"Belva Ann Lockwood flatly rejected the gallantry of those who sought to protect women from the more rigorous aspects of life. Denied the right to teach physical education to her female pupils, Lockwood protested until that privilege was granted. Barred later from utilizing a hard-won law degree in many courts, she lobbied for a congressional bill permitting women to argue before the Supreme Court and, on its passage in 1879, became the first woman admitted to practice in that tribunal. In 1884 Lockwood realized that although she could not vote, she could seek public office. By the late summer, before cheering supporters, she became the first woman to formally declare her candidacy for president. In this portrait, Lockwood appears in the robes presented to her in 1908 on receiving an honorary degree from her alma mater, Syracuse University." -- National Portrait Gallery
Mrs. Lockwood posed in front of the Bertoldi Fountain in academic robes holding a bunch of roses in this 1915 photo from the Library of Congress.
Mrs. Lockwood was the candidate for President of the United States from the National Equal Rights Party in 1884 and 1888; As a woman, Mrs. Lockwood could not vote in 1884 but as she put it, "I cannot vote but I can be voted for."
This 1884 Punch cartoon by F. Opper entitled "Now Let the Show Go On!" shows Belva Lockwood as the "Political Columbine" joining Benjamin Butler, as the "Political Clown", representing The Anti-Monopoly Party and the Greenback Party. Democrat Grover Cleveland, not shown, won the election. Belva Lockwood received 4,194 votes.
This rebus-ribbon was part of her 1888 run for the presidency.
“At age fifteen, Belva Lockwood taught in a rural one-room school near Niagara Falls, New York. After realizing that male teachers were earning twice as much as she was for doing the same job, she spoke out in public against gender discrimination. Teaching ultimately helped Lockwood understand how to appeal to different groups of voters. When she ran for president a second time, in 1888, she had satin ribbons with a rebus puzzle made for her campaign. The ribbon phonetically pictures the name Belva Lockwood with images of a bell, the letter ‘v,’ a lock, and a log of wood, thereby assisting illiterate voters.In her time, Belva Lockwood was known for the tricycle she rode around Washington. Jill Norgren includes this image of Belva on her tricycle in her 1999 article in the Journal of Supreme Court History, Before It Was Merely Difficult: Belva Lockwood’s Life in Law and Politics.
A tireless worker, Lockwood testified in Congress, helping to achieve the 1872 equal pay bill for government employees. Her efforts also led to legislation enabling married women in the District of Columbia to retain their property rights and the passage of a bill to empower widows to claim full guardianship of their children.” - SAAM
"Belva Lockwood was known in Washington as a successful women attorney. She adopted the tricycle as en an efficient means of getting around the capital. An 1882 Washington Post column mused; 'In sunshine or in storm may her familiar form be seen flying up the Avenue on her three-footed nag, her cargo a bag of briefs for the D.C. Superior Court or a batch of original invalids for the Pension Office.'" -- Jill Norgren, 2007Belva Lockwood's grave can be found, with some difficulty, at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC.
Belva Ann Lockwood
Born Oct. 24, 1830
Died May 19, 1917
For a more extensive (and contemporary) biography of Belva Lockwood, See: Lockwood, Mrs. Belva Ann, in American Women, by Livermore and Willard, 1897.