BELVA ANN LOCKWOOD Biography - Polititians


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Name: Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood                                                                       
Born: 24 October 1830                                                                                 
Died: 19 May 1917                                                                                     
Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood (October 24, 1830 – May 19, 1917) was a United States                     
attorney, politician, author, and noted feminist, although she never used that                         
word. Lockwood overcame many social and personal obstacles related to gender                           
restrictions of her time, to gain a good education. After college, she became a                       
schoolteacher and was actively involved in working towards equal pay for women                         
She was born Belva Ann Bennett in Royalton, New York, where she later married                         
Uriah McNall, a farmer. He died in 1853, three years after their daughter Lura                         
was born. She then attended Gasport Academy in Gasport, New York, and Genesee                         
College in Lima, New York, which eventually became part of Syracuse University.                       
Lockwood taught school for several years. At the end of the Civil War, restless                       
and always fascinated by politics, she decided to move to Washington, D.C.                             
In Washington, Lockwood quickly became a member of woman suffrage and temperance                       
organizations. In 1868, she married Ezekial Lockwood, a dentist, lay minister,                         
and claims agent. They had a daughter, Jessie, who died before her second                             
birthday. In 1872, Lockwood earned her law degree from what is now The George                         
Washington University Law School and became one of the very first woman lawyers                       
in the U.S., although after she obtained her degree she was not allowed to                             
practice in the U.S. Court of Claims or the United States Supreme Court. The                           
justices said coverture and the practices of centuries barred women.                                   
That didn’t stop Lockwood. She lobbied Congress from 1874 to 1879 for an anti-discrimination         
bill. In 1879 Congress passed a law allowing all qualified women attorneys to                         
practice in any federal court. Lockwood was sworn in as the first woman member                         
of the U.S. Supreme Court bar on March 3, 1879. Late in 1880, she became the                           
first woman lawyer to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.                                     
She was the second woman (after Victoria Woodhull) to run for President of the                         
United States but was the first woman to appear on the ballot in United States                         
presidential election, 1884 and United States presidential election, 1888 as the                       
candidate of the National Equal Rights Party. Her running mates were Marietta                         
Stow and Charles Stuart Wells respectively. She did not have a serious chance of                       
winning the presidency and received few votes, particularly because many states                       
still did not allow women to vote at this time. On January 12, 1885, she                               
petitioned Congress to have her votes counted, making the claim "that during the                       
recent session of the Electoral College of the State of Indiana at the capitol                         
thereof, that after it had cast its vote for Cleveland it changed its mind, as                         
it had an undisputed legal right to do, and cast its united vote for your                             
petitioner." She further claimed she "received one-half the electoral vote of                         
Oregon, and a large vote in Pennsylvania, but the votes in the latter state were                       
not counted, simply dumped into the waste basket as false votes."                                     
She was a well-respected and often controversial writer, determined, practical,                       
and energetic. She played an important role in the advancement of rights for                           
women and was an active member of the National American Woman Suffrage                                 
Association and also the Equal Rights Party. She was very active in the                               
Universal Peace Union, representing the group at meetings in Europe and lobbying                       
its positions before Congress and at the White House. She hoped that the group                         
would receive the Nobel Peace Prize, but it did not.