This week at The Archive we have been as busy as ever, adding an incredible 242,192 brand new pages over the past week alone. Furthermore, we have added five brand new titles from Ireland to the Isle of Wight, and beyond!
So read on to discover more about the new pages we have added this week, and to find out about the arrival of controversial early American suffrage leader Victoria Woodhull in Great Britain in 1877.
Starting off our new titles of the week is the Isle of Wight Journal. The Isle of Wight Journal, or, to give its full name, the Isle of Wight, Newport Times, and General County News was published every Saturday in Shanklin, at the cost of one penny.
Containing all the local news from the island, for example from Cowes, Ventnor and Sandown, the Isle of Wight Journal also featured the latest from the mainland, from nearby Hampshire and Sussex. A compendium of all things related to the Isle of Wight, this publication contained railway timetables and notices of the latest births, marriages and deaths.
Also with its pages you can find serialised fiction, as well as a section entitled ‘Varieties – Grave or Gay,’ the latest from the ‘Comic Papers,’ as well as market intelligence.
We move north for our next new title, the Boston Spa News. Boston Spa is of course home to The Archive’s scanning hub, and we are delighted to welcome the village’s very own newspaper to our collection.
Began as the Boston Spa Journal in 1873, and changing its name in 1878, the Boston Spa News had a circulation of 700. A Conservative publication, it was a localised edition of the Wetherby News.
Its first edition appeared on 13 June 1873, and covered the ‘local and district news’ from Boston Spa, as well as from Thorparch, Clifford and Bramham. The newspaper also contained full testimonies from ongoing trials, as well as more special interest columns devoted to ‘Popular Cookery,’ as well as literature and poetry.
We move now across the Irish Sea for our next new title, the Ballymena Advertiser. Published in Ballymena, County Antrim in Northern Ireland, the Ballymena Advertiser was established in 1855 and appeared every Saturday priced at one penny.
Describing itself as Liberal-Conservative, the Ballymena Advertiser circulated in ‘mid-Antrim and Ulster generally.’ Meanwhile, it advocated ‘Loyalty to the Throne and the Maintenance of the Union,’ its leading matter ‘characterized by fairness and independence.’
Our penultimate new title of the week is the Galway Express. A controversial title, it was founded by brothers John and Alexander McDougall in Eyre Square, Galway, in 1853. Known as a ‘Conservative Organ,’ it appeared every Saturday priced at two pence.
Described in 1858 as ‘ribald and anti-Catholic,’ the newspaper was known for its tirades, which ‘stirred up the waters of strife’ in the area.
In 1893 the Galway Express became the first newspaper in Ireland to have its printing presses powered by electricity, the first edition produced by such a process appearing on the 10 June 1893.
Our final new title of the week is another Galway publication, namely the Western Star and Ballinasloe Advertiser. Published in Ballinasloe, one of County Galway’s largest towns, this newspaper circulated in ‘the Counties of Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, King’s [now Offaly], and the Metropolis.’
First published on 4 October 1845, and owned by Robert H. Smythe, the Western Star saw itself as non-partisan, ranking ‘itself under no political party.’ Meanwhile, in 1863 the newspaper laid out its aim to ‘advocate every movement which has for its object the development of the Industrial and Commercial Resources of the Country.’
Moreover, the Western Star was not shy of making for itself especially bold claims. Proclaiming that is circulation spread throughout Ireland, including Dublin, the newspaper also stated that it was read in England, Scotland and ‘the Colonies.’ Not only this, the Western Star claimed to be ‘at the head of the Weekly Press of Connaught,’ that is, of Western Ireland. Meanwhile, the paper also stated that:
…its local circulation is proportionally greater than that of any other Journal in the Kingdom.
For our updated titles this week, we also have a western theme, this time hailing from the west of England. We’ve added nearly 30,000 pages to the West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser from the 1980s, meaning that we now hold nearly 90,000 pages for this title covering the years from 1862 through to 1990. Meanwhile, we’ve also added over 13,000 pages to Devon title the Torquay Times, and South Devon Advertiser.
