The Liz Library Women's History Section

Spotlight on Pedestriennes

Pedestriennes: Newsworthy But
Controversial Women in Sporting Entertainment
by Dahn Shaulis

      [This historical article on the legitimacy of women in sport first appeared in the Spring 1999 issue of Journal of Sport History.]

      In the nineteenth century hundreds of women performed professional feats of strength and endurance. Endurance walkers and runners known as pedestriennes were particularly newsworthy, gaining metropolitan newspaper coverage in Britain and North America from the mid-1870s to the late 1880s.
      By the early twentieth century, however, historical recognition of these women was scarce. 1 Popular accounts of pedestrienne performances surfaced in the 1960s and 1970s, yet these women have received minimal scholarly attention. 2 Some sport histories do not even acknowledge womens participation in pedestrianism. 3 Others have recorded their performances as a single incident or a short-lived fad. 4
      Contemporary texts that analyze women's roles in sport relegate the efforts of the pedestriennes to a few sentences. 5 Some histories briefly acknowledge the athletic endurance and significance of these women with few if any sources. 6 Two sources recognize a history of womens footraces in England, but suggest that the phenomenon died out by the mid-nineteenth century. 7 An overriding thesis in at least two other sources is that the pedestriennes were brazen entertainers violating Victorian moral standards who made little contribution, or even a negative contribution, to women's sport. 8

      In contrast to past accounts, this essay portrays women's foot racing as an international phenomenon involving women of several nationalities and ethnic groups, with threads leading from medieval smock races to late twentieth-century professional sports. 9
      It is argued here that the pedestriennes were not universally marginalized during their era, nor was their form of entertainment short-lived. Some consciously strove for and for a time enjoyed a certain legitimacy despite relentless pressure to marginalize them. Their eventual marginalization, however, is significant because it allowed groups to continue to restrict womens activities.
      The story of the late-nineteen-century pedestriennes should be of interest to contemporary sport history because it illustrates how interest groups legitimize or marginalize cultural activity through the media and through government intervention. Powerful groups and their ideologies, then as now, are a major force for deciding what is newsworthy, profitable, revolutionary or immoral, and ultimately how history is written. Interest group actions are interpreted here within six ideologies: Victorian beliefs, capitalism, medicalization, suffrage feminism, popular culture, and physical culture.10
      In the see-sawing tension between legitimation and marginalization we discern a familiar pattern: the spectacular successes of a few promote legitimation and embolden so many others in such a short time to copy their activities that the social movement we call a "craze" develops. Often, as here, the craze leads to perceived excesses and abuses which erode legitimacy and provide a rationale for interference and suppression.
      This essay focuses on two newsworthy performers, Madame Ada Anderson and Bertha Von Hillern, during the rise of American sporting entertainment in the 1870s.
      Based on hundreds of newspaper accounts that were written about them, I find that interpretations of the pedestriennes varied, and that several interest groups were politically or economically involved in their public approval and disapproval. On one side, women suffragists temporarily accepted the walkers as symbols for womens rights and health while business people fueled their popularity. On the other side, temperance and religious leaders labeled the pedestriennes as morally disreputable figures.
      Doctors and newspaper editors and reporters were divided in their opinions and interests, supporting or opposing activities as it fit their agendas. Later, the pedestriennes were identified by doctors and editors as exploited women in need of protection, stirring public disapproval of the events.
      Pressure to ban immoral and strenuous performances for women was followed by government action against such events. Women's pedestrianism eventually declined in popularity, allowing myths of female frailty to persist despite evidence to the contrary.
      This essay also attempts to understand the actions of women entertainer-athletes as they arranged their lives. Based on newspaper accounts of Von Hillern and Anderson, this study suggests that some pedestriennes desired moral respectability yet walked for economic necessity or future material comfort. This story of legitimation and marginalization has contemporary significance as women athletes of the 1990s face similar circumstances of being newsworthy but controversial people in international sporting entertainment.11

In the 1870s Americans were influenced by a number of restrictive ideologies. Victorian beliefs commanded that women and men maintain different social responsibilities. A womans proper place was the home, a place to protect feminine virtue. This notion was particularly true for married women. Although women were expected to be morally superior to men, they were thought to be physically frail.12
      As an emerging ideology, medicalization supported female frailty. Doctors who prescribed bed rest for the nervous and physically weak created a self-fulfilling condition that women were frail and dependent. Enterprising businesses disseminated this ideology by publishing books and newspapers in support of Victorian beliefs.
      Consistent with these beliefs, women were often restricted from public leisure, vigorous exercise and sports.13 Temperance groups supported Victorian beliefs by protesting against drinking, smoking, gambling, and Sunday public entertainment. In leisure, Victorian beliefs were restrictive for men as well. Professional sport was often located among the riffraff who aggressively gambled, consumed alcohol, and smoked. Reading sporting and theatrical journals was considered immoral, and many women would not allow such material in their homes. Illicit reading was often restricted to barber shops or social clubs, and attending vulgar exhibitions in which scantily clad female entertainers performed was not done openly. 14

      The ideologies of capitalism and physical culture did not always match with Victorian beliefs. For some business people, Victorian beliefs regarding women bowed to their desire to maximize profits. As a cheap and efficient labor pool, working-class women and children toiled in factories or farms, at home in the needle trade, as domestic servants in wealthier homes, or as entertainers. For the women involved, Victorian beliefs gave way to economic necessity, sometimes even family survival. 15
      The ideology of physical culture, a mixture of religion, diet, exercise, and alternative medicine gained popularity in the early nineteenth century. Contrary to doctors who prescribed bed rest, doctors in favor of physical culture believed that women would be healthier and more productive if they engaged in physical activity. Many doctors and businesses profited from the prescription of gentle exercise for women with doctor-sponsored exercise equipment. 16
      While aspects of capitalism and physical culture conflicted with Victorian beliefs, suffrage feminism and popular culture directly challenged the restrictive ideology. Suffragists certainly did not agree on all issues. However, suffrage feminist ideology allowed a growing number of women to challenge the status quo by gaining education and employment. Most endured the hard labor of raising children and keeping house, but growing numbers of young women entered the work force. By 1880 approximately 2.6 million women were engaged in wage labor in the United States. 17
      Popular culture also conflicted with Victorian beliefs. In leisure, it allowed young women and men to attend a variety of public and worldly pastimes and pleasures despite protests. By the 1870s popular culture and suffrage feminism helped establish an atmosphere for resisting Victorian beliefs. The public mingling of men and women of various social classes in professional sporting entertainment was one sign of this emerging resistance. 18

      American entertainment and newspapers were formidable industries by the 1870s. Thousands of customers flocked nightly to theaters and halls for plays, lectures, circus spectacles and sporting events. Hundreds of thousands bought newspapers that promoted entertainment. The largest daily newspapers devoted regular space and occasionally accorded headline status to entertainment and sport celebrities. Some specialty weekly publications existed primarily by printing entertainment news. 19
      A few thousand women worked in entertainment. Though women performers often played subordinate roles or were marked as less than moral women, some were materially successful. Some women were theater owners, writers, actresses, and singers. Higher-class women had greater opportunity for working in legitimate theater, but many working-class women performers made their wages working in a variety of dive or saloon acts as burlesque singers and actresses, chorus girls, or as performers of athletic feats. Women performed athletic feats as circus performers, swimmers, boxers, baseball players, wrestlers, bicyclists, and professional long-distance walkers. Although several athletic performers were highly skilled, many were portrayed as women with questionable reputations. Their activities were considered popular and vulgar entertainment. 20

