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We were expected, it
seems, to make an infallible decision, inside of two days, of a
question in regard to which some of the best minds of the country
are divided. The influences by which we were surrounded, were
nearly all in unison with the course we took. I believed then,
and believe now, that we acted lawfully.

I faithfully discharged the duties of my office according to the
best of my ability, in strict compliance with the oath
administered to me. I consider the argument of our counsel
unanswered and unanswerable. The verdict is not the verdict of
the jury. I am not guilty of the charge.

The Court then sentenced the defendants to pay a fine of $25 each, and
the costs of the prosecution.[175]

The following petition was presented in the Senate by Mr. Sargent, the
present (1882) United States Minister to Germany, and in the House by
Mr. Loughridge, of Iowa:

Forty-third Congress, First Session, Senate, Mis. Doc. No. 39. A
petition of Susan B. Anthony praying for the remission of a fine
imposed upon her by the United States Court for the Northern
District of New York, for illegal voting. January 22, 1874.
Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary and ordered to be
printed.

_To the Congress of the United States:_

The petition of Susan B. Anthony, of the city of Rochester, in
the county of Monroe, and State of New York, respectfully
represents: That, prior to the late presidential election, your
petitioner applied to the Board of Registry in the Eighth Ward of
the city of Rochester, in which city she had resided for more
than twenty-five years, to have her name placed upon the register
of voters; and the Board of Registry, after consideration of the
subject, decided that your petitioner was entitled to have her
name placed upon the register, and placed it there accordingly.
On the day of election your petitioner, in common with hundreds
of other American citizens, her neighbors, whose names had also
been registered as voters, offered to the inspectors of election
her ballots for electors of President and Vice-President, and for
members of Congress, which were received and deposited in the
ballot-box by the inspectors. For this act of your petitioner an
indictment was found against her by the grand jury, at the
sitting of the District Court of the United States for the
Northern District of New York, at Albany, charging your
petitioner, under the nineteenth section of the act of Congress
of May 31, 1870, entitled "An act to enforce the rights of
citizens of the United States to vote in the several States of
this Union, and for other purposes," with having "knowingly voted
without having a lawful right to vote."

To that indictment your petitioner pleaded not guilty, and the
trial of the issue thus joined took place at the Circuit Court in
Canandaigua, in the county of Ontario, before the Honorable Ward
Hunt, one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United
States, on the 18th day of June last. Upon that trial the facts
of voting by your petitioner, and that she was a woman, were not
denied; nor was it claimed on the part of the Government than
your petitioner lacked any of the qualifications of a voter,
unless disqualified by reason of her sex. It was shown on behalf
of your petitioner, on the trial, that before voting she called
upon a respectable lawyer and asked his opinion whether she had a
right to vote, and he advised her that she had such right, and
the lawyer was examined as a witness in her behalf, and testified
that he gave her such advice, and that he gave it in good faith,
believing that she had such right. It also appeared that when
she offered to vote, the question whether, as a woman, she had a
right to vote, was raised by the inspectors, and considered by
them in her presence, and they decided that she had a right to
vote, and received her vote accordingly.

It was shown on the part of the Government that, on the
examination of your petitioner before the commissioner on whose
warrant she was arrested, your petitioner stated that she should
have voted if allowed to vote, without reference to the advice of
the attorney whose opinion she asked; that she was not induced to
vote by that opinion; that she had before determined to offer her
vote, and had no doubt about her right to vote. At the close of
the testimony, your petitioner's counsel proceeded to address the
jury, and stated that he desired to present for consideration
three propositions, two of law, and one of fact: 1. That your
petitioner had a lawful right to vote. 2. That whether she had a
right to vote or not, if she honestly believed that she had that
right, and voted in good faith in that belief, she was guilty of
no crime. 3. That when your petitioner gave her vote she gave it
in good faith, believing that it was her right to do so.

That the two first propositions presented questions for the court
to decide, and the last question for the jury. When your
petitioner's counsel had proceeded thus far, the judge suggested
that the counsel had better discuss, in the first place, the
questions of law, which the counsel proceeded to do; and, having
discussed the two legal questions at length, asked then to say a
few words to the jury on the question of fact. The judge then
said to the counsel that he thought that had better be left until
the views of the court upon the legal questions should be made
known.

The district attorney thereupon addressed the court at length
upon the legal questions, and at the close of his argument the
judge delivered an opinion adverse to the positions of your
petitioner's counsel upon both of the legal questions presented,
holding that your petitioner was not entitled to vote; and that
if she voted in good faith in the belief in fact that she had a
right to vote, it would constitute no defense; the ground of the
decision on the last point being that your petitioner was bound
to know that by the law she was not a legal voter, and that even
if she voted in good faith in the contrary belief, it constituted
no defense to the crime with which she was charged.

The decision of the judge upon those questions was read from a
written document, and at the close of the reading the judge said
that the decision of those questions disposed of the case and
left no question of fact for the jury, and that he should
therefore direct the jury to find a verdict of guilty. The judge
then said to the jury that the decision of the court had disposed
of all there was in the case, and that he directed them to find a
verdict of guilty; and he instructed the clerk to enter such a
verdict.

At this time, before any entry had been made by the clerk, your
petitioner's counsel asked the judge to submit the case to the
jury, and to give to the jury the following several instructions.
[See page 680.]

The judge declined to submit the case to the jury upon any
question whatever, and directed them to render a verdict of
guilty against your petitioner. Your petitioner's counsel
excepted to the decision of the judge upon the legal questions,
and to his direction to the jury to find a verdict of guilty,
insisting that it was a direction which no court had a right to
give in any criminal case.

The judge then instructed the clerk to take the verdict, and the
clerk said, "Gentlemen of the jury, hearken to your verdict as
the court hath recorded it. You say you find the defendant guilty
of the offense charged; so say you all." No response whatever was
made by the jury, either by word or sign. They had not consulted
together in their seats or otherwise. Neither of them had spoken
a word, nor had they been asked whether they had or had not
agreed upon a verdict. Your petitioner's counsel then asked that
the clerk be requested to poll the jury. The judge said, "That
can not be allowed. Gentlemen of the jury, you are discharged;"
and the jurors left the box. No juror spoke a word during the
trial, from the time when they were empaneled to the time of
their discharge. After denying a motion for a new trial, the
judge proceeded upon the conviction thus obtained to pass
sentence upon your petitioner, imposing upon her a fine of $100
and the costs of the prosecution.

Your petitioner respectfully submits that, in these proceedings,
she has been denied the rights guaranteed by the Constitution to
all persons accused of crime, the right of trial by jury, and the
right to have the assistance of counsel for their defense. It is
a mockery to call her trial a trial by jury; and unless the
assistance of counsel may be limited to the argument of legal
questions, without the privilege of saying a word to the jury
upon the question of the guilt or innocence in fact of the party
charged, or the privilege of ascertaining from the jury whether
they do or do not agree to the verdict pronounced by the court in
their name, she has been denied the assistance of counsel for her
defense.

Your petitioner also respectfully insists that the decision of
the judge that good faith on the part of your petitioner in
offering her vote did not constitute a defense, was not only a
violation of the deepest and most sacred principle of the
criminal law, that no one can be guilty of crime unless a
criminal intent exists; but was also a palpable violation of the
statute under which the conviction was had; not on the ground
that good faith could, in this, or in any case, justify a
criminal act, but on the ground that bad faith in voting was an
indispensable ingredient in the offense with which your
petitioner was charged.



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