At 6, her dad died. He left nothing to his second family and as a result, Nelie's family was broke. Her mother soon after married a rich abuse man for financial security. It later ended in divorce. At 15 she went to the Indiana Normal School to become a teacher (a rare position for women at the time) for financial to independently help her family. She only took a semester because could not afford to finish. She moved out with her mother and ran a boarding house looking for work.
Her dreams of being a writer started to come into play.
It all began when she read a an article by Pittsburgh Dispatch's "Quiet Observer" (Eramus Wilson, popular columnist, pen name) he believed women should be submissive house wives or the typical norm of that time. He referred to women as "a monstrosity." As a result, Elisabeth was angered and wrote a letter to the newspaper. They were impressed by her girl power and gave her a job. They also gave her the pen name, Nelie Bly, which was originated from from the Stephen Foster song.
A New York Minute
Her earlier writings were about poor working girls, the struggle of female factory workers and divorce laws. She felt no writing independence from Pittsburgh Dispatch solely because she was a woman. So, 6 months later, she sought out work in New York new papers. It was a success. She met John Cockerill, editor of John Pulitzer's "New York World." She accepted the challenge of reporting about mentally ill patients in Blackwell's Island, institution. To give a realistic edge to her story, She impersonated a mentally ill...