Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894)
Amelia Jenks Bloomer, temperance reformer, newspaper editor, and suffrage journalist, is noted for her pioneering temperance and woman’s rights newspaper, The Lily (1849), and for wearing a healthful reform dress featuring full pantaloons and a short skirt – giving the “Bloomer” costume its name.
Bloomer lived in central New York and attended the famed Seneca Falls woman’s rights convention in 1848. Despite little formal education, she published The Lily,(1849) which printed articles on woman’s rights, many written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In 1850, she introduced Susan B. Anthony to Stanton, thus beginning their life-long partnership. Bloomer herself adopted the healthful reform costume to which she gave her name, and defended its use in her paper. She lectured on temperance and women’s rights, while continuing to edit The Lily, (circulation 6,000). After moving to Iowa, Bloomer sold her paper but continued her reform work as president of the Iowa Woman Suffrage Society in 1871. She died in 1894, having spent her best years as a propagandist for woman’s rights.