About Carrie Sylvester Kilgore (Burnham)
Carrie Burnham Kilgore (1838-1909)
First woman to graduate from the Universitity of Pennsylvania with a law degree (LL.B.) and the first woman to practice law in both Philadelphia and Pennsylvania; one of the first women to be admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and argued for a woman's right to vote before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court; first woman in New York to earn a medical degree.
Born in Vermont, orphaned at twelve, she financed her own education by teaching and domestic work. Admitted to the Bellevue Hospital clinics, she became the first woman to receive a medical degree in the State of New York (1865). In Philadelphia she taught in a "French School for Young Ladies" and began studying law with Damon Kilgore, whom she married after entering into an "ante-nuptial contract." After graduating from law school she was admitted to the Orphans' Court of Philadelphia and to the state Supreme Court and all the lower courts after an act of the legislature (1885), whom she had addressed on the admission of women several years earlier. She was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court in 1890. A year before her death she was the only woman passenger in the first balloon ascension of the Philadelphia Aeronautical Recreation Society.