More than any other woman of her generation, Susan
B. Anthony saw that all of the legal disabilities faced by American
women owed their existence to the simple fact that women lacked the
When Anthony, at age 32, attended her first woman's rights convention
Syracuse in 1852, she declared "that the right which woman needed above
every other, the one indeed which would secure to her all the others,
the right of suffrage." Anthony spent the next fifty-plus years
her life fighting for the right to vote. She would work tirelessly:
speeches, petitioning Congress and state legislatures, publishing a
newspaper--all for a cause that would not succeed until the ratification
of the Nineteenth
Amendment fourteen years after her death in 1906.
She would, however, once have the satisfaction of seeing her
ballot drop through the opening of a ballot box. It happened in
New York on November 5, 1872, and the event--and the trial for illegal
voting that followed--would create a opportunity for Anthony to spread
her arguments for women suffrage to a wider audience than ever before.
Anthony had been planning to vote long before 1872.
later state that "I have been resolved for three years to vote at the
election when I had been home for thirty days before." (New York law
legal voters to reside for the thirty days prior to the election in the
district where they offered their vote.) Anthony had taken the
argued it wherever she could--that the recently adopted Fourteenth
gave women the constitutional right to vote in federal elections. The
said that "all persons born and naturalized in the United States...are
citizens of the United States," and as citizens were entitled to the
of citizens of the United States. To Anthony's way of thinking,
privileges certainly included the right to vote.
On November 1, 1872, Anthony and her three sisters entered a
office set up in a barbershop. The four Anthony women were part
a group of fifty women Anthony had organized to register in her home
of Rochester. As they entered the barbershop, the women saw
in the office three young men serving as registrars. Anthony
directly to the election inspectors and, as one of the inspectors would
later testify, "demanded that we register them as voters."
The election inspectors refused Anthony's request, but she
quoting the Fourteenth Amendment's citizenship provision and the
from the New York Constitution pertaining to voting, which contained no
sex qualification. The registers remained unmoved. Finally,
according to one published account, Anthony gave the men an argument
she thought might catch their attention: "If you refuse us our rights
citizens, I will bring charges against you in Criminal Court and I will
sue each of you personally for large, exemplary damages!" She added, "I
know I can win. I have Judge
Selden as a lawyer. There is any amount of money to back me, and if
I have to, I will push to the 'last ditch' in both courts."
The stunned inspectors discussed the situation. They
advice of the Supervisor of elections, Daniel Warner, who, according to
thirty-three-year-old election inspector E. T. Marsh, suggested that
allow the women to take the oath of registry. "Young men," Marsh
quoted Warner as saying, "do you know the penalty of law if you refuse
to register these names?" Registering the women, the registrars were
"would put the entire onus of the affair on them." Following
advice, the three inspectors voted to allow Anthony and her three
were registered to vote in Rochester's eighth ward. Testifying
about the registration process, Anthony remembered "it was a full hour"
of debate "between the supervisors, the inspectors, and myself." In
fourteen Rochester women successfully registered that day, leading to
in one city paper for the arrest of the voting inspectors who complied
with the women's demand. The Rochester Union and Advertiser
editorialized in its November 4 edition: "Citizenship no more carries
right to vote that it carries the power to fly to the moon...If these
in the Eighth Ward offer to vote, they should be challenged, and if
take the oaths and the Inspectors receive and deposit their ballots,
should all be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
Soon after the polls opened at the West End News Depot on
November 5, Anthony and seven or eight other women cast their
Inspectors voted two to one to accept Anthony's vote, and her folded
was deposited in a ballot box by one of the inspectors. Inspector E. T.
