[Note: Letters writers of the time commonly used a "--" where modern writers would use "."]
[ Letter 1 (SBA letter to her close friend, Elizabeth Cady Stanton):
Ida Harper Collection, Huntington Library]
Click on the image to view it large
Rochester Nov 5th 1872
Dear Mrs Stanton
Well I have been & gone & done it!!--positively voted the Republican ticket--strait this a.m. at 7 Oclock--& swore my vote in at that--was registered on Friday & 15 other women followed suit in this ward--then on Sunday others some 20 or thirty other women tried to register, but all save two were refused--all my three sisters voted--Roda De Garmo too--Amy Post was rejected & she will immediately bring action for that--similar to the Washington action--& Hon Henry R. Selden will be our Counsel--he has read up the law & all of our arguments & is satisfied that we our right & ditto the Old Judge Selden--his elder brother. so we are in for a fine agitation in Rochester on the question--I hope the morning's telegrams will tell of many women all over the country trying to vote--It is splendid that without any concert of action so many should have moved here so impromptu-- ....Haven't we wedged ourselves into the work pretty fairly & fully--& now that the Repubs have taken our votes--for it is the Republican members of the Board--The Democratic paper is out against us strong & that scared the Dem's on the registry board--How I wish you were here to write up the funny things said & done--Rhoda De Garmo told them that she wouldn't swear of affirm--"but would tell the truth"--& they accepted that When the Democrat said my vote should not go in the box--one Republican said to the other--What do you say Marsh!--I say put it in!--So do I said Jones--and "we'll fight it out on this line if it takes all winter"....If only now--all the women suffrage women would work to this end of enforcing the existing constitution--supremacy of national law over state law--what strides we might make this winter--But I'm awful tired--for five days I have been on the constant run--but to splendid purpose--So all right--I hope you voted too.
Susan B. Anthony
[ Letter 2 (after SBA read in the newspaper about Sarah Huntington's attempt to vote in Connecticut):
Woman Suffrage Association Collection, Connecticut State Library]
Rochester Nov 11th 1872.
My Dear Mrs Huntington
I rejoice to see your attempt to vote in old Connecticut.... Hoped hundreds of women throughout the country would make the attempt but thus far none are reported save in Norwalk Ct. and Rochester N.Y. You will have seen that about fifty presented their names here--16 were registered in the 8th Ward--1 in the 14th and 1 in the 4th--refused in the 1st--3rd--6th--7th--10th. Our city has 14 wards--thus you see women in 8 out of the 14 wards attempted to register--& that without the slightest preconcert of action--the votes of those in the 14th and 4th wards were rejected though duly registered--only the 8th Ward received and counted the votes--no mistake--for we waited & saw them distributed in the several boxes--Our papers are discussing the pro & con every day since--
I am hope[ful] you will persevere & bring action against your inspectors & Judges of election. We shall at once do so against ours who refused... I tell them all that we me[a]n to find out if we have law enough & enforce it & if we have not already enough we mean soon to get it To vote is our wish & will....
Susan B. Anthony
[Letter 3 (SBA letter written after her indictment for illegal voting to Martha Coffin Wright in Auburn, New York):
Garrison Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College]
Rochester Jan. 1, 1873
I should have said I mailed our papers to you reporting our women's "illegal voting" trial--I have sent off hundreds of papers--& still so many writing--"I should have thought you would have sent me your newspaper reports"--
I never dreamed of the U.S. officers prosecuting me for voting--thought only that if I was refused--I should bring action against inspectors-- But "Uncle Sam" waxes wroth with holy indignation at such violation of his laws!!
I shall go to New York before my days--probably--Can't tell what may demand me here--My Attorney goes to Judge Hall tomorrow with demand for writ of Habeas Corpus--the contingencies of getting our question to the Supreme Court are numerous--But I hope & trust that some of the chances will turn in our direction.
Both Henry R. & Samuel Selden are exceedingly interested in the study of our Constitutional right & say there is no room for a doubt even--if it were only possible to get a strictly judicial opinion. But that men partisan opinions are the rule....
Letter 4 (SBA letter written to U. S. Senator Benjamin F. Butler):]
Rochester April 27/73
Hon B. F. Butler Dear Sir
Will you give me your word on the decision of the Supreme Court of the U.S. on Mrs. Myra Bradwells [the U. S. Supreme Court decision holding that an Illinois law prohibiting women from becoming lawyers did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment] case-to be read at out coming convention May 6th in New York?
The whole Democratic Press is Jubilant over this information interpretation of the amendments-while not a Republican paper that I have seen has dared to declare the amendments mean just what they-say all persons & c- It is virtual concession of all we fought for in the late War-the supremacy of the National Gov't to protect the rights of all persons-all citizens-against the states attempts to deny or abridge-opinion of the decision-whatever it is-
My trial is to be the 13th of May-the week following the N.Y. meeting-I have just closed a canvass of this county-from which my jurors are to be drawn-and I rather guess the U.S. District Attorney-who is very bitter-will hardly find twelve men so ignorant on the citizen's rights-as to agree on a verdict of Guilty....
The right word spoken at our Convention-will greatly help my trial the week following- I find Judges & Courts are influenced by popular opinion-not a little-Hoping for the letter-sure-
Susan B. Anthony
[SBA Diary Entry for Tuesday, January 21, 1873:]
U. S. District Court at Albany--Judge N. K. Hall--Hearing in P. M.--Judge Selden's arg't vastly improved--Hall denied petition for Habeas Corpus & remanded me back to Marshall Keeney--
[SBA Diary Entry for January 23, 1873:]
Grand Jury not yet brought in indictment against us women--Judge Selden telegraphed home to have his cases there put over--so he could stay & give my bail--
[SBA Diary Entry for January 24, 1873:]
Judge Selden bailed me $1000--terrible snowstorm--trains delayed west & south--got proofs of Judge Seldens arg't at 9--& took ten train for N. Y.
[SBA Diary Entry for March 4, 1873:]
In Rochester--Voted at city election--Mrs. Pulver & Mrs. Hebbard--only three of us--Inspectors wanted all to vote again--but the rest of women frightened lest fine & imprisonment come
[SBA Diary Entry for Wednesday, June 18, 1873:]
Circuit Court-- Judge Hunt refused Judge Selden to address Jury--& instructed Jury to bring in verdict of guilty--& refused to poll jury-- Inspectors convicted & Van Vhooris denied address to jury-- The greatest outrage History ever witnessed--
[SBA Diary Entry for June 19, 1873:]
New trial moved by both Selden & Van--hearing at 2 P.M.--Masterly statements of cause by both S & V--Judge Hunt denied by case at once--deferred inspectors until morning--Att. moved my sentence--Judge asked reason why Sentence should not be--I answered--I have much to say--a sublime silence reigned in court while I declared every right stricken down--