Hollis Gay Connors, MT Bar 1952

Hollis Gay Connors, admitted to the Montana Bar in 1952, was the second woman in Montana to run for Associate Justice on the Montana Supreme Court.  Jessie Roscow was the first; she lost in the primary election in 1944.


MTStandard 5/30/1962

MTStandard 5/30/1962

3 April 1962 — Daily Inter Lake — “Helena Woman to File for Supreme Court”

+++++“Hollis Gay Connors, Helena lawyer, announced Monday she would attempt to become the first woman to serve on Montana’s Supreme Court.
+++++Mrs. Connors, 50, said she would file for the position No. 2 on the high court, the bench now held by Associate justice Stanley M. Doyle.
+++++Records indicated Mrs. Connors would be the second woman in Montana history to run for the Supreme Court. The first was Jessie Roscoe [sic], who was eliminated in the 1944 primary election. . . .
+++++Mrs. Connors said she planned to file her nominating papers April 16. She said she would seek the position for two reasons:

  • ‘Women should more actively participate in governmental affairs.’
  • ‘I feel the courts of the State of Montana belong to the people. They are there for the preservation of the personal and property rights of the people, and they must be preserved.’

+++++Mrs. Connors added, ‘If elected to this office, I would bring to the position a deep sense of responsibility, complete honesty and humility for the trust imposed by the people of the State of Montana.’
+++++Mrs. Connors was born in Fairfax county, Minn., and attended grade and high schools in Minnesota. She received her law degree in 1949 from Northwestern College of Law in Portland, Ore. She became a permanent resident of Montana in 1951 and was admitted to the Montana bar in October 1952.
+++++She has been associated in private law practice since 1959 with the Helena firm of Skedd, Harris and Massman. Before that, she was in the insurance business in Helena. She is the wife of Gene Connors of Townsend.
+++++Mrs. Connors said as far as she had been able to determine only three states now have women justices on their Supreme Courts. They are Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Hawaii.
+++++‘I don’t even mind telling you how old I am,’ Mrs. Connors told a newsman. ‘I was born in February 1912. I always said I was going to run for this office when I was 50 years old, and I meant it.'”


+++++A news article from the Montana Standard, published on 18 April 1962, reported additionally that:

+++++“The blonde lawyer will be seeking the Supreme Court seat . . . . Doyle has announced he will seek re-election. Gordon Bennett, former assistant attorney general and more recently a lawyer in Washington, D.C., has also announced he will seek the office.”


Ms. Connors lost to Justice Doyle and Mr. Bennett who advanced to the general election.  Justice Stanley M. Doyle, the incumbent, prevailed in the general election.


In 1967, J. R. Wine, Jr., Director of Montana Legal Services, appointed Hollis Gay Connors deputy director of the legal services program.  She worked with the legal services program from 1967 through 1969.


Daily Inter Lake 10/29/1972

Daily Inter Lake 10/29/1972

Hollis Gay Connors ran, as the Republican candidate, for State Treasurer in 1972.

An article in the Billings Gazette, 24 May 1972, reported that Ms. Connors listed her net worth as $27,280, made up of her home in Townsend, $20,000; her automobile, $5,700; a life insurance policy, $7,000; personal property, $2,500; and savings of $3,000. Her liabilities included a home mortgage of $5,800; personal note $3,120, and loans on life insurance of $2,000.

She “won election to the single-term state treasurer’s office over Democratic John J. McLaughlin. She tallied 89,705 votes from 662 precincts compared with McLaughlin’s 78,340.” Havre Daily News, 8 November 1972.


