Belva Ann Lockwood Papers, SCPC-DG-098

Date created 1878-1917, 1984, 1986, 1992
Creator Lockwood, Belva Ann, 1830-1917
Abstract Belva Ann McNall Lockwood (1830-1917), was the first woman attorney to practice before the Supreme Court. She personally lobbied members of Congress to pass a special act admitting women to the bar of the Court, and first practiced before the Court in 1879. Among other cases, Lockwood successfully represented the Eastern Cherokee Indians in an five million dollar suit before the Court. She also represented hundreds of family members of Civil War veterans in their pension claims. Lockwood was also an ardent supporter of women's rights. She lectured and toured the country in attempts to gather support for woman suffrage. Lockwood ran for the U.S. presidency in 1884 and 1888, being the first woman to have a complete, national campaign for that office. Both times she was the Presidential candidate for the National Equal Rights Party, capturing over 4,000 votes in six states. Her other feminist activities included serving as president of the Woman's National Press Association, and being appointed Attorney General of the American Woman's Republic, an organization founded by Marietta Stowe and dedicated to preparing women for the rights and responsibilities of full citizenship. From the 1870s onward Lockwood was active with the radical peace group, the Universal Peace Union, representing the organization at several international peace congresses. As an executive board member of the Universal Peace Union, Lockwood attended many international peace congresses. She wrote tracts on international arbitration and was one of the nominating members of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee.
Additional Description The Papers of Belva Ann Lockwood are an assortment of writings both by and about her. The papers include correspondence (1885-1915), pamphlets, manuscripts, and newspaper and journal articles. The bulk of the correspondence is between Lockwood and Alfred H. Love of the Universal Peace Union, and from Lockwood to her nephew, Frank Gardner, and his wife Lella Gardner. A few of Lockwood's writings and law briefs are in the collection. Much of Lockwood's office files and personal papers were destroyed soon after her death. The manuscripts consist primarily of personal accounts by Lockwood of speeches and important law cases. Newspaper clippings and articles document Lockwood's involvement in the woman suffrage and peace movements, as well as her legal and political activities. Many of the later clippings are biographical summaries celebrating her life. There is a small amount of material about the American Woman's Republic. Correspondents in this collection include: Arabella Carter, Amanda Deyo, Lella Crum Gardner, and Alfred H. Love. Later materials include activities surrounding the Belva Lockwood U.S. postage stamp, issued in 1986, and biographical writings about her life and work.
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Local identifier DG 098
Contributing institution Swarthmore College Peace Collections
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