Long before Hillary Clinton, there was Belva Lockwood (1830-1917), who ran for the U.S. presidency in 1884 and 1888 on the Equal Rights Party ticket. One of the first women to receive a law degree, she was also the first female lawyer admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. As an attorney and lobbyist, she worked for property law reform, equal pay for equal work, and women’s suffrage, and lectured around the world. She was honored on a U.S postage stamp in 1986.
Haven’t heard of her? My book group hadn’t either. Although she was a contemporary of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and a long-time activist in the women’s movement, she often disagreed with other leaders on policy and priorities, and went her own way. And when she died–her husband and children having predeceased her–most of her papers were cleaned out and destroyed. Without diaries, letters, photographs and other personal information, this biography is a bit dry and lacking in humanizing detail. Nonetheless, Belva Lockwood was a fascinating and accomplished woman, and more of us should know her name.
RATING: * * * A good read
Reviewed by: stc
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