
Then difficult times came to America. Mr. Anthony went to see his daughter Susan, and he brought bad news with him. "We no longer have our mills," he said. "I don't know what life will be like for our family now. Things are bad in the United States, and they have had a bad effect on our business."
Susan's father closed his factory in 1837, and the family had to move. Susan felt fortunate because she was able to help her family by working as a teacher. She was a popular young woman, and many men wanted to marry her. She did not feel awkward when she told them that her answer was, "No." The life of a housewife is not for me, thought Susan.
She continued teaching and got a job at a fine school in New York State. She was earning more money than she ever had before. She was now being paid the highest amount that a woman could receive. She noticed, though, that the men teachers were being paid even more. "Why?" she asked herself. "I am working as hard as they are. Women should not be paid less than men for doing the same job. People are all the same."
Are people all the same? This was a problem that was talked about in America at that time. Some people thought that they had the right to buy other people. Many people, like Susan's parents, did not believe that one person should own another person.
Susan was at a meeting that was held in her parents' home. The people there spoke about white people owning black people, and what could be done to stop such an awful practice.
Susan wondered, "Why aren't women among the people talking?" Some women who did speak were made to feel awkward. Men would laugh at them. They told them to go back to their homes. The result was that many women did not dare to voice their thoughts.
Susan became more and more interested in helping to make all people free. She read every article she could that was written about freedom for everyone. She went to meetings where she met women who were interested in getting more rights for women. One of the women Susan met was Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Susan had heard about Mrs. Stanton and how she was trying to get the same rights for women that men had. Susan was very pleased to meet her.
"Women need their rights as much as the black people do," Mrs. Stanton told Susan. "Remember, women do not have the same rights that men do. We must see to it that women get their rights also."
Susan agreed with Mrs. Stanton. She remembered that she had not liked getting paid less than men for doing the same job they did. She wanted women to be able to speak at meetings about important things. Women should not be told to stay at home. Susan's ideas were not popular with most people.
Then there was a war in the United States of America, the Civil War. One result of the war was that President Lincoln said that all black people were free and could not be owned by others. Susan helped in getting rights for black people. She and other people spoke to the lawmakers. They asked for laws that would give everyone the same rights. Laws were written, but they gave rights only to men. Susan believed that the laws did nothing for women. The struggle for women's rights had to continue.
When she was eighty, Susan B. Anthony was still working and writing articles to help women have the same rights as men. She knew that this would happen only when women had the chance to help choose the lawmakers.
After Susan B. Anthony died, the world saw the results of her work. What she had wanted so much became a law in 1920. Since then, women in the United States have had the right to help choose the lawmakers. Other laws were needed for women to have the same rights as men. But, women were starting to win some rights.
Today, women have the rights they do because of the effect of Susan B. Anthony and people like her. Susan B. Anthony played an important part in the history of the United States of America.
1. When Susan was a child, her family _____
2. When Susan grew older, she became _____
3. When Susan worked, she was paid _____
4. Susan's parents believed that ______
5. Susan met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who ______
6. During Susan's life, the United States of America _____
7. Susan B. Anthony _________
8. If Susan B. Anthony were alive today, ____
9. Another name for this story could be ____
10. Susan B. Anthony is famous for ____
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