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It has been sometimes said "Can this
be done?" We are clearly of the opinion that it can not and ought
not to be done. It is sometimes said as a triumphant argument in
favor of the exercise of this power, "Has not the judge the power
to order a verdict of acquittal?" The answer to that, as a matter
of law, is "No; he can only direct the jury that upon the facts
and matter of law he believes the case can not be maintained, but
that it is for the jury to say whether they will follow that
direction;" and his remedy is to set aside that verdict, and that
power has always been exercised at common law in favor of the
prisoner, but he can not set aside the verdict of not guilty.
Sometimes, in the darker hours of English jurisprudence, the
judges fined the jury when they were not the obedient instruments
of their will but persisted in finding the defendants in state
prosecutions not guilty when the judge thought they ought to have
been found guilty; but neither Jeffreys nor Scroggs ever dared to
set aside a verdict of not guilty.

Your committee have been led by the great consequence of this
precedent more carefully and at length to give an examination to
this question to which its importance would not otherwise have
entitled it. But your committee do not find it necessary to
impute any intent of wrong to the learned judge who tried this
case; but the effect of his error was to deprive this petitioner
of a great and beneficent right, guaranteed to her as strongly as
any other by the Constitution of her country, to have the
question of her guilt passed upon by her peers, which error has
had the same effect upon her rights as an intentional assumption
of power would have had, and may have hereafter, in bad times,
wherein corrupt judges, wielding instruments of power, shield
themselves by precedents set by good judges in good times.

Therefore, because the fine has been imposed by a court of the
United States for an offense triable by jury, without the same
being submitted to the jury, and because the court assumed to
itself the right to enter a verdict without submitting the case
to the jury, and in order that the judgment of the House of
Representatives, if it concur with the judgment of the committee,
may, in the most signal and impressive form, mark its
determination to sustain in its integrity the common-law right of
trial by jury, your committee recommend that the prayer of the
petitioner be granted, and to this end report the following bill,
with the recommendation that it do pass.

The Inspectors were counseled to refuse to pay their fines, and take
the consequences.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Washington, Feb. 22, 1874.

MY DEAR MISS ANTHONY:--In regard to the Inspectors of Election, I
would not, if I were they, pay, but allow any process to be
served; and I have no doubt the President will remit the fine if
they are pressed too far.

I am yours truly, BENJAMIN F. BUTLER.

On Miss Anthony's return home, February 26, 1874, she found the three
Inspectors lodged in jail. She at once called on Judge Selden, and
after consultation with him as to what could be done for their
protection, telegrams were sent to influential friends in Washington,
to which the following reply was received:

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 2, 1874--12 noon.

TO MISS SUSAN B. ANTHONY:--I laid the case of the Inspectors
before the President to-day. He kindly orders their pardon.
Papers are being prepared.

A. A. SARGENT.

An Associated Press dispatch, dated Washington, March 2, 1874, said:

At the written request of Senator Sargent, the President to-day
directed the Attorney-General to prepare the necessary papers to
remit the fine and imprisonment of Hall, Marsh, and others, the
Rochester Election Inspectors, who were tried and convicted in
June, 1873, of registering Susan B. Anthony and other women, and
receiving their votes.

The Rochester _Evening Express_ of Feb. 26, 1874, said:

TYRANNY IN ROCHESTER.--The arrest and imprisonment in our city
jail of the Election Inspectors who received the votes of Susan
B. Anthony and other ladies, at the polls of the Eighth Ward,
some months ago, is a petty but malicious act of tyranny, of
which the officers who are responsible for it will yet be
ashamed. It should be known to the public that these young men
received Miss Anthony's vote by the advice of the best legal
talent that could be procured. The ladies themselves took oath
that they were citizens of the United States and entitled to
vote.... The Court, however, fined these inspectors $25 and
costs, for an offense which at the worst is merely technical, and
now, nearly nine months after conviction, in default of payment,
they are seized and shut up in jail, away from their families and
their business, and subjected to all the inconvenience to say
nothing of the odium of such an incarceration. This is an outrage
which ought not to be tolerated in this country, and we shall be
disappointed if public sentiment does not yet rebuke, in
thunder-tones, the authorities who have perpetrated it. Miss
Anthony is willing to fight her own battles and take the
consequences, but she naturally feels indignant that others
should suffer in this matter through no fault of their own....

