UAlbany History Faculty Members to Speak at New York Bar Association Retreat

Professors Richard F. Hamm and Lauren Kozakiewicz will be speaking at the Judges Retreat of the Bar Association of U.S. District Court Northern District of New York at White Face Lodge in Lake Placid on September 14. Their talks are drawn from cases in the historic jurisdiction of the court and both focus on issues of gender in this centennial year of women’s suffrage.

Professor Hamm’s talk, titled “Murder at Cherry Hill, 1827,” examines the case of a murdered man who was married into one of the leading families that dominated Albany’s economy and politics. His wife and hired farm hand were charged with the murder, and he was convicted and hung. She was found not guilty. The case opens up the world of Albany society in the early Erie Canal years allowing for an exploration of the power of both gender ideas and the influence of elites in the justice system.

Professor Kozakiewicz’s talk, titled "The Susan B. Anthony Trial of 1873,” examines the strategy of using the Reconstruction Amendments to the Constitution to legitimize women's right to vote. Miss Anthony browbeat authorities into accepting her registration and ballot in the presidential election of 1872. She was subsequently tried and convicted of violating federal law because the New York State Constitution explicitly limited the franchise to men. This failed effort had important ramifications for the suffrage movement going forward. The case also allows us to look at both 19th-century debates over the definition of citizenship and how to interpret the meaning of these new amendments.