Suffrage Fight Melodramatic and Spectacular, Says Marguerite Martyn

Reporter and Illustrator Marguerite Martyn tells and draws compelling stories of the early 20th century in new book.

Online PR News – 27-June-2019 – San Francisco, CA – One hundred years ago women in the United States were fighting for the right to vote.

Marguerite Martyn was there to see it happen. A reporter and illustrator for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Martyn interviewed and sketched the suffragists as they lobbied, marched, campaigned and cajoled in their fight for the vote. "The finale was more than dramatic," Martyn wrote in 1919 when the Missouri senate finally voted yes on women's suffrage. "It was melodramatic and spectacular."

Marguerite Martyn: America's Forgotten Journalist, a new book of Martyn's writings and sketches compiled by George Garrigues for City Desk Publishing, gives a first-hand glimpse of the suffragists and their era.

Martyn had been told that she was "too sensitive" to be a reporter. But - she completed four decades on the Post-Dispatch, Joseph Pulitzer's great Midwest newspaper. Her sensitivity, wit and whimsy made her so popular her name was featured in the headlines. She interviewed and sketched the notables of her time, including Charles Dana Gibson, creator of the "Gibson Girl" (and he sketched her, too!) birth-control advocate Margaret Sanger, and English suffragist Sylvia Pankhurst. Marguerite Martyn: America's Forgotten Journalist shows Martyn in her most productive years: covering Republican and Democratic national conventions, immigrants to this country, kids working in factories, and semi-secret nightclubs where teenage rebels gathered to drink and dance.

She looked around the convention floor and wrote: "Woman, she is everywhere."

This selection of Martyn's writings shows the sometimes overlooked role of women in the making of American culture and history in the early twentieth century.

"It is easy to discern in reading these articles that Martyn was quite a character herself," writes Frank Absher, executive director of the St. Louis Media Foundation. "Her descriptive writing style, which relied heavily on her interview subjects and her surroundings, truly set her work apart from the day's standard news stories."

"Early twentieth-century women journalists struggled for recognition," observed The Missouri Historical Review in its April 2019 issue, but Martyn was one of the exceptions. In this book, she "has been reclaimed from obscurity in this earnest account of her career."

Marguerite Martyn: America's Forgotten Journalist, is available at You can find more on Martyn and other books by Garrigues at

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