15 April 1973 — Independent Record — “State Treasurer Says She’s Liberated”

+++++“‘I consider myself to be a liberated woman,’ says Hollis Gay Connors, Montana’s treasurer.
+++++With that self-image it’s not surprising to find that the women’s liberation movement doesn’t hold any great attraction for the 61-year-old attorney. But neither is she opposed to what she feels should be its basic aim — to treat an individual as an individual.
+++++Ms. Connors’ views on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) were not solicited during the emotional legislative battle over ratification of the proposed amendment to the United States Constitution although she is one of only two women in major state elective offices.
+++++She views the oversight with more detached amusement than hurt feelings after a lifetime spend working in fields predominantly occupied by males — law, politics and insurance.
+++++‘I don’t think ERA will add much to women’s rights,’ she said, ‘and it may take away some of their favored property rights.’
+++++Still, if asked, she would have urged the legislature to ratify the women’s equal rights provision in the supreme law.
+++++‘The voters of Montana have already put this through in their new constitution,’ Ms. Connors said. ‘So I don’t understand why the legislature didn’t go along with it in the federal constitution if they were aware of the state constitution.’
+++++She was referring to a new section added to the Montana Bill of Rights guaranteeing nondiscrimination on account of sex.
+++++That provision was not enough for the treasurer to support the new state charter.  She voted against ratification as did a big majority of her fellow townspeople in Townsend, 30 miles southeast of Helena. It’s the county seat of Broadwater County, rural, mostly conservative and Republican.
+++++Her feeling is that archaic provisions of the old document could have been amended.  ‘But the new one can be amended too,’ she said.  Ms. Connors said with ratification she ‘has no strong opinions’ one way or the other about the new constitution.
+++++She has lived the past 12 years in Townsend with her husband, a funeral director, and practiced law there and in capital city.  The treasurer has continued practicing law since she began her official state duties Jan. 1.
+++++‘I have found nothing in the law that prevents me from keeping up my law practice,’ she said.  ‘And I haven’t found any conflict of interest.’  The treasurer is paid $15,000 a year.
+++++Ms. Connors is not the first woman treasurer in the state’s history but she well may be the last of either sex.
+++++The new constitution eliminated the treasurer as a constitutional officer, leaving it up to the legislature to determine whether the position shall be continued in law or abolished and its remaining functions transferred to other departments.
+++++The Republican thinks that eliminating the office would be a big mistake.
+++++‘It should be separate and probably elective to preserve the system of checks and balances,’ she said.
+++++Self-interest is not involved. By law the treasurer cannot succeed herself.  A grandfather clause protects all incumbent office holders when the new constitution goes into effect.
+++++The incumbent feels it is common sense to have an independent officer handling the money between those agencies collecting it and those spending it.
+++++In recent years the office has been stripped of many of its functions which were transferred to the state controller, Department of Administration and Board of Investments.
+++++But it remains the custodian of the state’s securities and money.  The daily cash flow is erratic but on the average the office handles $5 million to $6 million daily.
+++++‘This is the hub of government,’ Ms. Connors smiles. ‘This is where the money is.’
+++++The 1972 Legislature passed a resolution asking the Legislative Council to study the office of treasurer and make recommendations so that some action can be taken before the 1976 election.
+++++The lawmakers didn’t bother to ask the incumbent for any advice or benefit of experience.  Ms. Connors said she has a few ideas about the office and toyed with the idea of making some recommendations.
+++++‘But it would be a labor of love,’ she said, ‘because under the circumstances (Democratic control of the legislature), I don’t think they’d give much consideration to it.’
+++++One idea, she said, is to turn the office into a state bank such as has been done in North Dakota.  ‘I’m not sure exactly how they name the director,’ she added.
+++++Ms. Connors pointed out the functions of her office are the same as a bank — to take in money and to pay it out.
+++++The treasurer presides over her department from a modest office in the extreme southwest corner of the Capitol behind locked doors, buzzers and alarm systems.
+++++The physical isolation is matched by political isolation. As one of only three Republican elected state officials, she is not in the mainstream of the Democratic state executive branch.
+++++Ms. Connors’ successful campaign for treasurer was not the first time she has run for state office. In 1962 she finished a respectable third in a six-way nonpartisan primary for associate justice of the state supreme court. She was the only woman candidate.
+++++The treasurer said she was never aware of any prejudice or discrimination in her campaigning because she was a woman. If anything she feels it is an asset.
+++++‘The voters are a little more courteous,’ she explains, ‘although they expect as much from you.’
+++++As an equal opportunity employer, the treasurer’s staff consists of four men and five women. ‘I like men,’ she laughs, ‘I like people.’
+++++‘I realize there is discrimination against women,’ Ms. Connors said. ‘I’m in favor of equal opportunity — equal pay for equal effort.’
+++++But she said she is ‘not gung-ho’ about some extremes of the women’s liberation movement. ‘Like changing he to she and his to hers in the statutes would make no difference,’ the lady lawyer said.
+++++Her personal struggle has been against economics, not discrimination.
+++++Ms. Connors, a native of Minnesota, came to Montana as a child. Her father was a merchant in Bozeman and Moore.  At the age of 18 she ventured into the depression age of 1930 as a cashier-clerk for a major insurance company at $16.50 per week and was glad to have the job.
+++++Work as a life underwriter and legal secretary and stenographer followed until, in 1944-45, she began studying law at the Northwest College of Law, Portland, Ore.
+++++Ms. Connors graduated in 1949 and was admitted to Montana practice in 1952 after passing the bar exam and an equivalency exam for the bachelor’s degree she didn’t have.
+++++If there was any discrimination because of her sex along the way, ‘I wasn’t aware of it.’
+++++But one aspect of the feminine revolution has caught her fancy. She likes the designation, ‘Ms.’
+++++‘It’s a little silly but that’s what they’ve picked,’ she said. ‘It does make one an individual.'”


