President Donald Trump to pardon women's suffrage pioneer Susan B. Anthony

18 August 2020, 16:11

President Donald Trump speaks after signing a proclamation recognizing the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment
President Donald Trump speaks after signing a proclamation recognizing the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Picture: PA

By Megan White

President Donald Trump is set to pardon suffragist Susan B. Anthony, who was fined $100 for illegally voting in 1872.

Although she is best known for her role in the movement to secure the vote for women, Ms Anthony was also a strong anti-slavery and voting rights pioneer.

He made the announcement at a White House ceremony celebrating the centenary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

It was seen by many as a sign that the President is attempting close the large gender voting gap between himself and Democratic nominee Joe Biden ahead of November’s election.

Mr Trump said: “She was guilty for voting, and we’re going to be signing a full and complete pardon.”

He added: “She was never pardoned. Did you know that? She was never pardoned. What took so long?”

But the pardon drew backlash from some, including Lieutenant Governor of New York State Kathy Hochul, who wrote: "As highest ranking woman elected official in New York and on behalf of Susan B. Anthony’s legacy we demand Trump rescind his pardon.

"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."

Last week, Mr Trump announced his support for a monument to suffragettes in Washington DC, in another bid to attract women to vote for him.

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