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Journalist Anne Newport (June 11, 1769-October 1, 1854) was born and raised on the Pennsylvania and Virginia frontiers. At 17, she moved to Sweet Springs, Monroe County, with her widowed mother, who became Maj. William Royall’s housekeeper. Royall encouraged Anne’s use of his large library and tutored her in the history and politics of the Revolution and early Republic, an uncommon education for women of her era. She married Royall in 1797. Following his death in 1812, she moved to Charleston, (West) Virginia, then traveled throughout the South.

By 1824, Anne Royall had lost her inheritance to scheming relatives and was refused a pension as the widow of a Revolutionary War veteran. Needing an income, she resumed traveling and wrote, published, and marketed 11 volumes picturesquely describing people and places from New England to Western Virginia to the deep South. In 1831, she settled in Washington, where she began a weekly newspaper, Paul Pry, to ‘‘expose all and every species of political evil and religious fraud’’ and to ‘‘advocate the liberty of the press, the liberty of speech, and the liberty of conscience.’’ When the growing unpopularity of her rancorous journalism forced discontinuation of Paul Pry, Royall quickly established The Huntress, published 1836–1854, which was less vitriolic and more entertaining.

Royall’s writing about politics, religion, and social movements and her characterizations of the personalities and life of the nation’s capital manifested her greatest hope, ‘‘that the union of these States may be eternal.’’

This Article was written by Harold Malcolm Forbes

Last Revised on September 11, 2019

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Jackson, George S. Uncommon Scold: The Story of Anne Royall. Boston: Bruce Humphries, 1937.

James, Bessie R. Anne Royall's U.S.A. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1972.

Maxwell, Alice S. & Marion B. Dunlevy. Virago! The Story of Anne Newport Royall (1769-1854). Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1985.

Porter, Sarah H. The Life and Times of Anne Royall. Cedar Rapids, IA: Torch Press Book Shop, 1908.

Cite This Article

Forbes, Harold Malcolm "Anne Newport Royall." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 11 September 2019. Web. 17 July 2024.


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