Ella Knowles’ Tidbits

2 March 1893 — Sioux Valley News

+++++“Miss Ella Knowles was a candidate for Attorney General of Montana. Being a woman of brains and character, and a good lawyer, she came near being elected upon her merits. Since the election, letters have been pouring to her address containing offers of marriage from every style of masculine idiot . . . . The circumstance affords opportunity for comment, but deference to members of the gentler sex naturally impels the leaving of this pleasant duty to them.”

5 November 1894 — Chanute Daily Tribune

+++++“Attorney Mrs. Ella Knowles of Montana does not seem to care whether or not she has jumped the hedge bounded woman’s sphere. She has just pocketed a $10,000 fee, and can pay her way in whatever sphere may happen to environ her.”

+++++Many news articles of this time reported Ms. Knowles’ $10,000 fee as the largest to date ever earned by a woman attorney.

“Nursery in Her Office”

Lest modern feminists believe that the idea of bringing children to work or creating a child care center in the office is recent, the following news article should convince us otherwise.

21 May 1905 — Pittsburgh Daily Post

“Woman Lawyer Takes Her Children Along with Her When She Works”
+++++“Husband is Her Partner”
++++++++++“Believes Youngsters Should Be Taught Practical Business Methods”

+++++“‘Nothing on earth would induce me to wear a shirt front. I hate anything approaching the masculine in woman’s dress,’ remarked, with emphasis, Mrs. William G. Mulligan of the Bronx, lawyer and real estate dealer.
+++++Mrs. Mulligan, who is almost frail in appearance, wore a fashionably cut dark blue taffeta silk gown, a white lace stock collar fastened with a diamond ornament and a dark blue straw that turned up in the back and down in the front after the prevailing mode. Her appearance, taken in connection with the anti-shirt front remark, might lead one to the conclusion that she is by no means entitled to a front seat among the new woman fraternity. Which only goes to prove that it is never safe to size up a woman by her clothes or by the remarks she may make on the clothes question.
+++++For in spite of her disdain of the masculine shirt front, Mrs. Mulligan entertains and puts into practice views on home life and the bringing up of children which would make the average woman, new or old, open her eyes, and which are not at all suggestive of the butterfly type of woman. For instance, Mrs. Mulligan turns a cold shoulder to afternoon teas and fashionable society functions of any sort, although before her marriage, arrayed in $200 gowns, she did duty at many.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++Prefers to Work
+++++She gets no pleasure out of them, she says. They bore her. That she is sincere in the matter is proved by the fact that although her husband is abundantly able to support her luxury, she elects to trudge to a law office every day with him and work there from morning till night.
+++++It is her views on the bringing up of children that stamp her as a woman of originality.
+++++‘Since the news got out that we enlarged our offices so that our children could spend most of the day here instead of at the house,’ she said to a reporter, ‘we have been overrun with visitors who seem to think it the most remarkable thing in the world that a mother and father should plan not to be separated from their children all day long.’
+++++As she spoke she removed her modish hat and seated herself in a rocker in a small sitting room at the rear of her law offices. This room opens into a long yard laid out with flower beds. At the end of the yard is a building designated as a gymnasium. Before next winter it will be properly equipped. Just now the apparatus consists of only a punching bag and plenty of space to romp in.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++School at the Office
+++++Upstairs at what used to be the rear law office, is a modern school outfit — low tables, chairs and desks, a blackboard, and a schoolmaster who from 10 to 12 and from 1 to half past 2 o’clock, five days in the week, teaches the three ‘R’s’ and some other things to his three small nieces.
+++++The fourth little Mulligan girl, aged 3 who is the baby of the family, is not yet enrolled in the school. Nevertheless, she, like her sisters, spends most of her day at the law offices, thus leaving the big roomy home of Mr. and Mrs. Mulligan, less than a quarter of a mile away, in able possession of two servants and the children’s grandmother.
+++++At noon the children, in care of a nurse, go home for a hot dinner and get back again in time for afternoon school.
+++++‘When we occupied only one floor of this building for our offices,’ continued Mrs. Mulligan, ‘there was no room for the children, but by taking in the basement floor and controlling the yard privileges we can now have them with us without being crowded.’
+++++‘And you do not think it somewhat unusual that two busy lawyers and real estate dealers should care to combine a nursery and schoolroom with their regular business?’ Mrs. Mulligan was asked.
+++++‘Perhaps it is unusual, but I don’t see why it should be. I am never happier than when with my children, never quite satisfied when away from them.’
+++++++++++++++++++++++++The Old-Fashioned Idea
+++++‘Some persons might suggest that it is your duty to stay at home with your children and let Mr. Mulligan manage alone the business end of the partnership,’ was suggested.
+++++‘I know that is the old-fashioned idea, and it goes along with another once popular belief that necessarily there is something unfeminine about a married woman who chooses to follow a business or professional career when her husband is abundantly able to provide for her, especially a woman who has children.
+++++‘When we were married my intention was to stay at home like the ordinary housewife and to that end Mr. Mulligan took over the business, which has since been entirely in his name. But I was well known in this section and many of the old clients kept asking for me.
+++++‘I have had five children, but their coming did not interfere with my office work. And let me say right here that although I handle perhaps as much business as does my husband, I have never had the least desire to wear the breeches or carry the pocket book. I have no separate bank account, and whenever I need a dollar or a thousand dollars I must ask my husband for it. Were it not for his forethought probably all the real estate we own would be in his name, but he always insists in having every deed made out in our joint names.’
+++++++++++++++++++++++++Good for the Children
+++++‘Do you think it good for the children to be brought up in a business atmosphere?’
+++++‘That’s a big question, and one I have pondered a good deal, coming to this conclusion: Under such circumstances children may be robbed in a measure, so to speak, of their baby days and baby pleasures; but, on the other hand, they are going through an experience and trials they are bound to meet a little later on.
+++++‘A girl who is carefully shielded from every trouble, who is brought up in a rose colored nursery and never allowed to take part in anything more serious than a doll’s tea party; who is kept away from the dinner table and out of the company of adults except on rare occasions; whose adult relatives think of nothing but how to bring pleasure and amusement into her life, has a very poor chance, I think, of developing into a young woman able and willing to cope with problems which are not always rose colored.'”

