54 Incredibly Interesting Amelia Bloomer Facts You Need To Know | Kidadl


54 Incredibly Interesting Amelia Bloomer Facts You Need To Know

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Born in 1818 in a rural area of New York, Amelia Jenks Bloomer turned out to be a reformist for women.

Amelia's first profession was as a school teacher. Amelia Bloomer's life revolves around being a women's rights activist and bought women's clothing reform style.

She was an American advocate and reformist for the women's rights movement during the 1800s, when there was the initial phase of the feminist movement. She devoted most of her life working religiously for the betterment of women and to give them their rights. On moving to Seneca Falls, she hosted a community to improve women.

In 1848, Bloomer attended the first women's rights convention at Seneca Falls, and there she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. They later became a very important part of her activism. She also found a newspaper later called 'Lily' to help women get aware of their rights and grow to spread gender equality. This newspaper was the first American newspaper edited by women only and was published by the ladies' temperance society.

Bloomer dived into another critical topic in the 19th-century women's rights movement: fashion while supporting more comprehensive access for women to education and the voting box. In earlier times, the name of Amelia Bloomer got rapidly associated with the dress reform and women's rights convention because of showing early and strong advocacy through her work. Bloomer felt that women's current clothing and the expectations of women's fashion were outdated and dangerous in modern society.

Heavy corsets and Petticoats weighed down Victorian women, a clear reflection of their silenced voices outside the home. Furthermore, the heavy fashions of the mid-nineteenth century were not only unpleasant but also dangerous. Between 1850 and 1860, tight-lacing corsets made it difficult to breathe, while flammable crinolines killed 3,000 women. Bulky clothes also become entangled in modern equipment, hurting and killing women. All these issues made Amelia Jenks Bloomer curious about the need for fashion reform for women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton also confessed her support to such dresses for women.

Continue reading to learn more about how Amelia Bloomer contributed to the women's rights movement and changed women's fashion forever.

Amelia Bloomer: Life and Inspirations

Bloomer championed women's rights and temperance till her death. From 1871 to 1873, she was the President of the Iowa Suffrage Association.

  • Yet, because of her unwavering commitment to temperance, she frequently found herself in conflict with other feminist activists who preferred to talk about the real issues. Despite this, she never wavered between supporting the movement's goals.
  • Bloomer died in 1894, at 76.
  • Temperance and Suffrage: New York Women's Temperance Society, which was earlier solely for women, saw a series of discussions between Amelia, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony about opening it for men too.
  • But according to Amelia Jenks Bloomer, the society's work for temperance was only significant to women.
  • After a few rounds of discussions, she was made the corresponding secretary of the society.
  • Amelia Jenks Bloomer also delivered many lectures at various institutions of New York City in 1853 on women's rights and temperance.
  • She sometimes used to deliver such talks with Susan B. Anthony and Antoinette Brown Blackwell.
  • The unconventional costume publicized by her helped her to gather more and more crowds.
  • Dexter and Amelia Bloomer traveled to Ohio in December 1853 to work for the Western Home Visitor, a reform journal in which Dexter Bloomer was a part-owner.
  • Amelia Bloomer contributed to the new venture and Lily, a mainly temperance newspaper, which was now printed biweekly and was four pages long.
  • The Lily's circulation peaked at 6,000 people.
  • She also started her temperance newspaper.
  • Council Bluffs, Iowa: In 1855, Bloomers shifted to Council Bluffs, Iowa. There Amelia realized that she could not work on her newspaper from the place, and hence she sold her newspaper to Mary Birdsall.
  • But later, Lily failed to gain popularity, and the society's enthusiasm died.
  • The Bloomers adopted two children in Council Bluffs.
  • The father of Amelia Bloomer was killed in the Civil War.
  • She was associated with the Iowa woman suffrage association.
  • Amelia Bloomer campaigned for suffrage and temperance in Council Bluffs.
  • She was a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union in the 1870s, and she wrote and lectured about temperance and prohibition.
  • She started a society called the Soldier's Aid Society to help Union Soldiers and some temperance newspapers.
  • She also began to believe that women's right to vote was crucial to repealing prohibition.
  • She attended a conference of the American Equal Rights Association in New York in 1869, followed by the group's splintering into the American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman Suffrage Association.
  • In 1870, Amelia Bloomer was a founding member of the Iowa Woman Suffrage Society. She served as the first vice president and then as president for a year until 1873.
  • Bloomer had significantly reduced her writing, lecturing, and other public duties by the late 1870s.
  • Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were among the speakers she brought to Iowa. She died at the age of 76 in Council Bluffs.

