Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) was one of the three foremost leaders of the nineteenth century woman suffrage movement. The others were Susan B. Anthony of Rochester and Matilda Joslyn Gage of Fayetteville.
She was a principal organizer of the first Woman's Rights Conference held at Seneca Falls, where she resided, in 1848. Some of her most significant accomplishments include forming the National Women's Suffrage Association, with Anthony, in 1869; and being elected president of its successor organization, the National American Woman Suffrage Association, in 1890.
Stanton was related to the prominent abolitionist and woman's rights activist, the millionaire philanthropist Gerrit Smith of Peterboro. Smith was her cousin. Among other things, the young Elizabeth Cady Stanton met her husband, Henry Brewster Stanton, at a social event at Smith’s estate.
Late in her career she revealed strong freethought tendencies, criticizing Christianity for its oppression of women in The Woman's Bible (1895-1898), which she wrote at the head of a committee including 26 other notable women. It became a best-seller, much to the displeasure of suffragists including Anthony who wished to distance the suffrage movement from any antireligious stance. The Woman's Bible has been recognized as an American Treasure by the U. S. Library of Congress.
Among principal leaders in the suffrage movement, only Matilda Joslyn Gage had a longer record as a critic of religion.