Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), a resident of Tenafly, organized the famous 1848 Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls.
Held in Chapel the event solidified what was to become Stanton’s lifelong commitment to women’s rights. She embodied her notions about women’s suffrage in the composition of “A Declaration of Rights and Sentiments”. Stanton modeled this after the Declaration of Independence. The Seneca Falls convention received national newspaper coverage, and despite it being ridiculed by the press, the revolutionary event also served as the catalyst of future regional and state conventions organized around the same principles of female equality.
For many years, Stanton juggled both social activism and domestic duties. She prepared speeches and articles for women’s rights conventions from her home and also wrote for a local temperance journal called Lily. Stanton produced an impressive amount of literature related to diverse social causes: she wrote resolutions, articles, and speeches on divorce, temperance, rights for African Americans, women’s property legislation, coeducation, and suffrage. Stanton also assumed the role of the major proponent and theoretician on women’s rights issues with help from longtime friend Susan B. Anthony. The famous pair made speeches before the New York State Senate (1854) and the Assembly (1860) to support the Married Women’s Property Act. Stanton and Anthony also formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA).
Holton, Sandra S. “’To educate women into rebellion’: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the
Creation of a Transatlantic Network of Radical Suffragists.” American Historical
Review 99, no. 4 (1994): 1112-1136.