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Constitution, Texas has a number of women journalists, most of whom are new-comers in their profession; but one of them, Mrs. S. L. McPherson, in 1877, established and still edits and publishes at Sherman the Daily Democrat. For the two or three previous years her home had been in Caddo, Indian Territory, where she had aided her husband in publishing the Oklahoma Star. These ladies are all welcome members of the Texas Press Association. There are a number of recent indications that journalism is likely to become a favorite profession among Southern women.
In the West, while Mrs. Swisshelm was still making herself felt as a power in Minnesota, Mrs. Susan C. Vogl, of late years the successful business manager of the Boston Woman's Journal, began journalistic work upon the Western Spy of Sumner, Kansas. Afterwards she wrote for St. Louis and New England papers for some years before her removal to Boston. In 1868 Mrs. Myra Bradwell founded the Chicago Legal News, of which she has been ever since the editor and business manager. In 1871 the Illinois Legislature passed special acts making the columns of the News evidence in the courts; and after the burning of all records in the Chicago fire, Mrs. Bradwell's paper was selected by the circuit and supreme court judges as the publication to have exclusive right to publish notices in regard to their cases. Mrs. Agnes Leonard Hill's journalistic work began as early as 1869 in Kentucky, was carried on in Chicago papers, and for the last eight years she has been engaged in editorial labors in Colorado.
In 1876 Miss Margaret F. Buchanan, now Mrs. Sullivan, entered upon the journalistic career, in which she speedily gained an enviable reputation, showing herself as thoroughly equipped as any brother of the press among them all to meet the serious questions and vexed problems of political and social science, and equally ready for brilliant descriptive work or discriminating criticism. Near the same time Miss Emily S. Bouton took the position upon the Toledo Blade which, in its varied demands upon her, not only as the head of its literary and household departments, but as leader writer and special contributor, has served to show the wide range of her accomplishments and her ability in every line of journalistic labor. The editorial and dramatic columns of the Blade have been indebted to her for some of their strongest work. It was to the Blade also that “Shirley Dare" gave much of the best of her early versatile achievements in the journalistic field. Somewhat earlier Mrs. Kate Brownlee Sherwood had filled a responsible position upon another Toledo paper. The Indianapolis Journal has for many years given a fair field to women journalists, and in its columns Miss Anna Nicholas, Mrs. Florence Adkins son, Mrs. May Wright Sewall, and others have achieved success. In 1878 Mrs. Belle Ball entered on a very different line of newspaper works as traveling correspondent of the Albuquerque (New Mexico) Journal, and of two Kansas papers, her especial duty being to report the progress of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, with all its incidental accompaniments-one of these being for months together the peril to life from Indian foes. After two years of this arduous experience she became an associate editor on a Kansas paper. For the last two years she has been the literary editor of the Kansas City Times.
After 1876 women journalists multiplied in the West as rapidly as in New England. The Illinois Woman's Press Association, formed in 1886, at the close of 1888, numbered 66 members, of whom 45 are either business managers of important journals, editors, or editorial assistants. Investigation shows a large number of newspaper women in the State who have not enrolled themselves in this or any association. The Western Association of Writers, organized in July, 1885, has may women editors, correspondents, and reporters among its members. The Ohio Woman's Press Association has in its Cincinnati branch over thirty members, nearly all of whom are journalists. The Cleveland branch numbers between forty and fifty, about one-half of whom are authors and one-half journalists.
Earlier than any of these was the Woman's National Press Association, organized at Washington, D.C., in July, 1882. This has a large membership, and, like all of the others, is in a prosperous condition. Since 1887 a special press gallery for its members has been set apart in each of the houses of Congress. The New England Woman's Press Association was organized in Boston in November, 1885. At present it numbers nearly 100 members, all journalists or magazine editors. When the Woman's Journal was established it found no woman journalist in Boston save Miss Sallie Joy, now Mrs. White, who was then doing more or less desultory work upon the Boston Post. In 1869 she was enrolled as one of the regular staff of that paper. After her marriage in 1874 she transferred her services to the Advertiser, and later to the Herald, and to-day she is duly honored by the numerous sisterhood of Boston newspaper women as their pioneer and leader.
Since New York saw the establishment of Harper's Bazar in the interests of women in one direction, and of the Revolution in another, women's publications in both of the lines thus indicated have multiplied until it is quite out of the question to give a list of them outside of the pages of a newspaper directory. The most widely known follower in the path of the Bazar is the Ladies' Home Journal of Philadelphia, of which Mrs. Louisa Knapp was from the beginning until January, 1890, the editor, with a salary of ten thousand dollars a year, and with Mrs. Emma Hewitt and Mrs. Mary Lambert as assistants. There are probably not many more such pecuniary prizes as yet in the grasp of women journalists; but, on the whole, there are not many such open for any one. It may as well be said here that Philadelphia, which was the first city in the United States to set wide open many doors for woman's work, as yet numbers fewer women journalists than any other large Northern city. Mrs. Hollowell, for many years past editor of the Household department of the Ledger, and more recently Mrs. Kate Upson Clark of the Press, have broadened their departmental work and made it of great value in educational and divers other lines.
