Back to top

"Mrs. Swisshelm Guillotined," Chicago Tribune, March 2, 1866

Jane Swisshelm, detail
Jane Swisshelm, the veteran abolitionist and women's rights journalist and editor, had been engaged as a government clerk by Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War, who was an admirer of her work as a wartime nurse. This did not curtail her journalism, however, and she had opened a new journal, The Reconstructionist. Her written criticism of President Johnson proved too much and Johnson had her dismissed from her government clerkship on February 26, 1866. The Chicago Tribune commented on this response, noting that women such as Mrs. Lucy Livingston Cobb, one of the most notorious female "pardon brokeresses" had access to the White House whenever she wanted in order to get former traitors amnesty, while anyone who criticized Johnson was victimized. The editorial goes on to claim that Swisshelm was only expressing the opinions of the Republican Party which had won the White House and that women especially, since they did not have the vote, had the right to speak out in the Press. (By John Osborne)


How to Cite This Page: ""Mrs. Swisshelm Guillotined," Chicago Tribune, March 2, 1866," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,