Tags: 2020 Elections | Donald Trump | Presidential History | Voting Rights | grant | suffragists | women

Heading to Nov. 3 Let's Never Forget Susan B. Anthony's Story

us president donald trump in front of a rendering of susan b anthony

U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala at the National Building Museum May 22, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

By Wednesday, 26 August 2020 09:45 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The White House made headlines last week — for something truly inspirational. President Trump gave a full and complete pardon to Susan B. Anthony — a full 100 years after women were given the right to vote in 1920. 

Via Twitter August 18, 2020 The White House @WhiteHouse​

"On this day in 1920, the United States ratified the 19th Amendment. It was a monumental victory for equality, for justice, and a monumental victory for America."

But it was nearly a full 150 years ago that suffragist Susan B. Anthony was arrested when she tried to vote in the 1872 presidential election at the West End News Depot in Rochester, New York. At that time in our nation and specifically in New York, only men were allowed to vote.

She was arrested on criminal state charges days after casting her ballot.

The Rochester Union & Advertiser posted this Op-Ed on November 4th 1872, "Citizenship no more carries the right to vote than it carries the power to fly to the moon.. . . . If these women in the Eighth Ward offer to vote, they should be challenged, and if they take the oaths and the Inspectors receive and deposit their ballots, they should all be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

". . . anything for human rights is constitutional, everything against human rights unconstitutional…" --- Susan B. Anthony in 1873.

Her criminal trial, in 1873 was styled, United States v. Susan B. Anthony.

As the leader of the women’s suffrage movement, only her "criminal" action was presented as evidence, even though 14 other women were also arrested for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election. She was 52 at the time of her arrest. "Anthony's vote went to Ulysses S. Grant and other Republicans, based on that party's promise to give the demands of women a respectful hearing." (Famous Trials)

She alone of those charged with this "illegal" voting refused to pay bail.

"After listening to legal arguments in December, Commissioner Storrs concluded that Anthony probably violated the law. When Anthony — alone among those charged with Election Day offenses — refused bail, Storrs ordered 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." (See: "Constitutional Amendments: Beyond The Bill of Rights: Amendment XIX Granting Women the Right to Vote.")

The judge later raised her bail from $500 to $1000, a fee that her lawyer eventually paid in January just prior to the January 24th indictment. 

She was ultimately found guilty and fined $100 by the court. In today’s dollar value, that eould ranks as a substantial amount of money, and a princely sum, given that in her day women were not even allowed to have bank accounts separate from their husbands.

Analysis of the June 1873 trial revealed that, "The trial was rigged. The judge literally instructed the 20 men of the grand jury to find Anthony guilty, a legal injustice Anthony recorded in her diary as 'the greatest outrage history ever witnessed.'" (Progressive.org)

She had been charged with "knowingly, wrongfully, and unlawfully" voting for a member of Congress "without having a lawful right to vote, . . . the said Susan B. Anthony being then and there a person of the female sex." (Famous Trials)

With the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, women were finally given the right to vote in the United States. This was a full 3 generations, nearly 50 years, after Susan B. Anthony and her fellow suffragists put their honor and livelihoods on the line in order to achieve this civil rights and gender equality milestone.

It was only shortly after that, in 1921, that the first bank in the United States authorized women to hold bank accounts separate from their husband. "Our heritage bank in San Francisco, Bank of Italy, opened the country's first bank by and for women, the Women's Banking Department. For the first time in America, women had access to their own accounts where they could manage their finances without the involvement of their spouses." (EveryWoman’s Bank ) However, banking institutions in the United States did not widely adopt this practice until the1960s.

Back to Susan B. Anthony story — she never paid the court-imposed fine.

Neither did two of the male electors who had helped the women cast their votes that day. They were fined $25 by the court. And were later sent to jail when they refused to pay the fine.

It was Susan B. Anthony who petitioned President Grant to step in and pardon them.

But she herself was never pardoned for her crime of voting while female. Until last week, on Aug. 18, when America's 45th commander in chief  announced a full and complete pardon for Susan B. Anthony.

President Trump commented, "What took so long?"

Yes, indeed. What took so long, America?

Related: Last June, the president and his national security team released a "Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security" to increase the political participation of women both at home and abroad.

Paige Donner has contributed to Newsmax since 2018. She's a media expert, commentator, novelist, and serial entrepreneur. She founded the company, Paris Food And Wine in 2013. In 2018, she founded IoTShipping, a supply chain logistics startup that uses the Internet of Things (IoT) for precision traceability of shipped goods. Paige began her journalism career in Paris, France in 1990. Her first job out of university was with Time-Life's rue Fbg. St. Honore offices. Within the next two years, she took freelancing work as a copy editor for the International Herald Tribune, now re-branded the International New York Times, as well as writing assignments for Variety — the film and television trade magazine. Paige has also clerked for the Senate President of the Hawaii State Legislature. A filmmaker, she has written several television pilots as well as directed television commercials and film shorts. She also contributed to American Cinematographer, the Los Angeles Times, Daily Variety, Huffpost, and a film production trade magazine, Below The Line. As of 2010, Paige has again made Paris, France her home. She has also written for the International New York Times. Since 2013, she has been the sole regular local editor/photographer contributor based in Paris, France for USA Today. Read Paige Donner's Reports — More Here.

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She herself was never pardoned for her crime of voting while female. Until last week, on Aug. 18, when America's 45th commander in chief  announced a full and complete pardon for Susan B. Anthony.
grant, suffragists, women
Wednesday, 26 August 2020 09:45 AM
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