Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BLOOMER, Amelia Jenks, reformer, born in Homer, New York, 27 May 1818. She married, in 1840, Dexter C. Bloomer, a lawyer, and resided in Seneca Falls, New York, where she wrote frequently on the enfranchisement of women, and on 1 January 1849, issued the first number of "The Lily," a semi-monthly publication, devoted to temperance and woman's rights, which attained a circulation of 4,000. In 1853 she removed with her husband to Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where she continued the publication of " The Lily," and was also associate editor of the " Western Home Journal," a literary weekly. In 1855, on account of her husband's business interests, they removed to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where it was impracticable, for lack of manufacturing and postal facilities, to continue the publication of the paper, which she therefore sold to Mary born Birdsall. She advocated women's rights on the lecture platform as well as in the columns of her paper, and took a prominent part in the movement for woman suffrage. She also lectured on temperance m the principal cities of the northwest, and adopted and publicly recommended a sanitary dress for women, known as the Bloomer costume, which was first introduced by Elizabeth Smith Miller, daughter of Gerrit Smith. It consisted of skirts reaching just below the knee and Turkish trousers. In the winter of 1855 Mrs. Bloomer addressed the territorial legislature of Nebraska on the subject of conferring the ballot on women. She took part in organizing the Iowa state suffrage association, and was at one time its president, but in later years withdrew entirely from public life.
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