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EXHIBITS
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Jan 1st
2016
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Oct 31st
2016
Women and the Law in Louisiana and Beyond

The timeline of Women and the Law in Louisiana features information and images about various milestones that influenced the legal status of women in the United States, particularly in Louisiana. The exhibition highlights women judges in Louisiana from the 1940s, Anna Veters Levy, through to the current Chief Justice, Bernette J. Johnson.

 

Women and the Law Timeline, 1635-2013. Compiled by Carol Billings, Georgia Chadwick, and others. Louisiana Supreme Court Historical Museum, Louisiana Supreme Court Library.

Women and the Law Timeline, 1635-2013. Compiled by Carol Billings, Georgia Chadwick, and others. Louisiana Supreme Court Historical Museum, Louisiana Supreme Court Library.

This timeline details specific accomplishments of Louisiana women set within an extensive compilation of steps representing the progress of American women in respect to the law. The timeline dates from the 1638 immigration of Margaret Brent to Maryland and her appointment as “his Lordship’s attorney” and ends with the swearing in of Bernette J. Johnson as the 25th Chief Justice and the first African American Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. In between these two leaders, biographies of over one hundred women can be viewed.

 

Online here, you see Caroline Merrick, one of Louisiana’s staunchest supporters of suffrage, as well as images and artifacts from national and local events and institutions from the period 1879 to 1895.

 

Memorial window for Blessed Frances-Joseph Gaudet, St, Luke’s Episcopal Church, New Orleans, LA. Photograph, 2011. Louisiana Supreme Court Historical Museum, Louisiana Supreme Court Library.

Memorial window for Blessed Frances-Joseph Gaudet, St, Luke’s Episcopal Church, New Orleans, LA. Photograph, 2011. Louisiana Supreme Court Historical Museum, Louisiana Supreme Court Library.

Raised in New Orleans by parents of African American and Native American descent, Frances Joseph-Gaudet (1861-1934) dedicated herself to a life of social work and prison reform. In 1894 as a young widow, she founded the Prison Reform Association to assist both black and white prisoners who had been unjustly accused.

 

She was the first woman in Louisiana to support juvenile prisoners; her efforts resulted in the formation of the juvenile court system. She also purchased a farm on Gentilly Road and established the Colored Industrial Home and School.

Law Library of Louisiana