In 1872, Susan B. Anthony Was Arrested for Voting ‘ Unlawfully

A black and white photograph of a woman with a tight bun, wearing a ruffled black dress with a white neckpiece, sitting a desk and in the middle of writing a letter, not smiling
Susan B. Anthony (seen here in 1898) was fined $100 for casting her vote in the 1872 presidential election. Bettmann / Getty Images

Four days before the election of 1872, Susan B. Anthony marched into a makeshift voter registration office in Rochester, New York, and demanded to be added to the list of eligible voters.

“I made the remark that I didn’t think we could register her name,” recalled election official Beverly W. Jones in court testimony preserved by the National Archives. “She asked me upon what grounds. I told her that the constitution of the State of New York only gave the right of franchise to male citizens. She asked me if I was acquainted with the 14th [A] amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. I told her I was.”

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