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The Chilhowee echo. [volume] : (Knoxville, Tenn.) 1899-19??
Place of publication:
Knoxville, Tenn.
Geographic coverage:
  • Knoxville, Knox, Tennessee  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Mrs. W.C. Tatom and Mrs. S. McKinney
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Oct. 28, 1899)-
  • English
  • Knox County (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Knoxville (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Tennessee--Knox County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01215247
  • Tennessee--Knoxville.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206442
  • "A woman's journal."
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
sn 97065165
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The Chilhowee echo. [volume] October 28, 1899 , Image 1


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The Chilhowee Echo

The Chilhowee Echo - "A Woman's Journal" - was first published in Knoxville, Tennessee, on October 28, 1899. In the inaugural issue, editors Mrs. William C. (Kate) Tatom and Mrs. Samuel (Annie Booth) McKinney announced their "plans, hopes and purposes" for the paper. The women emphasized that this would not be a "woman's rights" paper, and that it had no specific mission as an advocate of woman suffrage. Instead, the focus of the Echo was on arts, literature, and women's clubs.

The paper's publishers/editors were not new to newspapering as their husbands were both in the profession. Samuel McKinney was founder and publisher of the Knoxville Daily Tribune, and W.C. Tatom was its editor. Both Annie Booth McKinney and Kate Tatom were well-known in Knoxville's literary and social circles. McKinney was a founder member of Knoxville's Ossili Circle. Organized by Lizzie Crozier French, a prominent suffragist, in 1885, the Circle was a women's literary group, which later expanded into charitable and educational programs. While the Echo's editors maintained that the paper was not a channel for women's equality, by the March 24, 1900 issue, Mrs. Samuel McKinney had chosen to present her name as Mrs. Annie Booth McKinney.

The Echo's masthead incorporated a decorative font superimposed over an illustration of the Great Smoky Mountains (depicting Chilhowee Mountain, hence the paper's name), which was the work of artist, Miss Harriet Wiley. Each front page featured a poem and serialized fiction. The issue of March 24, 1900, provided a lengthy discussion on "Southern Literature," with a focus on women writers from the region. Inside the paper, ads were geared towards products and services of particular interest to women, such as domestic furnishings and appliances, clothing, and cosmetics. The social column told of visitors' arrivals, and residents' departures and returns. Much column space was dedicated to club news and events, and in May 1900, the Echo announced that it had been made the official organ of the Federation of Women's Clubs in Tennessee.

The initial publication of the Echo received encouragement and favorable responses from fellow newspaper publishers and literary magazines. Some, such as the Johnson City Comet, praised the editors' talents yet took a distinctly condescending tone: "While it is a woman's paper it reserves the right to give the 'lords of creation' a curtain lecture occasionally. […] It will have nothing to do with partisan politics, but reserves the right to endorse the best (looking) candidate in all elections."

By May 12, 1900, only Mrs. Tatom's name was listed as publisher and editor. It is not known when the Chilhowee Echo ceased publication; only 15 issues from 1899 and 1900 are known to exist. Her co-editor, Annie Booth McKinney, went on to contribute to magazines and co-authored a novel in 1901. In 1902-03, McKinney served as president of the Tennessee Woman's Press Club.

Provided by: University of Tennessee