The first newspaper in Utah…

March 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Mormons created a great migration to the West in 1847 as 2000 Mormons crossed the western plains seeking a location in which they could follow undisturbed the precepts of their religion. The first party reached the Salt Lake valley on July 24, 1847, and among the items they brought were implements, seeds, cattle, sheep, hogs, chickens, and a printing outfit purchased in Philadelphia.

At the time the area was owned by Mexico, but with the treaty of 1848 ending the Mexican ar ownership passed to the United States. With no steps taken by federal authorities to establish a system of government for it, the Mormons took matters into their own hands and in 1849 organized the “State of Deseret” (land of the honey bee) with Brigham Young as governor.

The very first issue of the “Deseret News” was printed on June 15, 1850 with Brigham Young noted as the publisher and Horace Whitney, who had printing experience at the Mormon town of Nauvoo, Illinois, listed as the printer. This newspaper continued for just over a year when it was suspended for 3 months due to lack of paper. It began as a weekly but four months later became a semi-monthly until 1854 when it again became a weekly. It eventually became a daily on Nov. 21, 1867.  A sample of a volume 1 issues may be found at:  Deseret News, August 17, 1850

It was in late 1858 when Kirk Anderson started the “Valley Tan” in Salt Lake City, lasting for just over a year. The “Mountaineer” was started on Aug. 27, 1859 and “Farmer’s Oracle” was a semi-monthly which began on May 22, 1863, both of which lasted for less than two years.  A military newspaper titled the “Union Vidette” began on Nov. 20, 1863, done by soldiers stationed at Camp Douglass, a military post near Salt Lake City.

First newspapers in Michigan…

June 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The first settlement in present-day Michigan was in Sault Ste. Mari in 1668, yet it was about one hundred years later before the first printing press arrived in the territory. Detroit was founded in  1701 and it was here in 1809 when the Rev. Father Gabriel Richard brought with him a printing press upon which Jame M. Miller, a printer from Utica, New York, would published the first issue of “Michigan Essay; Or, The Impartial Observer” on August 31. A portion of the issue was printed in French. Only four issues of this newspaper have survived and they are all the first issue so it is possible it may have been also the last.

The second newspaper in Michigan was also in Detroit, the “Detroit Gazette” which began on July 25, 1817.  Three of the pages were in English while one was in French. It succeeded for about thirteen years, expiring on April 22, 1830. The third newspaper was again in Detroit, the “Michigan Herald“, which began in 1825 and lasted for four years. the first French newspaper in Michigan was the “Gazette Francaise, which also began in 1825, which was also the year the first newspaper outside of Detroit was begun, being the “Michigan Sentinel” in the town of Monroe.  By the 1830’s newspapers in the Michigan Territory became more commonplace.

Minnesota’s first newspapers…

June 21, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

The first “Minnesota” newspaper has the curious distinction of never being printed in Minnesota. Dr. Andrew Randall, a U.S. government employee from Ohio engaged in a geological survey of the Minnesota district, decided to become a printer. He returned to his home town of Cincinnati, purchased printing equipment, and produced in Cincinnati the volume 1, number 1 issue of the “Minnesota Register“. There was but one number, but existing copies bear different dates of April 7 and 27, 1849.

Another outsider, James Goodhue, a lawyer-turned printer from Lancaster, Wisconsin, worked for a newspaper in Wisconsin before carting his equipment and heading north for St. Paul’s Landing in the Minnesota Territory. There he planed on printing what was to be named the “Epistle of St. Paul”, but after advice of friends the first issue was actually titled the “Minnesota Pioneer“, appearing on April 28, 1849. Not only was this the first newspaper actually printed in Minnesota, it was the first piece of any printing done in the territory.

The next newspaper was done by another Ohioan, James Hughes, who on May 31, 1849 printed the “Minnesota Chronicle” on May 31, 1849. Third in line was the “Minnesota Register“, now moved from Cincinnati to Minnesota to become a legitimate Minnesota newspaper when it printed its July 14, 1849 issue in St. Paul. Just over a month later the “Chronicle” and “Register” combined to produce the “Chronicle & Register” on August 25.

First newspapers in Massachusetts…

May 31, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

It would be of no surprise that Massachusetts has the longest history of newspaper publishing anywhere in the colonies. The very first printing press in the colonies was set up there, and by 1690 a newspaper was published in Boston, “Public Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick”, but lasting but a single issue. In November of 2008 I did a post specifically on this title so I won’t dwell on this effort other than to say that it lasted but a single issue before being suppressed.

It was not for another fourteen years that Bartholomew Green, of the very famous Green family of printers, had the honor of printing the first newspaper to be permanently established in the colonies, the Boston “News-Letter“. Green published it for the owner, John Campbell, for 18 years and when  Campbell retired Green & his successors continued the publication until the evacuation of Boston 1776, at which point the newspaper ceased.

The third newspaper in Massachusetts, also in Boston, was the famed “Boston Gazette“, printed for owner William Brooker by James Franklin, elder brother to Benjamin. This newspaper started on Dec. 21, 1719 and when sold James Franklin decided to begin a newspaper of his own. The “New-England Courant” began Aug. 7,1721 and it was on this project that Benjamin Franklin gained his apprenticeship as a printer. He would then move to Philadelphia, buy the Pennsylvania Gazette, and the rest is, well, history.

So it was that the first three newspapers in the American colonies were all published in Boston, although it was a close call. The first newspaper outside of Boston, the “American Weekly Mercury“, began in Philadelphia on Dec. 22, 1719, just one day after the “Boston Gazette“.

