The Coming Citizen

Scope and Content

Papers relating to proposal for National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies journal 'The Coming Citizen'.

Administrative / Biographical History

The following details come from a note written by Thompson on 7 Mar 1975: 'The constitutional movement had no journal of its own after the death of Lydia Becker in 1890 when her 'The Women's Suffrage Journal ceased publication. 'The Englishwomen's Review' which was edited by Helen Blackburn until she died 11 Jan 1903 carried a good coverage of the activities of the Suffrage Societies and this continued but on a somewhat lesser scale under the editorship of Miss Antoinette M Mackenzie. By 1908 the Constitution Movement no doubt felt the need for its own journal, especially as the Suffragette movement had commenced the 'Votes for Women' journal edited by the Pethick-Lawrences.

In 1907 the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) had come to an arrangement with the publishers of 'Women's Franchise for the inclusion in that journal of a certain amount of coverage of their activities. The Magazine Sub Committee appears to have been charged with considering the launching of a journal for the NUWSS and the proposal to publish 'The Coming Citizen' was the outcome of their deliberations.

In the event, the NUWSS felt that they should not directly publish such a journal as the official organ of the Society and in 1909 formed a separate company to publish the journal; 'Common Cause'. In this way they thought they were getting around the arrangement which they had made with the publishers of 'Women's Franchise. However once 'Common Cause' commenced to appear, the publishers of 'Women's Franchise' ceased to publish that journal'. [This latter point is not entirely accurate - see Doughan & Sanchez 'Feminist Periodicals' p.24].