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Elizabeth Cady Stanton Quotes

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)

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One of the best-known of the mothers of woman suffrage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton helped organize the 1848 woman's rights convention in Seneca Falls, where she insisted on leaving in a demand for the vote for women -- despite strong opposition, including from her own husband. Stanton worked closely with Susan B. Anthony, writing many of the speeches which Anthony traveled to deliver.

Selected Elizabeth Cady Stanton Quotations

• We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.

• Truth is the only safe ground to stand upon.

• The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.

• Self-development is a higher duty than self-sacrifice.

• The happiest people I have known have been those who gave themselves no concern about their own souls, but did their uttermost to mitigate the miseries of others.

• I am always busy, which is perhaps the chief reason why I am always well.

• Whatever the theories may be of woman's dependence on man, in the supreme moments of her life he can not bear her burdens. (from "Solitude of Self")

• Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another. (from "Solitude of Self")

• Because man and woman are the complement of one another, we need woman's thought in national affairs to make a safe and stable government.

• Woman will always be dependent until she holds a purse of her own.

• A mind always in contact with children and servants, whose aspirations and ambitions rise no higher than the roof that shelters it, is necessarily dwarfed in its proportions.

• It requires philosophy and heroism to rise above the opinion of the wise men of all nations and races.

• Womanhood is the great fact in her life; wifehood and motherhood are but incidental relations.

• Women have crucified the Mary Wollstonecrafts, the Fanny Wrights, and the George Sands of all ages. Men mock us with the fact and say we are ever cruel to each other.

• Men say we are ever cruel to each other. Let us end this ignoble record and henceforth stand by womanhood. If Victoria Woodhull must be crucified, let men drive the spikes and plait the crown of thorns.

• So long as women are slaves, men will be knaves.

• It would be ridiculous to talk of male and female atmospheres, male and female springs or rains, male and female sunshine . . . . how much more ridiculous is it in relation to mind, to soul, to thought, where there is as undeniably no such thing as sex, to talk of male and female education and of male and female schools. [written with Susan B. Anthony]

• To throw obstacles in the way of a complete education is like putting out the eyes.

• The prejudice against color, of which we hear so much, is no stronger than that against sex. It is produced by the same cause, and manifested very much in the same way. The negro's skin and the woman's sex are both prima facie evidence that they were intended to be in subjection to the white Saxon man.

• The heyday of woman's life is the shady side of fifty.

• I think if women would indulge more freely in vituperation, they would enjoy ten times the health they do. It seems to me they are suffering from repression.

[at the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions] The new religion will teach the dignity of human nature and its infinite possibilities for development. It will teach the solidarity of the race -- that all must rise and fall as one. Its creed will be justice, liberty, equality for all the children of earth.

• The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation.

• The memory of my own suffering has prevented me from ever shadowing one young soul with the superstitions of the Christian religion.

• Among the clergy we find our most violent enemies, those most opposed to any change in woman's position.

• I asked them why one read in the synagogue service every week the "I thank thee, O Lord, that I was not born a woman." "It is not meant in an unfriendly spirit, and it is not intended to degrade or humiliate women." "But it does, nevertheless. Suppose the service read, 'I think thee, O Lord, that I was not born a jackass.' Could that be twisted in any way into a compliment to the jackass?"

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2005. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Elizabeth Cady Stanton Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/cs/quotes/ec_stanton.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)

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