Marsh testified later as to feeling caught between a rock and a hard
"Decide which way we might, we were liable to prosecution. We were
make an infallible decision, inside of two days, of a question in which
some of the best minds of the country are divided." Seven or eight more
women of Rochester successfully voted in the afternoon. Anthony's
vote went to U. S. Grant and other Republicans, based on that party's
to give the demands of women a respectful hearing. Later that
Anthony would write of her accomplishment to her close friend and
suffragist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton:
Dear Mrs Stanton
Arrest and Indictment
Well I have been & gone & done
voted the Republican ticket--strait this a.m. at 7 Oclock--& swore
my vote in at that--was registered on Friday....then on Sunday others
20 or thirty other women tried to register, but all save two were
Post was rejected & she will immediately bring action for
Hon Henry R. Selden will be our Counsel--he has read up the law &
of our arguments & is satisfied that we our right & ditto the
Judge Selden--his elder brother. So we are in for a fine
in Rochester on the question--I hope the morning's telegrams will tell
of many women all over the country trying to vote--It is splendid that
without any concert of action so many should have moved here so
The Democratic paper is out against us strong & that
Dem's on the registry board--How I wish you were here to write up the
things said & done....When the Democrat said my vote should not go
in the box--one Republican said to the other--What do you say Marsh?--I
say put it in!--So do I said Jones--and "we'll fight it out on this
if it takes all winter"....If only now--all the women suffrage women
work to this end of enforcing the existing constitution--supremacy of
law over state law--what strides we might make this winter--But I'm
tired--for five days I have been on the constant run--but to splendid
all right--I hope you voted too.
Susan B. Anthony
The votes of Susan Anthony and other Rochester women was a
of conversation in the days that followed. In a November
11 letter to Sarah Huntington, Anthony wrote: "Our papers are
pro & con everyday." Anthony occupied much of her time
with lawyers to discuss a planned lawsuit by some of the women whose
to register or vote were rejected.
Meanwhile, a Rochester salt manufacturer and Democratic poll
named Sylvester Lewis filed a complaint charging Anthony with casting
illegal vote. Lewis had challenged both Anthony's registration
her subsequent vote. United States Commissioner William C. Storrs
acted upon Lewis's complaint by issuing a warrant for Anthony's arrest
on November 14. The warrant charged Anthony with voting in a
election "without having a lawful right to vote and in violation of
19 of an act of Congress" enacted in 1870, commonly called The
Act. The Enforcement Act carried a maximum penalty of $500 or
The actual arrest of Anthony was delayed for four days to
for Storrs to discuss the possible prosecution with the U. S. Attorney
for the Northern District of New York. On November 18, a United
deputy marshal showed up at the Anthony home on Madison Street in
where he was greeted by one of Susan's sisters. At the request of
the deputy, Anthony's sister summoned Susan to the parlor. Susan
Anthony had been expecting her visitor. As Anthony would later
audiences, she had previously received word from Commissioner Storrs
call at his office." Anthony's response was characteristically
"I sent word to him that I had no social acquaintance with him and
wish to call on him."
At the May meeting of the National Women's Suffrage
described what happened when the deputy marshal, "a young man in beaver
hat and kid gloves (paid for by taxes gathered from women)," came to
He sat down. He said it was pleasant
hemmed and hawed and finally said Mr. Storrs wanted to see me...."what
for?" I asked. "To arrest you." said he. "Is that the way
arrest men?" "No." Then I demanded that I should be arrested
[According to another account, Anthony at this point held out her
and demanded to be handcuffed.] My sister desiring to go with me he
that he should go ahead and I follow with her. This I refused,
he had to go with me. In the [horse-drawn] car he took out his
to pay fare. I asked if he did that in his official
He said yes; he was obliged to pay the fare of any criminal he
Well, that was the first cents worth I ever had from Uncle Sam.
Anthony was escorted to the office of Commissioner Storrs, described by
Anthony as "the same dingy little room where, in the olden days,
slaves were examined and returned to their masters." Upon
Anthony was surprised to learn that among those arrested for their
on November 5 were not only the fourteen other women voters, but also
ballot inspectors who had authorized their votes.
