Sep 30, 2021 - Sale 2580

Sale 2580 - Lot 283

Price Realized: $ 4,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 300 - $ 400
(WOMEN'S HISTORY.) Issue of Amelia Bloomer's groundbreaking newspaper The Lily. Volume 5, No. 11. 4 pages, 18 1/2 x 12 inches, on one unbound folding sheet; first leaf lacking a large portion of the top corner about 8 1/2 x 4 inches (facsimile of the missing portion supplied), otherwise just folds and minor wear. Seneca Falls, NY, 1 June 1853

Additional Details

The Lily was the first American newspaper edited and published by a woman. Founded in 1849 by Amelia Bloomer (1818-1894) as a temperance publication, it soon began advocating less restrictive fashions for women (the "bloomers"). By 1853, it was working more overtly for women's rights. Its subscription pitch pledges to "labor zealously and earnestly for the emancipation of woman from the crushing evils of Intemperance--from the cruel enactments of unjust laws made without her consent--from the destructive influences of Custom and Fashion . . . and for her elevation to her true position in society of perfect and entire equality."

The unruly World's Temperance Convention in New York is described at length, with an all-star cast of women's rights advocates. Women were grudgingly accepted as delegates, but a proposal to place Susan B. Anthony on the Business Committee was ruled out of order. Women's rights advocate Thomas Wentworth Higginson then tried to surrender his own place on the committee in favor of Lucy Stone: "Then the confusion was at once renewed. Mrs. Abby Kelley Foster rose and endeavored to say a few words by way of explanation, but was interrupted by cries of order."

Other reports on temperance meetings mention Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton several times. Several other articles in this issue describe failed efforts by the male-dominated temperance movement to silence womens' voices. Rebutting a condescending article in the rival Teetotaller, an editorial asserts that "as women have been bossed all their lives, and had overseers over them, simple justice would decide it but right that men should now submit for a while and let women have their turn at bossing and overseeing." Advertisers include temperance and phrenological publications, water-cure establishments, the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, and the publishers of a "Book for Bloomers" for "every advocate and wearer of the new costume." We trace no other issues of The Lily at auction.