Amelia Bloomer: Trivia

The Bloomer Costume

  • Amelia Bloomer came to be known for a knee-length dress for women, which was supposed to make them comfortable and liberate them.
  • The earlier long heavy skirts were uncomfortable and inhibited movement for daily household chores.
  • The new reform of short skirts called Turkish trousers under the long trousers gained instant popularity among women's dress because of the comfort and came to known as Bloomer Costume.
  • The way Amelia promoted these costumes made her nationally renowned, and soon her name was attached to these costumes and called the 'Bloomer Pant.'
  • After the publicity of these dresses, many women's rights conventions also received letters from women from all over the country making inquiries.
  • Bloomer goes into another important aspect of the 19th-century women's rights movement: fashion while advocating for greater access to education and the ballot box for women.

The Backlash for the Amelia Bloomer's Dress

  • The style adopted and supported by Amelia for women led to an uproar.
  • Many magazines put Amelia in their bad looks and severely criticized her.
  • Gangs of men also harassed the bloomeries in the markets and on the streets.
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton also confessed that her father was unsupportive of such dresses for women.
  • Many men were of the opinion that they wouldn't vote for anybody who's wife is in favor of wearing bloomers.
  • Later, Shanton (an active supporter of Amelia) gave up on the idea of wearing bloomers and returned to the old uncomfortable clothing and Victorian dresses.
  • But Amelia, on the other hand, continued wearing trousers for many years. 'We all felt that the dress was drawing attention from what we thought of far greater importance; the question of woman's right to better education, to a wider field of employment, to better remuneration for her labor, and the ballot for the protection of her rights,' she wrote.

Suffragists Leave Bloomers

  • You might be wondering the reason behind such backlashes which Amelia Bloomer received. In earlier times, pants were supposed to signify dominance as men used to wear them. This gave them the upper edge to dominate the other gender.
  • Bloomers were related to the provocative female image. By putting on trousers, critics argued the dominant effect of wearing pants.
  • They even thought that women would smoke cigars in public spaces and start working as the police if this trend evolved.
  • Suffragists fled to a less provocative fashion statement in Bloomer's day: Susan B. Anthony wore a simple scarlet shawl over her neck.
  • The Philadelphia Press praised Anthony for her 'simple clothing and quaint crimson shawl,' an appearance that was regarded properly matronly.
  • 'Not a tinge of mannishness,' Anthony's attire said, 'but everything that a man loves and appreciates. What guy could deny a lady like that any right?'
  • Amelia Bloomer aimed to make women's lives easier by lowering their burdens and allowing more movement.
  • On the other hand, trousers were a man's realm, and when women were wearing them, they posed a danger to the gender hierarchy.
  • Bloomers were considered too much, but a calm red scarf could be forgiven.

Books Written By Amelia Bloomer

Women's suffrage was taken as a reform by Amelia Bloomer.

The books written by Amelia Bloomer are 'Hear Me Patiently' and '20 Hrs. 40 Min: Our Flight In The Friendship.'

