Elizabeth Cady Stanton once said, "While man enjoys all the rights, he preaches all the duties to a woman." (Gurko, 1) Stanton devoted nearly 70 years to advocating women's rights. (The American Pageant, 968) She influenced both the women of her time, the women of the second women's rights movement, and still influences women today. .
Elizabeth Stanton was born into a conservative Johnston, New York family in 1815. (Banner, 1) Her father was Daniel Cady and mother was Margaret Livingston Cady (Nies, 62) Through her adolescence she displayed a seemingly almost split personality; in public she appeared to be carefree, possessing both grace and wit, and was a natural leader, while privately she was quite introverted, with a fear of death, frequent nightmares, depressions, and anger. (Banner, 1) Stanton received her education at Emma Willard's Academy, known as Troy Female Seminary then ("Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, par 10), which supposedly offered the best female education of the time. (Foner, par 1) She spent much of her time, during the period between her completion of school and her marriage, at the home of her cousin Gerrit Smith, an abolitionist, where she enjoyed leisurely social activities. (Foner, par 1) In 1840, Elizabeth Cady became Elizabeth Stanton when she married journalist and abolitionist Henry Brewster Stanton. ("Stanton Elizabeth Cady", par 1) Their honeymoon was spent in London, where they attended the World Anti-slavery Convention. (Foner, par 1).
The World Anti-slavery Convention was most likely the first place in which Cady was ever inspired to promote women's rights. A number of women delegates were present at the convention but the male delegation was torn as to whether or not to let them participate. (Banner, 23) Ultimately the female delegates were not allowed on the convention floor. ("Stanton, Elizabeth Cady" par 1) This exclusion inspired both Stanton and Lucretia Mott, a Quaker woman, preacher, and leader of the convention's female delegates whom Stanton met at the convention, to form a Women's rights convention when they retuned to the United States.