Full details of all our new and updated titles can be found at the end of this blog.
Victoria Woodhull – An American Suffragist in Britain
In August 1877, one of our new titles the Isle of Wight Journal reported:
I see it announced that Mrs. Victoria C. Woodhull and Claflin who have earned for themselves an unenviable notoriety on the other side of the Atlantic, on account of their free-loving proclivities, and their contempt for the ‘conventionalities’ of life, have arrived in London.
The sisters, Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Claflin, had gained their ‘notoriety’ in their native America, for their outspoken support of ‘free love.’ Woodhull, following the infidelity of her first husband, and facing the difficulties of obtaining a divorce, publicly stated her right to love ‘who I may’ for ‘as long or short a period as I can.’
Born in Homer, Ohio, of poor parents, they first acquired fame as spiritualistic mediums. They next startled New York by appearing on ‘Change as lady brokers, and held their own with the best and made money.
Indeed, Victoria Woodhull and her sister Tennessee were the first women to own a brokerage firm on Wall Street, with the assistance of business magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. They then went on to become the first women to run a newspaper in the United States, which was called Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly.
The Beverley Independent continues:
Their abilities were so marked, and their position so strong, in fact, that in 1870 the elder sister, then Mrs. Woodhull, announced herself as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States!
Indeed, the publication of their own newspaper was a ploy to raise support for Victoria Woodhull’s presidency campaign, although it gained a popular following and printed articles on the taboo topics of free love, women’s suffrage, spiritualism and vegetarianism.
Running for the newly formed Equal Rights Party, Woodhull’s nomination was ratified in June 1872, making her the first woman candidate for president. Despite the fact that women in the United States could not vote, at the time there was no rule prohibiting them from standing for office.
Widely vilified, especially for her stance on free love, Woodhull’s campaign was not a success, and she received no electoral votes in the 1872 election. By 1877, having divorced her second husband, and her and her sister having been paid off by the Vanderbilt family, Victoria and Tennessee arrived in England.
From the reports which appeared in the New York and other papers, I can understand that a change of air might be deemed advisable, but I very much doubt whether, with all our curiosity, the visit of Mesdames Woodhull and Claflin to this country will be a pecuniary success.
After arriving in England, Woodhull gave a series of lectures, and published magazine The Humanitarian from 1892 to 1901.
But for some, hopes of Victoria Woodhull becoming the first woman president of the United States was not lost.
Our new title the Ballymena Advertiser reports with some irony in October 1879:
Several of the Paris papers are discussing the chances of Mrs. Victoria Woodhull being elected President of the United States. They treat the idea of her being put in nomination as perfectly serious, and represent her as having had great oratorical success in England.
Meanwhile the Beverley Independent gives a precis of what happened to the sisters after their arrival in Britain:
After they came to London Mrs. Woodhull married the late Mr. John Biddulph Martin, a well-known Lombard-street banker, and from the Biddulph Martin household Tennessee L. Claflin was a little later married to Sir Francis Cook.
Victoria Woodhull passed away aged 88 in 1927 in Worcestershire, after a long life of advocacy and scandal.
|Boston Spa News||1873-1878, 1880-1882, 1884-1895, 1898-1900|
|Isle of Wight Journal||1877, 1879, 1889|
|Western Star and Ballinasloe Advertiser||1845-1869, 1888-1902|
This week we have updated eleven of our existing titles.
You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.
|Beverley Independent||1888-1893, 1895-1896, 1898-1911|
|Englishman’s Overland Mail||1906|
|Glossop-dale Chronicle and North Derbyshire Reporter||1895-1896, 1898-1910, 1913|
|Middleton Albion||1857-1867, 1869-1880|
|Pontefract Advertiser||1865, 1873, 1889|
|Torquay Times, and South Devon Advertiser||1934-1949, 1951-1961|
|Weekly Journal (Hartlepool)||1907-1908|
|West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser||1983-1990|