      Women ran foot races for centuries in a tradition that would ebb and flow as a form of popular culture and entertainment. In England, smock races were popular contests for women beginning perhaps in the Middle Ages. Prizes for the victor of these half-mile to four-mile runs often included a garment or money. Contests were frequently held at fairs, yet they were presumably illegitimate for ladies. Participants were portrayed as nubile wenches and spectators were portrayed as voyeurs. 21
      In the nineteenth century, lower-class womens pedestrian efforts were described in sporting and local newspapers. In the 1820s the long distance walking efforts of seven-year-old Emma Freeman and sixty-year-old Mary McMullen were reported. In the 1850s bloomer pedestrian Mrs. Dunne gained attention for her walks of several hundred miles. In 1864 Emma Sharp and Australian Margaret Douglas made even longer efforts that challenged mens records. 22
      American women participated in smock races and pedestrian contests, though it is difficult to assess how frequently the events occurred. In 1851, bloomer pedestrian C.C. Cushman reportedly walked 500 miles. A year later, American Kate Irvine performed multi-day walks in England. Long-distance walking on a small wood surface, aptly called walking the plank, became popular working-class entertainment. It is believed that American women performed these walks in saloons and at other exhibition sites, near or amid drinking, smoking, gambling, fighting, and prostitution. Though spectator crowds were sometimes large, the events were considered immoral by those holding Victorian beliefs. The walking track was not an acceptable place for a proper lady. 23
      Womens sporting entertainment gained greater newspaper attention despite Victorian beliefs. In 1875 National Police Gazette editor William E. Harding made a long distance walk against lady pedestrian Madame Lola as part of a circus attraction. Their records and average pace were newsworthy for the New York Times. 24 In 1875 and 1876 English swimmers Agnes Alice Beckwith and Emily Parker swam five to seven miles in the Thames, and gained thousands of spectators as well as international press coverage. 25 Six-day walking races in Chicago and New York between German Bertha Von Hillern and American Mary Marshall also attracted thousands of spectators.       The editor of one sporting newspaper, however, displayed Victorian concern before the contest, remarking how do these ladies propose to walk? If in petticoats they will soon tire, if in bloomer costume they will not make very extraordinary time, but if they strip to tights and trunks, and go for putting on a record, they will expose themselves to criticism. 26

      Neither Von Hillern nor Marshall walked to openly contest Victorian morals. Both performers dressed in petticoats and neither attempted to run. The twenty-one-year-old Von Hillern was said to be from a respectable military family, but emigrated from Germany when her family experienced financial ruin. The thirty-year-old Marshall, a door-to-door book seller, was hoping to improve her family's lot. According to the Chicago Times the contest was well managed, and respectable and influential ladies and gentlemen were present. The editor of Chicago Field, however, maintained his Victorian beliefs, stating it is not a woman's place the walking path least of all a married woman's. We can not look upon it as an athletic event, and give it notice to express our disapprobation of any such unfeminine display. 27
      Disapprobation notwithstanding, the ideologies of capitalism, popular culture, and suffrage feminism seemed to be holding sway. Crowds were so large that hundreds of potential spectators were refused at the ticket windows. 28 The women also received favorable coverage from metropolitan newspapers. A New York Times editorial even suggested that these pedestrians were pioneers for woman's rights. Noting that women had recently been denied the right to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court but had been successful on the walking track, the editor remarked:

The acclaim with which the victor was carried off the ground signalized the downfall of an ancient prejudice... Obviously those who have aspirations above baby-tending, dishwashing, and writing for the magazines will refuse to accept walking matches in lieu of possible forensic honors. Let such be encouraged, however, by what has been accomplished. The world moves as it is moving. To-day it is the walking match; next it will be the coveted Bar. After that, who shall tell how soon the ballot will come. 29

      Newspapers continued to fuel the women's popularity as women athletes and their managers attempted to gain respectability. Mary Marshall's two victories against male athlete Peter Van Ness were news in the New York Times. Sporting newspapers reported that Marshall continued walking in New York, New England, and Pennsylvania. Millie Rose, a second attraction in the first Von Hillern-Marshall match, received star billing and local and sporting newspaper coverage in Cincinnati. 30 Von Hillern continued walking in New England, but in less controversial solo exhibitions. From 1876 to 1878 the German performed in at least twenty-five events in thirteen different cities. Her many walks were billed as a symbol of physical culture for ladies.

      New England suffragists supported and profited from Von Hillern's solo exhibitions, making her a symbol of womens capabilities. The leading women's suffrage newspaper Woman's Journal included four articles about Von Hillern from December 1876 to March 1877. 31 Womans Journal acknowledged her accomplishments to refute Victorian beliefs and medical claims that women were too frail to be full citizens. H.C.S. stated that

the remarkable feat of walking 350 miles in six consecutive days and nights... seems to me the most effective answer to Dr. Clarkes Sex in Education... She would certainly convince the strongest men who might undertake to walk with her, that the human female... is quite as enduring as the male. 32

      Businesses also profited from Von Hillern, treating her as a paragon of fashion and virtue. According to the Boston Post, two of her appearances at Music Hall drew daily crowds of 10,000 customers paying 50 cents apiece. The Post remarked that Miss Bertha Von Hillern appears to be the fashion, and her last remarkable feat will intensify the rage that her successes have excited. Newspaper advertisements noted that photographs of the pedestrienne would be sold at a local department store. Also banking on the performer's success, a hat seller in Worchester advertised Von Hillern hats as the newest fashion. Bertha Von Hillern was considered a household word in several communities. 33 The Worchester Evening Gazette treated her as a symbol of physical culture and respectability, worthy of praise from all classes:

She is not a mere professional intent only upon the pecuniary results and personal reputation to be secured by her efforts, but is doing her chosen work from a higher and nobler motive. She recognizes that fact, too often ignored, that women of today are too effeminate, and that each succeeding generation has less physical stamina than the last, and has determined in her own way to endeavor to incite women to self-improvement in this direction. She is therefore an apostle of muscular religion, and so far as she brings light and health to the enfeebled and debilitated, she is a true evangel to her sex, and is worthy of their fullest respect, sympathy and countenance. 34

      Although the modest Von Hillern may have contested the belief of women's frailty, she did not try to threaten Victorian moral standards. Von Hillern worried what religious people thought about her. According to the Worchester Evening Gazette

she is a regular attendant at church, and is conscientious and careful in her devotions. Her great fear is that in her contact with the public she may be suspected of evil, and she is every way circumspect and guarded. It is this natural modesty which prevents her exhibitions from turning into mere sporting affairs and which commend her to the confidence and good will of the best society. 35

      Von Hillern's performances continued to be supported by metropolitan newspapers and doctors. The Washington Post remarked that many of the elite of the city visited Von Hillern's 100-mile walk, while doctors publicly appreciated her accomplishment. 36 As the front page headline in local news, the Washington Star noted that "her audience was composed of mainly leading citizens, ministers, lawyers, medical men and a large number of ladies, all showing interest in the performance." 37
      In 1878, the Washington Post even published a letter signed by thirty-three Baltimore doctors requesting that the lady of refinement demonstrate her brand of physical culture in their city. 38
      Although women sporting entertainers were often portrayed as inept sex objects, Von Hillern received favorable reviews. The Washington Post stated that "Von Hillern's display of physical culture was one of the wonders of the nineteenth century." 39
      Another editorial favorably compared her to the famous male pedestrian Edward P. Weston, stating she was "a fine tribute to correct diet, strict temperance and systematic exercise." 40
      Still another article noted that members of the Analostan Boat Club and other respectable ladies were spectators at her events. 41 Some businesses, however, profited by satirizing her efforts. Von Hillern was the focus of burlesque shows in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. 42 Despite her popularity, the pedestrienne is said to have quit the walking track for a more respectable life in Boston high society. 43
      A woman in Britain, however, was ready to fill her shoes. Before Von Hillern retired, an outspoken and muscular middle-aged performer named Ada Anderson began making walking exhibitions. Madame Anderson, as she became known, claimed humble origins, born to a Cockney Jew father and English mother. The unconventional woman was single most of her life and worked as an actress, circus clown, singer, and theater proprietress before becoming a pedestrienne in 1877.
      In contrast to Von Hillern's walks that usually lasted a day, Anderson's efforts were much longer, matching or nearly matching men's all-time endurance records. Her typical walks spanned hundreds of miles and many weeks with minimal sleep. Anderson's training as a pedestrienne was important in gaining skill and conditioning. The pedestrienne took three months' instruction with William Gale, arguably the best endurance athlete of the era and the only man to attempt longer efforts. In addition to her athletic talent, Anderson was an exceptional entertainer who fascinated spectators with songs, comical pranks, and short speeches. Anderson's efforts profited the sporting entertainment business. Within the year the pedestrienne performed at least nine walks at seven different venues. She also gathered an entourage who depended on her success: a new husband, a manager, and a nurse. 44

