When my mom turned 50 years old, we had a family party to celebrate the major milestone. One of the gifts we gave her was 50 shiny, new Anthony dollars. These coins had just been released in July of that year, and not only were they the first dollar coin to be released in a long time, but Susan B. Anthony was the first women to be honored by having her “picture” on a US coin.
Susan Brownell Anthony was an influential American civil rights leader who played a crucial role in the women’s rights movement in the 1800’s. She was arrested in 1872 for voting illegally, but her influence eventually led to the adoption of the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution which gives women the right to vote.
However, in spite of all Miss Anthony’s accomplishments, the dollar was very unpopular because of its similarity to a quarter in both size and weight. In spite of the government’s best efforts in promoting the coin, it never really became mainstream and eventually was replaced with the golden dollar coin – so you probably haven’t see very many of them.
Interesting, but what does this have to do with me or you?
This past week while continuing my genealogy organizing project, I came across a piece of paper that caught my eye. My mother had in her files a letter from the Fort Edward, New York Historical Association which was a response to her request for information about the marriage of Benoni Pratt and Caroline Taylor – my 3rd great grandparents. Mr. Paul McCarty, director of that organization, wrote that he had been unable to find any information about the marriage, but did have some additional information on the Taylor family.
“However, I do wish to convey to you some additional information on the Taylors. Lansing Taylor built a large home on the corner of what is today US Route #4 and Patterson Road at Moseskill, which is very near Fort Miller. The house has since been destroyed by fire and the location is today occupied by another house.
“Susan B. Anthony was employed by Lansing B. Taylor for a period of two years after 1839, most likely Caroline was one of her students. Miss Anthony’s family lived in nearby Greenwich, New York.”
A little searching on the internet produced this information from Wikipedia:
“In 1837, Anthony was sent to Deborah Moulson’s Female Seminary, a Quaker boarding school in Philadelphia. She was not happy at Moulson’s, but she did not have to stay there long. She was forced to end her formal studies because her family, like many others, was financially ruined during the Panic of 1837. Their losses were so great that they attempted to sell everything in an auction, even their most personal belongings, which were saved at the last minute when Susan’s uncle, Joshua Read, stepped up and bid for them in order to restore them to the family.
“In 1839, the family moved to Hardscrabble, New York, in the wake of the panic and economic depression that followed. That same year, Anthony left home to teach and pay off her father’s debts.”
And that would have taken her to my great-great-great grandmother’s home!
February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906