Browse Primary Sources

Subject is exactly Nellie Bly

Follow-Up: "New York" - RCS - Philadelphia Medical Times

". . .The fact that she pretended insanity would have been sufficient reason for keeping her for a time under observation. But there is a popular impression that once declared insane, always insane; and once played in an asylum, always to remain in an asylum. . ."

"Brooke Kroeger on James O'Keefe and Undercover Reporting: A CJR Podcast" - Joel Meares - Columbia Journalism Review

 Kroeger explains her undercoverreporting.org database and the pro-undercover argument presented in her 2012 book, Undercover Reporting: The Truth about Deception. and talks about why provenance is less important than ethical and careful method when it comes to using surreptitious techniques. 

Columbia Journalism Review  2011-03-11

"With the Prison Matrons" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"'Seventeen years is a long time for an innocent woman to be in prison.' I answered the speaker with a sympathetic smile. I though, as I glanced at the kindly face and the neatly dressed hair, which Time has touched with frosty fingers what love of humanity, what patience she must possess to spend seventeen years in unceasing labor for the ill-fated outcast world. . ."

New York World  1889-01-13

"Nellie Bly's 700 Doctors" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"I am still ill. Two weeks ago I had seven physicians who charged large fees. Today I have 700 physicians who diagnose my case and prescribe without charge. . ."

New York World  1889-11-10

"Nellie Bly at West Point" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"Ah! It's very nice to be a cadet, but it's much nicer to be a cadet's 'cousin.' The West Point cadets and their 'cousins,' with an occasional sprinkling of sisters and mothers had a lovely time last week. I was at the West Point Hotel for a day or so enjoying the closing exercises of our historic military school and the way happiness was booming was enough to coax the sugar-water out of the maple trees that it might mingle with the sweetness which prevailed everywhere. . ."

New York World  1889-06-09

"Jolly at the French Ball" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"I went to the French Ball fully prepared to be terribly shocked. But I wasn't. If I had never been to the seashore and witnessed the bathing, or to the opera-house and seen the occupants of the boxes, I might have been. . ."

New York World  1889-02-10

"Another Wicked Swindle" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"Swindlers and swindled! Divide the population of America into two parts and you have two classes- the swindlers and the swindled, and the census of one will equal that of the other every time. . ."

New York World  1889-03-31

"A Female Usurer's Trick" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"Everybody who strolls up the west side of Broadway to the theaters knows the brightly lighted windows of Mrs. Theresa Lynch, with the strings of diamonds sparkling under the electric lights. Nobody knows exactly just what Mrs. Lynch does in her little back office except those who have her confidence. . ."

New York World  1889-05-12

"Nellie Bly on the Wing" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"Miss Saidee Polk Fall is the belle of Nashville, Tennessee. Her mother was adopted and educated by Mrs. James Knox Polk, whose niece she is. After the death of President Polk Mrs. Fall, then a little black-eyed girl, was the only companion the sorrowing widow had to share her lonely home. . ."

New York World  1888-11-04

"The Infamy of the Park" - Nellie Bly -New York World

"Many complaints have come, from time to time, to THE WORLD touching park policemen. Women complain that they dare not go to the Park alone because of the familiar and offensive manner of these officers—those paid guardians of property and quietness."

New York World  1888-08-05

"Why Don't Women Reform?" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"The courtroom was dark and and forbidding. On an elevated platform, inclosed by a high board partition, sat Judge Ford, a pleasant silver-haired man, who seemed to judge rightly the accused brought before him."

New York World  1888-06-17

Comment: "Comment at Albany" - Unsigned - New York World

New York World  1888-04-02

"The Media's Intrusion on Privacy: Protecting Investigative Journalism" - C. Thomas Dienes - The George Washington Law Review

". . .In 1904, the Muckraker journalist, Upton Sinclair, went undercover as a meat packer to expose conditions in the Chicago slaughterhouses. His findings, documented in The Jungle, provided impetus for adoption of federal food and drug legislation

The George Washington Law Review  1999-06-01

"New Whines in Old Bottles: Taking Newsgathering Torts Off the Food Lion Shelf" - John P. Borger - Tort & Insurance Law Journal

"Undercover reporting and aggressive elbowing for position to be where the news is happening have been accepted components of journalism for decades. They have produced memorable news accounts and sometimes prompted legislation to remedy abusive activities by the subjects of the news reports. Upton Sinclair and Nellie Bly have become icons in the history of undercover or anonymous newsgathering."

Tort & Insurance Law Journal  1998-10-01

"The Nellie Brown Mystery" - Unsigned - New York World

"A modest, comely well-dressed girl of nineteen who gave her name as Nellie Brown, was committed by Justice Duffy at Essex Market yesterday for examination as to her sanity. The circumstances surrounding her were such as to indicate that possibly she might be the heroine of an interesting story . . . ."

New York World  1887-10-09

"The Lobby King Arraigned" - Unsigned - New York World

"The sensation of the day in Albany was the appearance before the House Judiciary Committee of Miss Nellie Bly, the bright young correspondent of THE WORLD who so neatly entrapped the shrewd old lobbyist, Edward R. Phelps, into betraying the secrets of his profession."

