When in the enfranchisement of the black men [women] saw another ignorant class of voters placed about their heads, and beheld the danger of a distinctively "male" government, forever involving the nations of the earth in war and violence; and demanded for the protection of themselves and children, that woman's voice should be heard and her opinions in public affairs be expressed by the ballot, they were coolly told that the black man had earned the right to vote, that he had fought and bled and died for his country. It was not because the three-penny tax on tea was so exorbitant that our Revolutionary fathers fought and died, but to establish the principle that such taxation was unjust. It is the same with this woman's revolution; though every law were as just to woman as to man, the principle that one class may usurp the power to legislate for another is unjust, and all who are now in the struggle from love of principle would still work on until the establishment of the grand and immutable truth, "All governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed."
Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906), U.S. suffragist. As quoted in The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, vol. 1 ch. 11, by Ida Husted Harper (1898).
Written in 1865. She was pointing up the irony—which embittered many female abolition and suffrage advocates—of male ex-slaves, for whose freedom they had long fought, being potentially elevated above them politically. Slaves were freed by the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1865); male ex-slaves would be enfranchised by the Fifteenth Amendment (1870). Women would not be enfranchised until fifty years after that. Stanton's remarks should not be interpreted as racist or malignant. Always an active supporter of abolition and African American suffrage, she meant only that slaves were, quite literally, uneducated; it had been against the law to teach them to read and write. White women, as a group, were inevitably much better educated. In an 1859 letter to her brother Daniel, who had questioned the need for woman suffrage.