An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony, on the Charge of Illegal Voting eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 205 pages of information about An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony, on the Charge of Illegal Voting.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. (Handing witness two books.) State whether that is the poll list of voters kept upon the day of election in the first election district of the 8th ward, of the city of Rochester?

A. This is the poll list, and also the register.

Q. Turn to the name of Susan B. Anthony, if it is upon that poll list?

A. I have it.

Q. What number is it?

A. Number 22.

Q. From that poll list what tickets does it purport to show that she voted upon that occasion?

A. Electoral, State, Congress and Assembly.

United States rests.

Judge Selden opened the case in behalf of the defendant, as follows: 

If the Court please, Gentlemen of the Jury

This is a case of no ordinary magnitude, although many might regard it as one of very little importance.  The question whether my client here has done anything to justify her being consigned to a felon’s prison or not, is one that interests her very essentially, and that interests the people also essentially.  I claim and shall endeavor to establish before you that when she offered to have her name registered as a voter, and when she offered her vote for Member of Congress, she was as much entitled to vote as any man that voted at that election, according to the Constitution and laws of the Government under which she lives.  If I maintain that proposition, as a matter of course she has committed no offence, and is entitled to be discharged at your hands.

But, beyond that, whether she was a legal voter or not, whether she was entitled to vote or not, if she sincerely believed that she had a right to vote, and offered her ballot in good faith, under that belief, whether right or wrong, by the laws of this country she is guilty of no crime.  I apprehend that that proposition, when it is discussed, will be maintained with a clearness and force that shall leave no doubt upon the mind of the Court or upon your minds as the gentlemen of the jury.  If I maintain that proposition here, then the further question and the only question which, in my judgment, can come before you to be passed upon by you as a question of fact is whether or not she did vote in good faith, believing that she had a right to vote.

The public prosecutor assumes that, however honestly she may have offered her vote, however sincerely she may have believed that she had a right to vote, if she was mistaken in that judgment, her offering her vote and its being received makes a criminal offence—­a proposition to me most abhorrent, as I believe it will be equally abhorrent to your judgment.

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An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony, on the Charge of Illegal Voting from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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