First newspapers in Tennessee…

February 27, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

Tennessee–or at least a portion of it–had an interesting history. The Northeastern part originally belonged to North Carolina, and a plan was afoot to cede it to the national government. A serious of conventions at Jonesborough resulted in the adoption in 1784 of a constitution under the name of the state of Franklin. Ultimately statehood plans ended in 1788.

The first printing in Tennessee happened in Rogersville by George Roulstone, who on November 5, 1791 he printed the first issue of the Knoxville “Gazette“, because he intended to move the press to Knoxville when it was expected that town would be the permanent capital of the territory. This ultimately happened in 1792. He printed his first issue there on May 4, 1793 where it continued until 1797.

After a year in absence, Roulstone resumed the newspaper under the title of the “Register” with a subtitle of: “The Genius of Liberty“. After another year of lapse the “Gazette” was revived which in 1799 was consolidated with the “Impartial Observer“. A string of other newspapers begin in the early years of the  19th century.