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Rare Book and Special Collections Division



The Domestic Sphere
Religion and Spirituality
Reform Efforts
arrow graphicWomen's Rights Newpapers
Susan B. Anthony Collection
NAWSA Collection
Women's Education
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Working Women
Women in Popular Culture
Collections Formed by Women
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Women's Rights Newpapers
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“The Anti and the Snowball—Then and Now.” Fredrikke S. Palmer. From Agnes E. Ryan, The Torch Bearer, page 58. (Boston: Woman's Journal and Suffrage News, 1916; JK1881.N357 sec. 7:1, no. 20 NAWSA). Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

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The pages of the early women's rights newspapers offer us a window on the beginning of that long struggle. The Lily (Seneca Falls, N.Y., 1849-51; HV5285.L5), “devoted to the interests of woman,” was initially begun by Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894) as a temperance newspaper soon after the Seneca Falls women's rights convention. Regular contributions by Elizabeth Cady Stanton quickly transformed it into the first women's rights newspaper and a champion of the dress reform now associated with its editor.

In 1853 Paulina Wright Davis (1813-1876) began publishing The Una: A Paper Devoted to the Elevation of Woman (Providence, R.I., 1853-55; HQ1101.U5 Anthony) in Rhode Island and then moved it to Boston. In the prospectus on the first page of the first issue, February 1, 1853, Davis explains that The Una signifies the truth she will seek in “discussing the rights, sphere, duty, and destiny of woman, fully and fearlessly.”

The Revolution (New York: Anthony, 1868-71; HN51.R5 Anthony; JK1881.N357 sec. 1, nos. 2-6) , easily the most radical of women's rights periodicals, was founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1868. Demanding “Principle, not Policy; Justice, not Favors,” the Revolution advocated not only universal suffrage, but also equal pay and an eight-hour work day. Anthony's personal copy of the fifth volume (January-May 1870) is inscribed to her mother: “Lucy Read Anthony, from her ‘Strong Minded’ Daughter . . . Dec. 25th 1870.” When she donated this volume to the Library of Congress in 1903, Anthony further inscribed it: “This was the end—May 26, 1870 of my experiment in newspaperdom.”4

In 1870 in Boston, Lucy Stone began the more moderate, and more successful Woman's Journal, which became the official voice of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1890 and continued publication under modified titles and shifting financial support until 1931 (JK1881.N357 sec. 1, nos. 7-68 NAWSA) .

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