Susan B. Anthony Said it All

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As a matter of outward form the defendant was asked if she had anything to say why the sentence of the court should not be pronounced upon her.

“Yes, your honor,” replied Miss Anthony, “I have many things to say. My every right, constitutional, civil, political and judicial has been tramped upon. I have not only had no jury of my peers, but I have had no jury at all.”

Court—”Sit down Miss Anthony. I cannot allow you to argue the question.”

Miss Anthony—”I shall not sit down. I will not lose my only chance to speak.”

Court—”You have been tried, Miss Anthony, by the forms of law, and my decision has been rendered by law.”

Miss Anthony—”Yes, but laws made by men, under a government of men, interpreted by men and for the benefit of men. The only chance women have for justice in this country is to violate the law, as I have done, and as I shall continue to do,” and she struck her hand heavily on the table in emphasis of what she said. “Does your honor suppose that we obeyed the infamous fugitive slave law which forbade to give a cup of cold water to a slave fleeing from his master? I tell you we did not obey it; we fed him and clothed him, and sent him on his way to Canada. So shall we trample all unjust laws under foot. I do not ask the clemency of the court. I came into it to get justice, having failed in this, I demand the full rigors of the law.”

Court—”The sentence of the court is $100 fine and the costs of the prosecution.”

Miss Anthony—”I have no money to pay with, but am $10,000 in debt.”

Court—”You are not ordered to stand committed till it is paid.”

SOURCE:  Matilda Joslyn Gage to Editor, 20 June 1873, Kansas Leavenworth Times, 3 July 1873, SBA scrapbook 6, Rare Books, Library of Congress


Universities,slavery and a reconciliation

In 1976, archivists at Harvard’s natural history museum opened a drawer and discovered a haunting portrait of a shirtless enslaved man named Renty, gazing sorrowfully but steadily at the camera. Taken on a South Carolina plantation in 1850, it had been used by the Harvard biologist Louis Agassiz to formulate his now-discredited ideas about racial difference.

On Friday, Harvard’s president, Drew Gilpin Faust, stood at a lectern under a projection of Renty’s face and began a rather different enterprise: a major public conference exploring the long-neglected connections between universities and slavery.

Harvard had been “directly complicit” in slavery, Ms. Faust acknowledged, before moving to a more present-minded statement of purpose.

“Only by coming to terms with history,” she said, “can we free ourselves to create a more just world.”

The gathering, which featured a keynote address by the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, drew an overflow crowd of about 500, including researchers from more than 30 campuses. Between sessions, there was plenty of chatter about grants and administration politics, as well as some wry amazement, as one scholar was overheard saying that “something we’ve been talking about for 200 years has suddenly become urgent.”

Alfred L. Brophy, a legal historian at the University of North Carolina and the author of “University, Court and Slave,” a study of pro-slavery thought at antebellum Southern colleges, described what he called a “sea change” in attitude.

“People who engaged in this research were once criticized, or had their jobs threatened, or were rejected by their administrations,” he said in an interview. “Now the people doing this work are lifted up.”


The history department is pleased to announce that a Nazareth student and faculty member participated in the annual Phi Alpha Theta national history honor society conference held at SUNY Brockport, on March 4, 2017.
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Timothy Thibodeau and Julia Madore 2017

Julia Madore of Utica presented a paper on early Etruscan art titled, “Billy or Billygoat: The Metropolitan Museum’s Pendant, Woman Carrying a Child.” She earned a “Best of the Conference” award for her paper and was honored with all of the award recipients in the closing ceremony.

In all, there were 39 papers from 9 colleges and universities in western New York state.

Dr. Timothy Thibodeau, faculty adviser for the Nazareth chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, was the keynote speaker and delivered a speech titled, “The Historian’s Craft: Taking the Long View.”