Autographs and Timeless Wisdom - Original Susan B. Anthony Quote and Signature Exhibit

Date: August 26, 2022 - November 27, 2022


Phone: 14137437121
Website (click here)
Susan B Anthony Birthplace Museum
67 East Road
Adams, MA 01220

Original Susan B. Anthony Quote and Signature Exhibit

The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum is proud to present its “Autographs and Timeless Wisdom” exhibit set to open on August 26th in honor of Women’s Equality Day, commemorating the day women were first given the right to vote in 1920. The exhibit will feature a recently donated Gilded Age era autograph book holding Susan B. Anthony’s authenticated quote and signature. 

The hand-written quote may be the only one in existence as it is undocumented in any of Anthony’s archived speeches or correspondence. Dated 1900 in Rochester, New York, the entry reads, “Whether possessed of the characteristics of the oak, the vine or the flower all truly developed human beings love liberty and demand for themselves and their fellows the possession of equality of rights, privileges and immunities irrespective of sex or any mere accident of birth!”

In addition to Anthony’s salutation, the 5”x9” leather-bound volume holds the signatures and words of prominent American social reformers, scientists, and writers. These include, among others, Booker T. Washington, Mark Twain, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Hellen Keller. 

The exhibit will also highlight the entries of two prominent suffragists and reformers Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Julia Ward Howe, credited with the founding of Mother’s Day. 

Nine Presidents including Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Calvin Coolidge also signed the book. While most autograph books contain signatures of family members and acquaintances, this book’s focus on famous contemporary Americans makes it especially unique. 

All pages of the book have been digitized and will be available for viewing on the kiosk in the museum’s kitchen.

Additionally, the new exhibit will present the history and tradition of the 19th century autograph book and information about the book’s owner who bestowed it to the Birthplace. Also included is an interactive section for children to practice their own signatures.

Anthony’s words from her entry are our mission, our virtue. The Museum strives to carry on her vision. The quote beautifully reflects the unwavering dedication to liberty, equality, and human rights Anthony pursued throughout her lifelong career as suffragist, abolitionist, and social reformer. 

The museum thanks Massachusetts residents Terry Maitland and Gail Clock for donating the autograph book that belonged to their family for three generations.


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