Irene’s flooding in August 2011 prevented Penny Colman from getting to Peterboro to discuss her new book Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship That Changed the World. Colman has arranged with the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark to discuss and sign her work at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 25, 2012.
Colman will highlight the friendship between Stanton and her cousin Gerrit Smith of Peterboro, who she once called “the sage of Peterboro.” Stanton spent summers in Peterboro in the 1830s and it was during these visits that she met Henry Brewster Stanton and he proposed marriage to her. Smith’s daughter Elizabeth and Stanton were close friends with each other and with Anthony.
In the spring of 1851 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony were introduced to each other on a street corner in Seneca Falls NY. Immediately drawn to each other, they formed an everlasting and legendary friendship. Together, they challenged entrenched beliefs, customs, and laws that oppressed women and spearheaded the fight to gain legal rights, including the right to vote, despite fierce opposition, daunting conditions, scandalous entanglements, and betrayal by their friends and allies.
Penny Colman weaves commentary, events, quotations, and personalities into her book Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship That Changed the World and into her program on the two famous women’s rights activists. Colman writes about illustrious, but not typically well-known, women and a wide range of significant and intriguing topics in her books for all ages: Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in World War II, Corpses, and Thanksgiving: The True Story. She has taught nonfiction literature and creative writing at colleges and universities, including Ohio State University, Queens College, the City University of New York and Teachers College, Columbia University. She lives in Englewood, New Jersey.
The following day Sunday, August 26, Norman K. Dann PhD. shares his research for his upcoming book Cousins of Reform on the relationship between Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Gerrit Smith. Respected researcher and author of Practical Dreamer: Gerrit Smith and the Crusade for Social Reform, Dann became interested in the lively and stimulating relationship between two of the principal leaders of 19th Century reform in America. Dann delighted and admired Stanton’s pluck in standing strong in her convictions – even when her admired older cousin challenged her.
Gerrit Smith’s reform efforts are also part of a new interpretive exhibition at the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark installed in mid July. People coming to the Equality Weekend programs are encouraged to come before and stay after the presentations in order to view the new exhibits.
Admission at each site is three dollars. Students are free. For more information and updates