Laura's Blog

A Revolutionary Woman Journalist

July 11, 2018

Clementina.png

Today, for Women Crush Wednesday, let’s raise a coffee cup in honor of Clementina Rind, Virginia’s first female printer. In 1774—two years before the Declaration of Independence and when most people in the colonies were angry at the King’s taxes but still staunchly loyal to England—she had the guts to publish Thomas Jefferson’s A Summary View of the Rights of British America. Drafted as instructions to the Virginia delegates going to the First Continental Congress, TJ’s tract was a resounding list of grievances against Parliament and King George, a precursor to the declaration we all know and celebrate on the 4th of July.

Clementina took leadership of Williamsburg’s  Virginia Gazette at the death of her husband, without missing a single issue of their 4-page Thursday weekly.  She wrote: “Being now unhappily forced to enter into upon Business on my own account, I flatter myself those Gentlemen who shall continue to oblige me with their Custom will not be offended at my requesting them, in future, to be punctual in sending Cash with Advertisements. “ Evidently Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were among the few who paid promptly!

Clementina kept printing even as her home and many of her possessions were sold to pay off her dead husband’s outstanding debts. She did manage to keep the printing press, however, and within a few months had turned her business around enough that was able to purchase “an elegant set of types from London.” She petitioned the House of Burgesses to continue granting her gazette their printing orders over a rival gazette published by Purdie and Dixon.

In her early 30s at the time, Clementina achieved all that while parenting four young sons and one daughter, named Maria (who is an important character in my other Revolutionary War novel, GIVE ME LIBERTY).

As editor, Clementina expanded the newspaper’s material to include not only news reports of foreign and domestic affairs, local politics, and shipping, but essays on scientific discoveries, the educational reforms at the College of William and Mary, and poems and prose celebrating female pursuits. She also addressed the welfare of widows and orphans. She proudly kept to the motto her husband had given the newspaper in 1766:  “Open to ALL PARTIES, but influenced by NONE.”

In December 1773, her rival gazette ran an anonymous accusation that Clementina had violated her paper’s proclamation of unbiased free expression by refusing to publish a piece that libeled someone in town. Her response was that she might have if the author had been willing to name himself, especially since the article dealt with an incident that should be decided in a court of law rather than in her newspaper.

During her 13 brief months as printer, Clementina did help fuel Virginia’s growing revolutionary sensibilities by running articles that included patriot outrage at the British blockaded of Boston’s port, following the famous Sons of Liberty’s tea party.  When the House of Burgesses passed a resolution for a day of fasting in solidarity with Boston, she published their call, as well as their commentary about the infringement on American liberties.

Sadly, Clementina became died in September 1774, at age 34, struck down with an undisclosed illness. She was sure to have remained an important voice and arbiter of political debate during the Revolution had she lived, reflected by the large number of eulogies and a 150-line elegy about her intellect, literary talent, and sound critical judgment. Even her printing rivals sung her praises in their obituary, calling her “a Lady of singular Merit, and universally esteemed.” One of them, John Dixon, actually became guardian to her orphaned children.

Her daughter Maria grew up to become a governess and married her charges’ tutor, John Coalter, who later became a judge with the Virginia Court of Appeals. One of Clementina’s sons became a lawyer in Kentucky, and another a Loyalist printer in Canada. William Rind eventually returned to the United States, publishing Richmond’s Virginia Federalist and Georgetown’s Washington Federalist—a pretty clear legacy of Clementina’s commitment to reporting all sides of an argument, even if she herself was a patriot!

