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Fleming, Lethia Cousins (7 Nov. 1876–22 Sept. 1963), suffragist, Republican party organizer and civic activist, was born Lethia Henrietta Elizabeth Cousins in Tazewell, Virginia, the first of the eight children of James Archibald Cousins and Fannie Taylor Cousins. Her father, a free-born man of color, had been impressed into the Confederate army; after the Civil War he moved to Tazewell, where he prospered as a brick mason. Lethia attended high school in Ironton, Ohio, and Morristown College in Tennessee. On completing her studies, she became a teacher, first in Virginia, then in McDowell and Cabell counties, just across the state line in West Virginia. In these predominantly African American communities, where black political participation belied the rise of Jim Crow, Lethia Cousins taught for around two decades, joined women’s organizations, and began her work for women’s suffrage....

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Foltz, Clara Shortridge (16 July 1849–02 September 1934), first woman lawyer on the Pacific Coast, suffrage leader, and founder of the public defender movement, was born in Lafayette, Indiana, the only daughter of Elias Shortridge and Talitha Harwood. Trained as a lawyer, Elias Shortridge turned instead to preaching among the Disciples of Christ and in 1860 became pastor to a well-established church in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. For a few years, Clara attended the progressive Howe’s Academy until her father was expelled from his congregation for unorthodoxy. She then became a teacher herself in nearby Illinois before eloping—at the age of fifteen—with a handsome Union soldier, Jeremiah Foltz. During hard years on an Iowa farm, she bore four children....