The year was 1872, the the choice could not be more stark. Ulysses Grant stood for ending the Ku-Klux-Klan by any means necessary and pushing towards “Negro rights” which, at that time, meant voting rights as well as the right to live peaceable lives without threat of death or torture merely because of the color of their skin.
The “Liberal Republican Party” opposition came in the form of Horace Greeley, once an ardent abolitionist but now, in one of those gymnastic ideological acts of legerdemain so common in the world of self-interest and politics, a defender of southern rights.
Grant easily defeated Greeley, winning 3,598,235 votes. One of the votes was cast by a woman – Susan B. Anthony. Anthony was a tepid supporter of Grant but an ardent opponent of Greeley’s. As a challenge to the laws baring women from voting, she registered to vote in Rochester, New York. The registrants permitted her to cast her vote for Grant. She was arrested, tried, and found guilty. She was not sent to jail – however, the election registrars were. Hearing of this, Anthony appealed to Grant who immediately pardoned the men, shortening their prison sentences to five days.