Belva Lockwood

By Delaney Smith

Her life

Belva Ann Lockwood was born on October 24, 1830 in Royalton, New York. At 14, she was teaching at a local elementary school. She married when she was 18 in 1848. When her husband died in 1853, Lockwood realized she needed to better educate herself to support her daughter. She started attending Genesee Wesleyan Seminary to prepare for college. She eventually persuaded the administration at Genesee College in Lima, New York to admit her.
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Her career

Belva is best know as an American attorney, politician, educator, and author. She also actively worked in women's right's and the press during her day referred to her as a suffragist. She had to overcome many social and personal obstacles because she was a woman. After college, she became a teacher and a principal, and worked to equalize pay for women in education.

Lockwood graduated from law school in Washington, D.C. and was one of the first female lawyers in the United States. In 1879, she successfully petitioned Congress to be allowed to practice before the United States Supreme Court. She was the first women attorney given this privilege.

She also ran for president in 1884 and 1888 and was the firs women to appear on official ballots.

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Later years and her Legacy

Lockwood was a well-respected write, and she often wrote essays about women's suffrage and the need for legal equality for women. She also believed strongly in working for world peace. She had a 43 year career as a lawyer, and died on May 19, 1917 and was buried in Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

There are many places named after her, including Belva, West Virginia, Lockwood, California, and Lockwood, West Virginia. Syracuse University also awarded Lockwood and honorary doctorate in law in 1908.