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Collection Highlights: Anne Newport Royall’s Paul Pry 

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In 1831, when very few women worked in any aspect of journalism, Anne Newport Royall boldly entered the field in Washington, DC.

Royall was already known in the nation’s capital for voicing her political opinions. In 1829, she was tried and arrested for the offense of a “common scold,” the crime of a woman who disturbs the public peace by noisy behavior. Her penalty was to be ducked, but the sentence was suspended.

Her four-page weekly newspaper, Paul Pry, later the Huntress, ran for twenty-five years and was described as a forerunner of the modern Washington gossip columns (Mott, American Journalism). Have a look at a page from the March 14, 1835 issue below and visit us in person to see more of this collection which was recently transferred to us from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division

Image of the front page of a newspaper bound into book binding with visible text of title Paul Pry.
Cover of Paul Pry (Washington, DC), March 14, 1835. 


Learn more about Anne Royall with the following books and articles:

An Uncommon Scold–Library of Congress Information Bulletin article about a Treasure Talk describing the life of Anne Royall.

Elden E. Billings. Early Women Journalists of Washington. Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C., 1966/1968, Vol. 66/68, pp. 84-97.

Frank Luther Mott. American Journalism. New York, NY: Macmillan, 1950.

Sarah Harvey Porter. The Life and Times of Anne Royall. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: The Torch Press Book Shop, 1909.

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