This Week in History


E. Cora Hind: Outstanding Journalist and Activist

For the week of Monday September 16, 2002

On September 18, 1861, E. Cora Hind was born in Toronto, Ontario. With persistence and determination, she became one of the first female journalists, and fought tirelessly for women’s rights.

E. Cora Hind

E. Cora Hind
© Provincial Archives of Manitoba
Canadian Women's Press Club 7

Raised on an Ontario farm by her aunt and paternal grandfather, E. Cora Hind developed an early interest in agriculture and livestock. At age 21, she and her aunt moved to frontier Winnipeg to pursue new challenges. Upon her arrival in Manitoba, she considered becoming a journalist, a profession already practised by a few women in the United States. Although armed with a letter of introduction to the editor of the Manitoba Free Press, she was refused a position on the grounds that journalism was not suitable for women. Cora was bitterly disappointed with this injustice, but not discouraged. She rented a typewriter and learned to use it effectively, becoming the first female stenographer in western Canada. This new job gave her a good network of contacts and she occasionally contributed articles to the Manitoba Free Press, primarily on agricultural matters.

E. Cora Hind’s big break came in 1898, when rain threatened the wheat harvest in western Canada. Colonel John Bayne Maclean, a key publisher, called on her services for a crop status report. Her extremely accurate predictions of the crop quality soon earned her international recognition. In 1901, more than 20 years after applying to the Manitoba Free Press, E. Cora Hind was offered a position as its agricultural journalist. Finally achieving her goal, this Manitoban by adoption enthusiastically reported on the development of the West to her readers.

Executive of the Manitoba Equal Suffrage Club<br>of which E. Cora Hind (on the left) was a member

Executive of the Manitoba Equal Suffrage Club
of which E. Cora Hind (on the left) was a member

© Provincial Archives of Manitoba
Manitoba Equal Suffrage Club 1

In addition to practising a profession normally reserved for men, E. Cora Hind was a socially involved feminist. She was an early member of Winnipeg Women’s Christian Temperance Union, a group that fought for alcohol prohibition and other social reforms. As an activist, with such important figures as Nellie McClung, she participated in the famous women’s “mock parliament” of 1893, went on a province-wide speaking tour in 1894 and, in 1912, was a founding member of the Political Equality League, which was fundamental to the women’s suffrage movement. As a result of this group’s pressure, Manitoba became, in 1916, the first Canadian province to grant women the right to vote.

Recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Manitoba, journalist and activist E. Cora Hind died in 1942 at the age of 81. She is a person of national historic significance.

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