Elizabeth Cady was born in Johnstown, New York, on November 15, 1815, to Daniel Cady, an influential legal reformer, and Margaret Livingston Cady, a member of one of the state's wealthiest families. Elizabeth's only brother died young, and she strove, futilely, to replace him in her father's estimation. She received the best education available to young women at the time, at Emma Willard's Troy Academy, but resented the fact that only men could attend college. Like other young women of leisure, she spent the years between school and marriage in visiting and socializing, but with a difference: she did so in the home of her maternal cousin, the influential abolitionist and reformer Gerrit Smith. There she fell in love with the life of the reformer and with one reformer in particular, Henry Brewster Stanton. An older, romantic figure, Henry was a great orator and bold organizer, Theodore Weld's second in command in the campaign to "abolitionize" the North. Despite her family's opposition, Elizabeth married Henry in 1840. They had seven children and what Elizabeth judged to be a relatively satisfactory marriage, but over the years their relative positions shifted dramatically; within two decades, it was Elizabeth, not Henry, who was becoming widely known as a visionary and reformer.