Places that Matter

Revolution, the feminist periodical

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Breanne Scanlon
Breanne Scanlon
Breanne Scanlon
Breanne Scanlon
Publication of Susan B. Anthony & Elizabeth Cady Stanton
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By Breanne Scanlon

On January 8, 1868, in a room on the fourth floor of 37 Park Row in downtown Manhattan, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton published the first issue of Revolution, a newspaper dedicated to advancing the cause of women's suffrage, among other social reform issues. Although the newspaper survived in its original form for just slightly over two years, it helped gain public exposure for the women's suffrage movement and for Anthony and Stanton, two of the movement’s most influential leaders.

The first issue of Revolution announced itself as "The Organ of the National Party of New America" and its slogan as "Principle, Not Policy: Justice, Not Favors." Susan B. Anthony was the proprietor and manager of the paper, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Parker Pillsbury were the editors. Revolutionwas started with investments by a wealthy and eccentric Democrat named George Francis Train and David Melliss, financial editor of the New York World.

The paper was run out of a small office in the same building that housed the New York World newspaper, directly across the street from City Hall Park on Park Row. Park Row was known as "Newspaper Row" from the 1840s through the early 1900s for the large number of newspaper headquarters located on the street. Newspapers such as The New York Times, The New York World, and The New York Post strategically established their base of operations near City Hall, the heart of New York City politics. This proximity to City Hall ensured the newspapers quick access to developments in local politics as they happened. Printing presses, paper supply shops, and typesetting companies sprang up on nearby blocks. These amenities, located within walking distance of Revolution, helped Anthony and Stanton to operate the paper on a small budget.

While other suffragists also published papers that advocated equal rights for women, Revolution took up the cause of not only women, but also abolitionists, workers, the poor, the unjustly condemned, and those who sought to reform the American financial system. The paper confronted subjects not discussed in most mainstream news publications of the time, including sex education, rape, and domestic violence. Stanton and Pillsbury, a radical male abolitionist who had previously worked with Stanton and Anthony in 1865 to help draft the constitution of the American Equal Rights Association, wrote the majority of Revolution's articles. Their editorials and news pieces covered such wide-ranging issues as labor union disputes, the cotton tax, infanticide, prostitution, and most prominently, women's fight for the right to vote and for equal wages.