Often we wonder, ‘What would happen if...’ What would happen if your
family never moved to a different state in your childhood? What if you ended up
choosing a different career? We have all made decisions that lead to events and
encounters that eventually shaped our lives. And naturally, so do famous
figures. Their chance encounters, however, ended up not only changing their
personal lives but the entire course of history.
The suffrage movement would have looked a lot different had Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony not meet on a street corner in 1851. Each woman was involved in activism on her own right before their meeting, but together they became an unstoppable force, Anthony as an on-the-ground organizer, and Stanton as a writer, thinker, and commentator. The meeting occurred when Anthony traveled to Seneca Falls, New York, to attend an antislavery meeting, where Stanton had organized the first national woman’s rights convention in 1848, as a reaction to being denied a seat at the World’s Anti Slavery Convention because of her gender. Interestingly, Anthony also turned her sight towards suffrage after being unable to speak at a temperance convention.
Despite their similarities, the two women met completely by accident. Anthony
traveled to Seneca Falls with Amelia Bloomer, a mutual friend, and she
introduced her to Stanton when they ran into her on the street. Stanton and
Anthony immediately took a liking to each other and formed a lifelong
friendship. Because Stanton was a busy wife and mother, she needed someone to
be the voice of the suffrage movement and to deliver her speeches on the road.
Anthony was perfect for the role. Together, the duo launched a suffrage
newspaper called The Revolution, founded the National American Women Suffrage
Association, and more, all thanks to that fateful street. corner meeting.
Clancy's comment: Yep, that's what happens sometimes.