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'Objection!': Susan B. Anthony museum responds to Trump pardon

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Posted at 3:30 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 18:34:46-04

The Susan B. Anthony Museum has something to say about President Trump’s recent decision to pardon the suffragette.

“Objection! Mr. President, Susan B. Anthony must decline your offer of a pardon today,” the museum’s President and CEO Deborah Hughes posted online.

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he would sign a pardon for Susan B. Anthony on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Anthony voted in a presidential election in 1872. She was arrested about a week later and eventually convicted of "knowingly, wrongfully, and unlawfully" voting without the right to do so. She was fined $100.

“Anthony wrote in her diary in 1873 that her trial for voting was ‘The greatest outrage History ever witnessed.’ She was not allowed to speak as a witness in her own defense, because she was a woman. At the conclusion of arguments, Judge Hunt dismissed the jury and pronounced her guilty. She was outraged to be denied a trial by jury. She proclaimed, ‘I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.’ To pay would have been to validate the proceedings. To pardon Susan B. Anthony does the same."
-Deborah Hughes, President & CEO The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House

While Anthony never did pay her fine, her conviction for voting illegally has remained on the books for nearly 150 years.

Fourteen other women voted alongside Anthony in the election. They were also charged but never faced trial.

Anthony died in 1906 — 14 years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Instead of a pardon, the museum says a way to honor Anthony would be to have “a clear stance against any form of voter suppression” and an expansion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

“As the National Historic Landmark and Museum that has been interpreting her life and work for seventy-five years, we would be delighted to share more,” Hughes states.