Nellie Bly

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by 8AC056
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
Historical biographies

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Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly was a flamboyant venturur, who was one of the first to travel the entire world in a record-setting 72 days.

Some then wondered why Nellie Bly would want to undergo these horrifying conditions just to write articles. Bly truly believed that peace and injustice were matters that were of most importance to the U.S. Her dreams conisted of helping others, and pursue her "sensational exposes" that made her fame. She was one of the first original muckrakers. They would do whatever it would take to get their stories straight and true to the point.

Nellie Bly's real name was Elizabeth Cochran Seaman. The name Nellie Bly came from a Stephen Foster song.

Did you know?

Bly's Effective Efforts

Why did Bly want to help?

What were asylums like?


Nellie Bly was one of 13 children. Her father had 10 children already from his previous marriage. As her parents ended up with 13 children overall, her father died when she was 6, leaving her mother to look after all of the children. Nellie Bly grew up and continued her education to help her mother care for her family. Bly went to Indiana State Normal School. She stayed there for only one year due to financial problems.She was later married, her husband owned multi-million dollar companies. He later passed away and she was left to run them. She was fair and treated her workers with respect, they took a liking to her more than her husband when her was the owner.

"Could I pass a week in the insane ward of Blackwell's Island? I said I could. And I did." - Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly

Mental asylums were the most unspoken problems in the late 19th century. The buildings had terrible conditions: rodents roaming around, freezing cold baths, and forms of abusive punishments and unsanitary conditions. Asylums were places for the poor, as rich people were send to nicer public hospitals.

Bly's efforts to improve insane asylums and other facilities in need of repair were exceptional. A dedicated reporter, she adressed the unlawful acts of the workers at asylums and the horrible conditions they would undergo. She contributed profits to help facilitate these places, and readers of her work were shocked. Because her articles exposed these social injustices, people wanted to take a stance in working to help these innocent, targeted people.


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