“Proves Judge Is No Legal Eagle on Hats”

In 1888, in a letter to her female colleagues in the Equity Club, Lelia Josephine Robinson commented,  “One problem is not yet settled entirely to my satisfaction, and that is:  
Shall the woman attorney wear her hat when arguing a case or making a motion in court, or shall she remove it?

annakeeler

“bewitching white straw hat trimmed with tulle & feathers” — Times, 7/30/1897

+++++How frivolous the “bonnet question” seems, especially considering the fortitude of women who entered the legal profession in the late nineteenth century.  It raised, however, a weightier concern — “how to be at once a lady and a lawyer.”  Social convention dictated that ladies wear hats in public; professional convention dictated that lawyers remove their hats when entering the courtroom:  What was the woman lawyer to do?
+++++From 1895 through the 1960s (!!!), newspapers covered “the bonnet question,” reporting on how judges responded to (i.e., ignored, allowed, forbade) women’s “headgear” in the courtroom. Below is a news article, written by a fashion editor, about a confrontation between a woman lawyer and a male judge in 1963.

Des Moines, Register — 23 Nov. 1963
+++++“Considering the often depressing qualities of courtrooms, no woman would suppose there lived a judge who wouldn’t welcome a brightening touch amidst the gloom.
+++++But Judge Irving H. Saypol of New York State’s Supreme Court not only held attractive brunette lawyer Enid K. Gerling in contempt of court, he went on to give a written opinion unfavorable to her hats.
+++++Referring to a hearing more than a year ago, he cited ‘a large picture hat, more appropriate for an afternoon tea, or a lawn party, or some such social.
+++++Then he added, concerning the recent case in which he cited Miss Gerling for contempt:
+++++‘This time we have another grotesque hat situation, some kind of flamboyant turban with the many colors of Joseph’s coat, misplaced in any courtroom . . . There has been, and I can conceive, no other woman lawyer so encountered.
+++++However, conduct in the pattern of hats, bizarre and tending to courtroom disruption and perversion, is something no self-respecting judge can tolerate.
+++++Alas, Judge Saypol was no legal eagle when it came to describing hats. Miss Gerling, a well-dressed but conservatively attired lady, brought forth the offending hats for my inspection and the judge lost his case.
+++++The so-called picture hat was a Breton, which as any woman knows is a tailored hat with upturned brim, certainly nothing like a picture hat.gerlinghat The turban, actually a toque, was in several shades of one color, pink, not many colors, and hardly flamboyant.turbinlawyer
+++++‘I’m too small for exaggerated hats,’ said Miss Gerling, who was wearing a brown tweed suit and a gold velvet snap-brim hat with a crush crown and a small stitched brim that allowed her short, curly hair to show.
+++++A professional woman should wear hats,’ she said firmly. ‘They lend an air of status. I have about 40, and I buy a new one every time I get mad at a judge.
+++++She paused, reflected and said impishly, ‘If I get really mad, I buy six at once. Certainly none of the men lawyers mind my hats, nor the judges. Of course, I don’t wear one during jury trial. I want the jury to see my fact.’
+++++Miss Gerling is a remarkable woman on several counts. In college she paid her way with a mail order business. Then she was an air traffic controller, one of those brains who talk planes down onto the field.
+++++After getting her law degree she wanted to go into international air law but wound up in criminal law, which she has practiced for 11 years.
+++++Judge Saypol declared that she was ‘baiting’ the court with her hats, but Miss Gerling has personal attributes that don’t need the help of hats. Her eyes, complexion and personality could do all the baiting she wanted to exercise.
+++++The day I went to pay the fine for contempt I knew all the newspapers would be there, so I deliberately didn’t wear a hat,’ she said.
+++++‘I love clothes, but I wouldn’t think of dressing for court in anything more startling than a suit or jacket costume. I do wear what I call sentence hats. They’re the ones a judge has complimented previously. When I have to come to court to hear a sentence given, I wear that one again.’
+++++Judge Saypol’s hat judgment opens fascinating possibilities.
+++++Will he take it on himself to say what hats Miss Gerling may not wear in his court? Does he just plain not like girl lawyers? Perhaps this courtroom drama has only seen its first chapter.
+++++++++Florence de Santis, Editor of the Fashion League”

