On the basis of her lifelong dedication to the cause of equal rights, whether for equal pay for government employees, the right of a woman to study law and practice as an attorney, or the right of women to vote, Bennett Lockwood contributed as much as any other individual to the attainment of that goal. Thus, the power of her rhetoric lay not only in the arguments she advanced, but also in who she was and what she achieved. Many held her up as an example worthy of emulation. Late in life, she noted that she had some forty or fifty namesakes ( Washington Herald, October 25, 1912). However powerful her arguments were before courts of law, attested by the many in which she was successful, and however eloquent her speeches to reformers, on the hustings, or in lecture halls, the most significant single element of her rhetoric was her image, her example. She had opened doors and pointed the way for those who would follow. As she said, "I never stopped fighting. My cause was the cause of thousands of women" ( New York World, November 3, 1912).
There is no major collection of the Bennett Lockwood Papers. The Belva A. Lockwood Papers in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection (SCPC) include biographical materials, correspondence, some articles and newspaper clippings, and several pamphlets based on speeches concerning peace through arbitration. The Belva Lockwood Papers in the Ormes-Winner Collection (O-W), New York State Historical Association, include approximately 500 pages of handwritten manuscripts divided into (1) The New Woman; (2) Women in the Professions; (3) On Marriage; (4) On Prosperity and Existing Conditions; (5) On Equal Rights for Women; (6) Across the Continent--Suffrage--Memorial Day; (7) On Temperance; (8) Miscellaneous. Although some are lengthy, none is complete.
Scholarly works include:
Clark Allen C. "Belva Ann Lockwood." Records of the Columbia Historical Society ( Washington, D.C., 1935) 35-36:206ff, 209f, 212.
Filler Louis. "Lockwood, Belva Ann Bennett McNall." NAW 2:413-416.
Stern Madeleine B. "The First Woman Admitted to Practice Before the United States Supreme Court, Belva Ann Lockwood." We the Women. New York: Schulte, 1963, pp. 205-234.
Stevens Peter F. "When the Women Came to Des Moines." The Iowan (Spring 1988):44-47.
Winner Julia Hull. "Belva A. Lockwood--That Extraordinary Woman." New York History 39 ( October 1958):321-340.
Two articles by Bennett Lockwood are also informative: "My Efforts to Become a Lawyer," Lippincott's Monthly Magazine 41 ( February 1888):215-229; and "How I Ran for the Presidency," National Magazine ( March 1903):728-733.
Partial biographies include: