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Pioneer press of Kentucky : from the printing of the first paper west of the Alleghanies, Aug. 11, 1787, to the establishment of the daily press in 1830 / by William Henry Perrin ; written for the Filson Club and read before the club at its Aus August meeting, 1887.
Pioneer press of Kentucky : from the printing of the first paper west of the Alleghanies, Aug. 11, 1787, to the establishment of the daily press in 1830 / by William Henry Perrin ; written for the Filson Club and read before the club at its Aus August meeting, 1887. Perrin, William Henry, d. 1892. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-46-26946200 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Pioneer press of Kentucky : from the printing of the first paper west of the Alleghanies, Aug. 11, 1787, to the establishment of the daily press in 1830 / by William Henry Perrin ; written for the Filson Club and read before the club at its Aus August meeting, 1887. Perrin, William Henry, d. 1892. J.P. Morton, [Louisville, Ky.] : 1888. 93 p.,  leaves of plates : ill., ports. ; 29 cm. Coleman News article inserted inside cover. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1992. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN02168.01 KUK) Printing Master B92-46. s 1967 miu n IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Press Kentucky. Bradford s Gazetie' Started Here In 1787 //Ctd/d eai ero 't A67By Ruth Parker On a hot August morning one hundred and, seventy years ago an astute-looking man stood balanced on the bow of a barge as it was com- ing down the Ohio7 River. He watched carefully as the flatboat was maneuvered to a landing at the settlement Limestone. Standing just be- hind him was his brother and between them they had a curious cargo, wrapped in woolen cloths, then covered with skins and tied with leather strips-protected from both damp- ness and dirt. The package contained neither guns, nor ammunition, food, supplies, nor silver nor gold, but it was however the 'most valuable thing ever brought into the new Kentucky wilderness. For John and Fielding Bradford had sue- cessfully gotten a printing press and a case of type from the East, through Pittsburgh, and now they were about to land it at Limestone and to undertake to get it trans- ported over "Smith's Wagon Road") the old Buffalo Trace, now U. S. 68), to Lex- ingion. John Bradford They wqe delayed by illness and by the scattering of some of the type when Fielding half set up some of it and locked the first form. They had to ford swollen streams and go through deep forests where savage Indians lurked; the way was rough, but they finally made it to Lexington. And on Aug. 11, 1787, John Bradford pub- lished here the first Issue of the Kentucky Gazette, first published newspaper west of the Alleghenies. It is fortunate that some of the very early copies of diie Gazeite are preserved in the Lcxington Public Library. The house which later on was home to John Bradford, which was also at one time the home of Lucretia Hart, who there was married to Henry Clay, and also later the home of Miss Laura Clay, stood for more than a century and a quarter at the south. west corner of Second and Mill streets. A few years ago It was torn down. It would have made a wonderful museum for pound;ex- ington. It had entrances on two streets, large high-ceilinged rnomg, large wtindows and plenty of rambling space in which to exhibit treasures. Everything from printinig to painting, artifacts and mementos of Kentucky and the Blue Grass could have been kept in this old house. It was not a particularly beautiful building but it could have been a wonderful storehouse of his- tory. Even an early log schoolhouse could have been placed in the back yard. The Foundation for the Preservation of Historic Lexington and Fayette County hopes that from now on everyone will be aware of historic treasures and that val- uable things and places of the past can be saved that they may be useful to the fu- ture. Not preserved just for the sake of preser- vation, collecting for the sake of collecting, but preserved to enjoy beauty, to learn and benefit from history, from architecture, and from contained knowledge. For to preserve the past is a basis, of learning for the future. Then progress Is given a perspective. It would have been an interesting ex- hibit In this museum to have had a model of Bradford's first printing press; side by side with a model of Cassius M. Clay's press that printed The True American. This page in the original text is blank. R. T. DURRETT, 202 EAST CHESTNUT STREET, LOUISVILLE, KY. Loui sv4 119, TVy'0, eb. 20, 1906 Mr. F4.D. TMacoy, Cincinnati, 0 I have your letter of the 115th inst. and since r;ceivir;, it have been tryiiyC to see ha I cculd do towards helping ycu to ccmplete your set of the Filson Club publictions . I can furnish you at tds timt with a copy of the Pioneer Press and alsc -with The Life ard Tines of Caleb tiallace fcr . 4.On each . This is just what theyr will cost the club, as the club has nr. copi and has tcbky them"iW tlirArket . I am in the habit of buying for the club every copy that is cffered for sae19 in the market and th only waq to have them for sale there is to Pay fbr them. You can have these two copies if' you vent them at 8.00, and deducting your 21st publication to which you are entitled free at 3.00, the publication price, the difference to be paid by you will be 5.nn . I have been trying; to get you a copy of the sketch of St. Paul's Church but. have not yet been abl 9 to do so . All copies wnich were left wwer burnt up whegi t.hB chu-ch burnpd some ylears o I .1 -have . fbw codie.s reserved for myself but de not want to part with them . If I find I can- not secure you a copyr it will be my pleasure to make you a present of one of these, however, 1 want to avoid it if I can . I dc not know when 1 shall be able tb get you a copy of The ftiloirness Road as it is almst as scarce as The Life and TiJMs of John Fiison. It is nothing but a pam- phlet of 75 pages and yet if I Get it at all it will probably be at 5.00, unless good luck should throw one in mry way at a less price. if The Pioneer Press and Life of Caleb Wallace are acceptable to you at the price namd, let me know and 1 will send th6m to you Instead of the 21st publication . T / "" Truly, J/ 0 R. OH1IQO INTELLIGENCER. LOUISVILLE, (FALIS OF OIIIO) PRINTED BY SAMULL VAIL. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14. 1802. Nc. XCII. ro THf EDITOR o0 TH. 'AURGIO. aXrLY TO ' A cLTjZErtmOFikmro IsTatRIc STATI O TS14tt1sStIR. COTTON MACHINERY. Not. IL. In addition to the imple- nients of cOtton manufacture, mentioned in my laff, tbejpring PZuilZle ortJbivtdlla deserves, the p articuJarattenttoo of the cot ton railing flates. It baa a Loaom of a particular: conflruc- tion with arace i board, a pair of temples, flays, c. This kind afloorn fliuttle are well nade by Mr. F,';x rrraofnrd On a frequent and long can liderations of rbisa aeubjet it is rccoinmended, that a' fip. tion or legilalfivc graat be forth- Wiltl obtained, tu raise a me- derate fund; to i:e applied'.lto purcisase (asi modela) iaanm ot the Atlantic :ports.a!the moft complete and perfect set or colledtion of all the varietica of tihe aInplements, utenfilsa, and machincry used in the mantu- factUrc of cottot; -now pos- se!.d in the At'antic flateS, to he carefully p.acked and trans- ported to suclh town - in Ten' ::-.C! .: , _ I.. Ea 21"s.-I. r1J r;`0, j.w G.soern rent is n cctllrv. It is by (latr, by a orllgi 81ifre j l for the that wec hI-oe kuct ed ttw us the btricilt l1tnt, thercby Nekenl' thie fJCc U. rciwy, tI. imptnrrn.-rnt cf Itar ra lellroyiog the btrfiefir t gmfC rot..t rimtral n.g l .nrd the errn!uenst of itU11 titt/iuci-g ant uirJy and c tlou. r 10e tlafoty.It it byliat,owe.,ton. ilttrulatrrl by fell paili.., 1tho hay 'IThe laws ought to lc held in v,!t- nut thc f: 2V t, God before their eves, eration and fcrrpulotlly ubed-il.._ are cULaita Iroat the cnmmiiwnol n 'elrey fhhould Alio be efirced It any aistea s it it by. tllt, retciirrtibie be impr,.per, let thr ir be (by the I e h le had fir itj-rhs dine. VWidb griltart) eaxfinfed irom Ihe c1'ej or true G-tmattt (bh wich I meat. letl hir iltco-rvr'iotxce ItC corrUkid the laws) uttaour'ights wott!J ho per, bitt ft long as tIhy are in frbce. fG; cariobus and Inrocure, ar-d as itl he dart lng they hav- the faI inc n ic tfe of ancient Greece the arttrs uf the pecknftwivns iif th.e r-tfire, and rtLbb, lteogcff would become tdc fiar.tdard te be bqc:y. Is i -:rt thin the trait tfjluffice, and phyfical ftsrce. rh- onty drangero-rn .-J te:.ricto treht hlr i:t r, ttitlrndl rt which to fexk reds5 iur of bis fellot nm.r vilo n-rrd U l:tCtt rp.oliations ot 1 urproporre, nitr ci. higovrrnnienoraaaflocd-.tn, fir ltmties upan our nan:cs !Ied for at. the moini dad!y paftins of!hr Iran tempts upon ear lives. Cat he then inirrd I Can Ire be yott- fidd -si be the fticnd of his crgitrry, who w-od wain:only unflinele a bhlnr: t.ttcj ttt 4.in cot tr.-W in ite citi- IlitritY Arrd ltbidinos fide rdrar !, lcd ponMIlVI [VL nj K E N T U C K E G A Z E T T , S A T U R D A Y, SEPTEMBER to, sisl. LIXINGUM ' Printed by JOHN BRADFORD at Us OrseuI "Main "ek m Smbgfs, J u, U'. fe j a -Vag ftvellid, and PAtITIdif d lSe if t!'ra1a =ra = Aie fCa ml pound;padWfla gx mt n fru m tl t 7ea,4il! i OOr WEN Ttt)N kid tf: Dantille the ws'enty eighth day ref iai1e. 5756. RESOLVED WHIIR'tASiC soppars to the eelberas of this O C njsftt,6nb tI t355d bates in Ges. ,.WfI Arlinh1Od. haave for the pteelct declined to aetifrr zhteontpa tt etitd intto heeneett pound;he 1- ilatota nf Vireii a tnyl the t eoplr'of ihns Dlnidic snelbeltrnetfa siertion qi' shte D'iflrL into atiane- .crrotSitss; R nrnfcqlaences of twhich the powers vele;] in thricotnivelion se liiJUTolveu. and what ,We) btdbttof refqrItLun they plt ceantot be con- X0ulot.eAs hIann still le,-A lutorce n1! O'tt atlon: bar be g atilots for the afety ,sd plo`pcr tq vof o; reirtndl ituents, do tiroefily secom pent t' the rc , l eopte inhsbifstt ,ho terecral Be-etiee withmrta WWIttIr each to ee five Ite- cpteevsi-tisM refe titinwes hoding hnth Courts in uiahe eonnh ftOAer twal. to mnet at Datiniil Dn the tirl Monday in Novemiber foloardint. so coritlr in W4lat untitl the hlle day of Janu wry 1io- aiid that ahey Jclezate to iheir raid Repre- imntovttwafull pwiers to ns're ruch meaftrcl for ebtaitrti oRnliion of the Diftrid as a ep fratp iW indfe;endent member of the Unite3 Statws of iAterrica. an-I Iha nav ition of-the Hives MiW dftiitei, ar y 5A e. :mtsit conducive to thore risporttitt ;etpoter:.:ndi .0o.to form a Conflitu. ot.n nrt Governtent for the l)iet, anIl organize mca imehtn t cthey. Ahl .ulke it necefqty, Cf In aI S A L T TWO DOLLARS I. D. TO a;.-aiE3 Fv S A nye fros Lexington, klbOut the firp 16 ofjuie lal a brig-it bay Marc, aoj, T 0 B A C C 0 darkr haxatP4 lioxe coll, the Mue four sears Oldtit f prtli Utol1 fiitneen Lezington, oy 7AWES 'ILKINSOV h crds high, natuta uotter, branded to Asapa t17U th- near ihouldcr 40d buttock thus .1 ag. rlAKEN up on lie RrJit "t'i Sl lt p u :d tr.f nar.. ; T..F + I !.je t Cwanyt, a ose sheswctifsls of Y ukal left , 1 t i e n a o li g . .u i F e fMy "re (wish ieJfjprinsg cati aektk clkmen livas.faiil Mare to me in Lexington ia ts Oan a half high, nefther dacr nor branded, i ' sheabre Al)ncwsd. - ...trA nl/ fi-r PAitd n - ,rratfd is 5p. 0 sys. 103. PATTMON. TWO DOLLARS ELLWAOD s rajeJ fionm tbe. iubfiribet in Lzx- t,;ngn about thle hri of this month, a "nsuttg bas -lorne two )ears old. lait ipt-tng, aboi fo)wgen 1n.'asd 111gb, ha a ma!l Ilat in his loreead. branded, on the !,tatuck with a pot-11cok; any terion ti.at t3kcs up ftid 6,orfe and delivers him :o. mc tball ecctivc the above reward. STrayoed away from the fubi-ciiber laR Ipring, Strawbery road Pdare shout FtU.tcen hands high, three years old l1D fpring. blackl mane, rail and legs as high a. the knees a mraill flar in her forehead, -rn snot dockt, btandtd on the negr Ihouldq talus ID W o ver delasers Taid tdr: io, eae ntear Lnezil 0.9n. (hall receint I WoDrlaas ,w rd, and r har r.le rhas S, IAMOSES 0OUOHEITY IUSi OmanF.D IFrom Copies in possessiosa of Col. R. T. Durrett.I OL. 11. THE PIONEER PRESS OF KENTUCKr, FROM THE PRINTING OF THE FIRST PAPER WEST OF THE ALLEGHANIES, AUGUST II, 1787, TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DAILY PRESS IN 1830. BY WILLIAM HENRY PERRIN. WRITTEN FOR THE FILSON CLUB, AND READ BEFORE THE CLUB AT ITS AUGUST MEETING, 1887, BEING THE CENTEN- NIAL YEAR Or KENTUCKY JOURNALISM. gobtn I. Mtorton (lompant), PRINTERS TO THE FILSON CLUB i888 QLopDriFpbtr Uu John R1. Wonton t rompanu. 