  • Bloomer used the First Amendment right to approach the government to redress grievances while living in Iowa. She petitioned the 45th Congress for the "relief of her political impediments" in 1878.
  • Mrs. Amelia Bloomer of Council Bluffs, Iowa, recalls the views articulated in the 1848 Seneca Falls Declaration in her Petition for Woman Suffrage in the West: 'The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.'
  • As she grew older, her activities were limited, and she was forced to rely on others to continue the fight for fair treatment for her gender.
  • Dexter and Amelia Bloomer commemorated their golden anniversary in the house where they had lived for thirty-five years in the spring of 1890.
  • But she wasn't quite willing to put away her pen. In her essay 'Woman's Right to the Ballot,' Bloomer wrote: 'I hold that these rights belong, not to man alone, but to the race, and to each individual member of it, without regard to gender. I hold that woman has as good and rightful a claim to them as her brother, and that the man who denies this claim is only no good democrat, and much less a good republican, but that in being guilty of this denial, he commits an act of the grossest injustice and oppression.'
  • After the death of Amelia Bloomer, Dexter Bloomer also published Life and Writings of Amelia Bloomer.
  • Amelia Bloomer's life's work and principal focus was women's enfranchisement: in work, educational benefits, and democratic freedoms.
  • Despite her work being less well-known than that of some of her colleagues, her contributions shaped gender roles in the nineteenth century as Americans debated constitutional rights and social reforms.
  • The Amelia Bloomer, her home in Seneca Falls, New York, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

The History of Amelia Bloomer

Amelia Jenks Bloomer, an editor, social activist, and suffragist. She was also a fashion advocate and did a lot of hard work to bring reforms in clothing for women.

  • She was born on 27 May, in the year 1818, to a very modest family at Homer, in New York City.
  • In the early years, Amelia Jenks got the initial year's formal education only and was considered very intelligent compared to other classmates of hers.
  • She also became a teacher in public schools and later opted for private tutoring.
  • After taking a few years of formal education, she indulged herself completely in teaching other students around her locality.
  • Later in 1840, she married David Bloomer, and the Bloomers moved to Seneca Falls, New York.
  • On settling into her new home, she became a very active member of the Seneca Falls Society. Her husband also was involved in such matters.
  • Dexter Bloomer edited the weekly newspaper and opened a law practice firm. He also served as a town clerk.
  • He was a very active member of the local Whig Politics and attended political caucuses and meetings happening in the state anywhere.
  • He used his free time to discuss political news and stories with various members of Rescue Co, a fire department he was a part of.
  • Amelia also participated in local activities, church charities, and many other local societies.
  • Between 1840-1841 she vigorously and emotionally led suffrage campaigns in various localities of the region against alcohol abuse with the Washington Temperance Society.
  • The Washingtonians were created by six Baltimore pals who vowed one night to entirely abstain from alcohol and devote their lives to persuading everyone to do the same.
  • The Six Reformed Drunkards, the name by which they were famous for the rest of their lives, toured the country giving anti-alcohol lectures that rivaled those of a revival speaker in terms of enthusiasm and terrifying imagery.
  • Their oratory persuaded a significant number of people, and thousands of people signed Total Abstinence Pledges.
  • Among these Reformed Drunkards, two came to Seneca Falls in the 1840s and became famous sensations.
  • Their popularity paved the way to teach everyone anywhere about the harmful effects of liquor and its destructive influence on society.
  • In the year 1848, Bloomer visited Seneca Falls Woman's Rights Convention.
  • Later the following year, she found a newspaper called 'The Lily' for women. At the start, the newspaper was only able to address temperance societies.
  • The popularity of this newspaper increased so much that this bi-weekly started to publish other genres of news too.
  • Amelia also met another activity called Elizabeth Cady Stanton and printed articles about the women's rights movement.
  • In 1849, Deter Bloomer was elected the Postmaster for Seneca Falls. He later chose Amelia as his assistant.
  • They both utilized their office as a headquarters for the women's rights movements happening in Seneca Falls.
Written By
Nidhi Sahai

<p>Dedicated and experienced, Nidhi is a professional content writer with a strong reputation for delivering high-quality work. She has contributed her expertise to esteemed organizations, including Network 18 Media and Investment Ltd. Driven by her insatiable curiosity and love for journalism and mass communication, Nidhi pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, graduating with distinction in 2021. During her college years, she discovered her passion for Video Journalism, showcasing her skills as a videographer for her institution. Nidhi's commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond her professional pursuits. Actively engaging in volunteer work, she has contributed to various events and initiatives throughout her academic career.</p>

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