Eliza Anderson Godefroy

Female, Deceased Person

1789 – 1839


Who was Eliza Anderson Godefroy?

Eliza Anderson Godefroy was most likely the first woman to edit a general-interest magazine in the United States. In 1806 and 1807, at the age of 26, she was the founder and editor of a Baltimore publication called The Observer.

Godefroy—or Anderson, as she was then known—was the daughter of a prominent Baltimore physician, Dr. John Crawford. In 1799, at the age of 19, she married a local merchant named Henry Anderson, but he had abandoned his wife and infant daughter by 1801. In 1805, Anderson accompanied her friend and fellow Baltimorean Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte during a journey to Europe that was undertaken in a vain attempt to convince Napoleon Bonaparte to recognize her marriage to his youngest brother, Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte.

At some point after Anderson returned to Baltimore in November 1805, she became associated with a weekly publication called The Companion and Weekly Miscellany, which was published from November 1804 until October 1806. While the use of pseudonyms in the magazine—conventional at the time—makes it difficult to be sure exactly who was editing it, it appears that at some point in September 1806 Anderson became its editor.

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on July 23, 2013


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