Womans Trib - Emma

More Women’s History: The Woman’s Tribune, 1883-1909

The Woman’s Tribune, with its motto in the masthead: “Equality Before The Law,” was launched by Clara Bewick Colby from her home in Beatrice, Nebraska in August 1883. The Woman’s Tribune and Colby as publisher – also editor, typesetter, and correspondent — would become one of America’s most outspoken proponents of Women’s Suffrage and political rights.

Clara Bewick Colby

Clara Bewick Colby

The Woman’s Tribune’s audience included many of the leading activists within the Women’s Suffrage movement, as well as potential suffragist converts among women in the trans-Mississippi West. Colby worked hard to establish the newspaper’s philosophical identity at a time when the Suffrage Movement was characterized by opposing, often vitriolic, factions.

Susan B. Anthony, on more than one occasion, considered The Woman’s Tribune as the organ of the National Woman Suffrage Association, even though the Tribune was never formally affiliated with any national group.

As the second-longest-running woman suffrage newspaper, it was significant for several reasons –

  • Unlike many other Suffrage newspapers, the Tribune was designed as a general circulation newspaper.
  • Colby believed that her newspaper should connect suffrage to other issues of importance and interest to women, particularly to the rural women of the Midwest and West.
  • Political and international issues were presented in the newspaper – Colby was the first officially-recognized woman war correspondent representing a woman’s newspaper during the Spanish-American War.
  • The Tribune was probably the first woman’s paper fully published by a woman.
  • Highly regarded by Suffrage Movement leaders. Elizabeth Cady Stanton considered it “the best suffrage paper ever published” and allowed it to serialize two of her most important works, her autobiography and The Woman’s Bible.

This collection comprises the complete run of all 724 issues subdivided into five parts by date range:

  • The Woman’s Tribune, Part I: 1883-1887
  • The Woman’s Tribune, Part II: 1888-1892
  • The Woman’s Tribune, Part III: 1893-1897
  • The Woman’s Tribune, Part IV: 1898-1902
  • The Woman’s Tribune, Part V: 1903-1909

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

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