1888 PREFACE. The i th day of August, i887, closed the first hundred years from the establishing of a printing press and the issuing of a newspaper in Kentucky. This event having been deemed worthy of commemoration by the FILSON CLUB, one of its members, WILLIAM HENRY PERRIN, was requested to prepare and read to the Club a sketch of the Pioneer Press of the State. This request was promptly complied with, and the article so prepared was read at the August MLCeeting of the Club in i887, and is here pub- lished as Filson Club Publication Number Three. THOMAS SPEED, LOUISVILLE, JUNE, i888. Secretary. This page in the original text is blank. THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS OF KENTUCKY. The introduction of the press in a new country is an important event. it can be made to contribute more to the pleasure and happiness of mankind than almost any thing else. Thomas Jefferson, whose hand penned the Declara- tion of Independence, one of the grandest compositions that ever fell from the pen of mortal man, wrote also: " If I had to choose between a government without newspapers or news- papers without a government, I should prefer the latter." Daniel Webster said that no newspaper was so insignificant but that "every issue contained something that was worth the -subscription price." Among the gems of wisdom left to Mhe wold by Hurace 'Greeiey was the following: "A history which takes no account of what was said by the press in memorable emergencies befits an earlier age than this." Dean Stanley said: "Once architecture was the press, and told great thoughts to the world in stone, but now the press is architecture, and is building up the world of ideas and 2 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. usages." Said Napoleon Bonaparte: "Four hostile news- papers are more to be dreaded than one hundred thousand bayonets." But to come down to our own time. The Rev. Mr. Tal. mage, in his famous sermon a few years ago on the news- paper press, said: " If a man from childhood to old age see only his Bible, Webster's dictionary, and his newspaper, he could be prepared for all the duties of this life or all the hap- piness of the next." The Boston Herald recently published an article entitled "Don't Snub the Reporter," in which it pleaded for kind treatment for the reporter. Commenting upon the article, the Detroit Free Press remarked that " the reporter is not apt to be snubbed," that "very few can afford to snub him," and that "the man who does the snubbing is the one who deserves sympathy," and added: " Keifer's downfall was said to be due to the fact that he snubbed re- porters, and it is claimed that a Union general who had a great career before him lost all chance of fame by insulting a newspaper man, whereupon the rest agreed never to men- tion that general's name in their reports, and so the unfor- tunate man dropped out of sight." Mr. Lynn R. Meekins, a member of the editorial staff of the Baltimore American, in the alumni address delivered before Western Maryland College a few weeks ago, on the " Romance of Journalism," after saying that criticism of newspapers was always a good proof of their vigor and usefulness, continued: " No news- 6 TIEE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS. paper has ever reached or will ever reach perfection. A thousand years from now people will grumble at it just as much as they do to-day. It is and always will be a human institution, with human sins, dealing with human affairs, and reflecting the vice of humanity as well as the virtue. Its office is to print the news, to give the history of yesterday, to chronicle the joys and the sorrows, the blessings and the crimes. The Texas editor who declared that 'newspapers are bad because so many bad things happen' summed up the philosophy of the situation. The only way to make newspapers good is to take the wickedness out of the world or to stop people from talking about it. As it now is, nine persons will read an account of a great battle when only one will wade through the proceedings of a peace congress. The strength of the press consists in part of the very fact that it gives us a picture of human life with the shadow as well as the light." All this is true. Human nature is prone to evil. It has an innate fondness for the horrible, and it is safe to say that nine, nay, that forty-nine persons read the Courier-Journal's account of the trial and execution or Albert Turner, where the fiftieth reads one of Mr. Tal- mage's sermons. But it is of the coming of the press, the printers, the ed- itors, the writers, publishers, and others connected with the press of Kentucky that this article has to speak. They were altogether a remarkable set, who published remarkable news- 7 THE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS. papers, and some still more remarkable articles. As has always been the case everywhere, they had their differences and quarrels, and there are instances where men lost their lives for too free a use of editorial thunder. But upon the whole they were men of education, worth, and ability. It seems strange and somewhat unaccountable that none of the early histories of Kentucky give a sketch of the press. Mr. Collins' history, which contains almost every thing else of interest, ignores the press, save the mere an- nouncement that certain papers were established at certain times in certain towns. Marshall's history says more on the subject than any other, but Mr. Marshall is more hypercrit- ical than otherwise, and we gain little historical knowledge from him concerning the press at large. It is left to one of the last histories published of the State (Perrin's) to give any thing like a narrative history of the newspaper press. But even in a history of the State it is scarcely possible to devote the spare to the press thnt its imnnrtance demands, or that can be given it in a sketch of this character. The first newspaper west of the Alleghany Mountains was established in Kentucky one hundred years ago. Its origin was mainly due to a political necessity. Kentucky then formed a county of Virginia, and the people were ear- nestly debating the propriety of separating from the parent State and setting up an independent government. To ac- complish this a convention had been held at Danville, the 8 