Miscaption: This Wasn’t Susan B. Anthony’s 1872 Arrest

Miscaption: This Wasn’t Susan B. Anthony’s 1872 Arrest

A vintage photo shows police apparently beating a woman, which one caption states was Susan B. Anthony during her historic arrest in New York. The caption, however, is incorrect.

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Miscaptioned Photo

Let’s take a look at the graphic which has been seen in increasing numbers in October/November 2015.

ada wright

The caption states that the image shows “Susan B. Anthony in 1872, beaten and arrested for trying to vote.” The photo, however, is that of Ada Wright at the “Black Friday” women’s suffrage event which took place in the UK on November 18, 1910.

Anthony was in fact arrested by a U.S. Deputy Marshal in 1872 for illegally voting in Rochester, New York. She was fined $100, but it was never paid. Accounts of Anthony’s arrest do not describe any type of violent altercation. The arrest is described by the Federal Judicial Center in the following way:

“…on November 18, 1872, a deputy federal marshal called on Anthony. He asked her to accompany him downtown to see the commissioner. She later told audiences, “‘What for?’ I asked. ‘To arrest you,’ he said. ‘Is that the way you arrest men?’ ‘No.’ Then I demanded that I should be arrested properly.” Anthony was taken at government expense on the streetcar to the commissioner’s office, where she met her attorney, Henry Selden, and an assistant U.S. attorney, John Pound. When Pound asked for Anthony’s plea, Selden refused to enter one before an indictment. This obliged the commissioner to conduct an examination, which would determine if there were sufficient grounds to detain Anthony.”

Further, the photo above clearly shows police wearing uniforms from the UK in the early 20th century, not a U.S. Deputy Marshal in the 1870s.

Bottom Line

The image above does not show Susan B. Anthony being beaten by police in 1872, but Ada Wright from an event in the UK in 1910.

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