Journalist Jane Cunningham Croly – a pioneer in her profession- was also the founder and driving force behind the American club women’s movement. She was the founder of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Croly, a working journalist in a male-dominated world of newspapers and magazines, was probably the nation’s first syndicated woman’s columnist. Her column, “Jennie June,” went to an array of newspapers around the East and South. She became an editor at the New York World in 1862, and continued her column.
In 1868, when the New York Press Club refused admission to women to hear a special program by Charles Dickens, Croly founded Sorosis, a club for women.
Croly was a staunch believer in equal rights for women, although not an active suffragist, believing that the more important task was to lift women throughout all levels of society, and all reforms would evolve naturally. When she convened a national convention of women’s clubs in 1889 (the General Federation of Women’s Clubs was organized there), she set in motion the power of a vast, previously untapped and unorganized sisterhood of capable American women that would reshape American society.