A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights by Kate Hannigan

aladyhasthefloorA Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights by Kate Hannigan; illustrated by Alison Jay. 2018. Alkyd paint with crackle varnish.  Published by Calkins Creek.

Brief summary: Belva was already a teacher at age 14 and went to college in 1857 to learn more. She taught in New York encouraging and teaching girls how to speak publicly and for the girls to be able to have gym classes. She went to law school and completed her studies but was not given her diploma, because she was a woman. Belva wrote to the president of the school who later delivered it to her personally…Ulysses S. Grant who just happened to also be the President of the United States of America at the time. Belva was the first woman to have a law license. She fought for widows and Civil War veterans.  She was not allowed to argue her cases, because she was a woman. She was the first woman to run for President under the National Equal Rights Party.

Comments: I really did not know how many things a woman was not permitted to do until I read this book. Belva Lockwood had guts and was a determined women’s rights activist that I’d like to have more credit given to in the history books. I can just imagine how it felt to have men dress up in women’s clothing and making fun of her in the streets as she tried campaigning against Grover Cleveland. Thank you, Belva! Back pages:  Author’s note and Timeline