Susan B. Anthony is a well-known women’s rights activist who helped organize the first American women’s rights agitators. She was tireless in her efforts giving speeches al around the country to convince others to support women’s rights to vote. She even went as far as taking matters into her own hands by illegally voting in the 1872 presidential election. She was arrested and fined $100, an amount which she never paid. It wasn’t until 14 years after her death that the United States initiated the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution officially giving all adult women the right to vote.
This isn’t all she did, however. In 1868 she took the stand at the ballot to demand the release of a convicted murderer from prison. She told the story of Hester Vaughn, a woman tried and convicted of murdering her own child. Anthony insisted that she wasn’t a cold blooded murderer. She claimed that Vaughn was another victim of a system that denied women basic human rights.
Vaughn became the center piece of a shocking trial that exposed sexual harassment, gender inequality, and limited legal rights of women. It attracted the sympathy of the leaders of the growing women’s rights movement. Vaughn testified that she had been seduced by her employer and fired from her job for getting pregnant. After a month long trial, Vaughn was sentenced to death by hanging. However, the story did not end there, as Susan B. Anthony fought tooth and nail to free her.