      Unlike Von Hillerns image, Anderson's persona was in more direct conflict with Victorian standards. Von Hillern was modest and physically small, a single lady who regularly visited church. In contrast, Anderson was straightforward and muscular, a half-Jewish woman who was middle-aged, twice married, and who performed on Sundays. In her behavior and speech, Anderson displayed outspoken confidence rather than humility. In her speeches she exposed the cruelty placed upon working-class women and publicly fought for her own material success.
      According to the Lynn News dated August 17, 1878:

Addressing herself to the ladies she assured them that she would never try to perform a task she was unable to accomplish, and for which she had not the strength. Some had said poor woman, what she has to endure! But she did not say so. She was a Londoner herself and had often seen the seamstresses... go to their daily toil and often sit up all night with a small piece of candle and only bread and butter to eat. Though she had to stay up all night, she was only too thankful that she was well fed and well taken care of. She then alluded to the present management in uncomplimentary terms and intimated that next week she would perform under new management altogether. 45

      In October 1878, convinced that she could gain greater fame and fortune in America, the pedestrienne and her entourage boarded a steamship for New York. According to newspaper accounts the woman hoped to secure a large arena, Gilmore's Garden in New York, for a twenty-eight day walk. Unfortunately for Anderson, arena owner and railroad baron William Vanderbilt was unwilling to rent her the venue. Madame Anderson was forced to occupy a smaller and less respectable site at Mozart Garden in Brooklyn. 46
      Despite her assertive nature, Anderson considered herself a moral woman. In an interview made later in the year, she gave her impression of Vanderbilt's rejection, and the inauspicious beginnings of the event:

As a consequence I was forced to make my first appearance in this country at a summer garden in Brooklyn, and never shall I forget my feelings on that first night, for with the rough men below me drinking beer and lewd women congregated in the building where I was to walk, it seemed as though I should sink from the thoughts of contamination, and that it would ruin me. I knew, however, that it was my only chance to get before the public, and determined that I should make these people feel I was a lady and not of their stripe, that they would make the locality and give way for good people. They did. In forty-eight hours not one of them looked in. The better class of Brooklyn soon learned this through the kindness of the members of the press, and it was not long before I had crowds of them watching my progress. 47

      Anderson hoped to gain respectability for her event, and her management made several moves to ensure success. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle noted "the management intend that the strictest decorum shall be preserved and that ladies and children shall have a good opportunity of viewing this exhibition of human pluck and endurance." Anderson encouraged gentlemen to bring their families, and a special entrance for families allowed respectable people to avoid unsavory characters.
      The management also enlisted newspaper personnel as judges to ensure that the contest was fair and honest. The track was certified by the city surveyor as exactly seven laps for a quarter-mile, and a railing was built to prevent spectators from impeding her path. The management even offered a $100 reward to anyone who would find Anderson off the track during her appointed times. Mozart Garden was remodeled with a three-foot wide tan bark walking oval in the center of the building, allowing for a seating capacity of 800 spectators. Admission prices were twenty-five cents for adults, fifteen cents for children, and five dollars for a season ticket. 48
      Madame Anderson's efforts were newsworthy and generally positive from the start. Newspaper coverage of her month-long walk began December 16, 1878, in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (daily circulation 20,000 copies). Coverage by the New York Sun (circulation more than 100,000 daily) and New York Times (daily circulation 25,000) started December 17. Headlines from the Sun and Times described Anderson as "a woman of wonderful endurance," while the Times noted that "many ladies were present, and the best of order was maintained."
      The newspapers described her as a determined but dignified muscular woman, noting her previous accomplishments in England. Nearly every day, the newspapers reported her condition: whether she had fatigue or blisters, her temperament, who accompanied her on her laps, and each recorded lap time, what she ate and drank, how her nurse woke her, and what musical numbers she sang. News reports noted that doctors visited Anderson. One doctor publicly referred to her as "the finest specimen of physical womanhood he ever saw." 49
      Prominent people visited Anderson, including local government officials and their wives, opera singers, and other entertainment celebrities. By late December the hall was filled every night with an estimated 4,000 people. 50 Lists of prominent spectators made the performance more newsworthy. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that

among the gentlemen who were present during the evening were Dr. Swaim, Justice Vorhiss, District Attorney Catlin, General Slocum, Alderman Dwyer, Rev. Mr. Parker of the Sands Street M.E. Church, Assistant District Attorney Jyre Wernberg, ex-judge Morris, William A. Fowler and wife, Dr. Waters and family... Alderman McIntyre... Dr. Rosalind, Counselor Barrett and many others. 51

      Anderson's comments were sought and recorded by newspaper reporters, and her ability to speak eloquently as well as walk were vital for her continued popularity. The New York Times and New York Sun illustrated the performers confident and engaging demeanor:

Ladies and Gentlemen: I have on two or three occasions before thanked you for your personal and cheerful encouragement. I could not go on without your assistance. You have done your part, and I thank God I have been enabled to do mine. In every twenty-four hours I have fits of sleepiness which are very severe. While I sleep I suffer. Sometimes I wish I could never sleep, it is so painful to wake up. When I first began my walk I asked the ladies for their presence. I think from the number of ladies that they are satisfied. It is good for women to see how much a woman can endure. When I came to this country I heard that American ladies would sometimes walk two blocks. I did not know how much two blocks meant, but supposed that it must be two miles. Now I dont think it good for a lady to ride two blocks when she can walk. As a lady experienced in walking, allow me to say that it is beneficial to walk. 52

      Anderson publicly and perhaps shrewdly deflected moral derision when she thanked God for her abilities. As a proponent of physical culture, she also gained support from ladies by repeatedly expressing that her effort would show women their true capabilities. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and other newspapers promptly wrote articles regarding women's health, stating that women should walk more, though not to Anderson's extraordinary or excessive levels. 53

      Anderson's popularity continued to rise. By early January more New York papers and newspapers from out-of-town began to cover Madame Anderson's exploits. General ticket prices were doubled to 50 cents then raised to $1, with special tickets on the stage for ladies and gentlemen raised to $2. Yet customers continued to fill Mozart Garden to suffocation levels. The New York Sun and Brooklyn Daily Eagle continued to list many notable and respectable spectators. Women were her most loyal supporters.
      According to the New York Times, the women were so fascinated by the spectacle of a woman on the track performing a feat of which the majority of men would be incapable, that they watch her for hours at a time, day after day, with unflagging interest. 54 Noting that many church-goers attended Anderson's walk, even on Sundays, the editor of the New York Sun remarked

what will Brooklynites do next Sunday for an entr acte between services? The past four weeks it has been just the thing to stroll in to see Mrs. ANDERSON walk, before or after church. But next Sunday this resource will be gone. TALMAGE [referring to evangelist Thomas DeWitt Talmage] is about the only athletic exhibition left for Sundays. 55

      The New York Tribune and the Brooklyn Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), however, opposed Anderson. The newspaper first cast doubts about the authenticity of the walk, then published a political order by temperance officials. 56 The Tribune rumored that an Anderson double might be taking her place on the track at night, but the claims were never substantiated. Temperance officials were outraged that Anderson exhibited herself in a smoke-filled, drinking atmosphere, and that their fellow church members were attending the show on Sundays. As a result, the Tribune published a public denouncement by the Brooklyn WCTU. The article presented a signed petition by the Brooklyn temperance officials to the Board of Alderman, calling for enforcement of the Sunday laws:

