Tag Archives: Robert Cowan

Uncommon Scold: Anne Newport Royall


Anne Royall was in her day, which was 1830’s and 1840’s, the most famous woman living in America. At this point, she’s been forgotten. She was America’s first female news reporter, newspaper editor and publisher of two newspapers in Washington, DC, 1830-1850. She was the first American to travel around the country for the purpose of writing books about the towns and countryside as well as the inhabitants. She visited and wrote about every city of importance in her lifetime. She met and talked with every President of the United States from Monroe to Pierce. She interviewed and wrote sketches of innumerable famous Americans of her day.


While Anne Royall is not widely known today, her legend has not died completely. There are three biographies. Her life has provides lively chapters in a number of books.

Sarah Harvey Porter, The Life and Times of Anne Royall, Torch Press Book Shop, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 1909. The full text is available online.

George Stuyvesant Jackson, “Uncommon Scold: The Story of Anne Royall”, Bruce Humphries Inc. publishers, Boston, 1937. The Library of Congress presented talks on American Treasures. Anne Royall was one of the Treasures.

Bessie Rowland James, “Anne Royall’s U.S.A., Rutgers Univ. Press, 1972. — via Anna Boyd Byus

Our 5th great aunt. We descend for her sister Mary Malvina Newport and her husband, Robert Cowan.