The Rochester _Democrat and Chronicle_ of March 26th, said:

AN OUTRAGE.--.... We regard this action on the part of District
Attorney Crowley as an outrage, in that these young men, who, at
the worst, are but accessories in the violation of law, are made
to feel its terrors, while the chief criminal is allowed to defy
the law with impunity. No effort has been made to satisfy the
judgment of the court against Miss Anthony. She contemns the law
which adjudged her guilty, and its duly appointed administrators
are either too timid or too negligent of duty to endeavor to
enforce it.... It is doubtful whether they had the right to
refuse those votes. In any event their offense is venial as
compared with hers. It does not look well for the District
Attorney thus to proceed against the lesser offenders, while the
chief offender snaps her fingers at the law, and dares its
ministers to make her a martyr.... We write in no spirit of
vindictiveness, nor even in one of antagonism toward Miss
Anthony; but in the name of justice we are called upon to protest
against the unseemly proceeding which persecutes those excellent
young men and hesitates to attack this woman, who stands as a
representative of what she regards a great reform, and in its
advocacy shrinks not from any of the terrors the law may have in
store for her. Mr. District Attorney, it is your duty to arrest
Miss Anthony; to cross swords with an antagonist worthy of your
steel. Your present action looks ignoble, and is unworthy of you
or of the office you fill.

More than a week elapsed before the arrival of President Grant's
pardon papers, and during that time hundreds of the people of
Rochester visited the "boys" in jail, and the best of dinners were
furnished them daily by the fourteen women voters of the Eighth Ward.


VIRGINIA L. MINOR'S PETITION

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF ST. LOUIS COUNTY, DECEMBER TERM, 1872.

_St. Louis County, ss.:_ Virginia L. Minor and Francis Minor, her
husband, Plaintiffs, _vs._ Reese Happersett, Defendant.

The plaintiff, Virginia L. Minor (with whom is joined her
husband, Francis Minor, as required by the law of Missouri),
states, that under the Constitution and law of Missouri, all
persons wishing to vote at any election, must previously have
been registered in the manner pointed out by law, this being a
condition precedent to the exercise of the elective franchise.

That on the fifteenth day of October, 1872 (one of the days fixed
by law for the registration of voters), and long prior thereto,
she was a native-born, free white citizen of the United States,
and of the State of Missouri, and on the day last mentioned she
was over the age of twenty-one years.

That on said day, the plaintiff was a resident of the thirteenth
election district of the city and county of St. Louis, in the
State of Missouri, and had been so residing in said county and
election district, for the entire period of twelve months and
more, immediately preceding said fifteenth day of October, 1872,
and for more than twenty years had been and is a tax-paying,
law-abiding citizen of the county and State aforesaid.

That on said last mentioned day, the defendant, having been duly
and legally appointed Registrar for said election district, and
having accepted the said office of Registrar and entered upon the
discharge of the duties thereof at the office of registration, to
wit: No. 2004 Market Street, in said city and county of St.
Louis, it became and was then and there his duty to register all
citizens, resident in said district as aforesaid, entitled to the
elective franchise, who might apply to him for that purpose.

The plaintiff further states, that wishing to exercise her
privilege as a citizen of the United States, and vote for
Electors for President and Vice-President of the United States,
and for a Representative in Congress, and for other officers, at
the General Election held in November, 1872: While said defendant
was so acting as Registrar, on said 15th day of October, 1872,
she appeared before him, at his office aforesaid, and then and
there offered to take and subscribe the oath to support the
Constitution of the United States and of the State of Missouri,
as required by the registration law of said State, approved March
10, 1871, and respectfully applied to him to be registered as a
lawful voter, which said defendant then and there refused to do.

The plaintiff further states, that the defendant, well knowing
that she, as a citizen of the United States and of the State of
Missouri, resident as aforesaid, was then and there entitled to
all the privileges and immunities of citizenship, chief among
which is the elective franchise, and as such, was entitled to be
registered, in order to exercise said privilege: yet, unlawfully
intending, contriving, and designing to deprive the plaintiff of
said franchise or privilege, then and there knowingly, willfully,
maliciously, and corruptly refused to place her name upon the
list of registered voters, whereby she was deprived of her right
to vote.

Defendant stated to plaintiff, that she was not entitled to be
registered, or to vote, because she was not a "male" citizen, but
a woman!



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