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Mollie Meant Business

Mollie Jordan of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, began writing for the Spirit of the Age in 1855. Her articles were notable not only because they were written at a time which saw very few female writers, but also because of the topics she wrote about. Mollie believed that women were the intellectual equals to men, and her articles displayed this conviction. When she married the newspaper's editor, Alexander Gorman of Raleigh, on December 4, 1855, her writings began defending the wife's role in the home, arguing that more respect should be granted to wives for their struggles. She also defended spinsters, arguing that a woman should not be forced into marriage and that those who chose not to marry still held an important place in society. Mollie soon became a co-editor of the newspaper, even taking over full operations when her husband was away. The Civil War greatly affected the Spirit of the Age. The newspaper was forced to limit the size of its paper and the decision was made to cut the women's section. During the later stages of the war, Alexander Gorman was forced to sell the newspaper. He died in 1865. Mollie had little money left because her Confederate savings were worthless. She persevered, however, and continued to raise her four children. Her feminist role is largely forgotten, but the topics she wrote about were truly revolutionary.
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