The Susan B. Anthony Museum and House has rejected President Donald Trump’s pardon, arguing that the move would go against the late women’s suffrage leader’s wishes.
“On news of a presidential pardon for Susan B. Anthony on August 18, 2020: Objection! Mr. President, Susan B. Anthony must decline your offer of a pardon today!” the museum tweeted.
Trump pardoned Anthony, who was arrested and charged in 1872 for voting illegally as a woman, on Tuesday, the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.
The museum said Anthony thought her trial was “the greatest outrage History ever witnessed” as she was not allowed to speak in her own defense, because she was a woman, and also because the judge dismissed the jury in her case before pronouncing her guilty and ordering her to pay a fine.
The museum tweeted, “She was outraged to be denied a trial by jury. She proclaimed, ‘I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.’”
“To pay would have been to validate the proceedings. To pardon Susan B. Anthony does the same,” it continued.
Some elected officials and historians echoed the museum’s criticisms and have called on Trump to rescind his pardon.
New York Lt. governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said Anthony was “guilty of nothing” during a press conference outside the museum on Tuesday.
“I was deeply troubled to learn that Trump went ahead and treated her like a criminal,” Hochul said. “She was proud of her arrest to draw attention to the cause for women’s rights, and never paid her fine. Let her Rest in Peace.”
The Democratic mayor of Rochester, where the museum is based, also said that the pardon would go against Anthony’s wishes and called on Trump to take back his action.
The museum proposed instead, ““if one wants to honor Susan B. Anthony today, a clear stance against any form of voter suppression would be welcome.”
“Support for the Equal Rights Amendment would be well received,” it continued. “Advocacy for human rights for all would be splendid.”
“Anthony was also a strong proponent of sex education, fair labor practices, excellent public education, equal pay for equal work, and elimination of all forms of discrimination,” the museum said.