I meant to publish an article about Clementina Rind yesterday for July 4th, but got carried away by the new dictates of my self-imposed schedule – and FORGOT!
Maybe you don’t think of Clementina as being particularly sordid – certainly not in the ways that Catherine the Great portrayed sordidity! But in her own way, publicist, Clementina Rind, was the only woman in a man’s world, in a time when women had NO say – politically. A widow of a newspaper publisher, she was the ONLY Virginia woman to print a newspaper and hold the position of public printer during the Colonial period.
Being now unhappily forced to enter upon Business on my own Account I flatter myself those Gentlemen who shall continue to oblige me with their Custom and will not be offended at my requesting them in the future to be punctual in sending cash with Advertisements. … May that All Ruling Power, whose chastening Hand has snatched from my dear Infants and myself make me equal to the Task! … to bestow Happiness and Plenty on my orphan Family, if they find me capable of being their Servant…”
-Virginia Gazette September 2, 1773
Clementina watched as the revolution became what she described as “inevitable.” She published Thomas Jefferson’s First Declaration, and sent his document all over the colonies and Europe. That document became the gateway to Jefferson’s writing fame.
Clementina did not have long to blaze the trail. She did not live to see the Revolution fought, and the freedom she longed for, won. She died about a year after her husband, leaving her children to the care of Free Masons.