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.

A Christmas thought… loving our enemies…

December 25, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

As we reflect on all we’ve been given, the following historic account seems quite timely.  The coverage, from WWI, appeared in the New York Times, December 31, 1914.  I believe no commentary is needed:

Merry Christmas!

Colonial newspaper founded by a woman… A rare find…

October 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A recent collection which came into our inventory included a rare title which didn’t strike me until I looked more closely.

Salem Gazette” is a somewhat common from the 18th century so I wasn’t surprised to see the title when quickly examining the collection. But then I noticed the date from the Revolutionary War, which I thought odd. Upon investigation I found there were actually four different newspapers titled “Salem Gazette“, one from 1774-1775, one from 1781-85, and one from 1790 thru the 19th century. These latter two are were quite familiar to me, but our issue was yet a fourth title, one which I had never encountered in 35 years, and this one lasted but 36 issues during the year 1781. But of greater significance was that the masthead noted it was published by a woman, Mary Crouch. See the hyperlink for much more on her fascinating life, but suffice it to say she was no stranger to publishing a newspaper as she had much experience in South Carolina.

The hyperlinked article mentions she took over the publication of her husband’s (Charles) “South Carolina Gazette” after he died in 1772. She then began her own newspaper, the “Charlestown Gazette“, in August of 1778.  When the British occupied her town in 1780, being a staunch patriot, she moved north to Salem, Massachusetts, where she began publishing this “Salem Gazette” in 1781. The number we have is dated  February 6, 1781 and is issue number 6 of the 36 published (see the hyperlink). Relatively few institutions hold any issues of this title, and only four issues of this date are held by institutions.

There were a number of women who published newspapers in the 18th century & virtually all that I could discover did so by continuing a printing business upon the demise of their respective husbands. One exception was Mary Goddard who published the “Maryland Journal” during her brother’s absence from 1774-1783. But Anne Catherine Green took over her late husband’s “Maryland Gazette” upon his death in 1767; Hannah Watson took over her husband’s (Ebenezer) “Connecticut Courant” upon his death in 1777; Margaret Draper took over the “Massachusetts Gazette” upon the death of her husband Richard in 1774; Clementine Rind took over “The Virginia Gazette” in 1773 when her husband William died; and Ann Franklin published the “Newport Mercury” upon the death of her son James in 1762. I am sure there are others as well.

From what I could determine Mary Crouch may well be the first American woman to create a newspaper, and she did so twice. Her first being the “Charlestown Gazette” and her second the “Salem Gazette“. Any research to the contrary would be gratefully received and shared with our fellow collectors.

First newspapers in Oklahoma…

May 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The history of present-day Oklahoma is different from most states, as most of the district was set apart by Congress in 1834 for the occupation of five tribes of southern Indians who were taken there from 1820-1840. In 1889 part of the area was opened for white settlement, although  a considerable number moved into the territory before lawful entry, causing them to to be called “Sooners”. Oklahoma did not become a state until 1907, the third last of the continuous 48 to do so (New Mexico & Arizona were the last).

The first Oklahoma printing press came by way of Georgia & Tennessee where it published various Indian pamphlets. The first newspaper in Oklahoma was the “Cherokee Advocate” which began Se[pt. 26, 1844 at Tahlequah, printed in both English and Cherokee. It was preceded by one month by the “Cherokee Messenger” but it was more of a magazine than a newspaper, and it lasted for just 13 issues. The “Advocate” continued publishing–with some interruptions–for over 60 years.

The “Choctaw Telegraph” was issued at Doaksville in the Choctaw Nation near the end of 1848 but it did not last beyond a year. But it was then revived in 1870 and continued until 1907. Yet another newspaper was printed at Doaksville in May, 1850, called the “Choctaw Intelligencer“. Printed in both English & Choctaw it lasted for about a year. The other pre-Civil War newspaper was actually a high school publication called the “Cherokee Rosebud” and done by the students of Park Hill Female Seminary at Tahlequah. It began in 1848.

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 · Leave a Comment 

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.