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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Quiz Answers: St. Patrick's Day and Women's History Month

Thanks to all for taking the St. Patrick's Day and Women's History Month Quiz!

Below are the answers - for more see further below on Belva Lockwood and the Irish case reports, both featured in the quiz.

1. Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902); the Declaration of Independence. 

2. Belva Ann Lockwood (1830-1917), in Kaiser v. Stickney, 102 U.S. 176 (1880). She won her next case before the Supreme Court: United States v. Cherokee Nation, 202 U.S. 101 (1906), confirmed that the government owed the Cherokee an outstanding balance of $1,111,284.70 subject to fees.

3. Burnita Shelton Matthews (1894-1988); Constance Baker Motley (1921-2005). 

4. John Davies. Le primer report des cases & matters en ley resolues & adiudges en les Courts del Roy en Ireland. Dublin: Printed by Iohn Franckton, printer to the Kings most excellent Maiestie, 1615. 

5. All are true.

6. The Irish Jurist; first volume, first issue published November 4, 1848 (1848/1849 for year is fine).


Belva Ann Lockwood matriculated at the National University Law School (later absorbed by George Washington) after being denied, based on gender, at several other D.C.-area schools. She also had to petition President Ulysses S. Grant to receive her diploma from National in 1873. In 1876, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to admit her to its bar; in 1879, they finally relented: Lockwood became the first woman admitted before that court. In 1880, she argued Kaiser v. Stickney, related to a debt payment, becoming the first woman to argue before the Supreme Court. Lockwood ran for U.S. President as the candidate for the National Equal Rights Party in 1880 and 1884, amidst a career of activism and legal work also with her husband. In 1906, she won in United States v. Cherokee Nation. Some of her achievements are captured on the Green Bag's terrific bobblehead; Jill Norgren has written excellent books and several other pieces (one here, and here) about Lockwood's trailblazing career. 

The first printed Irish case reports came not long after a difficult turning point in Irish history. At the culmination of the Tudor military reconquest in 1603, James I of England (r. 1603–1625) imposed English common law throughout Ireland, replacing an older Gaelic (Brehon) law and transforming Irish landholding and inheritance. For more on early Irish law, see this excellent reference guide by Janet Sinder.

John Davies (1569–1626) served as England’s attorney general in Ireland from 1606 and published the first Irish case reports, Le primer report des cases. He brought attention to law that was unique to Ireland: in the Case of Tanistry, for example, English primogeniture ran up against the custom of Irish royal inheritance by kin-group election. The complexity of Irish history and law could not in fact be immediately subjected to the new “common” law. The Library's copy of the reports is a rare first edition. The book is also our earliest imprint from Dublin, which soon became an important player in the legal printing trade. 

   - Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections 

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