Amelia Bloomer Fact File: Lifespan: 1818 - 1894 *** Full Name: Amelia Jenks Bloomer *** Occupation: American Women’s Rights and Temperance Advocate *** Date of Birth: Amelia Bloomer was born on May 27th 1818 *** Place of Birth: Amelia Bloomer was born in New York, America *** Family background: Her family were of very modest mean *** Early life and childhood: She grew up with her parents and sister Elvira *** Education: Amelia Bloomer attend a local district school ***
Amelia Bloomer Fact 1: Amelia Bloomer was born on May 27th 1818 and during the 19th century period in history when slavery would largely become abolished during this century with salve revolts in Britain, Haiti and France. In particular in America the Civil War of 1861 to 1864 saw the abolition of slavery and in England the Slavery Abolition Act saw the British Royal Navy put an end to the global slave trade.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 2: At seventeen years of age Amelia became a teacher herself.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 3: She decided to leave Homer and went to live with his sister Elvira in Waterloo.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 4: In less than a year she had moved again and was living with the Oren Chamberlain family in their home as governess to their youngest children.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 5: Having met Dexter Bloomer, at twenty two years of age they were married. He worked for the Seneca Falls County Courier newspaper and Dexter encouraged his wife to write for the paper as well.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 6: In 1848 she went to the Seneca Falls Convention which was the women’s rights convention where discussions on social, religious conditions and civil rights were the topics of discussion.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 7: In 1849 Amelia started to edit the first women’s newspaper, The Lily.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 8: The paper was printed biweekly and initially concentrated on temperance issues but would evolve into a mixture of content material including dress reform, slavery, education, moral and social issues as well as recipes.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 9: Other contributors to the paper included suffragettes and temperance activist Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 10: At that time, because women giving lectures was looked down on, writing for a newspaper was far more acceptable and further reaching.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 11: The paper had originally begun as paper for the women who were member of the Seneca Falls Ladies Temperance Society but in time circulation grew to more than four thousand.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 12: When she was asked who she felt about operating a publication for women such as The Lily she responded “It was a needed instrument to spread abroad the truth of a new gospel to woman, and I could not withhold my hand to stay the work I had begun. I saw not the end from the beginning and dreamed where to my propositions to society would lead me.”
Amelia Bloomer Fact 13: By 1851 Amelia, through the publication, would also be responsible for advocating more comfortable clothing for women.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 14: When Elizabeth Smith Miller, a temperance activist from New England began to wear loose trousers that were gathered at the ankles, such as the women in Central Asia or the Middle East wore, with a short skirt and vest or dress over the top.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 15: Fanny Kemble, a popular actress of the time also wore the ensemble.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 16: When Elizabeth Miller wore the outfit to visit her cousin Elizabeth Stanton she too began to adopt this mode of clothing and when she visited Amelia in this outfit not only did Amelia write in publication about it but also wore the outfit herself.Amelia Bloomer Fact 17: It came to pass that as Bloomer had written about the garments in her magazine the outfit became known as the Bloomer Costume or simply Bloomers.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 18: However, the costume began to receive a certain amount of ridicule and soon passed out of fashion.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 19: Amelia continued to campaign for the women’s movement and was seen in Iowa and Nebraska and although she may not have become as well known as some of the other suffragettes she contributed much to the cause.
Amelia Bloomer Fact 20: Amelia Bloomer died on December 30th 1894 aged seventy six years in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Influence & Legacy: Her legacy is of a society to that gives women the right to be who they want to be, to say what they want and live as they want.
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