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. territorial capital as it might be called. A second conven- tion assembled in I785, at the same place and for the same purpose, which, during its sitting, adopted the following res- olution: That, to insure unanimity in the opinion of the people respecting the propriety of separating the district of Kentucky from Virginia, and forming a separate State government, and to give publicity to the proceedings of the convention, it is deemed essential to have a printing press. A committee was appointed by the convention, and charged with the duty of carrying out the spirit of the reso- lution, but it was two years before it was fully accomplished. Finally, John Bradford, who had recently removed to Ken- tucky, became interested in the matter, and was induced to undertake the important enterprise. He proposed to the committee to establish a paper if he was guaranteed the public patronage. His offer was accepted, and Mr. Brad- ford at once set about the work, which at that day was no ;n consdrab;_le a sk. ..Cv,- .-c vaIn A. The people of Lexington, then the most important town west of the mountains and of the surrounding tountry, man- ifested their interest by substantial encouragement. The Lexington Board of Trustees, in July, 1786, ordered "that the use of a public lot be granted to John Bradford free, on condition that he establish a printing press in Lexington." Kentucky was never organized under a territorial form of government, but was known as the district of Kentucky, and then as Kentucky County-a county of Vir- pinia. 9 0THE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS. This liberal donation was eagerly grasped by Mr. Bradford, and the paper was established, not at Danville, the capital of the district or county of Kentucky, but at the more flourish. ing town of Lexington. Bradford sent to Philadelphia for the material, but he did not receive it until the following summer. When it did arrive it was duly arranged, and on the i ith day of August, 1787, the first number of the Ken- tucke Gazette was given to the Bluegrass pioneers. It was a small, unpretentious sheet, scarcely as large as a half sheet of foolscap paper. Its contents comprised two short orig- inal articles, one advertisement, and the following from the editor: My customers will excuse this my first publication, as I am much hur- ried to get an impression by the time appointed. A great part of the types fell into pi in the carriage of them from Limestone [Maysville] to this office, and my partner, which is the only assistant I have, through an indisposition of the body, has been incapable of rendering the smallest assistance for ten days past. JOHN BRADFORD. When the mode of transportation of that period is taken into consideration, and the dangers to be met with by "flood and field," the fact that "a great part of the types fell into pi" is little matter of wonder. They had to be transported overland from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, and thence down the Ohio River by boat to Limestone; the latter a dangerous voyage, as proved by the experience of many a band of pio- Kentucky was originally spelled with a terminal e. This was Rfterward changed topy by the legislature of Virginia, 10 V X , ,z kA X ,AD -o 0 H Co of n co C C -3 P c 0t M This page in the original text is blank. THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. neers. In every thicket, behind almost every tree, from Limestone to Lexington lurked unseen dangers. Scarcely a rod of the distance but was stained by the blood of the red man or that of his pale-faced foe. Along this dangerous trail, when ever and anon was heard the crack of the In- dian's rifle or his blood-curdling yell, Bradford's types, the most of which had been "set up" at Limestone, and his press were transported on pack-horses to the then metrop- olis of Kentucky. That they reached their destination at all was one of the few favors now and then vouchsafed to the early settlers of the State. They did arrive in safety, the paper was established and sent forth upon its mission. What that mission was is shown by its files for over sixty years. " The office of this pioneer newspaper," says Mr. Ranck, "compared to those of our great metropolitan dailies, would present as strange a contrast as the editorial surroundings of Bradford to the costly furnishings of the fashionable ed- itor of the present." Bradford's office was not a stone-front building, but a rude log cabin, one story high, and covered with clapboards. He printed his paper on an old-fashioned hand-press, which he had purchased in Philadelphia at sec- ond hand, and which, when pushed to its full capacity, might probably turn off from fifty to seventy-five sheets per hour. His " editor's easy chair" was a three-legged stool of his own manufacture, and his editorial table corresponded in style with the chair. When he wrote at night it was by the flick. I I THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. ering, sputtering light of a buffalo tallow candle, or a greasy lamp fed by bear's oil, or perhaps by firelight. Many of his advertisements were as quaint as his office and its equip- ments. Among them may be noted those of "spinning- wheels, knee-buckles, gun-flints, buckskin for breeches, hair powder, saddle-bag locks," and other articles now obsolete. A notice appeared in one of the early issues that "persons who subscribed to the frame meeting-house can pay in catle or whisky'"-an evidence that two of the chief products of the famous Bluegrass region were even then legal tender. Another early issue contains the Constitution of the United States, with an editorial reference that it is " just framed by the grand Convention now in session." A few weeks later notice is given that " a company will meet at Crab Orchard next Monday for an early start through the wilderness; most of the delegates to the State Convention at Richmond (to adopt the Constitution of the United States) will go with them." The following appears in the same issue over the signature of Charles Bland: " I will not pay a note given to Wm. Turner for three second-rate cows till he returns a rifle, blanket, and tomahawk I loaned him." These are samples of many that are similar. Hundreds of others could be given which would doubtless prove