New York World  1888-04-19

Reaction: "The Lobby King Returns" - Unsigned - New York World

New York World  1888-04-11

Reaction: "Phelps Driven From His Throne" - Unsigned - New York World

New York World  1888-04-06

Followup-"The Lobby King's Bluff" - Unsigned - New York World

New York World  1888-04-02

I-"The King of the Lobby" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"I was a Lobbyist last week. I went up to Albany to catch a professional briber in the act. I did. . . . ."From the precede: "To Nellie Bly was entrusted the by no means easy task of not only discovering who was at the head of the 'Third House' but of receiving detailed and exact evidence of how bills are killed or forced through the Legislature. This mission Nellie Bly undertook and carried through with success at every point."

New York World  1888-04-01

Follow-up: "Playing MadWoman" - Unsigned - New York Sun

The World's major competitor, The New York Sun, interviews Bly on her madhouse expose.

New York Sun  1887-10-14

Reaction: "Friends Claim Nellie Marena" - Unsigned - New York Sun

New York Sun  1887-10-07

Reaction: "Nelly Marina or Brown" - Unsigned - New York Sun

"Nelly Marina, who also calls herself Nelly Brown, the pretty crazy girl who was sent from Bellevue to Blackwell's Island a week ago yesterday, and about whom there is believed to be a romance, has not yet been claimed. Her case is diagnosed as melancholia, and Dr. Ingram considers it a very hopeful case."

New York Sun  1887-10-05

Reaction: "Nellie Brown—Memory Still Gone" - Unsigned - New York Sun

"The doctors are not certain that she is insane. She says continually that men are going to kill her, and that she would kill herself if she only knew the making of the poison she wants to take."

New York Sun  1887-09-26

Reaction: "Who Is This Insane Girl?" - Unsigned - New York Sun

"The Matron said that Nellie came to the Home alone about noon on Friday, and said she was looking for her trunks. She was dressed in a gray flannel dress trimmed with brown, brown silk globes, a black straw sailor's hat trimmed with brown, and wore a thin gray illusion veil."

New York Sun  1887-09-25

Behind Asylum Bars Reaction: "Nellie Bly Led the Way" - Unsigned - New York World

"... From their investigation, the body came to the conclusion that the appropriation made to the Department of Charities and Correction for the present year is insufficient to permit the payment of salaries necessary to secure the services of trained nurses and comptent junior physicians and that these branches of the service are consequentially not as efficient as they should be; that the present medical staff is inadequate to meet the requirements of over 1,600 insane patients confined to the institution, and that the nurses examined are not qualified for the proper discharge of the important duties intrusted to them . . . "

New York World  1887-11-03

Behind Asylum Bars-Followup: "THE WORLD Their Savior" - Unsigned - New York World

". . . The city paid "$1.498,800 last year for maintenance of paupers and the insane. IF the abuses among the insane were to be remedied, President Simmons said, the appropriation for the coming year must be $2,121,152. The Mayor and other members of the Board appeared to believe that the outrages, so graphically described in THE WORLD, were the result of a scanty supply of funds. Almost the entire amount asked for was allowed provisionally. Within a few days the Board will visit the institutions, and, after having ascertained their real needs, will finally pass upon the appropriation for their maintenance. . . ."

IV-Reaction: Behind Asylum Bars: "Some of the Doctors Deny It" - Unsigned - New York World

"It was only a half-hearted and apologetic denial that THE WORLD could get from the asylum authorities regarding Nellie Bly's terrible accusations, a large amount of "referring" to someone else, a refusal to ring forth the accused person, and a female cry of "It can't be so." The reporter was not permitted to see the female attendants whom Nellie charges with atrocious cruelty towards feeble women and the possible truth of this charge was admitted after a left-handed fashion. The charge that patients were plunged into a cold bath was denied, and concerning the bathing of many women ina single water, Supt. Dent could only say, "A nurse who did this would be discharged. . . . "

New York World  1887-10-17

III-Followup: "UnTruths in Every Line" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"On my first arrival in New York the editor of the Sun said to me in an interview, "There is nothing so valuable as a reporter who gives facts; who, when told that two and two make four, puts it four instead of three or five." I have always been particular in stating only facts in all my work, but never did I confine myself so closely to this rule as in my story of "Behind Asylum Bars." As the Sun undertook to prove that I really passed ten days as an insane girl on Blackwell's Island, I would like to correct the many mistakes and misstatements which I found throughout the six columns recently published about me in that journal . . . "

The New York World  1887-10-17

"Working Girls Beware!" - Nellie Bly - New York World

New York World  1889-02-03

"Learning Ballet Dancing" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"I have been learning to be a ballet dancer. I have always had an almost manlike love for the ballet, and when I go to spectacular plays and to the opera I try to get close to the bald-headed row. Breathless with admiration I have watched the ballet twirl on its toes and spring into pitcuresque attitudes, the very poetry of motion."

New York World  1887-12-18

Follow-up: "All Doctors Fooled: They Try to Explain Nellie Bly's Stay in the Insane Asylum" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"The apologies of the insanity experts who pronounced the bright reporter insane, of the doctors who tried to cure her and of the nurses who fear exposure are set forth in the Sun in advance of any charges against them."

