Susan B on trial


Susan B on trial


Susan B Anthony voted 147 years ago today. For this she was arrested, and tried in federal court in Canandaigua NY the following June. She was represented by Henry Selden, a retired judge who laid out her case for why the 14th Amdt provided her the right to vote as a citizen.

Judge Ward Hunt was a recently-appointed Supreme Court justice riding circuit in the Northern District of NY. He refused to allow Anthony to testify in her own defense, and directed the jury to find her guilty. To Hunt’s regret, he then asked if she had anything to say.

Miss Anthony—I have many things to say; for in your ordered verdict of guilty, you have trampled under foot every vital principle of our government... Judge—The Court cannot listen to a rehearsal of arguments the prisoner's counsel has already consumed 3 hours in presenting.

Miss Anthony— May it please your honor, I am not arguing the question, but simply stating the reasons 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 an offender against law, - therefore, the denial of my sacred rights to life, liberty, property and— Judge— The Court cannot allow the prisoner to go on.

Miss Anthony— But your honor will not deny me this one and only poor privilege of 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 either myself or...

...any person of my disfranchised class has been allowed a word of defense before judge or jury— Judge Hunt— The prisoner must sit down—the Court cannot allow it. This goes on for a while. Anthony published the trial proceedings: read them #Suffrage100


Daily Suffragist




Ontario County Courthouse
Susan B on trial screenshot


Daily Suffragist, “Susan B on trial,” Daily Suffragist, accessed July 22, 2024,

Output Formats