Susan B. Anthony arrives in Warren
“I campaign looking for justice. I shall never pay one cent of your unjust fine. I shall continue to educate all women to do precisely as I have done – rebel.”
In 1872, Susan B. Anthony voted in the presidential election.
That vote was illegal – Anthony was convicted and fined $100.
It would be over 40 years before the 19th Amendment – which gave women the right to vote – was finally passed and Anthony wouldn’t live to see that effort to fruition.
But she was brought back to life on Thursday night at the Struthers Library Theatre.
A performance of “Susan B. Anthony – Is It a Crime to Vote?” was presented by Buffalo-area actress Christina Rausa.
Warren County Historical Society Director Michelle Gray said the event was sponsored via a community grant from the Zonta Club of Warren.
It was also one of the fruits of the work of the Suffrage Centennial Committee.
Phyllis Wright said that the committee was formed in February and that 15 groups came together to study the suffrage movement.
Rausa’s portrayal of Anthony initially was a dialogue of Anthony speaking to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, shifted into more of a biographical look at Anthony’s life and concluded with portions of speeches that Anthony gave when she was convicted for illegal voting.
During a Q&A after the presentation, Rausa said that the performance – which she wrote – initially started as a short presentation requested by the women’s commission in Chautauqua County.
She was subsequently asked to expand the program that it “just ballooned from there.”
Rausa said she’s also adapted the show for schools presentation and “was asked to bring int back for the (suffrage) centennial…
She said the “best thing” that happened while presenting in schools was one young student asking if Anthony is portrayed on the Statue of Liberty.
“I tried to choose, (I) wanted to touch those seminal moments in her life to wet your appetite,” she said. (I) just have to get people interested. Read the letters, it’s so interesting.”