Susan B. Anthony: “Is It a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?”

(1873)

In all her speeches and writings, Susan B. Anthony displayed her single-minded devotion to the cause of women’s rights—particularly the right to vote. Over the years she honed her arguments until the success of the cause of suffrage and women’s rights became inevitable. This major shift in public opinion was the result in large part of Anthony’s carefully crafted arguments.

In Rochester, New York, on November 5, 1872, Anthony cast her ballot for the Republican ticket in the presidential election. She had claimed the right to register to vote on the basis of the Fourteenth Amendment, which gave the vote to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” as a privilege of citizenship (with no gender qualification). In response to her arrest and trial for illegally casting a ballot, Anthony launched a speaking tour throughout New York State. The address she delivered, which was included in the records of the trial, was titled “Is It a Crime for a Citizen of the...

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Susan B. Anthony (Library of Congress)

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