Home » Lawyers » Bradwell, Myra

Bradwell, Myra

Born: 1831 AD
Died: 1894 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Lawyers

1831 – Born on February 12th in Manchester, Vermont. American lawyer and editor who was involved in several landmark cases concerning the legal rights of women.

1843 – Myra Colby grew up in Portage, New York, and in Schaumburg township, near Elgin, Illinois.

1852 – She married James B. Bradwell, a law student, in May.

         – She moved with him to Memphis, Tennessee, where they taught and then operated their own private school.

1854-1855 – They returned to Illinois and settled in Chicago, where James Bolesworth Bradwell was admitted to the bar.

1861 – He enjoyed considerable success, rising to the Cook County bench and to the state legislature.

1869 – Myra Bradwell launched her own distinguished career with the establishment of the first weekly edition of the Chicago Legal News, of which she was both editorial and business manager.

         – She helped organize Chicago’s first woman suffrage convention, and she and her husband were active in the founding of the American Woman Suffrage Association in Cleveland.

         – Bradwell passed the qualifying examination and applied to the Illinois Supreme Court for admission to the state bar.

         – She drafted and—with the aid of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Livermore, and others—secured passage of a bill that gave married women the right to retain their own wages and protected the rights of widows.

1872 – The Illinois legislature opened all professions to women, and, although she did not renew her application for the bar, she was made an honorary member of the state bar association.

1873 – The court’s refusal, on the ground that she was a woman, was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in May.

1876 – Bradwell was a representative of Illinois at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

1890 – The Illinois Supreme Court, on its own initiative, took up her application again and admitted her to the bar.

1892 – She was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

1893 – Played a major role in winning the World’s Columbian Exposition for Chicago.

1894 – Died on February 14th in Chicago.

         – Bradwell was followed into the law and the Chicago Legal News by her daughter, Bessie Bradwell Helmer.