We claim that the opening on the Sabbath of all stores, exhibitions, etc., to which an admission fee is charged, is illegal, and in this particular instance the illegality is heightened by the amount of Sunday liquor-selling which is an inevitable accompaniment, and also we, as women, enter our protest against this pitiful display of womanhood as alike contrary to the dictates of humanity and God. 57

      Despite the WCTU protest, Anderson's performance was allowed to continue with great success. Her exhibition ended with more than 2,000 people filling the hall, and hundreds of people lining the area for three blocks along Fulton Street waiting for news updates from inside. Newspapers noted that many in the audience represented the best classes of city life - society queens who nestled in sealskin sacques and rustling silks.
      As Anderson made her last laps she draped herself in an American flag and again publicly thanked God for her success. News of her triumph was telegraphed to papers from London to San Francisco, and press reports stated that the woman had received approximately $7,000 in earnings, a substantial portion of the $32,000 in total revenues. Anderson was showered with gifts, from flower bouquets to silverware, and some newspapers hailed her performance as a symbol of woman's great capabilities. 58
      The editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle stated that:

her success, it is not hard to prophecy, will revolutionize the opinions held by many of her sex on the subject of physical exercise, and particularly will it educate women in the direction of outdoor exercise... The idea, as general as it is venerable, that a woman cannot, by reason of her sex, endure as much as a man, is exploded, and to Madame Anderson is due the overthrow of the mistaken notion. 59

      District Attorney Catlin made a testimonial speech to Anderson, claiming that:

Her modest demeanor and a grace of movement unparalleled has captured the city of Brooklyn. Her victory is Brooklyn's victory. She has won the esteem and admiration of both sexes. The best women of Brooklyn have shown their sympathy by their patronage and applause and have been rewarded a hundred fold. She has taught women they are not the weak vessels they have been said to be. I hope that women of Brooklyn will imitate her example in taking exercise. 60

      Anderson's success prompted a pedestrian craze that profited women and businesses. Ladies in Brooklyn began to walk for better health and appearance while dozens of working-class women across the country were inspired to walk for money. In an article "The Best of Health," the author remarked that:

the interesting pedestrian feat which Madame Anderson brought to so successful a conclusion last week has given an impetus to walking, especially among the ladies who so much admired the grace and elegance of her motion and the perfect healthfulness of her appearance. 61

      Working-class women throughout the United States were attempting to rival or surpass Anderson, and profit from her celebrity status. Theater owners and entertainment managers were willing to oblige their new business for a percentage of the revenues, and doctors were willing to provide medical services. The Washington Post remarked that:

Madame Anderson's success has served a powerful stimulus to the leg industry. From all parts of the country there are reports springing up like mushrooms, doctors certifying to pulses and temperatures and people paying out their hard earnings. 62

      The Spirit of the Times added:

imitators of Mme. Anderson are becoming so numerous that we have hardly room to catalogue them.

      During 1879, more than 100 women were walking for money. Hundreds of newspaper articles chronicled the endurance efforts of May Marshall in Washington, D.C., Madame Andrews, ex-boxer Madame Franklin and Annie Bartell in New York, French Canadian Exilda La Chapelle in Chicago, Fannie Edwards in San Francisco, ex-trapeze performer Lulu Loomer in Boston, Ida Vernon in Philadelphia, Millie Rose in Cincinnati, and Kitty Sherman in Wheeling, who were all attempting month-long walks. All of these efforts were promoted as attempts to break Anderson's record of 2,700 quarter miles in 2,700 quarter hours. At the same time dozens of others were involved in shorter events as part of the Madame Anderson craze. William Vanderbilt even agreed to a six-day women's walking contest for Gilmore's Garden, but the celebrity was already scheduled for other exhibitions. 63
      Ancillary businesses also profited from Anderson's success. Given that her performances were presented daily in large metropolitan newspapers, it would be logical to assume that articles about her increased newspaper circulation. Anderson's face and physique also appeared on the front page of two illustrated newspapers, the New York Illustrated Times, and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. Other products were similarly affected by the Madame Anderson craze, as evidenced by newspaper advertisements. As advertised, women could buy pedometers for $5 at Tiffany & Company to monitor their daily walks and retailers could buy mail order illustrations of women pedestrians sold by the Metropolitan Job Printing Company for $20 per hundred. 64

      Yet, after Anderson's success, some newspapers and religious officials questioned the purpose of such exhibitions, and government officials intervened to prohibit further performances.
      A New York Times editorial acknowledged Anderson's conspicuous pluck and wonderful powers of endurance, but suggested that such performances should not be repeated. Sporting newspapers trivialized her record. The New York Clipper stated that Anderson was wonderfully plucky but could not give her the record. The editor argued that although the woman had completed her task, she may have gained assistance by people accompanying her on the track. America's Spirit of the Times and England's Bell's Life remarked that the performance has little merit as a purely pedestrian feat and that women had already been acknowledged by medical authorities to be superior in living with little or no sleep. 65
      It is not surprising that this medical fact was accepted; undoubtedly this form of superior endurance supported women's oppression at home and in factories. Popular evangelist Thomas De Witt Talmage acknowledged Anderson's walk, but lamented that women doing traditional work were not given credit for their devotion.66 A sermon by Reverend W.C. Steele titled "The Evils of Pedestrianism" in the New York Herald expressed the outrage that morally righteous people felt about such events. 67 In March 1879, police Captain Williams invoked a seldom used blue law to prohibit women's Sunday walks in New York City, making efforts such as Anderson's illegal in that locale. 68 In contrast to her detractors, one suffragist acknowledged Anderson's success as a public service for women while criticizing temperance officials. "E.B." wrote in the Womans Journal that Madame Anderson's performance was an important symbol of woman's capabilities and need for healthful exercise:

I went to see Madame Anderson on her walk... and was completely fascinated by her gracefulness, her modest and business-like deportment, and dignity. She carried her head worthy a queen. Every firm, elastic and graceful step was a lesson to dawdling women floundering in pullbacks and mincing on heels. A lesson worth a hundred simpering Sunday Schools, notwithstanding the Christian Temperance Women's protest. I believe Madame Anderson has done a good thing in demonstrating the ability and endurance of one woman, at least, beyond what a man is capable of. She has made speeches occasionally in her periods of rest, in which she has given utterance to her belief that women are committing daily suicide in not using more freely their powers of locomotion... She has gained the respect of all who have witnessed her performance. 69

      Anderson continued her performances in six cities amid popularity and controversy. In Pittsburgh, the crowds were large despite competition from dramatic actress Mary Anderson and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. She initially received favorable reviews from the Pittsburgh Post and the Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, each having a daily circulation of 5,000 copies. Madame Anderson encountered trouble, however, when powerful industrialist and church elder William Park Jr. and officials of the First Presbyterian Church pressured the mayor to stop her Sunday performances. At least two other churches considered similar actions.
      With her business in jeopardy, the pedestrienne publicly countered Park's effort by noting that several of his employees were toiling on Sundays. In her speech reported by one newspaper, Anderson added:

Let him employ his time in some other way than trying to hunt down a woman, both night and day to attain a position in society, in short let him go into his closet and study his Bible. There are a certain class of people who weave for themselves a cloak of righteousness, and certainly to their liking, and anyone who lifts the hem of that garment, or has not one made in the very same style is nothing short of the devil. Such a man is Mr. Park. 70

      The Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette promptly rebuked her, and in succeeding issues criticized her performance in general. Anderson and her management continued to perform on Sunday, cleverly advertising the exhibition as a "sacred concert." 71 Though Anderson was allowed to continue her walk, she was fined by the mayor, and her husband and manager were arrested for violating Sunday laws.
      Business continued to be good, however, and Anderson performed for 2,000 customers on her last day of contested walking. Consistent with their Victorian beliefs, the United Presbyterian reported Anderson's irreverent defiance of authority and her continued popularity as a sign of world decline. 72

