Emily Murphy (1868-1933)

Emily Murphy

"Whenever I don't know whether to fight or not, I fight."

Born in Cookstown, Ontario, Emily (Ferguson) Murphy was already an accomplished author by the time she arrived in Edmonton in 1907. A mother of two, she spearheaded campaigns for women's property rights, and in 1916 she was the first woman in the British Empire to be appointed a police magistrate. During this time, a lawyer repeatedly challenged her rulings, claiming that she was not legally a "person." In 1927 she led the legal challenge now known as the Persons Case.

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