Belva Lockwood: The Woman Who Would Be President / Edition 1

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Overview

Foreword by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

In Belva Lockwood: The Woman Who Would Be President, prize-winning legal historian Jill Norgren recounts, for the first time, the life story of one of the nineteenth century’s most surprising and accomplished advocates for women’s rights. As Norgren shows, Lockwood was fearless in confronting the male establishment, commanding the attention of presidents, members of Congress, influential writers, and everyday Americans. Obscured for too long in the historical shadow of her longtime colleague, Susan B. Anthony, Lockwood steps into the limelight at last in this engaging new biography.

Born on a farm in upstate New York in 1830, Lockwood married young and reluctantly became a farmer’s wife. After her husband's premature death, however, she earned a college degree, became a teacher, and moved to Washington, DC with plans to become an attorney-an occupation all but closed to women. Not only did she become one of the first female attorneys in the U.S., but in 1879 became the first woman ever allowed to practice at the bar of the Supreme Court.

In 1884 Lockwood continued her trailblazing ways as the first woman to run a full campaign for the U.S. Presidency. She ran for President again in 1888. Although her candidacies were unsuccessful (as she knew they would be), Lockwood demonstrated that women could compete with men in the political arena. After these campaigns she worked tirelessly on behalf of the Universal Peace Union, hoping, until her death in 1917, that she, or the organization, would win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Belva Lockwood deserves to be far better known. As Norgren notes, it is likely that Lockwood would be widely recognized today as a feminist pioneer if most of her personal papers had not been destroyed after her death. Fortunately for readers, Norgren shares much of her subject’s tenacity and she has ensured Lockwood’s rightful place in history with this meticulously researched and beautifully written book.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“For those interested in U.S. women’s history or the nineteenth-century practice of law, Norgen’s work is a must.”-Law and History Review

“Norgren eloquently and succinctly educates the reader on the story of the first woman to ever be allowed to argue before the United States Supreme Court, as well as the first woman to ever launch two full scale bids for this country’s presidency . . . Norgren’s writing is engaging and her narrative is accessible yet rich with fact.”-Feminist Review

Library Journal

Astonishingly, this is the first scholarly biography of 19th-century activist Belva Lockwood. Lawyer, lobbyist, wife, mother, and contemporary of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lockwood was among the most formidable of equal rights advocates. The first female lawyer admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the relentlessly ambitious Lockwood ran for the U.S. presidency in 1884 and 1888 on the Equal Rights Party ticket. Although she received no electoral votes, she campaigned on a comprehensive platform that addressed domestic and foreign policy issues. Later she concentrated on her work for the Universal Peace Union and her Washington, DC, legal practice while maintaining a demanding public-speaking schedule. Her life was never easy, as she constantly fought to surmount political and legal barriers and to support her family. Although few of Lockwood's papers have survived, Norgren (government, emerita, John Jay Coll. & Graduate Ctr., CUNY) has delivered an able and long overdue study of Lockwood's life, drawing on newspapers, magazines, organizational records, and the papers of Lockwood's contemporaries. Though the book emphasizes Lockwood's career, the inclusion of information on her family and friends gives added dimension. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries; essential for women's history collections.
—Linda V. Carlisle

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814758519
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 311
  • Sales rank: 818,159
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jill Norgren is Professor Emerita of Political Science at John Jay College, and the Graduate Center of The City University of New York. She is the award winning author of many articles and books, including Belva Lockwood: The Woman Who Would Be President (NYU Press, 2007); The Cherokee Cases; and American Cultural Pluralism and Law (with Serena Nanda).

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Prologue and Acknowledgments
1 Early a Widow
2 In Search of a New Identity
3 Apprenticeship
4 Becoming a Lawyer
5 Notorious Ladies
6 A Tougher Fight
7 Woman Lawyer
8 The Practice of Law
9 Lady Lobbyist
10 Lockwood for President
11 Life on the Platform
12 Lay Down Your Arms!
13 The Power of Association
14 Pushing for Place
15 AWorld’s Fair and a Million-Dollar Case
16 Aging Soldiers of Cause
Epilogue
Notes
Index
About the Author

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