The first newspapers in Iowa…

March 22, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The state of Iowa had various “owners” over the last 300+ years.  It became a French possession in 1682, in 1762 was ceded to Spain, in 1800 it was returned to France, who in 1803 passed ownership to the United States under the terms of the Louisiana Purchase.

In 1804-5 as part of the District of Louisiana it was under the government of the Indiana Territory. During the next seven years it was in the Missouri Territory, and from 1821-34 it was a part of the unorganized territory of the United States. From 1834-6 it was part of the Michigan Territory, and from 1836-8 a part of the Wisconsin Territory. In 1838 the Wisconsin Territory was divided & the western portion was named the Iowa Territory, which in 1846 was admitted as a state.

The first printing in the district was in 1836 when John King, who moved from Ohio to Dubuque, believed the town should have a newspaper and on May 11, 1836 began printing the “Visitor“, the first newspaper in Iowa. A year later the name changed to the “Iowa News“, and 4 years later to the “Miners’ Express“. Iowa’s second newspaper was the “Western Adventurer and Herald of the Upper Mississippi” (not sure how they fit that in the masthead) begun by Dr. Isaac Galland on June 28, 1837 in Montrose. It lasted for just a few months when the equipment was sold to James Edwards who took it to Fort Madison & on March 24, 1838 the first issue of the Fort Madison “Patriot” was published.

Indiana’s first newspapers…

March 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Indiana was the first state to be named after America’s original inhabitants, meaning “land of Indians”. When the Indiana Territory was created in 1800 it encompassed all of the present states of Illinois & Wisconsin, nearly all of Indiana, and parts of Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota.

In Vincennes in 1804 Elihu Stout, a Virginian, printed the first number of the “Indiana Gazette“, the first newspaper in Indiana. It continued until 1806 when the establishment was destroyed by fire. Stout purchased a new printing outfit and on July 4, 1807 he resumed publication under the new name of the “Western Sun“.

It was the custom, and a natural one, for printers, in seeking new locations, to choose towns with promise of a prosperous future. In the undeveloped western wilderness such towns were believe to be only those located on navigable rivers. Such towns as Madison saw the start of the “Western Eagle” in 1813, and tow town of Corydon had its “Indiana Herald” begin in 1816; Vevay had the “Indiana Register” by 1816, and Brookville had the “Plain-Dealer” also by 1816.

First newspapers in Illinois…

March 8, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Kaskaskia, a thriving town on the Mississippi River and the territory’s first capital, was the place of the first printing done in Illinois while it was still a territory. Mathew Duncan, a printer who had moved from Kentucky, began publication of Illinois’ first newspaper, the “Illinois Herald” in 1814. The name would change to the “Western Intelligencer” in 1816, and again to “Illinois Intelligencer” in 1818. Two years later it would be moved to Vandalia which had become the capital of the state.

The second newspaper in Illinois was the “Illinois Emigrant” which began on June 13, 1818 at Sawneetown. A year later the title was changed to the “Illinois Gazette”.

The first newspaper in Chicago was a weekly paper titled the “Chicago Democrat“, which began on Nov. 26, 1833.

First newspaper in Idaho…

March 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Idaho’s name was adapted from the Shoshone Indian call, “Ee-dah-how!”. Its literal translation is “Look! The sun is coming down the mountain.” It was a part of the “Oregon Country” claimed by Spain until 1819 and by Russia until 1824. Great Britain and the United States held it jointly until Britain relinquished her claim to the United States by treaty in 1846.

In 1839 the American Board of Foreign Missions brought back from Hawaii the printing outfit that had been sent there in 1821 (see our post for Feb. 22: “Hawaii’s first newspapers…”) and transferred it to Idaho. In 1862 in Lewiston, named after explorer Meriwether Lewis, Idaho’s first newspaper, the “Golden Age”, was established  by A. S. Gould who hasd previous printing exerience in California and Oregon. The “Golden Age” was discontinued in 1865 when the printing press was moved to Leesburg. In 1867 the “Mining News” was established but the printer was able to keep it going for only eight months.

The first newspaper in southern Idaho (3nd in the territory), the “Boise News” was started on Sept. 29, 1863 at Idaho City, and the fourth newspaper, the “Idaho Tri-Weekly Statesman” began printing on July 26, 1864 in Boise.

First newspapers in Hawaii…

February 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The American Board of Foreign Missions sent a printing press to Hawaii in 1820, but it wasn’t until fourteen years later that a periodical was printed in the islands. Hawaii’s first newspaper was done by students of a missionary seminary on the island of Maui on Feb. 14, 1834, titled: “Ka Lama Hawaii” (Hawaiian Luminary). A similar paper titled “Ke Kumu Hawaii” appeared in Honolulu in October of the same year. Both were printed in the Hawaiian language.

In 1836, two years after Hawaiian language newspapers took hold, the first English language paper was born, the “Sandwich Island Gazette and Journal of Commerce“. This newspaper was only printed sporadically and lasted for just three years. It wasn’t until 1856 that the first regular English language paper was established, the weekly “Pacific Commercial Advertiser“. The “Advertiser” has published continuously since then, switching names to today’s Honolulu Advertiser in 1921.

First newspapers in Georgia…

February 15, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Georgia, founded in 1733, was named after King George II of Great Britain. James Johnston, a Scotsman, was the colony’s first printer. He established the “Georgia Gazette“at Savannah on April 7, 1763. The “Gazette” was issued with intermissions and changes of name for nearly forty years. During one of the intermissions Johnston published the “Royal Georgia Gazette“, which he purchased from John Hammerer who had started it on January 21, 1779.

John E. Smith started the “Georgia State Gazette or Independent Register” at Augusta on Sept. 30, 1786. In 1789 it became the “Augusta Chronicle and Gazette of the State” and later was shorted to just the “Augusta Chronicle“.

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