150 years ago today - Jun 1, 1872

[First Issue: Woman's Exponent]

By the time the Latter-day Saints began settling in the West in the late 1840s and 1850s, American women were serving as editors of newspapers and magazines, and a substantial number of women's publications existed across the country. Against this background, Edward L. Sloan, editor of the Salt Lake Herald, proposed a women's paper in Utah in 1871 and suggested that twenty-two-year-old Louisa (Lula) Greene, who had written several poems for the Herald, be appointed editor. After receiving support from Eliza R. Snow and Brigham Young, her great-uncle, Greene accepted the offer, asking Young to call her to the job as a mission. He did so, and operations began shortly thereafter. ... The first issue of the new paper, titled Woman's Exponent, was published June 1, 1872. ...

The semimonthly paper, with each issue containing eight pages, included a wide variety of content: news; articles ranging from domestic life to theology to biographies of prominent Mormon women; obituaries of Mormon women; reports and minutes of meetings of women's ecclesiastical and cultural organizations, including the Relief Society, the Primary, young women's groups, and Retrenchment Associations; and poetry and short stories. The Relief Society reports regularly published in the Exponent helped unify and connect women of the society across the far-flung Mormon settlements. The paper's circulation was likely between three and four thousand copies, though some articles reached a much broader audience as they were sometimes reprinted in women's magazines throughout the country. The Exponent also reprinted articles from various women's publications, particularly suffrage journals.

[3.21 "Woman's Exponent. A Utah Ladies' Journal," June 1, 1872, as quoted in Matthew J. Grow, Jill Derr, Carol Madsen, and Kate Holbrook, editors, The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women's History, The Church Historian's Press, 2016, https://churchhistorianspress.org/the-first-fifty-years-of-relief-society/]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please Enter your Comment: