Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Suffragist

6, 7, 8

This lesson will introduce Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her involvement with the woman's movement. It will focus on her work, in conjunction with others, to change women's rights in the United States. It will also show her concern toward fugitive slaves, a common thread of the women in this unit. Students will analyze the contributions of individuals in the anti-slavery and women's movements as acts of philanthropy.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • identify Elizabeth Cady Stanton's connection to the anti-slavery and women's rights movements.
  • compare the Declaration of Sentiments to the Declaration of Independence.
  • describe how the work of the anti-slavery movement and women's rights movement were examples of philanthropy.
  • Notes on Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Attachment One)
  • Declaration of Sentiments (Attachment Two)
  • Declaration of Independence (can be found in American history textbooks)


  1. Anticipatory Set: Remembering the first lesson, ask the learners to list how bad conditions were in the Industrial Revolution for women. Recount the 14-16 hour workdays, the low pay and the additional work expected of them when they arrived home. State that women wondered what it would take for them to be treated fairly. Sojourner Truth discussed inequalities involving African Americans and she included the treatment of women. Explain that, in today's lesson, students will learn about another woman who had an important effect on the freedom movement, both for women as well as African Americans.

  2. Brainstorm, and list in a column on the board, the things that needed to be changed in order to improve the treatment of the women during the era of the Industrial Revolution. Continue to brainstorm in another column what it would take to change these conditions.

  3. Using Notes on Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Attachment One), introduce Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Describe her initial involvement in the anti-slavery movement through her connection with her uncle and her attendance at the World Anti-Slavery Convention where she met Lucretia Mott. Explain how she started the woman's movement through her association with Mott and later Susan B. Anthony.

  4. Distribute copies of Declaration of Sentiments (Attachment Two). Ask students to turn to the Declaration of Independence in their textbooks. In a whole group setting, and paragraph by paragraph, compare the two documents for similarities. Ask students to speculate why Elizabeth Cady Stanton modeled her document on the Declaration of Independence. Did she feel this respected document would make it possible to have the voices of women listened to with more interest? Starting with the Resolutions section of the Declaration of Sentiments, have the class make a list of the solutions Cady Stanton felt were needed to give women equal rights with men. Compare this list to the second column which was placed on the board at the beginning of the lesson.

  5. Remind the learners that Elizabeth Cady Stanton gave of her time to help others. She was not poor nor was she a slave or mistreated. Why was she so intent on forming these other organizations? Could she be considered a philanthropist (one who gives of her time, talent or treasure)?


Ask students to list five changes Elizabeth Cady Stanton sought in her Declaration of Sentiments and describe how her work could be considered that of a philanthropist.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
      2. Benchmark MS.5 Discuss examples of groups denied their rights in history.
    2. Standard PCS 06. Philanthropy in History
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Identify positive philanthropic historic acts or events that helped build the community, state, and nation.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.