For much more on “the bonnet question,” see Virginia G. Drachman, Women Lawyers and the Origins of Professional Identity in America 23, 30, 127, 177-78, 260-261 (1993).

Early Native American Women Lawyers (or students of law)

Laura Lykins, Laura M. Cornelius, Lyda Burton Conley, and Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin — These were early Native American women lawyers (or students of law). Historical newspapers identify these women and offer culturally revealing descriptions of them.

21 August 1898 — Cincinnati Enquirerlykinslaura

“Miss Laura Lykins — The Only Indian Woman Practicing Law in the United States”
+++++There is only one Indian woman who is a practicing lawyer in the United States. She is Miss Laura Lykins, a pretty half-blood Shawnee Indian woman. She graduated from the Law Department of the Carlisle (Penn.) Indian School in June last, and then went to Oklahoma City, where she has been admitted to the bar and is very popular. She is 28 years old. She was born on the Shawnee Reservation in Kansas. Her father was a brother of Bluejacket, the famous old Indian Chief, who died last winter. Her mother was a white woman, and her maiden name was Lykins.”


25 February 1906 — Minneapolis Journallauracornelius

“Indian Girl to Study Law at Barnard:  Miss Cornelius, of the Wisconsin Oneida Tribe, Wouldn’t Be Anything Else than an Indian, and She Wants to Prevent a Great Tragedy — Wrong Ideas of White People.”
+++++“Miss Laura M. Cornelius, a full-blooded Indian of the Wisconsin Oneida tribe, has taught in the government Indian schools, and now an intense desire to help her people, whom she loves, admires, believes in, has brought her to New York to study law at Barnard college, where she enrolled Feb. 1.
+++++Miss Cornelius is unmistakably Indian in features and build, and ‘I am glad of it,’ she says.
+++++She is tall, lithe, wiry of frame. Her complexion is olive without color; her abundant hair, worn parted and drawn loosely back from her face in a heavy coil behind, is glossy and black; her eyes, very dark brown, are soft and kindly, rather beadlike and glittering, after the popular notion of what Indian eyes should be like.
+++++As with most persons who believe they have a mission to perform, Miss Cornelius’ personality suggests indomitable courage and sincerity. Her dress is disappointing; the picturesque touches one expects having been sacrificed to conventional fashion rules. But in most other respects she is faithful to Indian traditions and characteristics.
+++++Not Weaned from Her People
+++++‘I would not be anything but an Indian,’ she declares proudly. ‘I am not weaned from my people and never will be.
+++++‘More schooling than usually falls to the lot of an Indian woman and more contact with the Caucasian artificiality and insincerity have graduated me into what might be called a polite Indian, and the process, I sometimes think, has taken a lot out of me.
+++++‘The sincerity and simplicity of the Indian nature are crushed back as soon as he or she must do as the rest of the world does. The Indian living in a reservation can’t be anything but a reservation Indian — he can’t be himself.’
+++++‘Well, naturally, under such conditions he hasn’t much chance to swing a tomahawk,’ it was suggested.
+++++‘It is always like that,’ returned Miss Cornelius wearily. ‘Those who know little or nothing about the Indian remember only his deeds of violence while on the warpath and forget his magnanimity, his high sense of justice, his sincerity. They think of all Indians as a nomadic people. They do not understand that we have strong home ties and are a loving people.
+++++‘And they forget, too, that the tomahawk was the Indian’s one weapon of warfare, just as guns are the approved and much more deadly weapon of other peoples, and that the tomahawk was used in the way most suited to the weapon.’
+++++Praises Her Father.
+++++In answer to a question, Miss Cornelius continued:
+++++‘I owe much to my father’s ambitions. He, too, was ambitious to help his people; he himself struggled for an education and couldn’t get it.
+++++‘He went out and worked at manual labor with the whites in order to get money to educate himself and then after all sent the money to help those at home. With his own earnings he bought a small farm in Wisconsin near Green Bay, within the reservation, of course, and there I was born, my father later moving to the very borders of the reservation that I might attend a white school.
+++++‘From the cradle up I was impressed with one fact — I must get an education. And that I did get it was not at all surprising. Most Indian women, if they had the same opportunities, would do exactly as I have done.
+++++‘At the country school for white children I won a scholarship which gave me a course in an Episcopalian seminary at Fond du Lac, and afterward I studied a short time at Stanford university. I have taught in the government Indian schools and traveled more than once across the country in the interests of my people.
