Colorado’s first newspapers…

November 16, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Mountaineer-from-ColoradoCredit is given to John Oswald’s “Printing In The Americas” for much of the following:

Colorado was first organized as the “Jefferson Territory” in October, 1859 and Congress renamed it Colorado Territory in February, 1861. It would become a state in 1876 hence it’s nickname “Centennial State”.

Colorado’s first printing was done in on April 23, 1859, on which date two newspapers were established in Denver, a town named after James W. Denver, the territorial governor of Kansas, and now occupying the site of two towns originally called Auraria and St. Charles. The “Rocky Mountain News” was started by William  Byers, John Dailey & Thomas Gibson. Byers became the sole owner in 1870. The second newspaper, the “Cherry Creek Pioneer“, was started by John Merrick but only lasted for just a single issue.  But shortly thereafter the “Rocky Mountain Gold Reporter & Mountain City Herald” was started August 6, 1859 at “Mountain City, Jefferson Territory”. A few months later the same printing press was used to launch the “Western Mountaineer” at Golden, Colorado.

The first daily newspaper in Colorado was the “Daily Herald and Rocky Mountain Advertiser” dating from May 1, 1860, and nearly four months later the “Rocky Mountain News” also became a daily publication.

There being no United States mail throughout Colorado at that time the newspapers were delivered by carriers mounted on burros to the various mining camps at 25 cents per copy, or $24 per year. One can imagine with such a lack of efficient distribution how small the print runs were and how few issues would survive to the 20th century.

Keep in mind that these early publication dates coincided with the Colorado “gold rush” which ran from 1859 to 1861 or so. It was typical that newspapers would spring up in areas when population would boom and land development was flourishing. Newspapers were quick to arise wherever the people would be, as was the case in California, Alaska and many other Western states.

Any of these early Colorado newspapers from 1859 or the early 1860’s are exceedingly scarce and would be choice issues for any collection.

The first newspaper in Alabama…

October 19, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Tim_2008Credit must be given to John Oswald’s “Printing In The Americas” for the following on first newspaper printed in Alabama:

“Samuel Miller and John B. Hood started the ‘Centinel” at Mobile, Alabama, on May 23, 1811, but there is some doubt as to whether it was actually printed there. It was a troublous time for the town. The district in which it was located was claimed by Spain as a part of Florida, which she owned, and it was not until 1812 that the Congress of the United States annexed the Mobile district to what was then called the Mississippi Territory. The following year Gen. James Wilkinson occupied it with a military force, which was not resisted by the Spaniards. It is probable that the printing of the “Centinel” was done at Fort Stoddert, further up the river in American territory. In 1817 the territory was divided, the eastern portion being named Alabama, after a tribe of Creek Indians which inhabited the district, with St. Stephens as its capital. The territory became a state in 1819.”