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Out on AssignmentNewspaper Women and the Making of Modern Public Space$
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Alice Fahs

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834961

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869031_fahs

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(p.232) Chapter Seven Travel
Out on Assignment

Alice Fahs

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses Nellie Bly's journey to Mexico, where she dreamed not only of adventure but also of a possible “beat” as the first woman newspaper correspondent to write from Mexico City. To her chagrin, on arrival Bly quickly discovered that she was not the first—or even the second, or third, or fourth—woman correspondent in Mexico City: instead, she was part of a virtual colony of American women writers. As she observed with some asperity in her first “letter” from Mexico to the Pittsburg Dispatch, “At the present day there are no less than six widows, of the crankiest type, writing up Mexico, each expecting to become a second [Alexander von] Humboldt and have their statues erected on the public square.”

Keywords:   Nellie Bly, Mexico, woman newspaper correspondent, virtual colony, American women writers, Alexander von Humboldt

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