+++++‘No, I am not an Episcopalian.  I do not pin my allegiance to any particular denomination or creed.  My religion is this:  I believe in God, my minding my own business and in hustling for what one wants.’
+++++‘What things do you want for your people, and how do you expect to turn your legal knowledge when acquired, to their assistance?’ Miss Cornelius was asked.
+++++‘I dread answering those questions,’ was the hesitating reply. ‘I can say this much, however, that the cause which makes me willing and happy to undergo anything, if only it can be advanced, is in itself so grand that it pushes personal considerations to one side. But unfortunately most people have so little understanding of the Indian situation that it is very difficult to give in a few minutes talk a correct impression of how I, an Indian, stand toward it, and how I mean to work to assist it, how I live for almost no other purpose.’
+++++America’s Greatest Tragedy.
+++++‘To my mind the Indians are heroes who are living today the greatest tragedy ever know, and the transition of the Indian marks the grandest tragedy America will ever know.
+++++‘We are a passing people.  Never again will the Indian be reinstated as himself. What is more, the people who have brought about these conditions are unintelligent so far as knowledge of the Indian temperament and character go.  They don’t know us; they don’t know what it means to be killed alive.
+++++‘I am sick to death of the idea that because you feed the Indian and put him in clothes and send him to school the Indian problem is solved, when the fact remains that thus far it is the Indian alone of all the American people who portrays a forecast of extinction.
+++++‘The point is this:  We have parted with — been obliged to part with — certain things, many things.  Will the higher civilization, so-called, to which the Indian has been introduced, compensate for these things — that it has compensated?’
+++++Civilization Detrimental
+++++‘As practiced in behalf of the Indian, the higher civilization has been detrimental to his well being, you think?’
+++++‘I certainly do. In traveling across the continent I have had this end constantly in view; to become thoroly [sic] acquainted with every class of people who make up America, to study how you solve your industrial and social problems and learn the fundamental principles by which the country is governed.
+++++‘With the knowledge thus gained, combined with the legal knowledge I am here to get, I want to frame and to have put into actual practice a medium of statehood between the present Indian reservation conditions and American citizenship.  This medium must, of course, be established on an economic basis, and I believe firmly it can be done.  The only way to resuscitate a dying people is to bring life, industrial life, into their homes.’
+++++‘And so far you think they have not experienced this industrial life?’
+++++‘No. Between the rational system and American citizenship is a big gulf which the Indian does not know how to bridge.  The hotbeds of educational institutions alone cannot prepare the Indian for this change, nor teach him how to take so long a step.
+++++‘And I don’t mean to say that unaided I can do this work, but I certainly intend when my law course is finished to make other persons do it or help me to do it, whether they are Indians or whites. I have attempted nothing yet.
+++++‘I Want to Do.’
+++++‘At one time I had a marvelous ambition to write; but the more I live the more I know that words, words, words are futile. I want to do, not to preach.
+++++‘There are about 270,000 Indians in the west, and I can’t bear to have them little by little swallowed up by the scum of the American population.  If the Indian is to continue to amalgamate with the whites, let it be at least with his equals in sterling traits of character and intelligence.’
+++++Asked what, in her opinion, was the greatest lack in reservation life, Miss Cornelius answered:
+++++‘Industry. There is not motive, no incentive, no reward in the nature of the reservation for the man who will work.’
+++++‘And you thing this condition may be changed?’
+++++‘It must be changed or we will die.’
+++++When speaking of her prospective course at Barnard college and her stay in New York, Miss Cornelius admitted that she expected to enjoy both.
+++++‘I have made brief visits to New York twice before and I have several friends here to save me from homesickness. I love study, and in addition to law I may take up some other branches of study; for one of my ambitions is before long to have a big school of my own in the west for my own people.
+++++‘As to the desirability of New York as a place of residence I have made one discovery already: The life here tends to crush out individuality.'”

