Saturday, April 1, 2017

The first woman travel writer in America met every president from Washington to Lincoln | March 30, 2017

Women's history | Travel | US History

Anne Newport Royall was a spitfire journalist and publisher in the early days of the republic.

When Anne Newport Royall first visited Washington D.C., it was to petition Congress for a federal pension. She was recently widowed, and believed she was entitled to compensation as the wife of a veteran. At the time, Pension Law did not guarantee funds for widows; each woman had to plead her individual case. Royall thought that was ridiculous, so she found then President John Quincy Adams taking his morning swim in the Potomac River and, according to legend, sat on top of his clothing on the bank of the river until he was willing to speak to her. (It surely wasn’t long.) Though this story is widely seen as apocryphal, it is true that Adams met Royall and took a reluctant liking to her, even inviting her to visit with his wife, Louisa Adams, who gave Anne a shawl to take on her travels. Read more...

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