Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday
February 15, 1900 — Susan B. Anthony’s 80th birthday party, Lafayette Opera House, Washington DC
A little over a hundred years ago there came men who told us what freedom is and what freemen may become. Later women with the same love of it in their hearts said, “There is no sex in freedom. Whatever it makes possible for men it will make possible for women.” A few of these daring souls went forth to blaze the path. Gradually the sunlight of freedom shone in their faces and they encouraged others to follow. They went slowly for the way was hard. They must make the path and it was a weary task. Sometimes darkness settled over them and they must grope their way. Mott, Stanton, Stone, Anthony — not one retraced her footsteps. The two who are left still stand on the summit, great, glorious figures. We ask, ‘Is the way difficult?” They answer, “Yes, but the sun shines on us and in the valley they know nothing of its glory. Their cry we hear and are calling back to those who are still in the valley.”
“Leader, comrade, friend, no name can express what you are to us. You might have led us as commander, and we might have followed and obeyed, but there still might have been waning the divine force of unchanging love. We look up to the sunlight where you stand and say, “We are coming.” When we shall be foreshore we shall still be calling to you, “We are coming,” for you will still be beckoning on us as you climb still loftier heights. Souls like yours can never rest in all the eternities of God.”
Source: History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. 4, ed. Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper (Indianapolis: The Holenbeck Press) 1902, pp. 403-404.