Anthony's lawyers refused to enter a plea at the time of her
and Storrs scheduled a preliminary examination for November 29.
the hearing on the 29th, complainant Sylvestor Lewis and Eighth Ward
appeared as the chief witnesses against Anthony. Anthony was
at the hearing by one of her lawyers, John Van Voorhis. Van
tried to establish through his questions that Anthony believed that she
had a legal right to vote and therefore had not violated the 1870
Act, which prohibited only willful and knowing illegal votes.
testified that she had sought legal advice from Judge Henry R. Selden
to casting her vote, but that Selden said "he had not studied the
Van Voorhis asked: "Did you have any doubt yourself of your right to
Anthony replied, "Not a particle." Storrs adjourned the case to
After listening to legal arguments in December, Commissioner
concluded that Anthony probably violated the law. When
among those charged with Election Day offenses--refused bail, Storrs
her held in the custody of a deputy marshal until the grand jury had a
chance to meet in January and consider issuing an indictment.
saw the commissioner's decision as a ticket to Supreme Court review,
began making plans with her lawyers to file a petition for a writ of
corpus. In a December 26 letter, Anthony wrote confidently, "We
be rescued from the Marshall hands on a Writ of Habeas Corpus--&
carried to the Supreme Court of the U. S.--the speediest process of
there." Already letters were coming in with contributions to her
"Defense Fund." She was anxious to put the money to use.
By early January, Anthony was already trying to make
political hay out
of her arrest. She sent off "hundreds of papers" concerning her
to suffragist friends and politicians. She still, however, found
her situation difficult to comprehend: "I never dreamed of the U. S.
prosecuting me for voting--thought only that if I was refused I should
bring action against the inspectors-- But "Uncle Sam" waxes wroth with
holy indignation at such violation of his laws!!"
Anthony's attorney, Henry Selden asked a U. S. District
Judge in Albany,
Nathan Hall, to issue a writ of habeas corpus ordering the release of
from the marshal's custody. Hall denied Selden's request and said he
"allow defendant to go to the Supreme Court of the United
The judge then raised Anthony's bail from $500 to $1000. Anthony again
refused to pay. Selden, however, decided to pay Anthony's bail
money from his own bank account. In the courtroom hallway
the hearing Anthony's other lawyer, John Van Voorhis, told Anthony that
Selden's decision to pay her bail meant "you've lost your chance to get
your case before the Supreme Court." Shaken by the news, Anthony
confronted her lawyer, demanding that he explain why he paid her
"I could not see a lady I respected put in jail," Selden answered.
A disappointed Anthony still had a trial to face. On
1873, a grand jury of twenty men returned an indictment
against Anthony charging her with "knowingly, wrongfully, and
voting for a member of Congress "without having a lawful right to
said Susan B. Anthony being then and there a person of the female
The trial was set for May.
On the Stump
Anthony saw the four months until her trial as an
opportunity to educate
the citizens of Rochester and surrounding counties on the issue of
suffrage. She took to the stump, speaking in town after town on
it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?"
By mid-May, Anthony's exhausting lecture tour had taken her
one of the twenty-nine post-office districts in Monroe County. To
many in her audience, Anthony was the picture of "sophisticated
and sincerity." The fifty-two-year-old suffragist delivered her
speeches dressed in a gray silk dress a white lace collar. Her
hair was twisted neatly into a tight knot. She would look at her
audience, ranging from a few dozen to over a hundred persons, and
Friends and Fellow-citizens: I stand before you
indictment for the alleged crime of having voted at the last
election, without having a lawful right to vote. It shall be my work
evening to prove to you that in thus voting, I not only committed no
but, instead, simply exercised my citizen's right, guaranteed to me and
all United States citizens by the National Constitution, beyond the
of any State to deny.
In her address, Anthony quoted the Declaration of Independence, the U.
