Suffragist Amelia Bloomer

Mar 25, 2020  | 2 min  | Ep 2020

While Amelia Bloomer is best known for the style of dress that shares her name, she also served as the first woman president of the Iowa Woman Suffrage Association.


Transcript

Amelia Bloomer was best known for her work in dress reform, pushing for the popularization of a new style of dress that didn’t restrict movement like traditional corsets and dresses.

Born and raised in New York, she created a newspaper dedicated solely to women in 1849 called The Lily.

She moved to Council Bluffs in 1855 after selling the Lily, where she immediately began her
suffrage work.

She delivered lectures during a time where reform views weren’t common.

She was the only woman in Iowa to publicly speak for women’s rights before the Civil War.

The main theme in her work was the enfranchisement of women in employment, educational privileges and political rights.

Bloomer helped organize the first woman suffrage society in Council Bluffs and became the first woman president of the Iowa Woman Suffrage Association.

“More at home with the pen than on the platform,” Bloomer slowly drifted away from being actively involved in the movement, preferring to submit letters to newspapers defending suffrage.