The Library of Congress > Chronicling America > Toveritar.

Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1756-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities external link and the Library of Congress. Learn more

Toveritar. : (Astoria, Or.) 19??-1930
Alternative Titles:
  • Tove ritar
  • Woman comrade
Place of publication:
Astoria, Or.
Geographic coverage:
  • Astoria, Clatsop, Oregon  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Western Workmen's Publishing Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased with 20 vuosik., No. 40 (Syyskuun 30 p., 1930).
  • Finnish
  • Astoria (Or.)--Newspapers.
  • Finnish American communists--West (U.S.)--Newspapers.
  • Finnish American communists.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00924929
  • Finnish American women--West (U.S.)--Newspapers.
  • Finnish American women.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00924934
  • Oregon--Astoria--fast--(OCoLC)fst01217113
  • West United States.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01243255
  • Women communists--West (U.S.)--Newspapers.
  • Women communists.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01177508
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: 5 vuosik., No. 45 (Marrask. 9 P.); title from masthead.
  • Latest issue consulted: 20 vuosik., No. 40 (Syyskuun 30 p., 1930).
  • Title, publication information, and date in masthead in Finnish and English; text in Finnish.
  • Vols. for Nov. 27 1929- also bear volume numbering in English.
Related Links:
View complete holdings information
First Issue Last Issue

Toveritar. November 9, 1915 , Image 1


Calendar View

All front pages

First Issue  |  Last Issue


With the movement of immigrant groups to the United States, Astoria, Oregon, became home to the largest Finnish settlement west of the Mississippi. Serving the local Finnish community was Toveri ("Daily Comrade"), a socialist newspaper. Concerned with promoting women's rights, the Finnish women in Astoria persuaded Toveri's stockholders to launch a newspaper just for them. The stockholders agreed if the women could collect at least 3,000 subscriptions. They succeeded, and Toveritar ("Woman Comrade") made its debut in 1911. The Western Workman's Cooperative Publishing Co. published both newspapers.

The weekly Toveritar appeared on Tuesdays. It was published primarily in Finnish, although every once in a while, an article in English was printed. Each issue featured Toveritar's tagline in both Finnish and English: "Amerika suomalaisten työläisnaisten äären-kannattaja"/"Organ of the Finnish Working Women in America."

Initially, Toveritar had an eight-page spread with four columns. Eventually, it grew to 12 pages. A yearly subscription cost $1 and a single issue $0.60. (For readers across the border in Canada, a yearly subscription was $1.25 and a single issue $0.75.) In 1930, Toveritar's final year of operation, a yearly subscription cost $2 and the per-issue price was $1.15. (In Canada, the rates were $2.25 and $1.25, respectively.)

Toveritar saw several notable women editors. Ida Pasanen had been active in several socialist organizations, including one based in Two Harbors, Minnesota. She wrote: "Our battle against the forces of oppression begins in the ranks of socialism. But let us also demand that there be consistency in those ranks. When we women use the words 'equal responsibility,' let us hasten to add 'equal rights.' " Pasanen had written for several socialist papers, including Työmies ("The Workingman") in Hancock, Michigan, one of the nation's earliest Finnish socialist publications. She also toured the country delivering lectures on socialist theology.

In 1915, control of Toveritar switched to Selma Jokela-McCone, who decided to turn it into a true women's newspaper with an all-female staff and greater coverage of topics directly relevant to women. New sections included "Nuorten Osasto" ("Youth Department"), "Kodin Osasto" ("Home Department"), and "Tehdasnaisten Osasto" ("Factory Women Department"). Additionally, Toveritar began to print more articles about socialist theory.

In 1917, Maiju Nurmi took over as editor. She, too, had previous newspaper experience, having formerly worked at Työmies. Under Nurmi's leadership, Toveritar focused on improvements in childcare and the status of working women. In 1920, Helmi Mattson became editor, leaving and returning later in 1926 until the newspaper's closure in 1930. Besides being an editor, Mattson was also a talented writer, submitting poems, stories, and plays to the newspaper.

In 1929, Canadian authorities banned Toveritar, forcing its publishers to merge with a new paper, Työläisnainen ("Working Women"), which later became Naïsten Viiri ("Women's Banner").

Provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR