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Dorothy Dix: Topics in Chronicling America

Beginning in 1896, Dorothy Dix was the original American syndicated women’s advice columnist. This guide provides access to materials related to “Dorothy Dix” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.

Introduction

"Marry the man you love, girls, the man who interests you, the man of whom you never tire, the man with whom you have every thought and sympathy in common, though he be as poor as a church mouse. - Dororthy Dix." September 26, 1913. The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), Image 10. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Dorothy Dix (aka Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer) was the original syndicated women’s advice columnist and well-known American journalist. Throughout her career, more than 2,000 people wrote to her for her advice, and about 60 million read her daily column published in newspapers and magazines across the country. A known author as well, her books include: Mirandy (1914), Heart ala Mode (1915), and How to Win and Hold a Husband (1939). Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.

Timeline

1896 Elizabeth Meriweather Gilmer's neighbor, Eliza Peitevent Nicholson, owner of the New Orleans Picayune, reads a sample of her writing and offers her a job as a reporter. Under the pseudonym Dorothy Dix, she serves as editor of the "Women’s Department" and writes the column: "Sunday Salad."
1901 Dorothy Dix's writing attracts the attention of William Randolph Hearst, owner of the New York Journal. She is asked to join the paper, where she covers some of the most important murder trials of the day, including the cases of Harry Thaw, Stanford White, & Nan Patterson.
1917 The Wheeler Syndicate offers Gilmer a position writing an advice column for the lovelorn. In her column, "Dorothy Dix Talks," she dispenses advice on marriage and home life with a mature approach. By the middle of the 1920's, her column is of the day almost 200 different publications throughout the world and she is the world’s highest paid woman writer.