interesting reading matter, as for instance: " Runaway Negro-5o Reward ;" " The Won- derful Elephant on Exhibition at -'s Stable ;" and " People Flocking in to See the Dromedary," etc. 12 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. The early files of the Gazette show a great dearth of local matter, but its columns bristle with ponderous edito- rials and communications that are hurled at political antag- onists like battering-rams. Foreign news from six weeks to six months old form an important department, sometimes occupying a page; but the local happenings are almost wholly ignored; and yet the paper seems to have been of intense interest in the community, as Mr. Bradford pub- lishes the following from a subscriber: "Mr. Bradford, as I have signed the subscription for your press and take your paper, my curiosity eggs me on to read every thing in it." Such a paper would do for those days, but in this fast age a newspaper filled with dry political problems, scientific essays, and philosophical treatises alone would fall short of the popular demand. But it must be remembered that then there was not another paper printed within five hundred miles of Lexington, nor a post-office in the whole district of Kentucky. The paper was taken to the different settle- ments by postriders, and when it arrived the best reader among the inhabitants would mount a stump and never stop until he had read the paper through, advertisements and all. The London Times, upon the occasion of its centennial anniversary, said: "The Times writes its own history day by day along with the history of the world." And so the Kentucky Gazette wrote its history along with that of Ken- Rmnck in the History of Fayette County. 3 13 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. tucky. The period of its publication covered some of the most exciting times in the early life of the State, viz., the Spanish Intrigue and the Burr Conspiracy; the controversy over the navigation of the Mississippi River, and one of the bitterest partisan conflicts that ever agitated the State-the relief and anti-relief, and the old and new court excitement. It had but reached the zenith of its glory and prosperity when the repeal of the United States Bank charter again brought financial disaster to the country. Its declining years witnessed the war with Mexico, and, as if its work was now done, its career closed in the same year with that war. John Bradford, the pioneer editor of the West, was a native of Virginia, and was born in I749. He served in the Revolutionary War, and in 1785 came to Kentucky, settling in Fayette County. The next year he removed to Lexing- ton, where the remainder of his life was spent. He was', a practical printer, as was his father before him, and he brought up his sons to the same business. He was not a brilliant editor; but, what was better for the times in which he lived, he was a man of sound common sense and sterling honesty. He held many positions of trust and honor, the duties of which he faithfully discharged. He was long Pres- ident of the Board of Village Trustees of Lexington, and for a time was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Tran- sylvania University. He was the first public printer after Kentucky became a State in I792, and was elected continu- JOHN BRADFORD. (THE PIONEER EDITOR OF THE WEST.) 11 V This page in the original text is blank. THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. 5 ously until 1798, except the year 1796, when he was defeated by James H. Stewart, of the Kentucky Herald. For his first term as public printer he received pound;ioo sterling as the emol- uments of the office. He printed books as early as I 794, and some of them may still be seen in both public and private libraries. Between the years 1825 and i830 he published his " Notes on Early Kentucky History," one of the most val- uable works on Kentucky ever published, because "all of it he saw, and much had been." His mind was stored with sta- tistics and other useful information, and the great confidence the people had in his judgment invested him with the sobri- quet of "Old Wisdom." He was High Sheriff of Fayette County at the time of his death, which occurred in 1830, and Circuit Court being in session, Judge Jesse Bledsoe, presid- ing, alluded to his death in eloquent terms, and adjourned court in respect to his memory. Many anecdotes and incidents of Bradford are remem- bered, and are told with great gusto by the old citizens of Lexington. One will suffice to embellish this sketch. Brad. ford and Henry Clay, though generally on opposite sides of the political fence, were the warmest friends socially. In their younger days, like many of the citizens of Lexington and of Central Kentucky, they were fond of cards, and their social games were sometimes.characterized by extravagant betting, which, however, was oftener in fun than otherwise. Ranck. THE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS. At the close of a game one evening, upon summing up the result it was found that Clay had won 40,000 from Brad- ford. The next day they met free from the excitement of the play, when Bradford thus accosted Clay: " Clay, what are you going to do about that money you won last night My entire property, you know, won't pay the half of it." " Oh, give me your note for 500," said Clay, "and let the balance go." The note was given, and a few nights later they engaged in another game, which lasted pretty well into the morning. This time fickle Fortune turned her smiles upon Bradford, and when they arose from the table he was 6o,ooo winner. When they met again nearly the same conversation occurred as on a previous occasion, except that the parties to it were reversed, but Bradford soon settled the matter by saying to Clay: "I Oh, give me back that note I gave you the other day for 500, and we'll call it square." The Kentucky Gazette was conducted by John Bradford until early in I802, when he turned its management over to his son, Daniel Bradford, and he took charge of the Ken- tucky Herald, the first rival paper in the State. He kept a watchful supervision over the Gazette, however, and in a few years again assumed control of it. He sold it in i809 to Thomas Smith, who was afterward an editor of the Reporter, i6 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. but