HerStory

Louisa LAWSON

Also known as: née Albury. Louisa also wrote under the pseudonyms "Archie Lawson", "Dora Falconer" and "Mrs Appleby".

Born: 17/2/1848

Died: 12/8/1920

Special Achievements:

Louisa Lawson was the first to found a school at the New South Wales gold digging fields. In 1887, Louisa Lawson bought the ailing newspaper, Republican, which she and her son Henry Lawson edited and wrote most of the newspaper’s copy. In 1888 Louisa Lawson published the first Australian Journal for women, and which was staffed entirely by women.  The Dawn was the first of its type in the world.  The exclusively male New South Wales Typographical Association disputed the women's right to work, refused the women membership and attempted to place an advertising boycott on The Dawn.  Lawson responded forcefully.  By June 1890 the Typographical Association agreed to female membership but the dispute had created extensive support from the Worker and the Bulletin for the issues raised by Lawson. 

In May 1889, Louisa had launched the campaign for female suffrage and created the Dawn Club which was aimed at bettering the life of women in general.

Additional Information:

Louisa Lawson was the mother of Henry Lawson (renowned Australian poet).  She was a journalist, social reformer and suffragist.  Author of Lonely Crossing and Other Poems(1905), Mother of the Women's Vote in NSW.  Editor of:  The Dawn (1888-1905), Young Australian (1889-1891), Young Idea (1891-1892), Dert & Do (1904).  Co-editor with her son Henry, the Republican (1887-1888).

Big-boned, she is to be remembered for her reply to the editor of the Bulletin's "Red Page": "And why shouldn't a woman be tall and strong?".


Resources

  • Image - Mrs Louisa Lawson, 1880's / photographer unknown

    State Library New South Wales

    Out of copyright: created before 1955


  • References

    Hope, Deborah.  A date with our forgotten heroines.  newspaper unknown.  January 10, 1984:7.