George Francis Train
(1829–1904) George was a rather eccentric wealthy man of many endeavors. Among other ventures, he financed a newspaper published by Susan B and Elizabeth C, The Revolution, dedicated to women's rights. Described by one historian as "one of the strangest and most colorful characters of the era—“a combination of Liberace and Billy Graham." George was always dapper, polished, freshly shaved and scented with cologne; he carried a cane for effect rather than need. He ran for President against Lincoln in 1864, but no votes in his favor were recorded. While running again for President in 1868, he made a trip around the world in 80 days and was apparently the inspiration for the character of Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne's novel, Around the World in Eighty Days.
George claimed to have invented perforated stamps, erasers attached to pencils and canned salmon, but he was also a devoted and effective supporter of women's suffrage and the temperance movement to ban alcohol. Anthony and Stanton found common cause with him (though he believed that African-Americans should not be given the vote until they had been taught to read) and he became the principal funder of their newspaper, mentioned above.
While traveling together on a speaking tour in Kansas the three became great friends and Anthony found his limitless energy a source of personal strength and inspiration. She credited him with the 9,000 votes in support of a women's suffrage amendment (that was a lot of votes in the sparsely-populated new state).
The first issue of their newspaper was distributed on January 8, 1868. In its pages, Anthony, Stanton, Train and a few other writers imagined and advocated for a world entirely different from the cruel one outside of their New York City office door. They all shared frustration over the apparent limits of what had been accomplished in the wake of the Civil War. “Men talk of reconstruction on the basis of 'negro suffrage,'” wrote Stanton, “while multitudes of facts on all sides. . . show that we need to reconstruct the very foundations of society and teach the nation the sacredness of all human rights.”
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