      Anderson and other pedestriennes continued to attract crowds and increasing controversy. In Chicago, Andersons exhibition reportedly sold 24,000 tickets in the first two weeks. However, the Chicago Tribune (circulation 25,000) published several lengthy letters, editorials, and articles complaining about the cruelty and immorality of womens pedestrianism. Anderson's walk was called a brutal exhibition and newspaper accounts described Anderson as walking in agony.
      Nationally, newspapers referred to the walking phenomenon as an unhealthy enterprise, a virulent epidemic, a madness or mania. Competition brought greater records and intense competition as Victorian standards of decorum were increasingly ignored. 73 Yet thousands of customers continued to pay to see such contests.
      Editors somewhat correctly described women's endurance efforts as cruel torture brought on by profit-hungry managers. Further, they invoked medical authorities such as Dr. Benjamin Lee to substantiate the abuse claims and force government officials to stop womens sports for their own protection. 74
      The morality of the pedestriennes remained an underlying reason for trying to stop the contests, however. A Chicago Tribune letter to the editor, titled "Public Brutality" stated:

our modern female pedestrians are a disgrace to themselves and dishonor to society, and an outrageous insult to every virtue which adorns true womanhood. Preaching and exhorting can have little effect in its attempt at moral reformation so long as such sinful spectacles are witnessed by respectable citizens. 75

      Another letter entitled "Indignant About Mme. Anderson" called for government officials to arrest her managers for cruelty. Subsequently, police benevolently arrested her husband and one of her managers for cruelty. Although an impartial doctor cleared her to continue, Anderson reportedly slept through a few scheduled laps, and the contest was labeled a failure.
      The exhibition gained another scandal when the pedestrienne's managers accused a Chicago Tribune reporter of attempted blackmail. Confident in herself, the woman publicly fired one manager for what she wrote was incompetent and neglectful management and gross conduct. 76 In April she attracted large audiences in Cincinnati. Unfortunately, the pedestrienne's performance was marred by a lawsuit against two of her managers. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer

had she one responsible manager, with none of the miserable hangers-on such as her husband, Wood, and some of the others, she would make both fame and money. As it is, she is in a fair way to lose both. 77

      Irresponsible and sometimes corrupt management and disreputable audiences were to lead pedestrianism in general into further criticism. Newspapers reported that at least two male pedestrians had died. In New York City, several pedestriennes were carried off the track, one of whom was rumored to have died. Editors and reporters noted that many women were untrained for endurance events but walked in desperation to improve their life chances. 78
      In Louisville, Anderson quit due to poor attendance, but she was well received in Detroit with an average daily attendance of 1,000 spectators. According to the Detroit Free Press, "her behavior is entirely free from the slightest tinge of boldness or immodesty."
      In Buffalo, Anderson's detractors stood to profit if Anderson quit, but the bold woman continued. When a glass shard was found on the track, evidently placed there to stop her, she informed the audience that a cut foot would not make her leave the track, and she would complete her task despite the efforts of those who wished to injure her. 79 The intrepid pedestrienne continued to walk despite poor attendance and an ulcerated mouth that required a tooth extraction between laps. 80

      Anderson's newsworthiness declined as pedestrianism fell into further disrepute. Her next walk in New York City was barely covered by the newspapers, except when the National Police Gazette reported that "roughs" had broken up the race and police had made arrests. In December 1879, Anderson eventually competed in William Vanderbilt's building, now known as Madison Square Garden. The veteran of thousands of miles completed a respectable 351 miles in six days, but she was surpassed by competitors half her age.
      Although audiences for the New York contest were numbered in the thousands, the pedestriennes' livelihoods were threatened as pressure to eliminate women's contests gained momentum. Citing acts of cruelty to pedestriennes in Baltimore, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and St. Louis, the New York Times called for an end to such contests.
      Whether news stories of brutality and immorality were true or not, they undoubtedly affected public opinion. Women's pedestrianism appeared to serve no great purpose. With dozens of events held in dozens of cities, the events could no longer be substantiated as educational for women, or even supported as novelties. Pedestrianism had now become associated with excess and brutality, as well as immorality. Doctors and suffragists who supported pedestrianism fell silent, and newspapers reduced reports on women's sporting entertainment. In New York, the local Council of Aldermen agreed to make women's contests illegal in the name of protecting women. Men's contests were not affected by these restrictions until several years later. 81
      In early 1880, Anderson returned to her singing career as women's pedestrianism became less popular. It is known, however, that she gave at least one more walking performance, a solo effort at Central Theatre in Baltimore in 1880. Anderson's faded status was bolstered by a front-page advertisement that electric lights would illuminate her effort, and $500 would be paid to anyone who detected her missing a single lap. Anderson's walk was closed to the public on Sundays to avoid conflict. At the end of her exhibition she "made a speech from the front of the stage in which she returned her thanks to the throng and hoped to meet them all again." It is not readily apparent what happened to Madame Anderson, although she had stated a year earlier that she hoped to retire by 1880. Women's records continued to improve in the early 1880s, but their performances were considered less newsworthy. 82

      Several factors may be considered in the decline of women's pedestrianism. Organized social pressure by temperance officials, religious conservatives and doctors against women's sporting entertainment appears to be a major factor in their marginalization. Government actions ranging from arrests to legislation against the events cannot be ignored either. Managers and theater owners who exploited women performers and created a dangerous atmosphere were also a factor in discouraging spectators.
      Apparently, it was not simply public disapproval of the women's morality, but efforts to protect women, that led to a reduction in vigorous sporting efforts. As events were represented as cruel torture against women, it would have been difficult for suffragists or doctors to continue supporting the performances. Bloody sports such as cockfighting and dogfighting had already been reduced because of their cruelty to animals. 83 Certainly women deserved at least the same protection.
      The impression that such events were abusive toward women as well as immoral seemed to tip the scales toward greater marginalization. It should be noted that men's professional events also fell into disrepute for its excesses and abuses as amateur sports became more legitimate and newsworthy. 84
      Still, women continued endurance efforts in pedestrianism, bicycling, and transcontinental walks for more than a decade. Women entertainer-athletes received some newspaper attention, though not at the levels of the Madame Anderson craze. Pedestriennes Millie Rose, Sarah Tobias, Bella Kilbury, and Indian Princess, who began their careers during the craze of 1879, appeared in six-day matches in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. in 1889. The Washington Post published daily articles about the matches. 85
      Three other pedestriennes, Louise Armaindo, May Stanley, and Elsa Von Blumen became professional bicyclists. To safeguard their health, pedestriennes and female bicyclists were usually limited to performing twelve hours per day. 86
      Presently, it is difficult to assess when womens professional sporting entertainment stopped, if it stopped at all. At least one pedestrienne, Spanish immigrant Zoe Gayton, was walking in 1896. 87
      For most of the twentieth century, images of women professional sporting entertainers faded as the idea of female frailty lingered. The most vivid memories of these women were that they were brazen and immoral burlesque entertainers. The myth of female frailty in sport, particularly in distance running, continued into the 1960s. Physical educators and doctors continued this myth by restricting girls and women from vigorous sports and exercise. Several bold women did compete, but often against the rules and with the threat of being labeled as deviants. Women were not allowed to participate in most marathons until the 1960s, and the first official Olympics womens marathon was not held until 1984. 88

      It is not coincidental that stories about the pedestriennes resurfaced in the late 1960s and 1970s, during the rise of feminist ideology and popular culture. As women gained power and histories of working womens lives became legitimate, popular and favorable short stories about the pedestriennes were written. 89 One feminist writer, Barbara Walder, even referred to the pedestriennes as "foremothers," giving them a status of legitimacy.
      Although the issue of gender inequality in sport gained scholarly attention, the pedestriennes did not receive serious mention. In the 1990s, historians identified the phenomenon, but did not see the historical relevance in conducting critical research. Unfortunately, popular articles about the pedestriennes written in the 1960s and 1970s have been neglected, and the status of these women in sport history is marginal at best. Feminists in sport sociology note that women athletes are portrayed as sex symbols or given less press coverage than male athletes in the male-dominated sports realm. 90 The example of the pedestriennes points out that such trivialization and marginalization can result in historical amnesia.

