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The Chicago Legal News, Myra Bradwell and Susan B. Anthony – Pic of the Week

The following is a guest post by James Martin, Senior Legal Information Analyst at the Law Library of Congress.

Susan B. Anthony's dedication on the first volume of the Chicago Legal News. Photograph by Kevin Long

The Chicago Legal News has the distinction of being the first legal publication in the United States that was edited by a woman, Myra Bradwell.  In 1868, Myra submitted a prospectus for a legal newspaper for Chicago.  This paper was launched in the same year and quickly became noted for its authoritative reporting on legal developments and commentary.  In 1869, the State of Illinois enacted a law providing that the state’s courts could take judicial notice of the statutes of Illinois and the decisions of the state’s Supreme Court that were published in the paper.

The Law Library has a copy of the first volume of the Chicago Legal News, which was donated by Susan B. Anthony to the Library of Congress.  A blank sheet before the first issue of the journal has the following inscription in Anthony’s hand:

The first legal paper edited by a woman – Myra Bradwell – This file is from 1868 & 1869 - It was Mrs. Bradwell whose right to be admitted to the Bar of Illinois was carried up to the United States Supreme Court.  Senator Matthew Carpenter made the argument for her.

Congressional Library
Washington DC

Susan B. Anthony
Rochester – N.Y-

Jan. 1.1905

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