The first newspapers in Mississippi…

July 8, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Even before the Mississippi Territory was made whole in 1804 (or nearly so; a small portion was annexed in 1812), a printing press was moved into Natchez at the request of the newly appointed governor in order to: “…diffuse a knowledge of the laws and other useful matters…”.  Documentation gives evidence that Benjamin Stokes: “…commenced in Natchez, and continued some time, the ‘Mississippi Gazette’…This was some time in the summer of 1799, but he soon failed…”. But the earliest issue located is dated Oct. 13, 1801, vol. 2, no. 7, which would carry the date of establishment back to September, 1800. At the time the population of the entire Mississippi Territory was just 7600. The paper was discontinued on Dec. 1, 1801.

Another title, the “Intelligencer“, begin in Natchez on Aug. 11, 1801 judging from the date of the earliest issue located. This publication failed to last through the year, ending publication on Dec. 8, 1801. The next several papers also published in Natchez, with the “Mississippi Herald” beginning July 27, 1802 (ended in 1807); the “Constitutional Conservator” beginning in Oct., 1802 but only one issue has been located, that of April 16, 1803; the “Mississippi Messenger” beginning Sept. 7, 1804 (ended in 1808) and the “Natchez “Gazette” beginning on Jan. 7, 1808 (ended on Nov. 16, 1808).

Each of these titles, and others from the early period of the 19th century, were established before statehood was granted in 1817.

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.”