Feisty Females: Sara Payson Willis, aka Fanny Fern

SaraPaysonWillisMarch is Women’s History Month and what better way to kick it off than to highlight the accomplishments of first female newspaper columnist and highest paid nineteenth century newspaper writer Sara Payson Willis, a.k.a. “Fanny Fern”.

Sara was born in Portland, Maine on July 9, 1811, the daughter of Nathaniel and Hannah (Parker) Willis.  Her parents had planned to name their fifth child after Reverend Edward Payson, pastor of Portland’s Second Congregational Church (five years later they named a son after the reverend).  Instead, she was given the middle name of Payson.

NOTE: This article is being re-purposed and may be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. Please check out our new site:  www.digginghistorymag.com.  Samples are available by clicking magazine image.  Regular monthly issues currently available for only $1.99. – Updated 1/20/18.

 

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