Residents of Rochester, New York noticed a larger than usual influx of visitors to Mount Hope Cemetery soon after early voting began. That’s because the cemetery, which became one of the country’s first municipal rural grave sites in 1838, serves as the final resting place of several prominent figures from American history. Like Frederick Douglass, the African-American abolitionist and writer, and his friend Susan B. Anthony, who led the cause of women’s suffrage during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Both deserve commemoration, but considering the strong likelihood that Hillary Clinton will become America’s first female president, many are stopping by to pay their respects to Anthony.
Several local and national outlets picked up on the grave site’s popularity during the past week, but the crowds have become so large that Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren had to extend visiting hours to accommodate the numbers. “Of course, Susan would be the first person to tell us it wasn’t done by one person at all; there were so many involved in the movement,” Susan B. Anthony House and Museum executive director Deborah Hughes told WXXI. “People are connecting on a very real emotional level with that sense of gratitude and progress.”
However, as Marilyn Nolte — president of Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery — reminded the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, crowds have been flocking to Anthony’s grave since the primaries. “During the primary, we got our first experience with this. People came in and they don’t know where to go, what to do,” she recalled, adding: “People were coming and going all day long, into the evening.”