Viral image
Says a viral photo shows Susan B. Anthony being "beaten and arrested for trying to vote" in 1872.

Viral image on Thursday, June 6th, 2019 in a Facebook post

No, photo of woman being ‘beaten and arrested’ by police was not Susan B. Anthony

An old photograph of what appears to be a woman being attacked on the street (possibly by police) is making the rounds on social media – but with an incorrect caption.

That caption, which appears below the photo, says, "Susan B. Anthony in 1872, beaten and arrested for trying to vote."

The photograph was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The photo is of a suffragette protest for voting rights that was eventually named "Black Friday" – but it is not a picture of Susan B. Anthony and it was not taken in 1872 or in the United States.

A reverse-image search led us to several websites that used the image as an example of the suffragette’s struggles in the early 20th Century.

The photo appeared on the front cover of the British newspaper, the "Daily Mirror," the day after approximately 300 women took to the streets of London on Nov. 18, 1910, to air their grievances of the shelving of the "Conciliation Bill," which would have extended voting rights to almost a million women, mostly wealthy property-owners, according to the Museum of London. The protest led to the arrest of 119 women, who were later released without charges.

The woman in the photo is widely believed to be suffragette Ada Wright, who was reportedly 50 years old at the time. According to reports, she was struck down by a policeman as she tried to enter the House of Commons.

Wright reportedly later wrote about the experience and identified herself as the woman in the image. The passage can be found on page 261 in the 2004 book, "Violent London: 2000 Years of Riots, Rebels and Revolts" by Clive Bloom:

"...The police rode at us with shire horses...a policeman grabbed my arm and twisted it round and round until I felt the bone almost breaking and I sank to the pavement, helpless … The next morning I found I had been photographed lying on the ground..and the photograph occupied the front page of the Daily Mirror...There were headlines: BLACK FRIDAY."

Historian Kate Connelly also wrote about the event and identified Wright as the woman on the ground in the photograph:

"When the Daily Mirror published a photograph of suffragette Ada Wright lying collapsed on the ground, her hands clutching her face, the government tried to stop the newspaper being sold and ordered the negatives to be destroyed."

Our ruling

A viral photo on social media is captioned as depicting Susan B. Anthony being "beaten and arrested for trying to vote" in 1872.

While the image was taken during a voting rights protest, the woman is not Susan B. Anthony, and the photo was not captured in the United States or in 1872.

The image, believed to be of suffragette Ada Wright, was featured on the front cover of a British newspaper following a suffragette protest in London in November 1910.

We rate this False.