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Anne Newport Royall (1769–1854)

Author of The Black Book; or, a Continuation of Travels in the United States

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Anne Newport Royall was possibly the first female professional journalist in the United States. She was a Freemason and fought ceaselessly for the separation of church and state. Her motto was, "Good works instead of long prayers." She was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and in 1797 married William Royall, a former major in the American Revolutionary War more than 25 years her senior. After his death, she traveled around the eastern states and wrote travel journals such as Sketches of History, Life and Manners in the United States (1826); Letters from Alabama on Various Subjects (1830); and the novel The Tennessean (1827) for many years. She settled down to become the editor and publisher of the Washington, D.C.-based newspaper Paul Pry, later renamed The Huntress, at age 61. During her career in Washington, she campaigned tirelessly against government corruption and fraud. Her famous interview with John Quincy Adams made her the female reporter to interview the President of the U.S.
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