Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Susan Anthony, died March 13, 1906
"Women, we might as well be dogs baying the moon as petitioners without the right to vote!"

Susan B Anthony was a contemporary of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Jenks Bloomer, and Frederick Douglass. She was a suffragette and an abolitionist, and attempted to forge alliances between suffragettes, abolitionists, and labor organizations. Somewhat like Rosa Parks over a century later, she showed up at the 1872 election, cast a ballot, was arrested, and went to trial. She and her lawyer aruged that, as a citizen, she had every right to vote. Supreme Court Justice Ward Hunt essentially instructed the jury to declare her guilty, reading an opinion that he had written before the trial was over. He fined her $100, which she swore never to pay. In a move to preclude her appeal, he ordered that she not be imprisoned until she paid the fine.


In the end, Susan Anthony and women worldwide had the last laugh. Wyoming allowed women to vote in 1869, and the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution guaranteed that right to all American women in 1920.

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