The Woman’s Tribune

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. For the next year, it was the official publication of the Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association.  The Tribune and its 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. In addition, 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. Second, the Tribune was probably the first woman’s paper published by a woman. Finally, the Tribune was 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.

Colby published the newspaper in Beatrice between August 1883 through November 1889 until she moved to Washington D.C. with her husband’s appointment to the Federal Government. For the period  December 1889 through 1892 she commuted back and forth between Washington, D.C. and Beatrice, all the while continuing to publish The Woman’s Tribune. She left Beatrice for good in January 1893 and settled for the next ten years in Washington, D.C.  In 1904, Colby moved the publication of the Tribune to Portland, Oregon, where she lived until the paper ceased in 1909.

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

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Collection Notes

This collection is broken down into five parts as shown here:

  • Part I: 1883-1887
  • Part II: 1888-1892
  • Part III: 1893-1897
  • Part IV: 1898-1902
  • Part V: 1903-1909
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