S. Constitution, the New York Constitution, James Madison, Thomas
the Supreme Court, and several of the leading Radical Republican
of the day to support her contention that women had a legal right as
to vote. She argued that natural law, as well as a proper
of the Civil War Amendments, gave women the power to vote, as in this
suggesting that women, having been in a state of servitude, were
by the recently enacted Fifteenth Amendment extending the vote to
And yet one more authority; that of Thomas Paine,
not one of the Revolutionary patriots more ably vindicated the
upon which our government is founded:
Anthony ended her hour-long lectures by frankly attempting to influence
potential jurors to vindicate her in her upcoming trial:
"The right of voting for representatives is the
by which other rights are protected. To take away this right is to
man to a state of slavery; for slavery consists in being subject to the
will of another; and he that has not a vote in the election of
is in this case...."
Is anything further needed to prove woman's condition of servitude
orthodox to entitle her to the guaranties of the fifteenth amendment?
there a man who will not agree with me, that to talk of freedom without
the ballot, is mockery--is slavery--to the women of this Republic,
as New England's orator Wendell Phillips, at the close of the late war,
declared it to be to the newly emancipated black men?
We appeal to the women everywhere to exercise their
neglected "citizen's right to vote." We appeal to the inspectors of
everywhere to receive the votes of all United States citizens as it is
their duty to do. We appeal to United States commissioners and marshals
to arrest the inspectors who reject the names and votes of United
citizens, as it is their duty to do, and leave those alone who, like
eighth ward inspectors, perform their duties faithfully and well.
Anthony's lecture tour plainly worried her prosecutor, U. S. Attorney
Crowley. In a letter to Senator Benjamin F. Butler, Anthony wrote, "I
just closed a canvass of this county--from which my jurors are to be
I rather guess the U. S. District Attorney--who is very bitter--will
find twelve men so ignorant on the citizen's rights--as to agree on a
of Guilty." In May, however, Crowley convinced
Judge Ward Hunt (the recently appointed justice of the U. S.
Court who would hear Anthony's case) that Anthony had prejudiced
jurors, and Hunt agreed to move the trial out of Monroe County to
in Ontario County. Hunt set a new opening date for the trial of
We ask the juries to fail to return verdicts of "guilty"
law-abiding, tax-paying United States citizens for offering their votes
at our elections. Or against intelligent, worthy young men, inspectors
of elections, for receiving and counting such citizens votes.
We ask the judges to render true and unprejudiced opinions
of the law,
and wherever there is room for a doubt to give its benefit on the side
of liberty and equal rights to women, remembering that "the true rule
interpretation under our national constitution, especially since its
is that anything for human rights is constitutional, everything against
human right unconstitutional."
And it is on this line that we propose to fight our battle
for the ballot-all
peaceably, but nevertheless persistently through to complete triumph,
all United States citizens shall be recognized as equals before the law.
Anthony responded to the judge's move by immediately
launching a lecture
tour in Ontario County. Anthony spoke for twenty-one days in a
finally concluding her tour in Canandaigua, the county seat, on the
before the opening of her trial.
Going into the June trial, Anthony and her lawyers were
optimistic about the outcome than they had been a few months
In April, the U. S. Supreme Court handed down its first two major
of the recently enacted Civil War Amendments, rejected the claimed
in both cases and construing key provisions narrowly. Of special
concern to Anthony was the Court's decision in Bradwell vs. Illinois,
where the Court had narrowly interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment's
protection clause to uphold a state law that prohibited women from
lawyers. In an April 27 letter, Anthony anxiously sought out
Butler's views of the decision, noting that "The whole Democratic press
is jubilant over this infamous interpretation of the amendments."
Even without the Supreme Court's narrow interpretation of
many observers expressed skepticism about the strength of Anthony's
An editorial in the New York Times concluded:
"Miss Anthony is not in the remotest degree likely
her case, nor if it were ever so desirable that women should vote,
hers be a good case. When so important a change in our
as she proposes is made, it will be done openly and unmistakably, and
left to the subtle interpretation of a clause adopted for a wholly
In a lengthy response to the Times editorial, Elizabeth
Cady Stanton quoted Judge Selden as confidently telling Anthony,
is law enough not only to protect you in the exercise of your right to
vote, but to enfranchise every woman in the land."
