Belva Ann Lockwood Papers
Held at: Swarthmore College Peace Collection [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore 19081-1399
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Belva Ann McNall Lockwood (1830-1917), was the first woman attorney to practice before the Supreme Court. In the late 1870s Lockwood personally lobbied members of Congress to pass a special act admitting women to the bar of the Court. Lockwood 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. In 1884, and again in 1888, 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.
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.
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.
In 2017, historian and Lockwood biographer, Jill Norgren dontated photocopies of Lockwood documents which she had gathered from numerous libraries and collections. This set of boxes was organized by Norgren.
This collection is organized into three series:. Series I contains Biographical material and all correspondence; Series II contains writings by Lockwood; Series III contains writings about Lockwood; and Series IV contains information on Lockwood ephemera.
Considering the rarity of Lockwood materials, researchers are asked to use photocopies of the original materials, including the photographs. Original documents and photographs may be viewed with permission of the Curator.
The boxes designated as Acc. 2017-022 form the section of the collection donated by Jill Norgren. The material remains in the order in which it was donated. The folder titles were assigned by Norgren.
Guide to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 2nd ed., p. 38.
Guide to Sources on Women in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, p. 15.
Gift of Devere Allen, Lella Crum Gardner, Jill Norgren, and others, 1949, 1950s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s
This collection was processed by Peace Collection staff and was last revised in February, 2007.
Items removed include photographs, consisting mostly of portraits of Lockwood from the 1870s to (approximately) 1910.
- United States. Supreme Court
- Universal Peace Union
- American Woman's Republic
- National Equal Rights Party (U.S.)
- Lawyers -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Women lawyers -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Suffragists -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Peace Movements -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Practice of law -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Women and Peace -- History -- Sources
- Courts of last resort -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Women's rights -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Political parties -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Peace -- Societies, etc. -- History -- Sources
- Courts -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Swarthmore College Peace Collection
- Access Restrictions
Yes, photocopies of documents should be used instead of originals in most cases. Original documents and photographs are separate and restricted, but may be used with permission of Curator.
All or part of this collection is stored off-site. Contact Swarthmore College Peace Collection staff at email@example.com at least two weeks in advance of visit to request boxes.
- Copyright may have been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Or copyright may retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
- Use Restrictions
[The 1881 letter contains Densmore's description of Lockwood]
[Originals are located in B: 96 with original Lockwood manuscripts]
[Compact Disc-see Peace Collection audiovisual collection database or further information.]
432 9th Union League Building 1866-1874; 619 F St 1877-1914; 5 10th St 1875-1877