“The Gazette has a new notice of me, and I fear I am getting puffed up.”

“The Gazette has a new notice of me, and I fear I am getting puffed up.”

–Lavinia Goodell, August 6, 1874

A huge thank you to Anna Marie Lux for writing  and the Janesville Gazette for publishing an in-depth account of Lavinia’s digital biography and the research behind it. Lavinia would no doubt be very pleased to know that nearly 140 years after her death her hometown newspaper still finds her newsworthy. Read the article here.

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Posted by admin in Articles, Life in Wisconsin: 1871-1880, Press about Lavinia's biography, 0 comments

Thanksgiving in jail

Thanksgiving in jail

 Lavinia Goodell’s Thanksgiving celebrations in the 1860s and 1870s bear at least some resemblance to today’s holiday festivities. The day often began with a religious service. Although Lavinia had a lifelong affiliation with the Congregational church,  she liked to explore other houses of worship as well.

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Posted by admin in Family, Jail school/prison reform, 0 comments

“I am dying to see a sensible woman. And they don’t abound here.”

“I am dying to see a sensible woman. And they don’t abound here.”

In June 1919, Wisconsin became the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. In celebration of this great achievement many have repeated an enchanting origin story of Wisconsin’s women’s suffrage movement published in The Milwaukee Journal on December 21, 1924:

Way down in the southwestern corner of Wisconsin, the little town of Richland Center has been glorified above all towns in the state in that it is the cradle of women’s suffrage in Wisconsin.

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Posted by admin in Women's rights, 0 comments

“Why this is an unexpected pleasure . . . I am ready to explode with fun!”

“Why this is an unexpected pleasure . . . I am ready to explode with fun!”

–Lavinia Goodell, September 24, 1874

Many, many thanks to the State Bar of Wisconsin. It has awarded Lavinia Goodell the Lifetime Legal Innovator award posthumously for opening the practice of law to women. Click here. The honor helps raise public awareness about Lavinia’s important contributions to history.

We think that Lavinia would be pleased. To her, the equality of women and men was “like an axiom which it were as idle to dispute as to undertake to controvert the multiplication table.” Click here. She would not have expected to receive the award in 2019–150 years after she was admitted to the Rock County Circuit Court because she thought that once a few women began practicing law, the prejudice against them would melt away quickly. In any case, she would be delighted to learn that opening the bar to women helped improve the hygiene of courtrooms across Wisconsin! In her September 4, 1875 Woman’s Journal article, “Shall Women Study Law?,” she wrote:

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Posted by admin in Life in Wisconsin: 1871-1880, Press about Lavinia's biography, Legal practice, 2 comments