Each Volume Inscribed by Susan B. Anthony

History of Woman Suffrage.

Rochester: Susan B. Anthony, 1887.

Price: $17,500.00


About the item

Second editions of vols. 1-2, first edition of vol. 3. Each volume inscribed by Anthony to suffragist Annie McLean Marsh. Numerous portrait plates. 878pp; [x], 952pp; [xx], 1013pp. Large 8vo. Each Volume Inscribed by Susan B. Anthony. Publisher's purple cloth, covers blocked in blind, spines lettered in gilt, very minor wear at corners, very minor fading to spines. Overall very good. Buhle, The Concise History of Woman Suffrage, pp. xvii-xviii.

Item #353741

Sometimes referred to as the "bible" of the suffrage movement, Anthony's History of Woman suffrage comprises "a vast compendium of reminiscences, reports, arguments, and commentaries unevenly shaped by the logic of the suffrage cause and its leading proponents... The making of the History was at once a profoundly personal and self-consciously political venture. Few social movements have been graced with leaders who could assemble, organize, and comment on such a vast amount of information and the prime mover for the History was Susan B. Anthony" (Buhle, The Concise History of Woman Suffrage, p. xvii-xviii).

The production of the book is an interesting one. Published in six volumes between 1881 and 1922, given the large scope and cost of the project, the initial two volumes were first published by subscription by New York publisher Fowler and Wells. They fronted the cost of the paper, presswork, binding and advertising and Anthony and her co-authors paid for the composition, stereotyping, and the significant cost of making and printing of the steel engravings. In 1885, after the publication of the second volume, Anthony purchased the rights to the contents and plates from Fowler and Wells, reprinting both volumes in 1887, as here, and listing herself as sole publisher on the title pages.

Edited by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper, because of the extended and varied means of publication between 1881 and 1922, complete sets of all six volumes are rare. The volumes document the speeches, papers, correspondence, and other records of the women's rights movement, and to some degree the temperance and abolition movements as well.  The first three volumes present here include documents from the 19th century, as follow: Volume 1: 1848-61; Volume 2: 1861-76; Volume 3: 1876-85. The introduction to the fourth volume describes the first three volumes as representing "the seed-sowing time of the movement."

Each volume of the present set is inscribed to suffragist Annie McLean Marsh. Marsh (1859-1932) of Cincinnati was a member of the Hamilton County Equal Suffrage Association. Anthony signed Marsh’s copy when she was in Cincinnati to give a lecture for the Unity Club’s Sunday Afternoon Lecture series held at the Grand Opera House on February 10, 1889. A year after Anthony’s lecture, Marsh was selected as an alternate delegate to the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association held in Washington D.C. in 1890.

This set in very good condition, with the bindings generally found in poor condition.