On June 17, 1873, Anthony, wearing a new bonnet faced with
and draped with a veil, walked up the steps of the Canandaigua
courthouse on the opening day of her trial. The second-floor
courtroom was filled to capacity. The spectators included a
president, Millard Fillmore, who had traveled over from Buffalo, where
he practiced law. Judge Ward Hunt sat behind the bench, looking
in his black broadcloth and neck wound in a white neckcloth.
described Hunt as "a small-brained, pale-faced, prim-looking man,
in a faultless black suit and a snowy white tie."
Richard Crowley made the opening
statement for the prosecution:
We think, on the part of the Government, that there
is no question
about it either one way or the other, neither a question of fact, nor a
question of law, and that whatever Miss Anthony's intentions may have
they were good or otherwise-she did not have a right to vote upon that
question, and if she did vote without having a lawful right to vote,
there is no question but what she is guilty of violating a law of the
States in that behalf enacted by the Congress of the United States.
The prosecution's chief witness was Beverly W. Jones, a
inspector of elections. Jones
testified that he witnessed Anthony cast a ballot on November 5 in
Rochester's Eighth Ward. Jones added he accepted Anthony's
ballot and placed it a ballot box. On cross-examination, Selden
Jones if he had also been present when Anthony registered four days
and whether objections to Anthony's registration had not been
and rejected at that time. Jones agreed that was the case, and
Anthony's name had been added to the voting rolls.
The main factual argument that the defense hoped to present
Anthony reasonably believed that she was entitled to vote, and
could not be guilty of the crime of "knowingly" casting an illegal
To support this argument, Henry Selden called himself as a witness to
Before the last election,
called upon me for advice, upon the question whether she was or was not
a legal voter. I examined the question, and gave her my opinion,
that the laws and Constitution of the United States, authorized her to
vote, as well as they authorize any man to vote.
Selden then called Anthony as a witness,
so she might
testify as to her vote and her state of mind on Election Day.
Attorney Crowley objected: "She is not a competent as a witness on her
own behalf." Judge Hunt sustained the objection, barring Anthony
from taking the stand. The defense rested.
The prosecution called to the stand
an Assistant United States Attorney who had attended a January
in which Anthony testified about her registration and vote. Pound
testified that Anthony testified at that time that she did not
Selden until after registering to vote. Selden, after conferring
with Anthony, agreed that their meeting took place immediately after
registration, rather than before as his own testimony had
On cross-examination, Pound admitted that Anthony had testified at her
examination that she had "not a particle" of doubt about her right as a
citizen to vote. With Pound's dismissal from the stand, the
closed and the legal arguments began.
Selden opened his three-hour-long argument
for Anthony by stressing that she was prosecuted purely on account
of her gender:
If the same act had been done
brother under the same circumstances, the act would have been not only
innocent, but honorable and laudable; but having been done by a woman
is said to be a crime. The crime therefore consists not in the act
but in the simple fact that the person doing it was a woman and not a
I believe this is the first instance in which a woman has been
in a criminal court, merely on account of her sex....
Selden stressed that the vote was
essential to women
receiving fair treatment from legislatures: "Much has been done, but
more remains to be done by women. If they had possessed the elective
the reforms which have cost them a quarter of a century of labor would
have been accomplished in a year."
Central to Selden's argument that
a legal vote was the recently enacted Fourteenth Amendment:
It will be seen, therefore,
whole subject, as to what should constitute the "privileges and
of the citizen being left to the States, no question, such as we now
could have arisen under the original constitution of the United States.
