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 246 pages of information about An Account of the Proceedings on the Trial of Susan B. Anthony, on the Charge of Illegal Voting.

“Your honor has pronounced me guilty of crime; the jury had but little to do with it.  In the performance of my duties as an inspector of election, which position I have held for the last four years, I acted conscientiously, faithfully and according to the best of my judgment and ability.  I did not believe that I had a right to reject the ballot of a citizen who offered to vote, and who took the preliminary and general oaths; and answered all questions prescribed by law.  The instructions furnished me by the State authorities declared that I had no such right.  As far as the registry of the names is concerned, they would never have been placed upon the registry, if it had not been for Daniel Warner, the Democratic federal Supervisor of elections, appointed by this Court, who not only advised the registry, but addressed us, saying, ’Young men, do you know the penalty of the law if you refuse to register these names?’ And after discharging my duties faithfully and honestly and to the best of my ability, if it is to vindicate the law that I am to be imprisoned, I willingly submit to the penalty.”

And Edwin T. Marsh said: 

“In October last, just previous to the time fixed for the sitting of the Board of Registrars in the first district of the eighth ward of Rochester, a vacancy occurred.  I was solicited to act, and consenting, was duly appointed by the Common council.

“I had never given the matter a thought until called to the position, and as a consequence knew nothing of the law.  On the morning of the first day of the last session of the Board, Miss Anthony and other women presented themselves and claimed the right to be registered.  So far as I knew, the question of woman suffrage had never come up in that shape before.  We were in a position where we could take no middle course.

“Decide which way we might, we were liable to prosecution.  We devoted all the time to acquiring information on the subject, that our duties as Registrars would allow.

“We were expected, it seems, to make an infallible decision, inside of two days, of a question in regard to which some of the best minds of the country are divided.  The influences by which we were surrounded, were nearly all in unison with the course we took.  I believed then, and believe now, that we acted lawfully.

“I faithfully discharged the duties of my office, according to the best of my ability, in strict compliance with the oath administered to me.  I consider the argument of our counsel unanswered and unanswerable.”

The verdict is not the verdict of the jury.

I am NOT GUILTY of the charge.”

The Court then sentenced the defendants to pay a fine of $25 each, and the costs of the prosecution.




Delivered in twenty-nine of the Post Office Districts of Monroe, and twenty-one of Ontario, in her canvass of those Counties, prior to her trial in June, 1873.

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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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