Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Stanton, Henry Brewster

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STANTON, Henry Brewster, journalist, b. in Griswold, New London co., Conn., 29 June, 1805; d. in New York city, 14 Jan., 1887. His ancestor, Thomas, came to this country from England in 1635 and was crown interpreter-general of the Indian dialects, and subsequently judge of the New London county court. His father was a manufacturer of woollens and a trader with the West Indies. After receiving his education the son went in 1826 to Rochester, N. Y., to write for Thurlow Weed's newspaper, “The Monroe Telegraph,” which was advocating the election of Henry Clay to the presidency. He then began to make political speeches. He removed to Cincinnati to complete his studies in Lane theological seminary, but left it to become an advocate of the anti-slavery cause. At the anniversary of the American anti-slavery society in New York city in 1834 he faced the first of the many mobs that he encountered in his tours throughout the country. In 1837-'40 he was active in the movement to form the Abolitionists into a compact political party, which was resisted by William Lloyd Garrison and others, and which resulted in lasting dissension. In 1840 he married Elizabeth Cady, and on 12 May of that year sailed with her to London, having been elected to represent the American anti-slavery society at a convention for the promotion of the cause. At its close they travelled through Great Britain and France, working for the relief of the slaves. On his return he studied law with Daniel Cady, was admitted to the bar, and practised in Boston, where he gained a reputation especially in patent cases, but he abandoned his profession to enter political life, and removing to Seneca Falls, N. Y., in 1847, represented that district in the state senate. He was a member of the Free-soil party previous to the formation of the Republican party, of which he was a founder. Before this he had been a Democrat. For nearly half a century he was actively connected with the daily press, his contributions consisting chiefly of articles on current political topics and elaborate biographies of public men. Mr. Stanton contributed to Garrison's “Anti-Slavery Standard” and “Liberator,” wrote for the New York “Tribune,” and from 1868 until his death was an editor of the New York “Sun.” Henry Ward Beecher said of him: “I think Stanton has all the elements of old John Adams; able, stanch, patriotic, full of principle, and always unpopular. He lacks that sense of other people's opinions which keeps a man from running against them.” Mr. Stanton was the author of “Sketches of Reforms and Reformers in Great Britain and Ireland” (New York, 1849), and “Random Recollections” (1886). — His wife, Elizabeth Cady, reformer, b. in Johnstown, N. Y., 12 Nov., 1815, is the daughter of Judge Daniel Cady, and, after receiving her first education at the Johnstown academy, was graduated at Mrs. Emma Willard's seminary in Troy, N. Y., in 1832. While attending the World's anti-slavery convention in London in 1840 she met Lucretia Mott, with whom she was in sympathy, and with whom she signed the call for the first Woman's rights convention. This was held at her home in Seneca Falls, on 19 and 20 July, 1848, on which occasion the first formal claim of suffrage for women was made. She addressed the New York legislature on the rights of married women in 1854, and in advocacy of divorce for drunkenness in 1860, and in 1867 spoke before the legislature and the constitutional convention, maintaining that during the revision of the constitution the state was resolved into its original elements and that citizens of both sexes had a right to vote for members of that convention. She canvassed Kansas in 1867 and Michigan in 1874, when the question of woman suffrage was submitted to the people of those states, and since 1869 she has addressed congressional committees and state constitutional conventions upon this subject, besides giving numerous lectures. She was president from 1855 till 1865 of the national committee of her party, of the Woman's loyal league in 1863, and of the National woman suffrage association until 1873. In 1868 she was a candidate for congress. She has written many calls to conventions and addresses, and was an editor with Susan B. Anthony and Parker Pillsbury of “The Revolution,” which was founded in 1868, and is joint author of “History of Woman's Suffrage” (vols. i. and ii., New York, 1880; vol. iii., Rochester, 1886). — Their son, Theodore, journalist, b. in Seneca Falls, N. Y., 10 Feb., 1851, was graduated at Cornell in 1876. In 1880 he was the Berlin correspondent of the New York “Tribune,” and he afterward engaged in journalism in Paris, France. He is a contributor to periodicals, translated and edited Le Goff's “Life of Thiers” (New York, 1879), and is the author of “The Woman Question in Europe” (1884).