      In the 1990s, women have become increasingly newsworthy but controversial participants in global sporting entertainment. Women entertainer-athletes have gained ground, but powerful interest groups and ideologies continue to determine how the athletes are portrayed. According to Sports Illustrated, Algerian world champion 1,500 meter runner Hassiba Boulmerka was symbolized both as a hero and an anti-hero in her country. Although some citizens were proud of her achievement, Boulmerka offended many fundamentalist Muslims by appearing in public without being covered. With rising conflict between Muslims groups in Algeria, Boulmerka became a symbol of antifundamentalists. 91
      In China, world record holders Wang Junxia and Qu Yunxia were portrayed as poor rural girls who were willing to train in harsh conditions for their future material betterment. In their own country, these women were heroes. In other countries, newspapers and magazines rumored about their use of illegal performance enhancing drugs. In Runners World, independent sports scientists were quoted to discredit their performances. 92
      In Ethiopia, Derartu Tulus victory in the Olympic 10,000 meter run symbolized the possibilities of an emerging Africa and the potential for African women. According to the New York Times her success, however, has not come without criticism. 93
      The newsworthy but controversial nature of these women has striking parallels with the pedestriennes. Although it would appear that women have gained a stronger foothold in sporting entertainment, the pedestrienne story may illustrate how powerful interest groups and ideologies continue to influence how women athletes are symbolized.

      The author gratefully acknowledges James H. Frey and John A. Lucas for their reviews and suggestions, and Ed Sears, David Blaikie, Peter Lovesey, and John Cumming for locating historical materials.

                -- Copyright Dahn Shaulis, 1995.

Dahn ShaulisAbout the Author: Dahn Shaulis (depicted at right) is an exercise physiologist, historian, and sociologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Shaulis's current research is identifying social and historical barriers that have constrained older adults from engaging in exercise. See WOA 02-15 for an article by Shaulis on Exilda La Chapelle. RETURN TO TOP.


1. John Krout, Annals of America Sport: The Pageant of America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1929), 200; Robert B. Weaver, Amusements and Sports in American Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939; New York: Greenwood Press, 1968), 63. RETURN TO TEXT

2. Guy M. Lewis, "The Ladies Walked and Walked", Sports Illustrated, no. 27 (1967): R3-4; Barbara Walder, "Walking Mania", Women Sports, June 1976, 16-17; Anonymous, "Pedestrianism in Perry Hall", Branching Out, July/August 1976, 34-35; George Gipe, "Mary Marshall Was Strides Ahead of the Times When She Beat a Man", Sports Illustrated, October 24, 1977, E5. RETURN TO TEXT

3. Benjamin G. Rader, American Sports: From the Age of Folk Games to the Age of Televised Sports (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996), 36-38; John A. Lucas, "Pedestrianism and the Struggle for the Astley Belt", 1878-1879 Research Quarterly, 39 (1968): 587-594; John A. Lucas and Ronald A. Smith, Saga of American Sport (Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1978), 342-372; Nina Kuscsik, "The History of Womens Participation in the Marathon", Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 301 (1977), 862-876; Allen Guttmann, From Ritual to Record: The Nature of Modern Sports (New York: Columbia University Press, 1978), 33-36; Patricia Vertinsky, Women, Sport and Exercise in the Nineteenth Century, in Women and Sport: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, D. Margaret Costa and Sharon R. Guthrie, ed. (Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1994), 63-82. RETURN TO TEXT

4. John Cumming, Runners & Walkers: A Nineteenth Century Sports Chronicle (Chicago: Regnery Gateway, 1981), 102-105; Dale A. Somers, The Rise of Sport in New Orleans: 1850-1900 (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1972), 62. RETURN TO TEXT

5. Douglas A. Noverr and Lawrence E. Ziwecz, The Games They Played: Sports in American History, 1865-1980 (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1983), 37; Mary A. Boutilier and Lucinda SanGiovanni, The Sporting Woman (Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1983), 33. RETURN TO TEXT

6. Jennifer Hargreaves, Sporting Females: Critical Issues in the History and Sociology of Womens Sports (London: Routledge, 1994), 143-144; Karen Kenney, "The Realm of Sports and the Athletic Woman, 1850-1900", in Reet Howell, ed., Her Story in Sport, (West Point, NY: Leisure Press, 1982), 124-126. Joan S. Hult, "The Female American Runner: A Modern Quest for Visibility", in Barbara L. Drinkwater, ed., Female Endurance Athletes (Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1986), 6. RETURN TO TEXT

7. Peter F. Radford, "Womens Footraces in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: A Popular and Widespread Practice", Canadian Journal of History of Sport, 25 (1994):50-61; Allen Guttmann, Womens Sports (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), 48-49,64,71-73. RETURN TO TEXT

8. Gerald R. Gems, "Working Class Women and Sport: An Untold Story", Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal, 2 (1993): 17-30; Susan K. Cahn, Coming on Strong: Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Womens Sport (New York: Free Press, 1994), 14. RETURN TO TEXT

9. For a description of womens endurance from a critical postmodern perspective, see Dahn Shaulis, Women of Endurance. "Pedestriennes, Marathoners, Ultramarathoners, and Others: Two Hundred Years of Women and Endurance," Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal, 5 (Winter 1996):1-27. RETURN TO TEXT

10. See George H. Sage, Power and Ideology in American Sport (Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics); Robert Goldman and David R. Dickens, "Leisure and Legitimation", Society and Leisure, 7 (1984):293-323. RETURN TO TEXT

11. This work depends heavily on newspapers as original sources for historical interpretation. Nevertheless, it is difficult to consider newspapers as a monolithic source. Democrat, Independent, religious, Republican, sporting entertainment, and suffragist newspapers presented varying perspectives on news, editorials, and advertisements. RETURN TO TEXT

12. Victorian beliefs reflected some conservative religious ideas such as Puritanism that predated the Victorian era. See Ellen W. Gerber, et al., The American Woman in Sport (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1974), 3-47; Jennifer A. Hargreaves, "Victorian Familialism and the Formative Years of Female Sport", in James A. Mangan and Roberta J. Park, ed., From Fair Sex to Feminism: Sport and Socialization of Women in the Industrial and Post-Industrial Eras (London: Frank Cass and Co., Ltd., 1987), 130-143; Kathleen McCrone, "Class, Gender, and English Womens Sport, c. 1890-1914", Journal of Sport History, 18 (1991):159-182. RETURN TO TEXT

13. For various perspectives regarding female sport and medical regulation see Patricia Vertinsky, "Women, Sport, and Exercise in the Nineteenth Century", in Costa and Guthrie, ed., Women in Sport: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1994), 63-82; Roberta J. Park, "Physiology and Anatomy are Destiny!? Brains, Bodies, and Exercise in Nineteenth Century American Thought", Journal of Sport History, 18 (1991) 31-63; Allen Guttmann Womens Sports: A History (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), 84-105. RETURN TO TEXT

14. On, for example, the moral illegitimacy of the National Police Gazette, see Elliot J. Gorn, "The Wicked World", Media Studies Journal, 6 (Winter 1992): 1-15. RETURN TO TEXT

15. For conditions of American working-class women, see Gerda Lerner, The Female Experience: An American Documentary (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 273-316. RETURN TO TEXT

16. For interpretations of nineteenth century physical culture, see Harvey Green, Fit for America (New York: Pantheon Books, 1986); and James C. Wharton, Crusaders for Fitness (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982). RETURN TO TEXT

17. Bureau of Census. 1975. Historical Statistics of the United States, "Colonial Times to 1970", Bicentennial Edition, Part 1 (Washington, D.C.), 138. RETURN TO TEXT

