“Take that you dirty dog!”

“Take that you dirty dog!”

One of the more controversial characters in Lavinia Goodell’s diaries is Kate Kane (Rossi), Wisconsin’s second woman lawyer. Lavinia helped launch her career. If she had lived long enough to watch it unfold, she probably wouldn’t want the credit. Lavinia was brilliant but cool and reserved in public—more RBG than AOC.  And Kate? She was smart but also a hothead and a showboat, who gave other early women lawyers a bad rap.

Cartoon of Kate Kane throwing water in Judge Mallory's face.

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Happy Birthday, Vinnie!

Happy Birthday, Vinnie!

Rhoda Lavinia Goodell was born 181 years ago–on May 2, 1839. In celebration of her birthday, we are highlighting some family lore about her personality and escapades as a baby and young child. If hindsight is 20-20, then it was clear early on that Vinnie (as her family and close friends called her) would grow into a trailblazer for women’s rights and other social reforms.

Lavinia Goodell as a girl.
We have no baby photos, but here is Vinnie as a girl.

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