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M-133, reel D49; WRC

Woman's Journal (Boston, Mass. : 1870). Records in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1888-1948: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

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Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
December 2005

© 2005 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: M-133, reel D49; WRC
Note: ORIGINALS CLOSED. USE MICROFILM. REQUEST AS: M-133, reel D49.
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: The Woman's Journal, 1870-1931
Title: Woman's Rights Collection (WRC)
Quantity: Folders 1104-1106f
Abstract: Correspondence, statements, subscription solicitations, etc., of the Woman's Journal, founded by Lucy Stone and Henry Browne Blackwell, suffragists and abolitionists. These records are part of the Woman's Rights Collection.

Acquisition Information:

These papers of the Woman's Journal fill four folders of the Woman's Rights Collection, which was given to Radcliffe College in August 1943 and formed the nucleus of the Women's Archives, later the Schlesinger Library. The material in this series was prepared for microfilming in November 1990 by Kim Brookes. It was microfilmed as part of a Schlesinger Library/University Publications of America project.

Preferred citation for publication:

Woman's Journal (Boston, Mass. : 1870) Records in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1888-1948; item description, dates. WRC, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

HISTORY

Lucy Stone and her husband, Henry Browne Blackwell, founded the Woman's Journal, a weekly newspaper, in 1870. Mary A. Livermore was among the editors in the first year. From 1872 until 1893, when LS died, LS and HBB edited the WJ; they were aided by Julia Ward Howe between 1872 and 1879. LS and HBB's daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell, started work as an editor in 1883 and, after her father's death in 1909, became the sole editor until 1917. In 1887, ASB began editing the Woman's Column.
In addition to sales and subscriptions, the WJ relied on contributions to produce a newspaper national in both scope and readership. Although there was never enough advertising to secure its financial well-being, the WJ would not accept ads for tobacco, liquor, or medicines. Between 1908 and 1915 circulation jumped from 2,400 to 27,600. In the early 1910s, suffragists, licensed as "newsboys," sold the newspaper on the Boston Common. The WJ hired Margaret Foley, a popular suffrage speaker, to travel throughout the south and midwest promoting the journal.
At its founding, the WJ absorbed the Woman's Advocate. In 1910 it absorbed the Progress, the National American Woman Suffrage Association's publication, and until 1912 the journal was subtitled "official organ of the National American Woman Suffrage Association." During that brief period, NAWSA provided managerial and financial support. From 1912 to 1916, the newspaper was called Woman's Journal and Suffrage News. In 1917, after years of financial problems, WJ stockholders sold the newspaper to the Leslie Woman Suffrage Commission, which merged the WJ, Woman Voter, and National Suffrage News to form The Woman Citizen. The official organ of NAWSA, 1917-1920, the WC was published weekly, biweekly, and finally monthly until December 1927, when it was renamed The Woman's Journal. The WJ ceased publication in June 1931.
For additional historical information, see The Torch Bearer: A Look Forward and Back at the Woman's Journal, the Organ of the Woman's Movement, written by managing editor Agnes E. Ryan in 1916. The Torch Bearer includes a list of early stockholders and a description of the production process. A copy may be found in #69 of the Margaret Foley papers, MC 404, at the Schlesinger Library.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

This series contains correspondence and printed material that document the financial struggles and changing affiliations of the WJ between 1911 and 1917.

INVENTORY

Additional catalog entries

The following catalog entries represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this series. An entry for each appears in the Harvard On Line Library Information System (HOLLIS) and other automated bibliographic databases.
Blackwell, Alice Stone, 1857-1950
Blackwell, Howard Lane
Ryan, Agnes E., 1878-1954
Woman Citizen
Woman's Column
Women-Suffrage-United States-Periodicals

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