18. For descriptions of the intermingling between classes, see Kathy Peiss, Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of -the-Century New York (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986), 37, 97-114; William L. Slout, ed., Broadway Below the Sidewalk: Concert Saloons of Old New York (San Bernadino, CA: The Borgo Press, 1994), 99-104; and Popular Amusements in Horse and Buggy America (San Bernadino, CA: Borgo Press, 1995),178-184. For descriptions of gentlemens amateur sport and working-class professional sport see Richard Gruneau, Class, Sport, and Social Development (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1983); John A. Lucas and Ronald A. Smith, Saga of American Sport (Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1978), 135-37. RETURN TO TEXT

19. Newspapers promoted actress Mary Anderson, pedestrians Edward Weston and Daniel OLeary, swimmer Paul Boynton, rower Edward Hanlan, entertainers Tom Thumb and Buffalo Bill Cody, religious lecturers Thomas Dewitt Talmage and Henry Ward Beecher, and author/performers Mark Twain and Anna Dickinson. For statistics regarding entertainment establishments see Department of the Interior, "Report on the Social Statistics of Cities", George E. Waring, ed. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1883): 533-568. For circulation records see the American Newspaper Directory ( New York: George P. Rowell, 1879). For the role of newspapers, particularly sporting newspapers, in promoting sport, see Melvin L. Adelman, A Sporting Time: New York City and the Rise of Modern Athletics (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1986), 268-286; and Lucas and Smith, Saga of American Sport, 80. RETURN TO TEXT

20. For details of social stratification, and the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate in the English theater, see Tracy C. Davis, Actresses as Working Women: Their Social Identity in Victorian Culture (London: Routledge, 1991). See also Peter Bailey, ed., Music Hall: The Business of Pleasure (Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1986); and Michael R. Booth, Theatre in the Victorian Age (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991). RETURN TO TEXT

21. Guttmann, Womens Sports, 48-49, 64, 71-73. RETURN TO TEXT

22. Shaulis, Women of Endurance, 3. According to Telegraph and Argus, September 17, 1964, 336-339, more than 100,000 people witnessed Emma Sharp walk 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours from September 17, 1864, to October 29, 1864. RETURN TO TEXT

23. Charles M. Andrews, Colonial Folkways (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1919), 121; John Cumming, Runners & Walkers: A Nineteenth Century Sports Chronicle (Chicago: Regnery Gateway, 1981); "Spirit of the Times", November 1, 1851, 438 and Saint Louis Intelligencer, November 1, 1851, 3. RETURN TO TEXT

24. New York Times March 29, 1875, 9; and March 30, 1875, 7. RETURN TO TEXT

25. Ibid., September 18, 1875, 10; and September 20, 1875, 2; Spirit of the Times October 9, 1875, 219. Beckwith continued swimming in England and the United States. See the New York Times, May 22, 1880, 2; and June 9, 1883, 2. RETURN TO TEXT

26. Chicago Field, January 23, 1876, 372. RETURN TO TEXT

27. Ibid., February 7, 1876, 393. RETURN TO TEXT

28. Chicago Times, February 1, 1876, 1; and February 6, 1876, 3. New York Times, February 5, 1876, 1; November 10, 1876, 5; and November 12, 1876, 7. New York Sun, November 9, 1876, 1. RETURN TO TEXT

29. New York Times, November 18, 1876, 4. RETURN TO TEXT

30. Marshalls matches against male pedestrian Peter Van Ness were reported in the New York Times, November 19, 1876, 2; November 23, 1876, 1. Spirit of the Times, February 19, 1876, 42; February 26, 1876, 68; Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, February 19, 1876, 4; London Times, December 5, 1877, 5; New York Clipper, April 7, 1877, 11. RETURN TO TEXT

31. Womans Journal, December 23, 1876, 412; and January 7, 1877, 26-27. For Dr. Clarkes role in supporting female frailty, see Park, Physiology and Anatomy are Destiny!?, 36-39. RETURN TO TEXT

32. Womans Journal, December 30, 1876, 421. RETURN TO TEXT

33. Boston Post, January 21, 1877, 2; January 22, 1877, 3. Worchester Daily Spy, May 12, 1877, 3. RETURN TO TEXT

34. Worchester Evening Gazette, May 15, 1877, 2. RETURN TO TEXT

35. Ibid., June 2, 1877, 2. RETURN TO TEXT

36. Washington Post, January 28, 1878, 4, advertised Von Hillerns exhibition as an effort of physical culture and an exemplification of her theory of health. RETURN TO TEXT

37. Washington Star, January 19, 1878, 1. RETURN TO TEXT

38. Washington Post, January 14, 1878, 4. RETURN TO TEXT

39. Ibid., January 21, 1878, 4. RETURN TO TEXT

40. Ibid., January 29, 1878, 2. RETURN TO TEXT

41. Ibid., January 30, 1878, 4. RETURN TO TEXT

42. Washington Star, February 8, 1878, reported Von Hillerns performance favorably, but ridiculed womens baseball efforts June 7, 1878, 6. Detroit Free Press August 17, 1879, 6, reported weak and inept female baseball players despite an attendance estimated at 2,000. For advertisements of burlesque satires of Von Hillern, see the Philadelphia Public Ledger, November 20, 1877, 1; and Washington Evening Star, February 8, 1878, 4. RETURN TO TEXT

43. New York Clipper, February 15, 1879, 370; National Police Gazette, April 17, 1880, 14. RETURN TO TEXT

44. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 14, 1879, p. 3; Louisville Courier-Journal, June 7, 1879, 4; New York Sun, December 17, 1878, 3; London Times, August 26, 1878, 8; Bells Life, February 9, 1878, 9; New York Sun, January 14, 1879; Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 16, 1878, 2; New York Times, December 17, 1878, 2. RETURN TO TEXT

45. Peter Lovesey, Nineteenth Century Women Walkers, unpublished manuscript, 16-17. RETURN TO TEXT

46. For an interpretation of William Vanderbilt and other industrialists, see Matthew Josephson, The Robber Barons (New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1934). RETURN TO TEXT

47. Buffalo Courier, August 23, 1879, 2. RETURN TO TEXT

48. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 16, 1878, 2. RETURN TO TEXT

49. New York Sun, December 17, 1878, 1; December 23, 1878, 1; and December 25, 1878, 1. New York Times, December 17, 1878, 2; Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 18, 1878, 4; December 22, 1878, 4; and December 28, 1878, 4. RETURN TO TEXT

50. New York Sun, December 26, 1878, 1; Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 30, 1878, 4; January 13, 1879, 4. RETURN TO TEXT

51. Ibid., January 11, 1879, 4. RETURN TO TEXT

52. New York Sun, December 31, 1878, 3. RETURN TO TEXT

53. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 29, 1878, 2, compared Andersons contribution to womens health with the walking of Queen Victorias daughter, Princess Louise, in Canada. For favorable reviews of Andersons endurance capacity, see the New York Sun, December 31, 1878, 3; Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 13, 1879, 2; January 14, 1879, 2; January 17, 1879, 3; and January 19, 1879, 3. RETURN TO TEXT

54. New York Times, January 13, 1879, 5. RETURN TO TEXT

55. New York Sun, January 14, 1879, 1-2. RETURN TO TEXT

56. The New York Tribune, January 7, 1879, 8, suggested fraud was possible. The New York Evening Post, January 10, 1879, 4 and New York Times January 9, 1879, 5, refuted claims of fraud. RETURN TO TEXT

57. New York Tribune, January 14, 1879, 5. RETURN TO TEXT

58. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 12, 1879, 2; January 14, 1879, 2; January 17, 1879, 3. Washington Post, beginning January 2, 1879, 1; Rocky Mountain News January 10, 1879, 1; San Francisco Chronicle January 13, 1879, 3; Chicago Tribune, January 17, 1879, 12. The Salt Lake Tribune, January 15, 1879, carried news of the WCTU protest with no mention of her success. RETURN TO TEXT

59. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 14, 1879, 2. RETURN TO TEXT

60. Ibid., January 14, 1879, 3. RETURN TO TEXT

61. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 19, 1879, 3. RETURN TO TEXT

