'A Kentucky Portia': Sophonisba Breckinridge, First Woman Lawyer in the Bluegrass State
In 1897, the Texas Daily Herald ran a story about a native Lexingtonian under the headline “A Kentucky Portia.” This subject of the story was Sophonisba Breckinridge, the first woman lawyer in the Bluegrass State. This presentation will address Breckinridge's lengthy struggle to achieve her legal ambitions, her brief and troubled legal career, and her lasting legislative legacy. Ultimately, the “Kentucky Portia” would become an important and effective advocate for social justice in modern America.
Anya Jabour is Regents Professor of History at the University of Montana and the author of Sophonisba Breckinridge: Championing Women's Activism in Modern America
, the first biography of a "forgotten feminist" who advanced women's rights, racial justice, and social welfare in twentieth-century America. Her scholarship has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Huffington Post. The author of numerous books and articles about women, families, and children in the nineteenth-century South, Jabour served as an on-set historical advisor for the PBS Civil War miniseries, Mercy Street. She also served as the state coordinator for an Online Biographical Dictionary of Suffrage Activists, soliciting and editing more than 80 biographical sketches of lesser-known suffragists. She is Director of the Public History Program at the University of Montana.