First Women Lawyers


Pioneer Women in the American Legal Profession

Though women lawyers did not enter the legal profession until after the Civil War, that does not mean that women did not want to become lawyers in the antebellum period. It only means that there were no records kept.

First, women were denied admission to law schools, and then they were denied permission [Read More ...]

Caroline Harrison


First First Lady to Support Women's Rights

Caroline Harrison, the wife of President Benjamin Harrison, was First Lady from 1889 until her death. She is remembered for her efforts to refurbish the aging White House. Her public support of women's rights and higher education for women focused greater attention on those issue and promoted greater acceptance of a First Lady's [Read More ...]

Mary Jane Patterson


First African American Woman to Graduate from College

Mary Jane Patterson was the first African American woman to earn a bachelor's degree (Oberlin College, 1862). She became a successful teacher and was later appointed as the first black principal at America's first public high school for blacks (Preparatory High School for Colored Youth, Washington, DC, 1871). Patterson spent her career [Read More ...]

Paulina Wright Davis


Editor of the First Feminist Periodical, The Una

Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis (1813–1876) was an abolitionist and feminist whose work in social reform extended over forty years. A wealthy and independent woman, she organized the First National Women's Rights Convention in 1850, and another on the 20th anniversay of that occasion, at which she read from her written work, A [Read More ...]