See biography by her husband, D. C. Bloomer (1895); C. N. Gattey, The Bloomer Girls (1968).
(born May 27, 1818, Homer, N.Y., U.S.—died Dec. 30, 1894, Council Bluffs, Iowa) U.S. reformer. In 1840 she married Dexter Bloomer, a Quaker newspaper editor. She wrote articles on education, unjust marriage laws, and women's suffrage and published the biweekly Lily (1849–54). Among her interests was dress reform, and the full trousers that she wore came to be known as bloomers. Her costume generated considerable publicity and helped to attract large crowds to her lectures in New York City, where she often shared the platform with Susan B. Anthony and the Rev. Antoinette L. Brown.
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Bloomer came from a family of modest means and received only a few years of formal schooling. When she was 22, she married attorney Dexter Bloomer who encouraged her to write for his New York newspaper, the Seneca Falls County Courier.
She spent her early years in Cortland County, New York. Bloomer and her family moved to Iowa in 1852. She died at Council Bluffs, Iowa. She is commemorated together with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Ross Tubman in the calendar of saints of the Episcopal Church on July 20, the date of Stanton's death.
Bloomer, describing her feelings as the first woman to own, operate and edit a news vehicle for women, wrote:
In her publication, Bloomer promoted a change in dress standards for women that would be less restrictive in regular activities.
Bloomer remained a suffrage pioneer and writer throughout her life, writing for a wide array of periodicals. She led suffrage campaigns in Nebraska and Iowa, and served as president of the Iowa Woman Suffrage Association from 1871 until 1873.
Although Bloomer’s work was far less renowned than her contemporaries were, she made many significant contributions to the women’s movement — her ideas of dress reform and her work in the temperance movement were notable. Moreover, The Lily was a voice for many women reformers such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. It spoke on many issues such as dress reform and the need for enfranchisement for women.