Miss Cornelius did not become a lawyer; she remained an activist throughout her life. For a summary of her life, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Cornelius_Kellogg


23 September 1906 — Des Moines Registerconleywiki

“Will Fight For Ancestors’ Graves: Indian Maid, a Lawyer, to give Battle in Courts.
Resists Government Order; Says Bones of Her Ancestors Shall Not Be Disturbed.”
+++++“‘One hundred thousand dollars would be no inducement whatever in buying my consent to the desecration of the graves of my parents.’
+++++So spoke Miss Lyda Conley of Kansas City, Kas., following the passage of the Indian appropriation bill, in which was included an order for the sale of Huron cemetery, an old Indian burial ground, for park purposes in Kansas City, Kas.
+++++Miss Conley’s ancestors were of the once famous Wyandotte Indian tribe.  She recently graduated from a law school, and is probably the only Indian maiden in the practice of law in the United States.
+++++Kansas City, Kas., from the viewpoint of sentiment, is one of the most historic and interesting towns in Kansas, with the possible exception of Lawrence.
+++++The parent town was the Indian village Wyandotte. The tribe of that name came to Kansas in 1843 from Ohio and Michigan. They bought the land, comprising 23,000 acres, from the Delawares who had preceded them. There were but few fullblood Indians among them. They were an industrious and religious people, and led in the civilization of the new country. In 1856 the Wyandotte gave up their tribal relations and became citizens of the United States. In the same year the town of Wyandotte, with the spelling changed to the French form, was formally organized. It lay entirely north of the Kaw.
+++++In 1868, Kansas City, Kas., was laid off south of the Kaw, on land then heavily timbered. Now it is the site of the packing houses and other industries and is known as West Bottoms. Armourdale, to the south and west of this district, and containing all of the large packing houses on in another district, was incorporated in 1882.
+++++Interesting Huron Cemetery
+++++In the heart of Kansas City, Kas., now embracing Wyandotte and Amourdale, on the principal business street, broad, level, straight Minnesota avenue, lies a block known as Huron place, named for the one-time powerful ancestors of the Wyandottes. This block is unoccupied save for the Carnegie library, standing to the east of the center of its east half, a few business houses on its northeast and northwest corners, a church on its southwest corner, and the foundations of a new hotel going up on its southeast corner.
+++++This east half block has been graded down many feet, but the western half is left in its original height, and is the site of the old Huron cemetery, the burial place of the founders and early settlers of the town. Most of the monuments bear date of the decade following 1844. In these ten years there were 400 burials. Under the monuments, undisturbed by the traffic noises, sleep the city’s fathers, Chief Tauromee, Chief Splitlog, the Armstrongs, the Northrups, the Walkers and the Clarks. All of these are further commemorated by streets and avenues bearing their names.
+++++The larges and handsomest of the monuments was erected to the memory of a daughter of Silas Armstrong, the great quarter-blood chief of the Wyandottes, who was also president of the original Wyandotte Township company. The inscription on the granite shaft tells its own pathetic story.
+++++ANTOINETTE
+++++Daughter of
+++++SILAS AND ZELINDA ARMSTRONG
+++++and Wife of
+++++T. B. BARNES
+++++DIED OCT., 1882
+++++Aged 24 years and 7 months
+++++And Her Infant Daughter.
+++++Under this a stanza so dimmed by time as to be nearly illegible is followed by the quaint couplet:
+++++Thou wast too good to live on earth with me.
+++++And I was not good enough to die with thee.
+++++In the next enclosure, under a granite shaft, lie the young wife’s parents, their inscriptions bearing a later date.  Silas Armstrong’s epitaph recites, among other virtues, that he was ‘a devout Christian and a good Mason.’
+++++Other handsome monuments are those of the Northrups, Andrus B. and Hiram M., shafts of red granite, and are a considerable distance apart. These are a few of the monuments now standing.
+++++Many of the small headstones lie prostrate, mostly broken.  Some of the graves are only to be detected by depressions of the ground, many of these so grass-grown that they are not seen till the foot sinks into them.  A path leads right over one grave — that of a young woman.
+++++An aged custodian wanders about or sits in the shade of the walnuts and oaks. It was found necessary to have a caretaker to keep out the rowdies, who might carouse, or the ball playing street urchins. A few cows peacefully browse over the grass so far as the radius of their tether permits.
Rise in Value Ominous
+++++And it is on this resting place of the Indian dead, because of its great rise in value, that the white man has cast covetous eyes.
+++++During the last congress a proposition to transfer Huron cemetery to Kansas City, Kas., for a city park was incorporated in the Indian appropriation bill.  This was done primarily, it is said, at the request of the council of a portion of the Wyandottes, who, in 1868, moved to Indian territory.  Some of these had resumed their tribal relations, and time and space having weakened the hold of the cemetery on their affections, they allowed their council to take this action.  The bill authorizing the sale passed.
+++++The land was placed under the care of the secretary of the interior to be sold ‘under such rules as he may prescribe.’  The bill provides that the remains shall be removed to Quindaro cemetery, which, however, is not an Indian burial ground, but belongs by treaty to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
+++++In case of a sale, some of the Indian survivors had planned to buy some two acres about twelve miles from the city and remove their dead to it, building a large vault for the unknown dead, and putting up appropriate monuments to their own.  They further intend to invest a sufficient sum that the income may keep up the cemetery after they, too, are gathered to their fathers.
+++++But others of the Indian citizens of Kansas City, Kas., say they will not sign away their right. The treaty of 1856 secured Huron cemetery ‘to them and their heirs forever,’ and they argue that though the Indian territory people, having resumed their tribal relations, are bound by the action of their council, they themselves not being so bound, will have to sign as individuals, and this, for one, Miss Conley declines to do.
Ancestor Captured by Indians
+++++Many years ago, when Ohio was a hunting ground, Miss Conley’s great-great-grandfather, whose name was Zane, was captured by the Wyandottes. Though he was only 18 years old, preparations were being made to burn him at the stake, when the chief’s young daughter made a plea that he be saved for her husband.
+++++This condition was accepted, and the youth was allowed to go to his home to say goodbye to his people. His family tried to persuade him not to return to the dusky maiden, but his word, and possibly his heart, was given, and he went back to the tribe.
+++++Mrs. Conley’s grandmother was a beautiful white woman, and she herself is only one-thirty-second Indian.  In 1902 she graduated with honor from the Kansas City School of Law, and is prepared to fight her case.”

