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Voters gather at Susan B. Anthony's grave in Rochester, N.Y.
Just a few steps into the Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York, up the curve of a cobblestone walkway on a low hill, is the grave of Susan B. Anthony, a leader of the movement for women’s suffrage who lived about three miles away.
On Tuesday, her gravestone was nearly invisible beneath a coating of “I Voted” stickers and behind a line of hundreds of people who came here to pay their respects. They left notes of thanks to a woman who was arrested when she dared to vote and who did not live to see women granted that right.
The cemetery opened early, at 7:30 a.m., to mark the day, and was to stay open late.
At 11 a.m., Lovely Warren, the mayor of Rochester and the first woman elected to that position, arrived at the grave. “I was elected 141 years to the day that Susan B. Anthony cast that illegal vote,” Warren said, seated on a stone step in the graveyard under a bowed spruce.
“To me that means, as a woman, there are no shackles and no chains to what we can accomplish,” she said. “If I could do back flips, I would be doing back flips.”
The line to the grave site grew throughout the day. By noon it had snaked and doubled back on itself through the orange and gold trees. The color of the leaves was reflected in the yellow flowers many carried or wore pinned to pantsuit lapels — the bright roses the suffragists took to symbolize their cause, which began in the 1840s and continued for 80 years.
A woman moved among the stones with a hand drum looking to form a drum circle. Others knelt with their children and whispered about who Anthony was and who Hillary Clinton is.
A young woman wearing a sandwich board emblazoned with “vote vote vote” posed for pictures.
Rochester’s population is 40 percent African-American, but there were few black people in the crowd, perhaps reflective of the fracture between some suffragists and abolitionists that split the allied causes for a time.
At 12:15 p.m., a group of women reached their turn at the grave and assembled around the stone in a semicircle.
One by one, each read from the Declaration of Sentiments, the text modeled on the Declaration of Independence and written in by the suffragists demanding equality and decrying a government that did not grant it.
It reads, “It is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”
More than 300 miles away, workers at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York City invited voters to visit the graves of four prominent female suffragists buried there, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Anthony’s friend and a founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association.
Around 2 p.m. there were no lines at the graves at Woodlawn, but word about Stanton’s resting place was slowly starting to spread on social media.