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Santa Cruz County History - In the 19th Century
Susan B. Anthony's Visit to Santa Cruz
by Rechs Ann Pedersen
The announcement of Susan B. Anthony's upcoming speech appeared in the Sentinel on August 5, 1871. The following notice appeared on page 2:
"Letter from Watsonville. Watsonville, August 2, 1871
Miss Susan B. Anthony is announced to deliver an address at Allen's Hall next Saturday evening." 1
Nothing further appears in the Sentinel and it could be assumed that she spoke there as planned. In fact, Susan B. Anthony did speak at Allen's Hall, which was located on West Fourth Street in Watsonville.2 However, she did not give her speech on Saturday.
Her diary of 1871 indicates that she was in San Jose on Thursday, the third. Even though the diary entry for August the 4th says "Watsonville," it sounds as if she was still in the San Jose area. The plan was to speak in Watsonville on that day, but she did not do so because she missed her train. (The following quotations are from Susan B. Anthony's diary. The handwriting and the microfilm make some of the words very difficult to read. Where a word is undecipherable we have put [...].)
"August 4 Friday: Watsonville, Cal.
Ira Allen Mrs Ames & I called at Mrs. Halls and Mrs. Wallace. missed the train--so went to Santa Clara & dinner with Mrs. Watson & then back & found Mrs [..] & Mrs. Knox. "
On Saturday, August 5th, the diary entry indicates that she took the stage coach through the mountains to Santa Cruz. She gave a speech and collected donations.
" August 5 Saturday: Santa Cruz
Left Mrs. C.G. Ames. on stage [..] for Santa Cruz--rode on top in splendid mountain scenery...splendid audience, tolerable [?] speech."
The entry in August accounts section of diary reads: "5 Santa Cruz S.B.A." followed by 52 in the received column.
Sunday was spent in Santa Cruz:
" August 6 Sunday: At Santa Cruz
...Spent two hours with Mrs. Georgiana Bruce Kirby."
On Monday, she spoke in Watsonville and lamented her missed engagement:
" August 7 Monday:
Mrs. Larkin drove me over to Watsonville. stopped at Washington Hotel. Spoke at Allen's Hall. small [?] audience. Mr. Ira Allen a true friend of women suffrage. always a terrible blunder to change time or miss appointments. Mr. Allen's hall would have been packed Friday night."
The entry in the accounts section for that date reads: "7 Watsonville S.B.A." followed by 17.00 in the received column.3
1. Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 5, 1871.
2. Lewis, Betty. Watsonville, Memories that Linger. Fresno, Valley Publishers, 1976.
3. Anthony, Susan B. Daily Memorandum Book for 1871. Microfilm: The Papers of Susan B. Anthony: Daybook and Diaries, 1856--1906. Library of Congress.
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