Conley took her case “all the way up to the United States Supreme Court.”

For more on Lyda Conley, see
Kim Dayton, “Trespassers Beware! Lyda Burton Conley and the Battle for Huron Place Cemetery,” 8 Yale J. Law & Feminism (1995), Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlf/vol8/iss1/2; and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyda_Conley


8 March 1929 — Courier-Journal

“Indian Girls Score in Work; Woman Who Studied Law at 49 in Charge of Bureau Transportation”
+++++“From tepee to concert stage has not been a difficult step for Indian ‘princesses’ who have flung aside war paint for rouge. The way has been a bit more difficult for daughters of Indian chieftains and others who have chosen careers in the business world.
+++++One of the most outstanding examples of an Indian girl who has achieved success is that of Mrs. Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin, who was born in a Chippewa tepee in North Dakota and now is in charge of transportation in the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Though her hair is grey, her eyes are as alive and bright as in the days when her father, who was one-quarter French, urged her to mingle with white people and learn their ways.
+++++Seated at her desk in the Department of the Interior, Mrs. Baldwin took time to tell of her career.
+++++‘I took my law course at the Washington College of Law when I was 49,’ she says, her bright eyes snapping. ‘I believe that when opportunity comes a person is never too old to take advantage of it. Anything that I have accomplished is due to the fact that I am an Indian, not in spite of it.
+++++‘My grandfather was Pierre Bottineau, a noted scout who went with the Lewis Clark expedition into the Northwest. My own father, John B. Bottineau, was one of the first justices of the peace in Minneapolis. He started the town of Red Lake Falls. He always felt that he had been handicapped when a boy by being kept on a reservation and determined that his children should have an education and mingle with people. So we were sent to school.’ . . .
+++++According to cold statistics at the bureau, the Indian ‘princess’ is only a myth and never has existed save in the sentimental imaginations of white men.”

For a very little more on Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin, see
http://www.fofweb.com/History/MainPrintPage.asp?Pin=ENAIT037&DataType=Indian&WinType=Free and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Louise_Bottineau_Baldwin

“Woman’s Rights Horror” – Female Lawyers

27 February 1869 — Planters’ Banner

“Female Lawyers. — The Louisville Courier-Journal says:
+++++The last phase of the woman’s rights horror is the admission of a young lady to the St. Louis Law School. Nothing would be more likely to melt a jury than the appeals of youth and beauty in behalf of the offenders against the law. Where is the judge whose opinion could not be warped and he himself twisted around the dainty little finger of a fledgling legal duck of eighteen summers?
+++++In a breach of promise case your female lawyer would be overwhelming, her capacity to point the villainy of a faithless swain being derived from a practical experience perhaps. The young lady who has just been admitted to the St. Louis school has, however, no intention of becoming an attorney, a solicitor, or a barrister at law, but a professor! She will expound Blackstone and explain Coke upon Littleton to the future chief justices and attorney generals of the country.”