Seek the truth and open your heart. It will set you free.
On this day, 142 years ago, the prominent American suffragist Susan B. Anthony was sentenced and fined for “illegally voting” as a woman in the 1872 Presidential Election. Prior to her trial, she spoke in all 29 towns and villages of Monroe County, New York, where her trial was scheduled to be held, on the topic of “Is it a Crime for a U.S. Citizen to Vote?” She called upon women to exercise their right to vote, with or without formal recognition: “We no longer petition legislature or Congress to give us the right to vote, but appeal to women everywhere to exercise their too long neglected ‘citizen’s right’.” At her trial near Rochester, the judge refused to allow Anthony to testify on her own behalf and, after she was convicted, he read an opinion that he had written before the trial even started. After the verdict was given, Anthony was at last permitted to speak and gave what Ann Gordon, an eminent historian of the women’s suffrage movement, called “the most famous speech in the history of the agitation for woman suffrage.” During it, she protested “this high-handed outrage upon my citizen’s rights … you have trampled under foot every vital principle of our government. My natural rights, my civil rights, my political rights, my judicial rights, are all alike ignored.” The judge ordered Anthony to pay a $100 fine for her ‘crime’ of illegally voting to which she declared, “I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.” True to her words, she never paid the fine for the rest of her life!