Events Calendar

Lecture: "A Woman Presidential Candidate - In 1884"

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education presents a lecture by Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner about 1884 presidential candidate Belva Lockwood.

Date: September 18, 2019 - September 18, 2019
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Basil 135

Hosted by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education

Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner

The lecture is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, in Basil 135. Faculty interested in bringing classes should RSVP to Carol Ziegler at

About the Lecture
Disgruntled feminists formed the Equal Rights Party in 1884 when both the Republicans and Democrats continually ignored women's concerns. Presidential candidate Belva Lockwood declared that "It is quite time that we had our own party; our own platform, and our own nominees," even if they couldn't vote for them. With the exception of the territory of Wyoming, it was against the law for women to vote in every state and territory in the union.

Woman suffrage, of course, was a central feature of the new party's platform, along with "equal and exact justice for all citizens, regardless of color, sex or nationality."

Polls showing that women are more likely than men to favor a reduction in military spending wouldn't surprise Lockwood, who called for mandatory, binding arbitration of all disputes between nations. "War is a relic of barbarism belonging to the past," she insisted.  

Economic security and financial justice lead the concerns of women voters today, who might enjoy casting their ballot for the Equal Rights party's platform of increased wages, government control of transportation and communication, and an end to monopoly, "the tendency of which is to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer."

Lockwood never made it to the White House. "Reforms are slow, but they never go backwards," she reflected. "Their originators may die, but the reform will live to bless millions yet unborn."

As the 2020 election approaches, Lockwood provides a lens through which to explore the ongoing creation of democracy in our country.

About Dr. Roesch Wagner
Awarded one of the first doctorates in the country for work in women's studies (UC Santa Cruz) and a founder of one the first college-level women's studies programs in the United States (CSU Sacramento), Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner has taught women's studies courses for 50 years. She edited the intersectional anthology, The Women's Suffrage Movement (Penguin Classics, 2019) and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in the St. John Fisher College Executive Leadership Doctoral Program.

She wrote the faculty guide for Not for Ourselves Alone, Ken Burns' documentary on Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and has appeared in that film and numerous history films and radio programs. Dr. Wagner was selected as one of "21 Leaders for the 21st Century" by Women's E-News in 2015. She serves on the New York Suffrage Centennial Commission.

Founder and Executive Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center for Social Justice Dialogue in Fayetteville, New York, she received the Katherine Coffey Award for outstanding service to museology from the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums in 2012.