in i8I4 it again passed into the hands of the Bradfords, and Fielding Bradford, jr., appears as publisher. A part of the time he was alone, and a part of the time he had for a partner John Norvell. In I825 John Bradford, the founder of the paper, again became its owner and editor, but in i835, some five years after his death, it again reverted to Daniel Bradford, who in 1840 sold it to Joshua Cunning- ham, of Louisville, foreman in the office of the Daily Adver- tiser. Under the management of Mr. Cunningham the Gazette declined in importance and influence, and in I848, after an existence of more than sixty years, its publication ceased. The Gazette was edited at times by very able men, and wielded considerable influence. It entered boldly into the Relief and Anti-Relief War, and the Old and New Court question. When political parties were organized, or rather reorganized, and arrayed under the great leaders Clay and Jackson, the Gazette was a strong Democratic or Jackson organ, and its editorials were characterized by all the force and vehemence of the stormy and turbulent period. It was a time of bitter political feeling, and party excitement ran high. Newspaper writers were aggressive and personal. Thomas R. Benning, editor of the Gazette, was shot on the 9th of March, I829, by Charles Wickliffe, for refusing to dis. close the name of the author of a violent communication published in his paper. He died the next day from the I 7 THE PIONEER NE WSPA4PER PRESS. effects of the shot. This led to a duel a few months afterward between Wickliffe and George James Trotter, who had suc- ceeded Benning as editor of the Gazette, and Wickliffe was killed on the field. Thus political war raged on, and men, pursuing the phantom of honor to the pistol's mouth, laid down their lives in defense of principle. The Gazette through it all maintained its part, and eventually received the pay that all parties usually award their patient and hum. ble organs-sneers and kicks. They are expected to do all the party work, and receive no thanks, while the hangers-on take the fat offices and chuckle over their own greatness, forgetting that the starving editor was their architect and builder. The Guardian of Freedom should be noticed in this place, though it comes not in chronological order. It was established in Frankfort in April, 1798, by the Bradfords. The first publishers were John Bradford Son. In I803 it was conducted by James M. Bradford. It was really a branch office in Frankfort of the Kentucky Gazette, opened for the purpose of securing the public printing. But the Bradfords had passed the zenith of their popularity, and were not elected to the office of public printer after I798. The Guardian of Freedom, however, continued on for about six years, and then died a natural death. For years after settlements began to be made west of the Alleghanies, Lexington was the great commercial center of I 8 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. I9 the Ohio Valley. It was a place of importance when Cincin. nati was merely Fort Washington, and Louisville but a puny village standing amid swamps and ponds. It is described as having two thousand inhabitants in i8oo, while "the adja- cent village of Cincinnati has but seven hundred and fifty, and buys most of its merchandise in Lexington." It was the first capital after Kentucky became a State, and being also the principal town in an immense region, there was drawn within its precincts not only the business enterprise, but a large proportion of the wealth, intelligence, and culture of the new State. In this "Athens of the West" the second newspaper published in Kentucky was established. This was the Kentucky Herald, founded by James H. Stewart. Mr. Ranck, in the history of Fayette County, says it was established in 1793. Col. S. I. M. Major, in a sketch of the Frankfort press written shortly before his death, gives the date as February, 1795, which is probably correct, as a copy of the paper in possession of Col. R. T. Durrett, dated July 23, I.799, is Vol. 5, No. 231. Taking this number for a start- ing point, and counting back a week for each issue, places the date of its birth February 14, I795, which agrees with Col. Major's statement. Little more is known of the Herald and its founder than is here given. Col. Durrett's copy of the paper and one in the public library at Lexington are all that are known to be now in existence. From Collins' History of Kentucky it is THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. learned that Stewart was elected PPublic Printer for the year I 796. Mr. Ranck, in the work already quoted, says that " in i802 the Herald passed into the hands of John Bradford," and a little further on that "it existed about ten years." After the Herald was absorbed by Bradford and the Ken- tucky Gazette, Stewart disappears from history. It may be of interest to the general reader to know that the paper upon which these pioneer newspapers were printed after I 793 was manufactured in Kentucky. One of the finest springs in the State is within the corporate limits of Georgetown, the county seat of Scott County. The great volume of pure, fresh water gushing from the ground with a force sufficient to operate the stoutest machinery obtained from the early settlers the name " Royal Spring" for it, and doubtless to its existence Georgetown is indebted for its location. At this spring the first paper mill in the West was erected by Rev. Elijah Craig and the Parkers. It was com- menced in the summer of 179i, but it was not until in March, 1793, that it was completed and paper successfully manufactured. ",The mill house, as seen by E. H. Stedman in i8i8, was 40 by 6o feet in size, the basement of stone, and the two and a half stories above of wood-the best frame Mr. Stedman ever saw-with not a cut-nail in the building, even the shingles being put on with oak pins. The large body of clear water from the Royal Spring, running over a limestone bottom, was an attractive sight. Here was turned out the first sheet of paper in the great West, made by hand, sheet by sheet. There was no machinery in THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. those days to wind over fifty miles in one beautiful white continuous sheet. This first mill was burned down in 1837. Some printed sheets of the paper still