Louisa Lawson (17 February 1848 - 12 August 1920) was an Australian writer, publisher, suffragist, and feminist.
Louisa Lawson was born and raised in Mudgee, New South Wales. The second of 12 children, her family were typical strugglers, and like many girls at that time left school at the age of thirteen. In 1866 she married Niels Larsen (Peter Lawson). Lawson's husband was often absent gold mining or working with his father-in-law, leaving her to raise four children - Henry b 1867, Charles b 1869, Peter b 1873, Annette b 1877 (died at 8 months) and Gertrude b 1877 - on her own. In 1882 she took her children and moved to Sydney. There, Lawson managed boarding houses and saved money that she later used to purchase shares in the radical pro-federation newspaper The Republican in 1887. With her earnings and her experience from working on The Republican, Lawson was able in May 1888, to edit and publish The Dawn.
The Dawn was Australia’s first journal produced solely by women, and was published monthly and distributed throughout Australia and overseas. The Dawn had a strong feminist perspective and frequently addressed issues such as the women's right to vote and assume public office, women's education, women's economic and legal rights, domestic violence, and temperance. The Dawn was published monthly for seventeen years (1888 - 1905) and at its height employed 10 female staff. Lawson's son Henry Lawson also contributed poems and stories for the paper. The Dawn press print..