Belva Ann Lockwood

Belva Ann Lockwood
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs

Belva Ann Lockwood


  • Washington, DC, lawyer and women's rights activist
  • Born Belva Bennett in Royalton, NY
  • Taught at a number of schools in upstate New York
  • Her first husband died in 1853
  • She resumed teaching and chose to continue her education
  • Graduated from Genesee College (later Syracuse University) in 1857
  • Relocated to Washington, DC
  • Attended the new National University Law School from 1871 to 1873 and was admitted to the District of Columbia bar in 1873
  • In 1872 she secured the passage of a law granting equal pay for equal work to women employees in the federal government
  • Became the first woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court (1879)
  • Lockwood ran twice for U.S. president as the National Equal Rights Party's candidate (1884 and 1888)
  • In 1903 she wrote the congressional amendments granting suffrage to women in the new states of Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Mexico
  • Lockwood was a delegate to various peace congresses in Europe

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