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Clara Dorothy Bewick Colby
Birth: Aug. 5, 1846
Cheltenham
Cheltenham Borough
Gloucestershire, England
Death: Sep. 7, 1916
Palo Alto
Santa Clara County
California, USA

Social Activist. Clara Bewick Colby championed the cause of feminism and woman's suffrage for over forty years. She said of equal rights, "it's a matter of simple justice." She arrived in the United States in 1865 with her maternal grandparents settling in Windsor, Wisconsin. She enrolled in the normal department set up for women at the University of Wisconsin in 1865, later entering the classical courses designed for men. She was initially denied the right to graduate, then subsequently graduated valedictorian of the first class of women to receive a bachelor of philosophy degree in 1869. After graduation she was hired as a Latin and History instructor by the University, later leaving after a dispute concerning gender pay equity, removing to Beatrice, Nebraska with her husband. She and her husband adopted three children, one being an infant Lakota Sioux her husband found in the dead arms of her mother after the battle of Wounded Knee where General Leonard Colby directed the burial detail. She and her husband divorced in 1906 after a separation of ten years. Her divorce and native american daughter were frequently used against her by detractors. Her woman's rights activity began when she helped establish the free public library in Beatrice and initiated a series of lectures, bringing people like Susan B. Anthony to Nebraska. In 1881 she helped organize the Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association, and served as its president from 1885 to 1889. In 1883 Colby published the Woman's Tribune, a suffrage newspaper and continued its publication for over twenty-five years. In 1888 at the time of the great International Council of Women in Washington, Colby published the Woman's Tribune daily during the convention. This was the first daily news paper published and written by a woman in the United States. Although the paper was never formally affiliated with any national group, Susan B. Anthony called it "the organ of the National Woman Suffrage Association." Colby was a public speaker and member of the National Woman's Press Association, the International Woman's Union, the Association for the Advancement of Women, the Federal Suffrage Association, and the International New Thought Alliance, holding officer positions in several of these groups. She spoke regularly at conventions between 1886 and 1914. She testified before congressional committees and worked in several suffrage campaigns, becoming one of the chief spokespersons for federal suffrage, arguing that woman suffrage was granted in preexisting constitutional provisions, thereby negating the need for state action of a constitutional amendment. She also worked abroad, serving as a delegate to the International Congress of Women, the first International Moral Education Congress, the first International Races Congress, the International Woman Suffrage Alliance and the International Peace Congress. Susan B. Anthony called Colby a suffragist lieutenant, one of the women who was not themselves a national officer, but influenced movement leaders and members. Anthony said that no one wrote, edited, or spoke better than Bewick Colby. She died at the home of her sister in Palo Alto, California. Four years after her death women were given the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment. (bio by: Shari Hanson Frey) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Leonard Wright Colby (1846 - 1924)*
 
 Children:
  Clarence Chilton Colby (____ - 1923)*
  Zintkala Nuni Lost Bird (1890 - 1919)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Windsor Congregational Cemetery
Windsor
Dane County
Wisconsin, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Shari Hanson Frey
Record added: Aug 26, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 41192206
Clara Dorothy <i>Bewick</i> Colby
Added by: Shari Hanson Frey
 
Clara Dorothy <i>Bewick</i> Colby
Added by: rljones
 
Clara Dorothy <i>Bewick</i> Colby
Added by: rljones
 
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- Ladysmn
 Added: Jan. 14, 2017
Brave suffragist and wonderful mother!
- stephanie
 Added: Sep. 13, 2016
Yes justice.
- J. Bruce Fox
 Added: Aug. 25, 2016
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