If you’re interested in a historical fiction set in Williamsburg during this exact time period and in which the young Maria appears, check out my novel about a young apprentice who becomes a fifer in the 2nd VA Regiment just in time for the Battle of Great Bridge, south of Norfolk.  http://www.lmelliott.com/book_landing_page_historical/give-me-liberty/

Other Blog Posts


A Revolutionary Woman Journalist

Posted by laura on July 11, 2018


Angelica's Elopement

Posted by laura on June 27, 2018


Guest Blog: In Appreciation of Thomas Kail

Posted by laura on June 22, 2018


Happy Father's Day to America's #1 Founding Father

Posted by laura on June 17, 2018



The Hurricane that gave us Alexander Hamilton

Posted by laura on May 14, 2018



Lafayette's Love, Adrienne

Posted by laura on April 26, 2018


THE FINAL AND OFFICIAL COVER

Posted by laura on April 16, 2018


THE FOURTH COVER OPTIONS

Posted by laura on April 11, 2018


The Room Where Peggy Happened: The Library

Posted by laura on April 9, 2018


The Third Cover Options

Posted by laura on April 8, 2018


THE SECOND COVER OPTIONS

Posted by laura on April 6, 2018


The First Cover Options

Posted by laura on April 4, 2018


HOW A COVER GETS MADE

Posted by laura on April 2, 2018


Guest Blog: Theodosia Writes Me a Letter Every Day...

Posted by laura on March 28, 2018





Lucy Knox: Romantic and Patriot

Posted by laura on March 20, 2018



Happy Birthday, Richard Varick!

Posted by laura on March 15, 2018


Uncle Johnny, the “ Good Dr. Bones”

Posted by laura on March 12, 2018


Peggy as a YA Heroine

Posted by laura on March 7, 2018


Guest Blog: The Power of Letters

Posted by laura on March 5, 2018


Happy Birthday, Baby Caty!

Posted by laura on March 4, 2018



The Power of Historical Fiction for Teens

Posted by laura on February 27, 2018


To the Students of Parkland

Posted by laura on February 26, 2018


Guest Blog: From the Editor, Katherine Tegen

Posted by laura on February 25, 2018


Happy Birthday, Gentleman Johnny!

Posted by laura on February 24, 2018



Peggy's Romantic Life

Posted by laura on February 22, 2018


A Long Song for George Washington

Posted by laura on February 19, 2018


24 hours until Event at Politics and Prose!

Posted by laura on February 18, 2018


Guest Blog: 5 Fun Facts about George Washington

Posted by laura on February 16, 2018


Guest Blog: Historical Galentines!

Posted by laura on February 12, 2018


Fun for Sunday Afternoon!

Posted by laura on February 11, 2018


Countdown to Launch on Galentine’s Day!

Posted by laura on February 9, 2018


Guest Blog: Favorite Sisters in Fiction

Posted by laura on February 7, 2018


Happy Birthday to Aaron Burr, Sir

Posted by laura on February 6, 2018


Guest Blog: Discoveries in the NYPL by Mabel Hsu

Posted by laura on February 5, 2018


Guest Blog: The Creation of a Book Trailer

Posted by laura on February 2, 2018


Today and McCarthy

Posted by laura on February 1, 2018


A Schuyler Sisters Super Bowl

Posted by laura on January 31, 2018


Meet Peggy Schuyler!

Posted by laura on January 28, 2018


The Youngest Soldier of the Revolution

Posted by laura on January 26, 2018


Happy Birthday, Daveed!

Posted by laura on January 24, 2018


Guest Blog from Moxii

Posted by laura on January 21, 2018



Happy Birthday Benedict Arnold - January 14, 1741

Posted by adminC on January 10, 2018


Happy Birthday, Alexander! January 11

Posted by adminC on January 10, 2018


Happy Anniversary George and Martha!

Posted by laura on January 6, 2018


"The Hard Winter" when Peggy met Hamilton

Posted by laura on January 1, 2018


Happy New Year's!

Posted by laura on December 31, 2017


Duck and Cover Mindset

Posted by laura on October 9, 2017


Happy Birthday Fahrenheit 451!

Posted by laura on October 4, 2017


Banned Books & President Eisenhower

Posted by laura on September 28, 2017


Knocked Over By a Feather: McCarthy and Book Burning

Posted by laura on September 24, 2017


Librarians in the Battle of “Fake News”

Posted by laura on September 21, 2017


McCarthy to Trump Connections

Posted by laura on September 19, 2017


Fourth of July....And Peggy!

