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"Woman's Chronicle" takes stand for suffrage

Old State House Museum - Tuesday, November 08, 2016

In March 1888, the Woman’s Chronicle was launched by Catherine “Kate” Campbell Cuningham, Mary Burt Brooks and Haryot Holt Cahoon in Little Rock. The establishment of the Chronicle followed hot on the heels of the creation of the Arkansas Equal Suffrage Association (AESA) and the loss of the Southern Ladies’ Journal. It was the first paper published by Southern women to take a decided and unequivocal stand for women’s suffrage.

Over the course of the Woman’s Chronicle’s five years in publication, the newspaper covered women’s issues locally, statewide and nationally, and became very important to many organizations. Even Susan B. Anthony made a visit to the newspaper’s offices in February 1889!

The paper’s editors also recognized that their inability to vote did not limit their ability to influence politics. The Chronicle delivered the paper’s latest edition to all members of the General Assembly each week, ensuring that our state’s legislators would be informed of women’s concerns.

This issue of the Woman’s Chronicle was the paper’s second edition. It provides a very interesting glimpse into lives of 19th century women and illustrates their changing roles in society. Recipes for salad dressing and notes on the latest fashion trends are included on the same pages as articles regarding suffrage rights and policies on education. The social sections of paper also kept women connected to each other and provided updates on new developments in the fight for suffrage. Although the Chronicle closed its doors in 1893 when Kate Cuningham became ill, it still serves as an important milestone for the women of Arkansas.