But now, by the fourteenth amendment, the United States have not only
what constitutes citizenship, both in the United States and in the
States, securing the rights of citizens to "all persons born or
in the United States;" but have absolutely prohibited the States from
or enforcing " any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities
of citizens of the United States." By virtue of this provision, I
insist that the act of Miss Anthony in voting was lawful.
Finally, Selden insisted that even if the
Amendment did not make Anthony's vote legal, she could not be
because she acted in the good faith belief that her vote was
Miss Anthony believed, and
that she had a right to vote. She may also have been advised, as was
the fact, that the question as to her right could not be brought before
the courts for trial, without her voting or offering to vote, and if
was criminal, the one was as much so as the other. Therefore she stands
now arraigned as a criminal, for taking the only steps by which it was
possible to bring the great constitutional question as to her right,
the tribunals of the country for adjudication. If for thus acting, in
most perfect good faith, with motives as pure and impulses as noble as
any which can find place in your honor's breast in the administration
justice, she is by the laws of her country to be condemned as a
she must abide the consequences. Her condemnation, however, under such
circumstances, would only add another most weighty reason to those
I have already advanced, to show that women need the aid of the ballot
for their protection.
After District Attorney Crowley offered
response for the prosecution, Judge Hunt drew from his pocket a paper
began reading an opinion that he had apparently prepared before the
started. Hunt declared, "The Fourteenth Amendment gives no
right to a woman to vote, and the voting by Miss Anthony was in
of the law." The judge rejected Anthony's argument that her good
faith precluded a finding that she "knowingly" cast an illegal vote:
that Miss Anthony believed she had a right to vote, that fact
no defense if in truth she had not the right. She voluntarily gave a
which was illegal, and thus is subject to the penalty of the
Hunt that surprised Anthony and her attorney by directing a verdict of
guilty: "Upon this evidence I suppose there is no question for the jury
and that the jury should be directed to find a verdict of guilty."
In her diary that night Anthony would angrily describe the
"the greatest judicial outrage history has ever recorded! We were
before we had a hearing and the trial was a mere farce." During
entire trial, as Henry Selden pointed out, "No juror spoke a word
during the trial, from the time they were impaneled to the time they
discharged." Had the jurors had an opportunity to speak, there is
reason to believe that Anthony would not have been convicted. A
quoted one juror as saying, "Could I have spoken, I should have
'not guilty,' and the men in the jury box would have sustained me."
The next day Selden
argued for a new trial on the ground that Anthony's constitutional
right to a trial by jury had been violated. Judge Hunt promptly
the motion. Then, before sentencing, Hunt asked, "Has the
anything to say why sentence shall not be pronounced?" The
that followed stunned the crowd in the Canandaigua courthouse:
"Yes, your honor, I have many things to say; for in your
of guilty, you have trampled under foot every vital principle of our
My natural rights, my civil rights, my political rights, my judicial
are all alike ignored. Robbed of the fundamental privilege of
I am degraded from the status of a citizen to that of a subject; and
only myself individually, but all of my sex, are, by your honor's
doomed to political subjection under this, so-called, form of
Judge Hunt interrupted, "The Court cannot listen to a
rehearsal of arguments
the prisoner's counsel has already consumed three hours in presenting."
But Anthony would not be deterred. She continued, "May
your honor, I am not arguing the question, but simply stating the
why sentence cannot, in justice, be pronounced against me. Your denial
of my citizen's right to vote, is the denial of my right of consent as
one of the governed, the denial of my right of representation as one of
the taxed, the denial of my right to a trial by a jury of my peers as
offender against law, therefore, the denial of my sacred rights to
liberty, property and-"
"The Court cannot allow the prisoner to go on."
"But your honor will not deny me this one and only poor
protest against this high-handed outrage
upon my citizen's rights. May it please the Court to remember that
since the day of my arrest last November, this is the first time that
myself or any person of my disfranchised class has been allowed a word
of defense before judge or jury-"
"The prisoner must sit down-the Court cannot allow it."
