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Biography Information
Political Campaigns

Belva Ann Lockwood

Birth Date: 1830
Death Date: 1917
State: District of Columbia
Marital Status: Widowed
General Occupation: Legal System · Education
Occupation: Attorney; Lecturer
Political Party Activism: Equal Rights
Social Reform Activism: Civic Reform · Labor · Suffrage · Other · Temperance


Belva Ann Lockwood, an attorney in Washington, D.C., was the first woman to run a full, national campaign for the presidency. She announced her candidacy in 1884 after the two major parties again refused to endorse suffrage for American woman. She ran with Marietta Stow, a California women's rights activist and newspaper publisher. Lockwood argued that women should run for political office to demonstrate their competence and interest in politics. She also wished to demonstrate the irony of women's position: that the law permitted women to be political candidates although, under the law, most women in the United States were not permitted to vote. Lockwood campaigned across the country and organized electoral tickets in several states. Many journalists wrote about her campaign and, like the male candidates, she was the subject of numerous political cartoons. She polled fewer than 5000 votes but succeeded in making the point that women cared about politics and public policy. In 1888 Lockwood again accepted the presidential nomination of the Equal Rights Party but this time ran a smaller campaign that attracted less public attention. Lockwood was active in the American and international peace movement. She was a longtime member of the Universal Peace Union. She traveled to Europe several times to deliver papers on international peace and arbitration.

Additional Notes


Belva Ann Lockwood's Campaign for President, 1884

Political Office: President
Election Year: 1884
Political Party: Equal Rights
Elected: No

Belva Ann Lockwood's Campaign for President, 1888

Political Office: President
Election Year: 1888
Political Party: Equal Rights
Elected: No



Author Title More
Norgren, Jill Belva Lockwood: The Woman Who Would be President Details
Norgren, Jill Belva Lockwood: Equal Rights Pioneer Details
Lockwood, Belva A. "How I Ran for the Presidency," Details
Lockwood, Belva A. "My Efforts to Become a Lawyer," Details
"Vote, Belva! Vote, Belva" Details
2000 Out for Park Suffrage Meeting Details