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Iowa History Daily: December 30 - Amelia Jenks Bloomer

Iowa History Daily: On December 30, 1894, American newspaper editor, women’s rights advocate, and namesake of popular forerunner to pants “Bloomers,” Amelia Jenks Bloomer died in Council Bluffs.

Born in New York during 1818, Amelia Jenks married law student and newspaper proprietor Dexter Bloomer during 1740. Writing for the ‘Seneca Falls County Courier,’ Bloomer blossomed as an advocate for women’s rights and temperance even before attending the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention which commonly stands as the first women’s rights convention in the United States.

In 1852, the Bloomers headed west to Iowa and continued her work with the biweekly newspaper she started specifically for women called “The Lily” working alongside suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and even introduced the two women to one another. During the 1850s she started to push for women to wear pantaloons (eventually called Bloomers) in order to move away from the restrictive nature of corsets and dresses.

In 1854, Bloomer sold ‘The Lily,’ after the couple settled in Council Bluffs, and she started the Soldier’s Aid Society of Council Bluffs to help American soldiers during the Civil War. President of the Iowa Suffrage Association from 1871-1873, Bloomer continued to advocate for women’s rights, women’s suffrage, and temperance until her death in 1894. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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