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Anthony, Susan B. (15 February 1820–13 March 1906), reformer and organizer for woman suffrage, was born Susan Brownell Anthony in Adams, Massachusetts, the daughter of Daniel Anthony and Lucy Read. Her father built the town’s first cotton mill. When Susan, the second of eight children, was six, the family moved to Battenville, New York, north of Albany, where Daniel prospered as manager of a larger mill and could send Susan and her sister to a Friends’ seminary near Philadelphia. His good fortune, however, collapsed with the financial crisis of 1837; the mill closed, Susan left boarding school, the family lost its house, and for nearly a decade the family squeaked by, assisted by Susan’s wages as a teacher. Looking for a new start in 1845, Daniel moved to a farm near Rochester, the city that would be Susan’s permanent address for the rest of her life....

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Breckinridge, Madeline McDowell (20 May 1872–25 November 1920), woman suffragist and Progressive reformer, was born at Woodlake in Franklin County, Kentucky, the daughter of Henry Clay McDowell, a lawyer and businessman, and Anne Clay. Members from both sides of her family had been prominent since Kentucky’s earliest years. In 1882 her family moved to Ashland, the estate of her great-grandfather ...

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Livermore, Mary (19 December 1820–23 May 1905), reformer, writer, and suffrage leader, was born Mary Ashton Rice in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Timothy Rice, a laborer, and Zebiah Vose Glover Ashton. Mary’s family had a strong sense of patriotism and adhered to the strict tenets of a Calvinist Baptist faith. Fear of eternal damnation caused Mary such great pain that she found passages in the Bible to disprove this doctrine. She often pretended to be a preacher by delivering sermons to playmates. At the age of fourteen she attended a Baptist female seminary in Charlestown, Massachusetts, where she studied French, Latin, and metaphysics. Following her graduation in 1836 she joined the teaching faculty of the school....