Following the lead of the Revolution and the Woman's Journal there are many others; some as out-and-out suffrage papers, and others covering more broadly the circle of woman's industrial and social interests. In the East, the van among these is led by the Woman's Magazine, published by Mrs. Esther T. Housh at Brattleboro, Vermont. Mrs. Housh began its publication originally at Lexington, Kentucky, under the title of Woman at Work. In the south is the Woman's Chronicle of Little Rock, Arkansas. In the far West are the Queen Bee of Denver, Colorado, the Woman's Tribune of Beatrice, Nebraska, and the New Northwest of Portland, Oregon, —all owned and edited by women. Those in the nearer West are too many to specify. With these, widely differing yet in one sense kindred to them, should be named The Woman's Exponent, the official organ of the Woman's Association of Utah. It is edited by Emmeline B. Wells, and carries the motto “The Rights of the Women of Zion, and the Rights of the Women of all Nations." The association which publishes it claims a membership of 22,000 women, “thoroughly organized for the relief of the poor, and for medical, philosophical, historical, and religious study."
The Pacific slope has had comparatively few women journalists, but the names of several appear upon the roll of membership of the lately formed Central and Northern California Press Association.
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union has within the last four or five years multiplied greatly the number of women engaged in the practical work of journalism. Beginning with the Union Signal, founded by Mrs. Matilda B. Carse in Chicago, they have started up in almost every State of the Union, and many local papers have W. C. T. U. departments, all edited by women:
The vital interest of working women in the vexed problems of the relation beween capital and labor has called into existence at least one paper, the Working Woman. This is the organ of the Woman's National Industrial League. It is published in Washington, D. C., by Mrs. Charlotte Smith, who long ago proved her editorial ability in St. Louis. Miss Mary F. Seymour has, more recently, established in New York the Business Woman's Journal, which from its initial number has carried the prestige of success in its chosen field. Miss Fanny M. Earl, of the Hartford Insurance Journal has made her name widely known in business circles all over the country, and aided in conquering their respect for woman's practical abilities.
Our Anglo-African sisters are awakening to a comprehension of the use of the press as an instrument of value to themselves and their race. The names of half a dozen who have been or are now in editorial charge of race papers are well known, and at least a score of others who are actively engaged in journalism. A few of them have been employed as reporters or as special contributors on some of the leading dailies in our great seaboard cities.
Having noted the rapid increase in the number of newspaper women who in other parts of the country are doing faithful and worthy work in this their chosen profession, it remains to say that New York City has not fallen behind in this respect. The evidence of their capacity and fitness for the work is before the public in almost every daily, weekly, and monthly publication issued in the metropolis. Besides these are many whose work goes, through the syndicate system, all over the country. Their work, usually signed, serves even more widely to attract ambitious and intelligent young women to the same profession than does the exceptional reputation of such editors as Miss Booth, Mrs. M. M. Dodge, Mrs. Martha J. Lamb, and Miss Miss Jeanette Gilder. There are two Amateur Press Associations of these youthful intending journalists in New England. There may be others in other parts of the country. And the number of those who are being inducted into the practical work of journalism, on rural and county papers, owned by their relatives or friends, grows greater every year.
From the very first there have been for women in journalism an open door and a fair field. The earliest comers went into it because their services were sought for. Themselves and those whom their success led to embrace the same profession met with a warm welcome from the public; in not a few instances even an enthusiastic one.
In each and every department of journalism-whether in office work, i.e. as editors, editorial assistants, or reporters; or in outside work, as correspondents, special contributors, or syndicate writers—the wages paid to women are the same as those paid to men of similar capacity, doing the same work. The prices paid vary according to the financial status of the papers themselves. In the larger cities writers “on space" receive on some journals payment at the rate of five dollars per column; some other papers pay as much as ten dollars per column. With all these writers, except where special articles have been ordered by the chief, and the length thereof specified, it is a matter of uncertainty how much space will be given them. The exigencies of the case often cut down what, under other circumstances, would be a welcome column article to two or three paragraphs, sometimes to as many lines. Office salaries in large cities vary from ten or even only eight dollars per week to as much as fifty or sixty dollars per week. A fair average for syndicate correspondence is probably about ten dollars per column. On country and county papers wages are of course much lower, often running down to a figure which makes outside labor needful for even plain country living. But whether in city or country women who can do the needful work as well as men may be sure of as good pay as men, and of fair and just treatment at the hands of their journalistic brethren.