62. Washington Post, January 22, 1879, 2. RETURN TO TEXT

63. New York Times, January 14, 1879, 4, 5; Spirit of the Times, January 18, 1879, 633; and February 8, 1879, 12; New York Clipper, February 8, 1879, 363; and March 1, 1879, 387. Minority women included Dianna de Cristoral, "The Great Egyptian Pedestrienne", and Tek Sek, the "Indian girl". See the Philadelphia Inquirer, April 2, 1879, 2.; National Police Gazette, January 31, 1880, 15. RETURN TO TEXT

64. Tiffany pedometers were advertised in the New York Evening Post, January 30, 1879, 3. Advertisements for illustrations appeared in the New York Herald, March 24, 1879, 1. The New York Illustrated Times, January 4, 1879, 195 and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, February 1, 1879, 1, presented front page action pictures and stories of Anderson. RETURN TO TEXT

65. Bells Life, February 1, 1879, 12; and New York Clipper, January 18, 1879, 338. John M. Hoberman, Mortal Engines (New York: The Free Press, 1992), 33-61, suggested that gentlemens interests in male physical prowess were ambiguous compared to their interest in promoting white male intellectual prowess. The acknowledged ability of Blacks and women to withstand pain were considered indicators of a minority group's intellectual inferiority. RETURN TO TEXT

66. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 18, 1878, 2. RETURN TO TEXT

67. New York Herald, March 17, 1879, 3. RETURN TO TEXT

68. New York Times, March 24, 1879, 8. RETURN TO TEXT

69. Womans Journal, 1 February 1879, 37. RETURN TO TEXT

70. Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, February 10, 1879, 4; New York Clipper, February 22, 1879, 378. RETURN TO TEXT

71. Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, February 6, 1879, 2. RETURN TO TEXT

72. Ibid., February 13, 1879, 4. RETURN TO TEXT

73. New York Times February 2, 1879, 7; February 14, 1879, 5; and May 4, 1879, 6; Washington Post, February 14, 1879, 2; Chicago Tribune, March 5, 1879, 9; March 9, 1879, 12; New York Clipper, March 8, 1879, 396; and March 29, 1879, 4. RETURN TO TEXT

74. For the Philadelphia Medical Society's protest of womens matches, see the New York Herald, March 29, 1879, 4. RETURN TO TEXT

75. Chicago Tribune, March 11, 1879, 9. RETURN TO TEXT

76. Chicago Inter-Ocean, March 14, 1879, 8; and March 24, 1879, 3. RETURN TO TEXT

77. Cincinnati Inquirer, April 21, 1879, 4; May 8, 1879, 8; and May 12, 1879, 4. RETURN TO TEXT

78. National Police Gazette, April 12, 1879, 11. RETURN TO TEXT

79. Louisville Courier-Journal, June 7, 1879, 4; and June 21, 1879, 4; Detroit Free Press, July 22, 6; and August 14, 1879, 6; Detroit Evening News, August 12, 1879, 4. RETURN TO TEXT

80. Buffalo Courier, August 28, 1879, 2; and September 14, 1879, 2. RETURN TO TEXT

81. New York Times, December 14, 1879, 6; Chicago Tribune, March 5, 1879, 9; National Police Gazette, November 1, 1879, 12, 16; January 3, 1880, 2. According to the New York Clipper, April 26, 1879, 34, a bill to prosecute anyone for holding professional walking contests was presented to the New York State Legislature in April 1879. It did not pass. RETURN TO TEXT

82. Baltimore American and Commercial Advertiser, May 16, 1880, 4. Madame Anderson's reported performances included:
    • September 1877, Newport, Wales 1,000 half-miles in as many half-hours
    • November 1877, Plymouth, England 1,250 miles in 1,000 hours
    • December 1877, Plymouth, England 96 miles in 24 hours
    • January 1878, Plymouth, England 1,344 quarter-miles in as many quarter-hours
    • February 1878, Boston, England 1,008 miles in 672 hours
    • April 1878, Leeds, England 1,500 miles in 1,000 hours
    • June 1878, Skegness, England 1,008 miles in 672 hours
    • July 1878, Kings Lynn, England 864 quarter-miles in as many 5-minute periods
    • August 1878, Peterborough, England 1,344 quarter-miles in as many quarter-hours
    • December 1878, Brooklyn, U.S.A. 2,700 quarter-miles in as many quarter-hours
    • January 1879, Pittsburgh, U.S.A. 1,350 quarter-miles in as many quarter-hours
    • May 1879, Chicago, U.S.A. 2,068 quarter-miles in as many quarter-hours*
    • April 1879, Cincinnati, U.S.A. 804 miles in 500 hours
    • June 1879, Louisville, U.S.A. Starts 1,100 quarter-miles in 1,100 quarter-hours**
    • July 1879, Detroit, U.S.A. 2,028 quarter-miles in as many quarter-hours
    • August 1879, Buffalo, U.S.A. 2,052 quarter-miles in as many quarter-hours***
    • November 1879, New York, U.S.A. Attempts 4,236 quarter-miles****
    • December 1879, New York, U.S.A. 351 miles in 6 days
    • May 1880, Baltimore, U.S.A. 1,559 quarter-miles in as many 12-minute periods
        • *Reportedly missed a few laps;
          **Quit early, due to poor attendance;
          ***Completed walk despite having tooth removed;
          ****Roughs attempted to stop race to win a bet.
          RETURN TO TEXT

83. For the protest against bloody animal sports, see Adelman, A Sporting Time, 240-243. RETURN TO TEXT

84. For interpretations on the downfall of pedestrianism, see Lucas, Pedestrianism, 593-594. For information on the attack on professional sports and the legitimation of amateur sports through the ideology of nationalism, see S.W. Pope, Patriotic Games: Sporting Traditions in the American Imagination, 1876-1926 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 22-34. RETURN TO TEXT

85. Washington Post, May 19, 1889, 1; and June 2, 1889, 6. RETURN TO TEXT

86. Ibid., May 21, 1889, 1; Chicago Inter-Ocean, March 19, 1879, 8. RETURN TO TEXT

87. Transcontinental walks by Zoe Gayton and Mrs. Clara Estby were reported in the New York Times, March 28, 1891, 3; and December 24, 1896, 9; The Virginia [Nevada] Evening Chronicle, May 8, 1896, 3. RETURN TO TEXT

88. For a portrayal of pedestriennes as superannuated prostitutes see Edward Van Every, Sins of New York (1930, reprint, New York: Benjamin Blom, Inc., 1972), 294. George C. ODell, listed but trivialized pedestrienne performances in Annals of the New York Stage, volume 11 (New York: AMS Press, 1963),120, 142, 193. Images of women pedestrians were reformed in Hult, The Female American Runner: A Modern Quest for Visibility, 6; and Kuscsik, The History of Womens Participation in the Marathon, 862-876. RETURN TO TEXT

89. Guy M. Lewis, "Madame Will You Walk", in Yesterday in Sport (New York: Time-Life Books, 1968), 147-150; Lewis, "The Ladies Walked and Walked", R3-4; Walder, Walking Mania, 16-17. Anonymous, "Pedestrianism" in Perry Hall, 34-35; Gipe, "Mary Marshall was Strides Ahead", E5. RETURN TO TEXT

90. See M. Ann Hall, Feminism and Sporting Bodies (Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1996). See also Margaret C. Duncan and Cynthia A. Hasbrook, "Denial of Power in Televised Womens Sports," Sociology of Sport Journal, 5 (1988), 1-21; Margaret C. Duncan "Beyond Analyses of Media Texts: An Argument for Formal Analyses of Institutional Structures," Sociology of Sport Journal, 10 (1993), 353-372. RETURN TO TEXT

91. "Veiled Threa"t, Sports Illustrated, January 27, 1992, 12. RETURN TO TEXT

92. Amby Burfoot, "Can of Worms; That's What a Group of Chinese Women Opened Last Summer with Their Amazing Performances", Runners World, December 1993, 60-69. RETURN TO TEXT

93. Jere Longman, "Tulu is Running for Herself and Millions of Sisters", New York Times, B9, B12. RETURN TO TEXT

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