Tuesday, October 8, 2019

National League of American Pen Women

post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

How many have heard or know the history of the National League of American Pen Women? It is one of the oldest arts organizations for women in the United States. As a person who is passionate about history and especially women's history, I found this information to be pretty fascinating.

Some background:

It all began in 1897 with Marian Longfellow O' Donoghue, a writer for the newspapers in Washington DC. Along with Margaret Sullivan Burke and Anna Sanborn Hamilton they created a press union for the women writers in DC. By 1898 they had over fifty members from all across the United States. Their goal was that every Pen Woman be paid for their work. To be a member one had to have qualifying credentials. To my way of thinking that was a noble goal. Remember, women did not have the right to vote at this time in history.

Marian Adele Longfellow O'Donoghue, from an 1896 publication.

In 1928 a Book titled "  Women of the West: A Series of Biographical Sketches of Living Eminent Women in the Eleven Western States of the United States of America." was published. It's dedication page reads. "Dedicated to the Women of the West co-builders of a Great Nation." It is full of articles and mini-biographies of women in the west, listed by state.

Their mission statement now: The National League of American Pen Women, Inc. was founded in 1897 when women journalists were not permitted to join male-only professional organizations. The League became a professional organization for women writers, artist and composers, where they could be recognized for their talents. 

Some past members of the organization:

Eudora Welty
Pearl S Buck
Eleanor Roosevelt

If you get the chance, click on the Wikipedia link and follow the links of other notable women members.  National League of American Pen Women

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History

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