The Woman's Tribune

The Woman's Tribune was an American newspaper founded in Beatrice, Nebraska, by women's suffrage activist Clara Bewick Colby.[1] In print from 1883 to 1909, and published in Beatrice and in Washington, D.C., the newspaper connected radical feminism with women's culture on the Midwestern frontier. Throughout its run, its slogan was "Equality Before the Law."[2] Unlike other suffrage papers that focused on urban culture and politics, The Woman's Tribune's appeal to the rural and everyday woman made it one of the most powerful voices of feminist ideology during its day.[3] Colby routinely included generalist news, suffrage news, book reviews, travelogues, editorials, and even poetry in the paper. Some stories and features were intended to be read to children, presumably by their mothers, making the Tribune unusual in its explicitly multi-generational audience. Despite lack of financial support from national suffrage organizations, Colby managed to keep the Tribune in production for its 26 years; she wrote, edited, copyedited, and even at times typeset the paper.[4] Advertising focused on products and services provided by and for women. Notices of events in the international suffragist community appeared as well, connecting women on the American frontier to women's suffrage campaigns in Europe and Asia. Colby met and corresponded with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony; she frequently published their work in the Tribune although she received little, if any, financial support from their political organziation.[5] Bloomberg has argued that the Woman's Tribune was unique among women's suffrage publications in that it argued for full equality under the law for Native and indigenous people (women and men); the core audience of the paper, however, like its founding editor, was in the white, literate middle-class.


  1. ^ Henry, E. Claire (August 1991). "Clara Bewick Colby and the Woman's tribune, 1883-1909 : the free lance editor as movement leader". In Martha Watson (ed.). A Voice Of Their Own: The Woman Suffrage Press, 1840-1910. University of Alabama Press. ISBN 978-0817305260.
  2. ^ "The Woman's Tribune ([Beatrice, Neb.]) 1883-1909 [Microfilm Reel]". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  3. ^ Bloomberg, Kristin Mapel (2006). "Cultural Critique and Consciousness Raising: Clara Bewick Colby's Woman's Tribune and Late-Nineteenth-Century Radical Feminism". In James P. Danky and Wayne A. Wiegand (ed.). Women in Print. The University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 27–63. ISBN 9780299217846.
  4. ^ Willis, Olympia Brown; Stone, Lucy; National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection (Library of Congress) DLC [from old catalog] (1917). Democratic ideals; a memorial sketch of Clara B. Colby. unknown library. [The Federal suffrage association]. p. 36.
  5. ^ Lomicky, Carol S. (2002-10-01). "Frontier Feminism and the Woman's Tribune: The Journalism of Clara Bewick Colby". Journalism History. 28 (3): 102. ISSN 0094-7679.