Friday, March 11, 2011

On Women & History- Emily Edson Briggs

March is Women's History month and each Friday I am showcasing a woman who has made her mark on history.  For more amazing stories on women who are working right now and blazing their own incredible trails through history check out this week's Newsweek magazine.

Without further ado, I give you-

Emily Edson Briggs- the first female correspondent for the White House.  Born in Ohio in 1830 Emily grabbed attention as a major national journalist in her day.  Using the pseudonym "Olivia" Briggs first wrote a letter to her local paper.  In it she described her dismay over the papers attacks on women and their inefficient facts regarding the women who were working as government clerks.  Her intensity and depth on the subject impressed the editor of the paper and he gave her a weekly column.  Briggs own husband wrote about political trends and she often accompanied him to the Lincoln White House where she became an ardent observer of the social and political times. 

Over time Emily became known for her spot on reporting of the Washington climate and was the first female reporter to use a telegraph to give up to the minute news to the nation.  Known for her sharp and witty writing style she became president of the Women's National Press Association (established in 1882) and was one of the first women admitted to the Congressional Press Gallery as well.

Known for a style all her own and an ability to see minute details on a larger scale Briggs made it possible for other female reporters to work within the Washington system.  If you think about it, without Briggs, Helen Thomas might not have existed. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting story about Emily Briggs. I haven't heard of her before. The first woman to use the telegraph. Wow that must have been an accomplishment back then because I believe it was done in Morse code or something of that nature. Any way she made history and wrote a book too.


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