This 1998 statue by sculptor Ted Aub depicts the first meeting of feminist activists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. On May 12, 1851, after attending an antislavery lecture by William Lloyd Garrison, Anthony and Stanton were introduced on the streets of Seneca Falls, New York, by dress reform advocate Amelia Bloomer, thus forming part of the team that would later lead various women’s rights organizations.
The sculpture is located on the shore of Van Cleef Lake along Bayard Street, the route a visitor would take when traveling between two principal Seneca Falls cultural attractions, the National Woman’s Rights Historic Park and the Elizabeth Cady Stanton House.
Bloomer lent her name to a mode of dress embraced by many nineteenth-century reformers. The garment, comprising a roughly knee-length skirt over pantaloons, was developed by Peterboro, New York, resident Elizabeth Smith Miller. The garments became known as "Bloomers" after Amelia Bloomer promoted the style in her periodical The Lily. The meeting this sculpture depicts took place weeks after Miller, Stanton, and Bloomer surprised the citizens of Seneca Falls by stepping out on the town, each wearing Bloomers; this may have been the style’s first major public appearance, and earned press attention across the country.
This sculpture shows Stanton, too, wearing the so-called "reform dress," although her skirt is longer than that worn by Amelia Bloomer. At that time middle-class women made most of their own clothes, often without benefit of patterns, so some variegation in interpretation of any new style was to be expected.
Working together and with Matilda Joslyn Gage, Anthony and Stanton played leading roles in the cause of woman suffrage. The meeting this sculpture depicts was an essential waypoint on the path to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave American women the vote in 1920.