exist." Where the Kentucky Gazette obtained its white paper prior to the erection of the paper mill at Georgetown is not known, but probably from Philadelphia, as most of the mer- chandise for Kentucky was then brought from that city or from Baltimore. After Craig's Mill was started, however, the Gazette purchased its paper there, as well as other of the early newspapers of Kentucky. Copies of those old papers still in existence show that they were printed on an excellent quality of paper, and have withstood the decay of time pass- ing well. In Col. Major's sketch of the press already referred to, he compiles a list of the papers published in the State up to and including i8ii. Of this list Col. Maj-or says: "The dates given apply, of course, to the time when the papers were first authorized by law; yet I take it for granted that in those days of annual sessions no time was lost by the pub- lishers in advertising their enterprise by procuring the pas- sage of such acts." The list in the main is correct; in a few instances it is at fault. After the Gazette and Herald, it is as follows: 1798, The Mirror, Washington. 1798, The Palladium, Frankfort. I798, Guardian of Freedom, Frankfort. 1798, Kentucky Telegraph, CoUins' History, vol. i, p. 5i6. 4 2 1 THE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS. 1803, Western American, Bardstown. 1803, Independent Gazetteer, Lexington. 1803, Weekly Messenger, Washington. 1804, Republican Register, Shelbyville. 1804, The Mirror, Danville. i805, The Informant, Danville. I8o6, Western World, Frankfort. I8o6, Republican Auxillary, Washington. I8o6, The Mirror, Russellville. I8o6, Impartial Review, Bardstown. i8o8, The Lamp, Lincoln County. i8o8, Argus of Western America, Frankfort. i808, Louisville Gazette, Louisville. i8o8, The Reporter, Lexington. I8o8, Western Citizen, Paris. 1809, Farmers' Friend, Russellville. i809, Political Theater, Lancaster. i809, The Dove, Washington. i809, The Globe, Richmond. i8x0, The Examiner, Lancaster. I8io, American Republic, Frankfort. 181o, The Luminary, Richmond. I8ii, American Statesman, Lexington. i8 xi, Western Courier, Louisville. I8II, Bardstown Repository, Bardstown. 181i, The Telegraph, Georgetown. Washington, a fast-decaying village of Mason County, situated about four miles from Maysville, and in the early history of Kentucky a very important and enterprising place, has the honor of being the birthplace of the third newspa. per published in the State-The Mirror. This journalistic venture was made by Hunter and Beaumont, the former THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. quite a noted publisher in his day. A copy of the Mirror preserved by Col. Durrett, dated Saturday, September 30, 1797, is volume ONE, number THREE, indicating that it was established September 9, 1797. It is a fair sample of the early newspaper. Wholly devoid of local matter, except the advertisements, it is filled with foreign news, political clip- pings, congressional proceedings, etc. It has four columns to each of its four pages, is printed in the old fashioned f for s style of type, and bears the motto, " FIRM, FREE, AND TEMPERATE." The Mirror was short-lived. The proprietors, believing that at the capital of the State a more prosperous field for journalism would be presented, moved their office to Frank- fort, and "in the autumn of 1797," says Col. Major, "estab- lished the Palladium." Again here is a discrepancy in dates. Mr. Collins says the Palladium was established in 1 798, which is substantially correct. Col. Durrctt has a com- plete file of it from its first issue up to and including i809, and the first number is dated August 9, 1798. They are bound in good style, and are in an excellent state of preser- vation. The paper is a folio, eleven by eighteen inches, exact measurement, and has four columns to the page. It is printed on a good quality of paper, and in the usual old-fash- ioned style of type. A peculiarity of the Palladium was that the editors for many years put their names across the bot. tom of the page instead of at the head of the first of the 23 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. editorial columns, as is now the custom. It was a newspaper of some importance, and was not only the first published at the capital, but the fourth in the State. During its earlier years, perhaps all through its existence, it bore upon its title page this lofty motto: Let it be impressed upon your minds, et it be instilled into your children, that the Liberty of the Press is the Palladium of all the Civil, Poltical, and Relig- ious Rights of Freemen.-JuNIus. The Palladium was but a continuation in Frankfort of the Washington Mirror. Hunter bought Beaumont's inter- est, and in i809 sold the paper to Robert Johnston and George W. Pleasants, who were printers in his office, and whom he highly recommended to the public. Mr. Pleasants died in i8I2, and Johnston continued to publish the paper some time without a partner. " The demise of the old Pal- ladium," says Col. Major, " is obscured in the mist of missing records and failing memories of the oldest inhabitants of Frankfort." The Patriot, a paper of a later period, refers to it, he says, as "still in existence to i826." But its last years seem to have been dull and rather lifeless, and it finally passed quietly to Frankfort's newspaper graveyard, where it has since been followed by many others. Col. William Hunter, one of the founders of the Mirror and Palladium, was a man of considerable local prominence. He was born in New Jersey, and "when quite young wad 24 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. captured by a French man-of-war, and with his parents taken to France. Being early left an orphan, he learned the print. ing business, returned to this country in 1793, and at Phila- delphia established a French and American newspaper. He emigrated to Kentucky in 1797, and became noted as a publisher of books as well as newspapers, and was for sev- eral years a formidable rival of the Bradfords. The early decisions of the Court of Appeals were printed and bound by him, and also Littell's Laws of Kentucky, comprising four volumes. He also published Littell's Narrative History of Kentucky in 1807, now a very rare and very valuable work. In i8o8 he sold his bindery, and opened a bookstore in Frankfort, and