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Publication Details

The new Northwest.

More information about this newspaper title may be available on the source website.

Source: Chronicling America [US Library of Congress]

Country: United States

State: Oregon

City: Portland, Or.

Issues of this title available in Elephind: 385

Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 1,602

Earliest Date: 11 August 1871

Latest Date: 21 April 1881


Portland New Northwest

Abigail Scott Duniway is remembered as “Oregon’s Mother of Equal Suffrage.” From 1871 to 1887, she published theNew Northwest, a weekly, Portland-based newspaper. Duniway challenged social injustice in a variety of forms--for example, she was willing to stand up for Native Americans and Chinese immigrants at a time when these groups had few friends in the press, but her greatest passion was agitating for the rights of women. In the pages of the New Northwest, Duniway described what she saw as her life’s mission: “Enfranchisement of women and full emancipation of speech, press and people from every fetter of law or custom that retards the free mental and physical growth of the highest form of humanity.”

“Writing was always our forte,” she announced in the first issue. “If we had been a man, we’d have had an editor’s position and a handsome salary at the age of twenty-one.” This was more than just abstract musing on the part of the author. Duniway was, in fact, directly alluding to the career path of her own brother, Harvey Whitefield Scott, who had been granted an editorship with the Portland Morning Oregonian. Ironically, Abigail Duniway’s staunchest opposition in print was often to come from her own brother. Throughout Harvey Scott’s tenure, editorials in the Oregonian would present a derogatory and dismissive view of the suffrage movement.

The New Northwest devoted coverage to a diverse agenda of important issues of the times, including temperance, wage equality, and the right to own property. At the time the paper commenced publication, married women in Oregon had no property rights under law. If they worked outside the home, the wages they earned would legally belong to their husbands as well. The pages of the New Northwest campaigned against these economic injustices, helping lead to the passage of the Married Women’s Property Act of 1878.

In addition to its editorial vigor and political influence in its news reporting, the New Northwest possessed merit as a literary journal. In its pages were regularly published poems and serialized stories; generally works with themes that echoed the progressive mission of the paper. Duniway herself was the author of many of these pieces. After Duniway sold the New Northwest in 1887, the new publishers dropped the political content and the paper continued for two more years as a purely literary endeavor.

Provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR