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Bust of Susan B. Anthony’s Lawyer Unveiled at Ontario Courthouse

A marble bust of attorney John Van Voorhis, who defended Susan B. Anthony in her 1873 trial for illegal voting, was unveiled at the Ontario County Courthouse on June 17. The bust, donated by Van Voorhis’ great-granddaughters, now stands next to Anthony’s outside the courtroom where she was convicted.

Van Voorhis, also known for defending Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass and businesswoman Martha Matilda Harper, was honored during the ceremony. Ontario County Historian Preston Pierce highlighted Van Voorhis’ significant role in Anthony’s trial, noting its impact on the women’s suffrage movement.

State Supreme Court Justice Craig Doran praised the courage of both Anthony and Van Voorhis, emphasizing the need for continued bravery and advocacy in today’s world. Anthony’s efforts were pivotal in securing the right to vote for women.