The Woman's Journal, 1870-1931

Hide Profile

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.

From the guide to the Woman's Rights Collection (WRC), (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Woman's Journal (1870-1931). Records, 1888-1948 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Blackwell, Alice Stone, 1857-1950 person
associatedWith Blackwell, Howard Lane person
associatedWith Ryan, Agnes E., 1878-1954 person
associatedWith Woman Citizen corporateBody
associatedWith Woman's Column corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country

Corporate Body

Related Descriptions


Ark ID: w6bq3bnz

SNAC ID: 71307064