• Two leading Susan B. Anthony historians criticized President Trump for his pardon of the women's rights icon
  • Trump appeared to inadvertantly support the historians argument while speaking at the pardon signing
  • The historians said they had been approached previously by state and federal officials to discuss a possible pardon

President Trump hasn’t been shy about issuing pardons in over three years in office, with 26 issued as of Wednesday. Presidential pardon often happen when a president

The number of pardons, and who Trump has chosen to pardon, have often been met with backlash. Some of these individuals included controversial former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and ultra-conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, as well as Roger Stone.

While his latest pardon given posthumously to women’s rights icon Susan B. Anthony has not been as widely criticized, Trump has since faced some criticism by historians and some suffrage groups for the decision.

Anthony was arrested in 1872 for illegally voting due to New York state laws at the time only allowing men to vote. She was found guilty in 1873 and issued a fine for $100, which she never paid. It would be the first major step leading to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, 14 years after Anthony died.

“She absolutely would not have wanted the pardon,” National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House director Deborah Hughes told CNN.

Hughes' comments were echoed by former Rutgers University history professor Ann Gordon, who simply said “absolutely not” when asked about the pardon. Gordon argued asking for a pardon is an admission of guilt, something Anthony would not have done.

“When you're asking for a pardon, you're saying, I did something wrong,” Gordon said.

They also said evidence suggests Anthony was approached about a pardon after her trial, but she didn’t want it.

“It is our understanding that there were discussions about a pardon for her as well and she didn't want it,” Hughes said.

“She certainly knew how to get one,” Gordon said, referencing the work she and her lawyers did to secure pardons for women arrested for voting illegally after her. “But she doesn't think she did anything wrong and she firmly believes that all US citizens have the right to vote.”

Trump appeared to reference this while speaking about the posthumous pardon on Tuesday.

“I actually asked the other day and they were talking about Susan B. Anthony, and she did that for other people and she didn't want herself included,” Trump said. “She wasn't included in the pardon from many years ago.”

Gordon and Hughes, who are considered two of the leading experts on Anthony in the U.S., said they were approached by previously asking about a possible pardon. One of the most recent they mentioned were New York congress members who asked about it, but were shot down saying Anthony’s conviction was a “badge of honor.”

This appeared to have resonated with New York state officials, who have called on Trump to retract his pardon.

“She was proud of her arrest to draw attention to the cause for women's rights, and never paid her fine,” New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul told reporters Tuesday. “Let her rest in peace.”

Gordon and Hughes said no one from the Trump administration reached out to them.

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Susan B. Anthony was instrumental in the women's suffrage movement. Hulton Archive/Getty Images