The Mansfield Library has added the database The Lily: A Temperance and Feminist Newspaper, 1849-1856. This database provides keyword searchable, full text access to the first American newspaper for women. The Lily was issued from 1849 until 1853.
According to the National Park Service: “Amelia Bloomer edited the first newspaper for women, The Lily. It was issued from 1849 until 1853. The newspaper began as a temperance journal. Bloomer felt that as women lecturers were considered unseemly, writing was the best way for women to work for reform. Originally, The Lily was to be for “home distribution” among members of the Seneca Falls Ladies Temperance Society, which had formed in 1848. Like most local endeavors, the paper encountered several obstacles early on, and the Society’s enthusiasm died out. Bloomer felt a commitment to publish and assumed full responsibility for editing and publishing the paper. Originally, the title page had the legend “Published by a committee of ladies.” But after 1850 – only Bloomer’s name appeared on the masthead. Although women’s exclusion from membership in temperance societies and other reform activities was the main force that moved the Ladies Temperance Society to publish The Lily, it was not at first a radical paper. Its editorial stance conformed to the emerging stereotype of women as “defenders of the home.” You can find out more about The Lily here.
Please note that this database is currently under construction–full content should be available by the end of July 2012. It can be accessed under L (for Lily) on the Database A-Z page on the Library website.