Woman of the Century/Phoebe Couzins

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

COUZINS. Miss Phœbe, lawyer, was born in St Louis, Mo , in 184- and has passed most of her life in that city On her father's side her ancestry is French Huguenot, and on her mother's side English She inherits her broad views of justice from both parents. Her mother, Mrs Adaline Couzins, was among the first to offer her services as volunteer aid to the Sanitary Commission in the Civil War, and Phœbe also was active in relieving the miseries of the wounded and sick soldiers. They served after many of the great battles of that conflict, and during those years the daughter was studying the question of prevention of war, and she came to the conclusion that woman, clothed with political powers, would be as powerful to prevent war, as, without such powers, she is to ameliorate its horrors and evils. In 1869 her ideas were crystallized in the Woman's Franchise Organization, which included some of the best and most intelligent women of St. Louis. Miss Couzins at that time began to think of entering some profession. Acting on the advice of Judge John M Krum, she chose law and applied for admission to the Law School of Washington University, in St. Louis, in 1860. She had been educated in the public schools and high school of St, Louis, and the board of directors and the law faculty of the university were familiar with her career. Her application for admission was granted without a dissenting voice, thus giving the St. Louis university the honor of first opening a law-school to the women of the United States. Miss Couzins was an earnest student in the law-school, and she was graduated in 1871, and a public dinner was given to signalize the event. She did not enter largely into the practice of law, but she was one of the few who presented their cases to General Butler, when he was chairman of the judiciary committee of Congress in Washington. In 1876 she entered the lecture field as an advocate of woman suffrage, and her record was a brilliant one. She has been admitted to practice in all the courts of Missouri, in the United States District Court, and in the courts of Kansas and Utah. She has held positions of trust and honor. She was at one time United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Missouri, the first woman in the United States appointed to a federal executive office. receiving her commission from Justice Miller. Two governors of Missouri have appointed her commissioner for that State on the National Board of Charities and Correction. Superintendent of the Eleventh Census Robert P. Porter appointed her manager of the division of mortgage indebtedness for the city of St. Louis. She was appointed in July, 1890. a lady commissioner for Missouri on the World's Fair Board of Directors.