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The Pioneer and woman's advocate. : (Providence, R.I.) 1852-185?
Place of publication:
Providence, R.I.
Geographic coverage:
  • Providence, Providence, Rhode Island  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Anna W. Spencer
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 5, 1852)-
  • English
  • Providence (R.I.)--Newspapers.
  • Rhode Island--Providence.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204977
sn 91070560
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The Pioneer and woman's advocate. June 5, 1852 , Image 1


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The Pioneer and Woman’s Advocate

The Pioneer and Woman's Advocate was a semi-monthly newspaper edited by Anna W. Spencer (1799-1884) to advocate for women's rights and suffrage. Launched June 5, 1852, the masthead motto was "Liberty, Truth, Temperance, Equality". It was the earliest newspaper established in the United States for the purpose of advocating Women's Rights.

Sometimes known as Waitey Anna or alternatively Anna Waite, Spencer wrote of her intent: "Our object is to do good; to advocate the necessity of a better education for our own sex; a higher price for labor and for new fields—such as Dry Goods Stores, Ladies' Shoe Stores."

The Pioneer and Woman's Advocate was printed by Albert Crawford Greene, the nephew of William Northup Sherman, who founded The Weekly Pendulum in East Greenwich in 1854.The target audience was industrial and working-class women, and in addition industry advocacy, the paper included special features such as poetry or fiction, articles, letters, sports, and society news. The Pioneer and Woman's Advocate called for better education for women, higher price for her labor, and the opening of new industries.

The day of publication changed from Saturday to Wednesday for the June 30, 1852 edition only, possibly because of Spencer's mother's ongoing illness and because of lack of funding. It is unknown when publication officially ceased, but the last known issue is from March 26, 1853, not long before the death of Spencer's mother.

Anna Spencer continued to work for the causes of women's suffrage and temperance throughout her life. In September of 1853, Spencer traveled to New York to attend The Whole World's Temperance Convention, in New York City where she served as a Rhode Island delegate. In 1857, she was living on Atwells Avenue in Providence.

Eventually, she moved to East Greenwich, and at the age of 82, she published a pamphlet, The Pen and the Sword, Or the Love of Money and Power. In the July 1880 issue of The National Citizen and Ballot Box (Syracuse, N.Y: Matilda Joslyn Gage) under the heading "Women's Reasons for Desiring the Vote," Spencer spelled out her reasons: "I want the ballot for liberty, truth and right. Who shall say that I shall not be my own master?"

Provided by: Rhode Island Digital Newspaper Project