Clarina Howard Nichols – Townsend and Brattleboro

Clarina Howard Nichols

Clarina Howard Nichols (1810 – 1885) was an advocate for human rights. Born in Townsend, VT she went on to become the publisher of the Windham County Democrat newspaper in Brattleboro, where she expanded coverage to include women’s rights and equality for all. Her writings are credited for changes made in Vermont legislation providing for more rights.

After the death of her second husband (having successfully divorced the first), Clarina moved her family to Kansas when the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 threatened to establish slavery outside of the South. In Kansas, she continued writing about and advocating for equality, and again had significant influence on laws passed to ensure those rights. Her dedication to ensuring those rights continued when she moved to Washington D.C. and California.


Previously, Brattleboro Area Middle School students under the tutelage of teacher Joe Rivers made a podcast about Nichols for the Brattleboro Historical Society’s ‘This Week in Brattleboro History’:

Student work, such as the BHS podcasts, will be incorporated into professionally produced audio for the ‘Brattleboro Words Trail’.


Luskin on Nichols

Hear Research Team Leader Deborah Luskin share about why Clarina Howard Nichols became such a fierce advocate, and her national influence, on VPR: 
Link to VPR story

On The Map

Downtown Brattleboro, Vt where the Windham County Democrat was published.

Main Street, Downtown Brattleboro

About the Research sites

The Brattleboro Words Project is working with the community to identify specific sites and themes significant to the study of words in Brattleboro and surrounding towns. Research Teams – classrooms/teachers, amateur historians, veterans, writers, artists and other community members — will produce audio segments and other work to be incorporated into audio walking, biking and driving tours tours.

Research Team Leader

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