New York World  1887-10-15

Reaction: "Playing Madwoman"- Unsigned - New York Sun

"She has been doing newspaper work in New York for several months and is the metropolitan correspondent of a Pittsburgh newspaper. Her mother is the widow of a Pittsburgh lawyer. She is intelligent, capable and self-reliant, and, except for the matter of changing her name to Nellie Bly, has gone about the business of maintaining herself in journalism in a practical, business-like way."

New York Sun  1887-10-14

"Nellie Bly a Prisoner" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"The reasons for the undertaking which I describe below were: First, The World wanted to know how women - particularly innocent women - who fall into the hands of the police are treated by them, and second, what necessity, if any, there is for providing station-houses with matrons. . ."

New York World  1889-02-24

"In the Biggest New York Tenement" - Nellie Bly - New York World

New York World  1894-08-05

"Shadowed by a Detective" - Nellie Bly - New York World

New York World  1889-04-28

"Nellie Bly on the Stage" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"I made my début as a chorus girl or stage Amazon last week. It was my first appearance on any stage and came about through reading among THE WORLD advertisements one that called for 100 girls for a spectacular pantomine, so I found myself one afternoon at the stage door of the Academy of Music."

The New York World  1888-03-04

"The Girls Who Make Boxes" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"Very early the other morning, I started out, not with the pleasure-seekers, but with those who toil the day long that they may live. . . . "

New York World  1887-11-27

"Wanted - A Few Husbands" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"The New York woman can hardly have a single desire that cannot be gratified through some bureau or agency of this town. Through them she can get a house, have it furnished, secure new wardrobe, a good form, a clear complexion, the latest shade of hair and a loan to start the wheels of the concern in good running order. If she desires a husband, and a family warranted to have a marked resemblance, they can be had through the same channels at a nominal price."

New York World  1887-12-04

"What Becomes of Babies?" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"What name awakens such universally tender feelings as that of "baby"? Last week some philanthropist wrote to THE WORLD to suggest that I try to find out what becomes of all the baby waifs in this great city. Not the little ones who are cordially welcomed by proud parents, happy grandparents and a large circle of loving relatives, but the many hundreds of babies whose coming is greeted with grief anf whose unhappy mothers hide their little lives in shame."

New York World  1887-11-06

II - "Inside the Madhouse" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"As the wagon was rapidly driven through the beautiful lawns up to the asylum my feelings of satisfaction at having attained the object of my work were greatly dampened by the look of distress on the faces of my companions."

New York World  1887-10-16

I - "Behind Asylum Bars" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"On the 22nd of September I was asked by THE WORLD if I could have myself committed to one of the Asylums for the Insane in New York, with a view to writing a plain and unvarnished narrative of the treatment of the patients therein and the methods of management &c. . . . "

The New York World  1887-10-09

"Nellie Bly in Pullman" - Nellie Bly - New York World

"I thought the inhabitants of hte model town of Pullman hadn't a reason on earth to complain. With this belief I visited the town, intending n my articles to denounce the rioters as bloodthirsty strikers."Before I had been half a day in Pullman, I was the most bitter striker in the town."

New York World  1894-07-11

"Nellie Bly Again — She Interviews Emma Goldman and Other Anarchists" - New York World

"You have seen supposed pictures of her. You have read of her as a property-destroying, capitalist-killing, riot-promoting agitator. You see her in your mind a great raw-boned creature with short hair and bloomers, a red flag in one hand, a burning torch in the other; both feet constantly off the ground and murder continually upon her lips. . . ."

New York World  1893-09-17

"Undercover, Under Fire" - Ken Silverstein - Los Angeles Times

EARLIER THIS YEAR, I put on a brand-new tailored suit, picked up a sleek leather briefcase and headed to downtown Washington for meetings with some of the city's most prominent lobbyists. I had contacted their firms several weeks earlier, pretending to be the representative of a London-based energy company with business interests in Turkmenistan. I told them I wanted to hire the services of a firm to burnish that country's image.I didn't mention that Turkmenistan is run by an ugly, neo-Stalinist regime. They surely knew that, and besides, they didn't care. As I explained in this month's issue of Harper's Magazine, the lobbyists I met at Cassidy & Associates and APCO were more than eager to help out. In exchange for fees of up to $1.5 million a year, they offered to send congressional delegations to Turkmenistan and write and plant opinion pieces in newspapers under the names of academics and think-tank experts they would recruit. They even offered to set up supposedly "independent" media events in Washington that would promote Turkmenistan (the agenda and speakers would actually be determined by the lobbyists).   All this, Cassidy and APCO promised, could be done quietly and unobtrusively, because the law that regulates foreign lobbyists is so flimsy that the firms would be required to reveal little information in their public disclosure forms. Now, in a fabulous bit of irony, my article about the unethical behavior of lobbying firms has become, for some in the media, a story about my ethics in reporting the story. The lobbyists have attacked the story and me personally, saying that it was unethical of me to misrepresent myself when I went to speak to them.

Los Angeles Times  2007-06-30