Posted by laura on July 4, 2017


Coming September 2017: SUSPECT RED

Posted by laura on April 17, 2017


Thoughts on Veteran's Day

Posted by laura on November 11, 2016



Leonardo the Writer

Posted by laura on April 19, 2016


A Live Look at Verrocchio

Posted by laura on April 18, 2016


The Teacher Behind Leonardo

Posted by laura on April 16, 2016


Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!

Posted by laura on April 15, 2016



The Town of Vinci

Posted by laura on April 12, 2016


Leonardo’s Top 5 Most Imaginative Inventions

Posted by laura on April 11, 2016


Valentine's Day During the Renaissance

Posted by laura on February 14, 2016


Valentine's Day Activities!

Posted by laura on February 8, 2016


Historical #WCW: Artemisia Gentileschi

Posted by laura on February 3, 2016


Anniversary of the Joust

Posted by laura on January 29, 2016


Great Falls Friends & Neighbors Event

Posted by laura on January 14, 2016


My New Literary Friends to the North

Posted by laura on January 4, 2016


Ti Amo, Piombino

Posted by laura on December 28, 2015


The Holidays in Renaissance Florence

Posted by laura on December 23, 2015


Florentine Decorations

Posted by laura on December 15, 2015


Just in Time for Holiday Shopping!

Posted by laura on December 4, 2015


A Very Renaissance Thanksgiving

Posted by laura on November 26, 2015


NCTE Thanks

Posted by laura on November 23, 2015


#TBT: Another guest blog!

Posted by laura on November 19, 2015


Guest Blog: Researching DA VINCI'S TIGER

Posted by laura on November 17, 2015


NCTE 2015

Posted by laura on November 17, 2015


Exciting News!

Posted by laura on November 13, 2015


So What Did Leonardo Really Look Like and Act Like?

Posted by laura on November 9, 2015


Get Your Plato On!

Posted by laura on November 7, 2015


The Ambassador

Posted by laura on November 2, 2015


#TBT: My love of horses

Posted by laura on October 29, 2015


The Lady Behind the Portrait

Posted by laura on October 28, 2015


LORENZO, Il Magnifico: The defacto ruler of Florence

Posted by laura on October 26, 2015


Throwback Thursday: My first trip to Florence

Posted by laura on October 22, 2015


The Kick-Butt Abbess

Posted by laura on October 21, 2015


Santa Croce: The Site of the Joust!

Posted by laura on October 20, 2015


Meet Florence’s “Prince of Youth”

Posted by laura on October 19, 2015


Some Loves Start Early!

Posted by laura on October 15, 2015


The Duomo Bells

Posted by laura on October 14, 2015


Leonardo's Other Female Portraits

Posted by laura on October 14, 2015


6 Things You May Not Know About Leonardo Da Vinci

Posted by laura on October 12, 2015


Epic Reads Discussion Guide

Posted by laura on October 8, 2015


Talk at the National Gallery of Art!

Posted by laura on October 7, 2015


First Reviews for Da Vinci's Tiger!

Posted by laura on September 27, 2015


NEW COVER for DA VINCI'S TIGER

Posted by laura on August 13, 2015


YA Sync Free Download of Under a War Torn Sky LIVE!

Posted by laura on August 6, 2015


Mark Your Calendars

Posted by laura on July 6, 2015


The Beauty of Synchronicity

Posted by laura on May 18, 2015


70th Anniversary of VE Day

Posted by laura on May 8, 2015


Why Write A Trilogy?

Posted by laura on April 14, 2015


Valentine's Day

Posted by laura on February 8, 2015


Listening to the Audiobook of Under a War Torn Sky

Posted by laura on February 3, 2015


A Wonderful Fall

Posted by adminC on October 29, 2014


close