The Press and Women's Suffrage
The main sources of news in 1914 were either neighborhood gossip or the local newspaper. Radio only became widely available in the late 1920s. Local papers could easily sway public opinion, so suffragists were keen to attract positive news coverage.
Minneapolis's main newspaper in the early 20th century was the Minneapolis Daily Tribune, founded in 1867 as a four-page daily. By 1907, under the leadership of publisher William J. Murphy, its morning and evening editions reached an estimated 101,165 readers.
The offices of the Minneapolis Tribune were located on "Newspaper Row," on 4th Street between Nicollet and Marquette Ave. This location was conveniently near bars and the banking district, Chamber of Commerce, and the Courthouse. The block also served as the headquarters of the Saturday Evening Spectator, the Minneapolis Journal, Minneapolis Penny Press, and the Minneapolis Times, and held the Minneapolis offices of the St. Paul Globe and The Pioneer Press.
The Tribune's coverage of the local suffrage movement was generally fair, but sometimes delivered with wry humor or unflattering characterizations. After the May 1914 parade, for example, it commented:
"Minneapolis wakes this morning with some distinctly new ideas of those who are engaged in obtaining votes for women. Minneapolis learned by practical demonstration that those who ask the ballot for women are distinctly not a bevy of hopeless spinsters, unhappily married women, and persons who have nothing else to do…."
It went on: "[t]he largely male group of bystanders … were impressed with the fact that there is in Minneapolis a considerable army of women determined to have the ballot and to march through the streets to get it."
The Tribune's main rival was the Minneapolis Journal (1888-1939), which featured cartoons by the popular cartoonist, Charles “Bart” Bartholomew (1869-1949). Bartholomew started working at the Republican-leaning newspaper as a reporter and occasional illustrator.
Eventually, he was able to convince editor J.S. McClain that the Journal needed a full-time cartoonist. His cartoons ran nearly every day from 1890 to 1915 and were reprinted across the United States and the world. The full collection of over 6,000 prints is housed at the Minneapolis Central Library.