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Mon, 12.20.1847

The Pittsburgh Saturday Visiter is Published

*The Pittsburgh Saturday Visiter newspaper was published on this date in 1847. This was an abolitionist and women's rights newspaper printed in Pittsburgh.  

Jane Swisshelm was its editor, and Robert M. Riddle printed the paper. Swisshelm funded the work through money in her estate, and at the time, the abolitionist newspaper in Pittsburgh had closed. Crowds were waiting in the streets for the first issue. Swisshelm spelled "visitor" as "visiter" and believed her spelling was correct.

The Saturday Visiter also endorsed Free Soil arguments against slavery. The paper had a good circulation with around 6,000 subscribers, though more subscribers lived outside Pennsylvania. Frederick Douglass said, "There are few papers exerting greater influence than the Saturday Visiter, edited by Mrs. Swisshelm." After Swisshelm had a child, she realized that she was neglecting the work on the Visiter.

Eventually, she started looking to sell the Visiter in 1853 and looked for someone with similar political views as herself. The paper itself went bankrupt by 1854, despite its good circulation, and was sold to Riddle. He merged the paper with the weekly edition of his Commercial Journal, keeping Swisshelm on as editor.

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