"All of my prosecutors, from the eighth ward corner grocery
who entered the compliant, to the United States Marshal, Commissioner,
District Attorney, District Judge, your honor on the bench, not one is
my peer, but each and all are my political sovereigns; and had your
submitted my case to the jury, as was clearly your duty, even then I
have had just cause of protest, for not one of those men was my peer;
native or foreign born, white or black, rich or poor, educated or
awake or asleep, sober or drunk, each and every man of them was my
superior; hence, in no sense, my peer. Even, under such circumstances,
a commoner of England, tried before a jury of Lords, would have far
cause to complain than should I, a woman, tried before a jury of men.
my counsel, the Hon. Henry R. Selden, who has argued my cause so ably,
so earnestly, so unanswerably before your honor, is my political
Precisely as no disfranchised person is entitled to sit upon a jury,
no woman is entitled to the franchise, so, none but a regularly
lawyer is allowed to practice in the courts, and no woman can gain
to the bar-hence, jury, judge, counsel, must all be of the superior
"The Court must insist-the prisoner has been tried according
established forms of law."
"Yes, your honor, but by forms of law all made by men,
men, administered by men, in favor of
men, and against women; and hence, your honor's ordered verdict of
guilty; against a United States citizen for the exercise of "that
right to vote," simply because that citizen was a woman and not a man.
But, yesterday, the same man made forms of law, declared it a crime
with $1,000 fine and six months imprisonment, for you, or me, or you of
us, to give a cup of cold water, a crust of bread, or a night's shelter
to a panting fugitive as he was tracking his way to Canada. And every
or woman in whose veins coursed a drop of human sympathy violated that
wicked law, reckless of consequences, and was justified in so doing. As
then, the slaves who got their freedom must take it over, or under, or
through the unjust forms of law, precisely so, now, must women, to get
their right to a voice in this government, take it; and I have taken
and mean to
take it at every possible opportunity."
"The Court orders the prisoner to sit down. It will not
"When I was brought before your honor for trial, I hoped for
and liberal interpretation of the Constitution and its recent
that should declare...equality of rights the national guarantee to all
persons born or naturalized in the United States. But failing to get
justice-failing, even, to get a trial by a jury not of my peers-I ask
leniency at your hands-but rather the full rigors of the law--"
"The Court must insist-"
Finally, Anthony sat down, only to be immediately ordered by
to rise again. Hunt pronounced sentence: "The sentence of the
is that you pay a fine of one hundred dollars and the costs of the
Anthony protested. "May it please your honor, I shall never
pay a dollar
of your unjust penalty. All the stock in trade I possess is a $10,000
incurred by publishing my paper- The Revolution -four years
the sole object of which was to educate all women to do precisely as I
have done, rebel against your manmade, unjust, unconstitutional forms
law, that tax, fine, imprison and hang women, while they deny them the
right of representation in the government; and I shall work on with
and main to pay every dollar of that honest debt, but not a penny shall
go to this unjust claim. And I shall earnestly and persistently
to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old revolutionary
maxim, that "Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God."
Judge Hunt, in a move calculated to preclude any appeal to a
court, ended the trial by announcing, "Madam, the Court will not order
you committed until the fine is paid."
True to her word, Anthony never paid a penny of her
to Congress to remit the fine was never acted upon, but no serious
effort was ever made by the government to collect.
Anthony tried to turn her trial and conviction into
for the women suffrage movement. She ordered 3,000 copies of the
proceedings printed and distributed them to political activists,
and libraries. In the eyes of some, the trial had elevated
to the status of the martyr, while for others the effect may have been
to diminish her status to that of a common criminal. Many in the
press, however, saw Anthony as the ultimate victor. One New York
paper observed, "If it is a mere question of who got the best of it,
Anthony is still ahead. She has voted and the American
has survived the shock. Fining her one hundred dollars does not
out the fact that...women voted, and went home, and the world jogged on