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But the one grand
principle, settled by the war and the reconstruction legislation,
is the supremacy of National power to protect the citizens of the
United States in their right to freedom and the elective
franchise, against any and every interference on the part of the
several States. And again and again, have the American people
asserted the triumph of this principle, by their overwhelming
majorities for Lincoln and Grant. The one issue of the last two
Presidential elections was, whether the XIV. and XV. Amendments
should be considered the irrevocable will of the people; and the
decision was, they shall be--and that it is not only the right,
but the duty of the National government to protect all United
States citizens in the full enjoyment and free exercise of all
their privileges and immunities against any attempt of any State
to deny or abridge. And in this conclusion Republicans and
Democrats alike agree.

Senator FRELINGHUYSEN said--The heresy of State rights has
been completely buried in these amendments, that as amended,
the Constitution confers not only National but State
citizenship upon all persons born or naturalized within our
limits.

The CALL for the NATIONAL REPUBLICAN Convention said--Equal
suffrage has been engrafted on the National Constitution;
the privileges and immunities of American citizenship have
become a part of the organic law.

The NATIONAL REPUBLICAN Platform said--Complete liberty and
exact equality in the enjoyment of all civil, political, and
public rights, should be established and maintained
throughout the Union by efficient and appropriate State and
Federal legislation.

If these assertions mean anything, it is that Congress should
pass a law compelling the States to protect women in their equal
political rights, and that the States should enact laws making
it the duty of inspectors of election to receive women's votes on
precisely the same conditions they do those of men.

Judge Stanley Matthews--a substantial Ohio Democrat--in his
preliminary speech at the Cincinnati Convention, said most
emphatically:

The Constitutional Amendments have established the political
equality of all citizens before the law.

President Grant, in his message to Congress March 30, 1870, on
the adoption of the XV. Amendment, said:

A measure which makes at once four millions of people
voters, is indeed a measure of greater importance than any
act of the kind from the foundation of the Government to the
present time.

How could the four million negroes be made voters if the two
million women were not included?

The California State Republican Convention said:

Among the many practical and substantial triumphs of the
principles achieved by the Republican party during the past
twelve years, we may enumerate with pride and pleasure, the
prohibiting of any State from abridging the privileges of
any citizen of the Republic, the declaring the civil and
political equality of every citizen, and the establishing of
all these principles in the Federal Constitution by
amendments thereto, as the permanent law.

Benjamin F. Butler, in a recent letter to me said:

I do not believe anybody in Congress doubts that the
Constitution authorizes the right of women to vote,
precisely as it authorizes trial by jury and many other like
rights guaranteed to citizens. And again, It is not laws we
want; there are plenty of laws--good enough, too.
Administrative ability to enforce law is the great want of
the age, in this country especially. Everybody talks of law,
law. If everybody would insist on the enforcement of law,
the government would stand on a firmer basis, and questions
would settle themselves.

And it is upon this just interpretation of the United States
Constitution that our National Woman Suffrage Association, which
celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the woman's rights
movement, in New York on the 6th of May next, has based all its
arguments and action the past three years. We no longer petition
Legislature or Congress to give us the right to vote. We appeal
to the women everywhere to exercise their too long neglected
"citizen's right to vote." We appeal to the inspectors of
election everywhere to receive the votes of all United States
citizens, as it is their duty to do. We appeal to United States
commissioners and marshals to arrest the inspectors who reject
the names and votes of United States citizens, as it is their
duty to do, and leave those alone who, like our eighth ward
inspectors, perform their duties faithfully and well. We ask the
juries to fail to return verdicts of "guilty" against honest,
law-abiding, tax-paying United States citizens for offering their
votes at our elections; or against intelligent, worthy young men,
inspectors of election, for receiving and counting such citizens'
votes. We ask the judges to render true and unprejudiced opinions
of the law, and wherever there is room for a doubt to give its
benefit on the side of liberty and equality to women, remembering
that

The true rule of interpretation under our National
Constitution, especially since its Amendments, is that
anything for human rights is constitutional, everything
against human rights unconstitutional.

And it is on this line that we propose to fight our battle for
the ballot--peaceably, but nevertheless persistently to complete
triumph, when all United States citizens shall be recognized as
equals before the law.

Miss Anthony's trial opened the morning of the 18th of June. The
lovely village of Canandaigua, with its placid lake reflecting the
soft summer sky, gave no evidence of the great event that was to make
the day and the place memorable in history. All was still, the usual
peaceful atmosphere pervaded that conservative town, and with the
exception of a small group of men and women in earnest conversation at
the hotel, few there were who thought or cared about the great
principles of government involved in the pending trial. When the
tolling of the Court House bell announced that the hour had arrived,
Miss Anthony, her counsel and friends, promptly appeared, and were
soon followed by the District Attorney and Judge, representing the
power of the United States,--Miss Anthony to stand as a criminal
before the bar of her country for having dared to exercise a freeman's
right of self-government, and that country through its Judiciary to
falsify its grand declarations as to the equality of its citizens by a
verdict of guilty because of sex.

On the bench sat Judge Hunt, a small-brained, pale-faced, prim-looking
man, enveloped in a faultless suit of black broadcloth, and a snowy
white neck-tie. This was the first criminal case he had been called on
to try since his appointment, and with remarkable forethought, he had
penned his decision before hearing it. At times by his side sat Judge
Hall, who had declared himself unwilling to try the suit. Within the
bar sat Miss Anthony and counsel, the Hon. Henry R. Selden and Hon.
John Van Voorhis, several of the ladies who had voted,[169] Mrs. Gage,
and the United States District Attorney. Upon the right sat the jury,
while all the remaining space was crowded with curious and anxious
listeners, among whom were many men[170] prominent in public life.

The indictment[171] presented against Miss Anthony will be regarded
by the future historian as a remarkable document to have originated in
a republic against one of its native-born citizens guilty of no crime.

UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURT. (NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK.)

The United States of America _vs._ Susan B. Anthony; Hon. Ward
Hunt, Presiding. Appearances: For the United States: Hon. Richard
Crowley, U. S. District Attorney; For the Defendant: Hon. Henry
R. Selden, John Van Voorhis, Esq.

Tried at Canandaigua, Tuesday and Wednesday, June 17th and 18th,
1873, before Hon. Ward Hunt, and a jury. Jury impaneled at 2:30
P.M.

Mr. Crowley opened the case as follows:

_May it please the Court and Gentlemen of the Jury:_

On the 5th 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 5th day of November,
1872, she voted for a representative in the Congress of the
United States, to represent the 29th Congressional District of
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 for 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.



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