113 Main Street | Clarina Howard Nichols

Play Audio & View Transcripts

  • Clarina (1) - Overview of Clarina's Life

  • Clarina (2) - Early Years, Troubled Marriage and Renewal

  • Clarina (3) - Brattleboro Newspaper editor and birth of an activist

  • Clarina (4) - Trailblazing activist/orator, westward mover and shaper of Kansas Constitution


Clarina Howard Nichols was a prominent suffragette during her lifetime, though we don't often hear about her today. She helped organize and submit several petitions to the Vermont legislature, influencing women's rights. She was also one of the first female newspaper editors.

Born in West Townshend, she was left to support herself and her children after a failed marriage. She began writing for the Windham County Democrat newspapers and later married the editor, eventually taking over the role.

In 1854, Nichols moved to Kansas to continue her activism, fighting for women's rights, serving at times as a teacher, lecturer, editor, writer, farmer, lay doctor and lawyer, government clerk, matron in a home for destitute black children and widows, and conductor on the Underground Railroad.

Tour Stop Location: Historical Marker - West Townshend, VT

6573 Vermont Highway 30, West Townshend, Vermont 05359, United States

Research & Production

Script, Audio Production/Editing, Narration: Donna Blackney
Production Assistance: Lissa Weinmann
Commentary/Research: Nancy Olson
Additional Research: Marilyn Blackwell (U. Mass Amherst), Dan DeWalt (also original piano in Clarina 2), Rolf Parker-Houghton
Voice of Clarina: Shannon Ward
Voice of Sen. Joseph Barrett (Clarina 3): John Loggia

Ongoing Development and Involvement:
As a community-created project, we encourage ongoing dialogue, questions, and engagement. If you would like to be involved in future developments, have information or a perspective that could deepen others' understanding of this topic,
please contact us.

Photos & Video

  • <p>Clarina Howard Nichols sculpted clay portrait by Cynthia Parker-Houghton, commissioned for the Brattleboro Words Project &amp; Brattleboro Words Trail</p>
  • <p>Windham County Democrat snippet - Nichols as editor</p>
  • <p>Clarina Howard Nichols portrait, engraved by J. G. Butre from History of Woman Suffrage 1881.jpg</p>

Trail Stop Location: Windham County Democrat newspaper office (upper floors of 113 Main Street)- Downtown Brattleboro

113 Main Street, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301, United States