Jordan, Elizabeth Garver, 1867-1947

Alternative names
Birth 1867-05-09
Death 1947-02-24

Biographical notes:

American journalist and novelist.

From the description of Autograph letters signed (3) : New York, to F.A. Duneka, 1908 Dec. 23 and [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270492048

Elizabeth Garver Jordan (1867-1947) was an American author, editor of Harper's Bazaar, and suffragist.

From the description of Elizabeth Garver Jordan papers, 1891-1945. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122517413

Student at University of Maine.

From the description of Folklore paper, 1964. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70950885

Elizabeth Garver Jordan, journalist and suffragist, was born on May 9, 1865 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the elder of two daughters of William Frank Jordan and Margaretta Garver. Shortly after graduating from St. Mary's High School, Jordan entered business school to learn shorthand. She secured her first job editing the women's page of Peck's Sun, owned and operated by George W. Peck. She held her next position as secretary to the Milwaukee superintendent of schools while concurrently reporting for The St. Paul Globe and the Chicago Tribune .

In 1890, Jordan moved to New York City and joined the staff of The World . Her first major interview was with Caroline Scott Harrison, wife of President Benjamin Harrison. This interview was considered a major scoop because Mrs. Harrison rarely gave interviews. Impressed with her performance, The World sent Jordan to the mountain regions of Virginia and Tennessee to write an account of the inhabitants. The result was a series of sympathetic articles. Besides these accomplishments, Jordan was well known for her column True Stories of the News that chronicled everyday life in the city. She also covered the Lizzie Borden murder trial and in that same year wrote a series of articles on tenement conditions in New York City, published under the title The Submerged Tenth (1893).

While in her thirties, Jordan was chosen to be the editor of Harper's Bazar (1900-1913). After William Randolph Hearst acquired the magazine in 1913, Jordan remained with its former publisher, Harper and Brothers as literary advisor. In this capacity she was credited with accepting Sinclair Lewis' first novel Our Mr. Wrenn (1914) for publication. She was also responsible for bringing the work of women novelists to the public, including the works of Zona Gale and Dorothy Canfield Fisher.

Jordan campaigned for the women's suffrage movement as a speaker, writer and editor of The Sturdy Oak, a composite novel by fourteen American writers who supported women's rights. She solicited the authors and contributors who included Fannie Hurst, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Mary Heaton Vorse, Alice Duer Miller, Ethel Watts Mumford, and William Allen White. The novel was published by Henry Holt & Co. (1917) and later sold to Collier's Weekly for serial publication (1917).

Jordan eventually left Harper and Brothers to work as an editorial director for Goldwyn Pictures. She held this position briefly. During her entire life Jordan remained very active and continued to write novels. Her memoir Three Rousing Cheers (1938), outlined her rich and varied life. Jordan died on February 24, 1947 in her home at 36 Gramercy Park in New York City. Never married, she was survived by her only immediate relative, Mrs. Edward Beyer. Jordan was buried in Florence, Massachusetts, her favorite summer retreat.

From the guide to the Elizabeth Garver Jordan papers, 1891-1945, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)


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  • Spiritualists--Folklore
  • Buck Monument (Bucksport, Me.)
  • American literature--20th century
  • Folklore
  • Devil
  • Indians of North America--Folklore
  • Names, geographical
  • Authors, American


  • Editors


  • Maine (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Maine--Harmony (as recorded)
  • Maine--Indian Island (Penobscot County) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Maine--Orono (as recorded)
  • Maine--Dover-Foxcroft (as recorded)