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Richard Crowley,+ United States District Attorney, for the Government.
Henry R. Selden, and John Van Voorhis, for the Defendant.
Mr. Crowley.. Gentlemen of the Jury: On the fifth of November, 1872, there was held in this State, as well as in other states of the Union, a general election for different officers, and among those, for candidates to represent several districts of this state in the Congress of the United States. The defendant, Miss Susan B. Anthony, at that time resided in the city of Rochester, in the county of Monroe, Northern District of New York, and upon the fifth day of November, 1872, she voted for a representative in the Congress of the United States to represent the 29th Congressional District of
which said election was for Representatives in the Congress of the United States, to-wit: a Representative in the Congress of the United States for the State of New York at large, and a Representative in the Congress of the United States for the twenty-ninth Congressional District of the State of New York, said first election district of said eighth ward, of said city of Rochester, being then and there a part of said twenty-ninth Congressional District of the State of New York, did knowingly, wrongfully and unlawfully vote for a candidate for Representative in the Congress of the United States for the State of New York at large, and for a candidate for Representative in the Congress of the United States for said twentyninth Congressional District, without having a lawful right to vote in said first election district (the said Susan B. Anthony being then and there a person of the female sex,) as she, the said Susan B. Anthony then and there well knew, contrary to the form of the statute of the United States of America in such case made and provided, and against the peace of the United States of America and their dignity.
4 CROWLEY, Richard. Born 1836 Lockport, N. Y. Admitted to Bar 1860. City Attorney Lockport 1865. Member New York Senate 1865-1870. United States District Attorney 1871-1879. Member United States Congress 1880.
5 SELDEN, Henry Rogers. (1805-1885.) Born Lynn, Conn. Admitted to Bar of New York 1825. Judge Common Pleas (Rochester). Judge Supreme Court 1847. Reporter New York Court of Appeals 1851-1854. Judge Court of Appeals of New York 1856-1864.
Van Voorhis, John. Born Decatur, N. Y. 1828. Practiced law first at Elmira and then at Rochester. City Attorney Rochester 1859. Collector of Inland Revenue 1862. Member of Congress 18781884.
this state, and also for a representative at large for the state of New York, to represent the state in the Congress of the United States. At that time she was a woman. I suppose there will be no question about that. The question in this case, if there be a question of fact about it at all, will, in my judgment, be rather a question of law than one of fact. I suppose that there will be no question of fact, substantially, in the case when all of the evidence is out, and it will be for you to decide under the charge of his Honor, the judge, whether or not the defendant committed the offense of voting for a representative in Congress upon that occasion. We think, on the part of the Government, that there is no question about it either one way or the other, neither a question of fact, nor a question of law, and that whatever Miss Anthony's intentions may have been—whether they were good or otherwise she did not have a right to vote upon that question, and if she did vote without having a lawful right to vote then there is no question but what she is guilty of violating a law of the United States in that behalf enacted by the Congress of the United States.
We don't claim in this case, gentlemen, that Miss Anthony is of that class of people who go about “repeating.” We don't claim that she went from place to place for the purpose of offering her vote. But we do claim that upon the fifth of November, 1872, she voted, and whether she believed that she had a right to vote or not, it being a question of law, that she is within the Statute.
Congress in 1870 passed the statute under which this case is brought.?
It is not necessary for me, gentlemen, at this stage of the case, to state all the facts which will be proven on the part of the Government. I shall leave that to be shown by the evidence and by the witnesses, and if any question of law shall arise his Honor will undoubtedly give you instructions as he shall deem proper.
? See post, p. 9, opening of Mr. Selden's argument.
THE WITNESSES FOR THE UNITED STATES. Beverly W. Jones. Resided in not a male citizen she could not Rochester, and was an inspector register, but we decided in her of elections on November 5, favor, and registered her name. 1872, of the First District. The One of the United States Superother inspectors were Edward T. visors of Elections agreed with Marsh and William B. Hall. Saw us, the other did not. Miss Anthony vote the State, Assembly, Congressional and
To Mr. Crowley. When Miss Presidential Election tickets. I
Anthony was challenged before received the ballots from her and
the Board of Registry, she took put them in the separate boxes the oath that she was a legal provided. Nobody challenged her voter. She said she did not claim vote at that time.
her right under the laws of New To Mr. Selden. The voters had York, but under the fourteenth been previously registered by Amendment to the United States myself and the other members of Constitution. The poll list which the Board of Registry. Miss I have in my hand shows that Anthony appeared before us, she voted the Electoral, State, and asked to be registered, but Congressional and Assembly it was objected that as she was Tickets.
Mr. Selden. Gentlemen of the Jury: This is a case of no ordinary magnitude, although many might regard it as one of 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 offense, 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 offense—a proposition to me most abhorrent, as I believe it will be equally abhorrent to your judgment.
Before the registration, and before this election, Miss Anthony called upon me for advice upon the question whether, under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, she had a right to vote. I had not examined the question. I told her I would examine it and give her my opinion upon the question of her legal right. She went away and came again after I had made the examination. I advised her that she was as lawful a voter as I am, or as any other man is, and advised her to go and offer her vote. I may have been mistaken in that, and if I was mistaken, I believe she acted in good faith. I believe she acted according to her right as the law and Constitution gave it to her. But whether she did or not, she acted in the most perfect good faith, and if she made a mistake, or if I made one, that is not reason for committing her to a felon's cell.
For the second time in my life, in my professional practice, I am under the necessity of offering myself as a witness for my client.
WITNESSES FOR THE DEFENDANT. Henry R. Selden. Before the vote, as well as they authorize last election, Miss Anthony called any man to vote; advised her to upon me for advice, upon the have her name placed upon the question whether she was or was registry and to vote at the elecnot a legal voter. I examined tion, if the inspectors should rethe question, and gave her my ceive her vote. I gave the adopinion, unhesitatingly, that the vice in good faith, believing it to laws and Constitution of the be accurate, and I believe it to United States, authorized her to be accurate still.
Mr. Selden. I propose to call Miss Anthony as to the fact of her voting-on the question of the intention or belief under which she voted.
Mr. Crowley. She is not competent as a witness in her own behalf.
The Court held the evidence incompetent.
John E. Pound. (Called by the on that examination, under United States.) During No- oath, that she had talked or convember and December 1872 and sulted with Judge Henry R. January 1873, I was assistant Selden in relation to her right United States District Attorney to vote? Was she asked, upon for the Northern District of New that examination, if the advice York. Attended an examination given her by Judge Henry R. before United States District At- Selden would or did make any torney Storrs in Rochester, where difference in her action in votMiss Anthony was examined as ing, or in substance that? She a witness in her own behalf. stated on the cross-examination,
Mr. Crowley. Did she, upon "I should have made the same that occasion, state that she con- endeavor to vote that I did had sulted or talked with Judge I not consulted Judge Selden. I Henry R. Selden, of Rochester, didn't consult any one before I in relation to her right to vote? registered. I was not influenced
Mr. Selden. I object to that by his advice in the matter at upon the ground that it is in all; have been resolved to vote, competent, that if they refuse the first time I was at home to allow her to be sworn here, thirty days, for a number of they should be excluded from years." producing any evidence that Mr. Van Voorhis. Was she she gave elsewhere, especially asked there if she had any doubt when they want to give the ver- about her right to vote, and did sion which the United States she answer “Not a particle"? officer took of her evidence. She stated "Had no doubt as to The Court. Go on.
my right to vote," on the direct Mr. Crowley. Did she state examination. There was a steno