Susan B. Anthony Postcards


Susan B. Anthony Postcards

On May 26, 1883 Susan B. Anthony sent a postcard from Paris, France to her sister Mary in Rochester. She wrote that unless someone had a compelling reason for her to stay, her plan was "to take a look at Scotland & Ireland & make for home in a very few weeks." Apparently all those in Europe and Britain who wished to see and hear the great American suffragist prevailed upon her to stay longer; she didn't sail home for another six months. 

Jeffrey H. Miller donated to the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation this postcard and seventeen others addressed to Susan B. Anthony. Miller, a professor of microbiology at UCLA, graduated from the University of Rochester in 1966. His father purchased the postcards in the 1940s and Dr. Miller is presenting them to the Library in honor of his parents, Irma and Jerome S. Miller. 







Anthony's trip to Europe and Britain began in February 1883 in the company of Rachel Foster Avery. The two had first met at a suffrage convention in 1879 and soon established a special bond as co-workers and friends. Avery, who was almost forty years younger than Anthony, referred to her as "Aunt Susan" and Anthony regarded Avery as her "niece." When Avery decided to study abroad in 1883, she persuaded Anthony to make the trip with her. While Avery toured the continent, Anthony spent much of her time in Britain where she met with the feminist leaders of England, Ireland and Scotland. Avery kept Anthony informed of her European travels through a series of postcards, eleven of which are part of the Miller gift. 

PostcardThe postcards are a particularly welcome addition for they join a collection of 161 letters from Susan B. Anthony to Rachel Foster Avery and 36 letters from Avery to Anthony already in the Department. University of Rochester undergraduate Lagusta Yearwood (class of 2000) created a synopsis of Anthony's letters to Avery as part of an internship during the academic year of 1999/2000. The synopses are part of the register for the collection. 

PostcardAnother special postcard included in the gift is to Susan B. Anthony from Josephine Shatz, a Rochester teacher studying in Germany. It was written from Berlin on October 6, 1900, one month after Anthony's successful campaign to open the University of Rochester to women students. In it Shatz writes: "I want to express to you my personal gratitude for your efforts, & to assure you that whenever I shall feel discouraged this last act of yours shall be my inspiration never to give up till my end is accomplished."