You are, or you are not the President of The National University Law School. If you are its President I wish to say to you that I have been passed through the curriculum of study of that school, and am entitled to, and demand my Diploma. If you are not its President then I ask you to take your name from its papers, and not hold out to the world to be what you are not.
Belva Lockwood (1830–1917), U.S. lawyer and political activist. As quoted in The Female Experience, ch. 76, by Gerda Lerner (1977).
Written in an 1873 letter to Ulysses S. Grant, who was then President of the United States and therefore also President of the National University Law School. Lockwood had been among the first women admitted to the school, but after completing the course of study along with one other woman, she was denied her diploma because of her sex. Following her petition to Grant, she received her diploma and was later admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia. In 1879, after a three-year fight for admission, she became the first woman to practice before the U. S. Supreme Court. In 1884 and 1888, she ran for President of the United States as the candidate of the National Equal Rights Party. She also claimed to be the first woman in the District of Columbia to ride a bicycle.