The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams, Massachusetts is a historic house museum committed to preserving the birthplace and raising awareness about Susan B. Anthony. In 2017 they partnered with The History List to make selected items available online.
The History of The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum
This rural, Federal-style home was the birthplace and childhood home of Susan Brownell Anthony, an advocate for temperance and the rights of women. She was born in 1820 and lived in the house until the age of seven. She later returned here several times throughout her life. Anthony’s family had a long tradition in the Quaker Society of Friends, and she was raised to value the precepts of society, humility, simplicity, and in particular, equality. Anthony received a broad education and undoubtedly incorporated the instruction she received in this rural home into her later career.
As an adult, Anthony went on to be educated as a teacher in Philadelphia and taught in various schools from 1835 to 1860, earning 1/3 of the salary paid to her male cohorts. Frustrated by the restrictions placed on her because of her gender, Anthony moved to her family’s home in New York in 1849. There, she became an associate of Fredrick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, leaders in the anti-slavery movement before the Civil War. Already an advocate of temperance and a good friend of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she also endorsed rights for women and in 1869 helped found the National Woman’s Suffrage Association. Anthony cast a ballot in the 1872 presidential election and was arrested and fined $100 by a judge who directed the jury to find her guilty. She refused to pay, but because the judgment was never enforced, she could not appeal to the Supreme Court.
In 1892, she became the National Woman’s Suffrage Association’s president. Susan B. Anthony did not live to see women get the right to vote, for she died in 1906, 13 years before the 19th amendment was passed.
RENOVATION & RESTORATION
The restoration and renovation of the SBA Birthplace began in 2006 and continued through the summer of 2009.
During that time much of the original was revealed and renewed. The lath walls, which Daniel had constructed, were seen as having been nailed to the studs in right angles in an “accordion style” leaving space between each strip. The 1817 plaster had been applied in scratch coats of 3/4” -7/8” thick and consisted of lime, sand, water, and horsehair. The final coat was gypsum and lime. Layers of flooring were removed to reach the original white pine planks. Restoration included painting floors and walls in multiple shades of green that were revealed through paint analysis. The original foundation timber, frame and floors were a gift to Daniel from his father, Humphrey. You can see the shiplap boards that form the floor from the cellar. Those windows needing replacement were constructed to simulate the original six. The siding, of which 65% is original, was returned to its target or first coat color, Bennington tan.
Today, the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation, dedicated to preserving the birthplace and raising public awareness of the wide-ranging legacy of the great social reformer, Susan B. Anthony, who was a pioneering feminist and suffragist as well as a noteworthy figure in the abolitionist, opposition to Restellism (opposition to abortion), and temperance movements of the 19th century.
As part of its mission, the Museum highlights the familial and regional influences which shaped Ms. Anthony’s early life, by displaying the textiles and furnishings of that period, as well as the literature and other memorabilia associated with her later career.
You'll find more information about the Museum at their site and on their page on The History List.