for many years bore the reputation of being a popular and useful citizen and an enterprising busi- ness man. Col. Hunter was a popular editor, but not a brilliant writer. " His editorials were brief and tame, and most of the fire in his paper was in communications vindicating Brown, Innes, and others of the so-called Spanish Conspiracy. But if he was somewhat prosy and slow as an editor, he earned fair reputation for enterprise and other pursuits. . . . He was a Jeffersonian Democrat, an advocate of relief and new court in Kentucky, and a supporter of Jackson in politics. He was on terms of intimate association with Amos Ken- dall and other leaders of the day. I have already criticised Collins' History, v. ii, p. 56o, 25 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. his editorials. I have failed to discover, after patient read- ing, either humor, wit, incisiveness, or point in their literary execution. In fact, I find little to admire, but perhaps, also, little to condemn. They indicate some degree of culture, and a good deal of liberality and gentlemanly self-control. His was an amiable if little-used pen, and it stamps him a gentleman with remarkable distaste for controversy of any sort." He met with heavy losses during the latter part of the relief controversy, when so many others were wrecked finan- cially, through the sudden inflation and rapid depreciation of the paper currency of the time. He removed to Louis- ville, and on March I3, i826, established the Gazette; but the venture proved unsuccessful. He had not kept pace with the times. New issues had sprung up under the touch of younger men, and he was left behind. In his misfor- tune Amos Kendall came to his relief. Kendall had been appointed Fourth Auditor of the United States Treasury under President Jackson, and he gave Hunter a clerkship in his department. This position, or a similar one, he held until his death in I854, at the age of eighty-four years. The next newspaper established in the State was the Kentucky Telegraph, in I798. The simple announcement made of it in the foregoing list, with the following extractJ comprise all of its history known: Col. Major's Sketch of the Press. t From LitteU's Laws of Kentucky, vol. ii, approved December 22, 1798. PBE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That all advertisements of a public nature, which shall be published in the Mirror, or Palladium, or Guardian of Freedom, or Kentucky Telegraph, after the passage of this act shall be as good and valid in law as if they had been published in the Ken- tucky Gazette or Herald, etc. This brings the record of the press down to the first paper published in Louisville, a village then of not more than eight hundred inhabitants, and a rather small town to support a printing office. Mr. Ben Casseday, in his History of Louisville, an interesting little work issued in I852, says: "In the year I807 we get the first mention of a newspaper published in Louisville. We are not able, however, to give any account of its origin, ownership, or history. It is known only from an enactment of Assembly requiring certain laws to be published in its columns. It was called the Farmers' Library." When Mr. Casseday wrote his history, an accu- rate account of this pioneer newspaper could certainly have been obtained, with a little industry, from living authority. At this late day it has been a more difficult task, but the his- torian's research has been reasonably successful, and consid- erable information of the Farmers' Library and its founder has been gathered. Mr. Casseday further says very truly of the press: In America the presence of the newspaper is ever the mark of peace and quiet and comfort. What to those of other nations is the luxury of affluent ease is to the American the earliest of necessities. The moment the rifle is laid aside the newspaper is taken up. It is incident upon his 27 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. every conquest, whether of man or nature. The click of his rifle is suc- ceeded by that of his types, and the roar of his cannon has hardly ceased till we hear the roll of his press. This was true of Louisville and Kentucky. Indeed, when the first paper, the old Kentucky Gazette, was estab- lished, we learn from a late writer that a rifle and shot- pouch comprised a part of the editor's office furniture, and also that he was not ignorant as to the use of them. From fragmentary files of the Farmers' Library, and from private papers and correspondence in possession of Col. Durrett, it appears that the paper was established Jan- uary 7, i8oi. It was published by Samuel Vail, and was a little four-page sheet, i i by i9 inches, printed with old-fash- ioned long primer types, and contained a great deal of for- eign matter and very little of any thing local except its ad- vertisements. The following is its heading: THE FARMERS' LIBRARY, -OR- OHIO INTELLIGENCER.t LOUISVILLE (FALLS OF OHIO), PRINTED BY SAUU3L VAIL. VOL. II. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY xg, x8cm. No. LVIII. Louisville, it would seem, was not as widely known then as it is now, and so it was necessary to place the words "Falls of Ohio" parenthetically upon the title page of the Ranck. t See Illustration. 28 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. paper as a kind of identification of its birthplace. But Lou- isville and the newspaper press were then nearly a hundred years from their present state of perfection. Samuel Vail was born in the town of Pomfret, Windsor County, Vermont, and was a son of Lieutenant Thomas and Hannah (Brown) Vail, the former a son of Jeremiah Vail, of Long Island. Thomas Vail served in the old French and Indian War, in the Second New York Regiment, and rose to the rank of lieutenant. He was in General Abercrombie's unsuccessful attack on Ticonderoga in July, I758, and par- ticipated in the campaign of the same year, taking part in the capture of Fort Oswego, on Lake Ontario, and of Fort Frontenac. In the latter part of the year, after leaving the army, he moved to Pomfret, Vermont, and was one of the early settlers of the town. He bought a farm, upon which he erected a large and comfortable house. In this house his son. Samuel VWil, was horn January T, i778, thus show-i ng his good sense by taking a start in life with the beginning of the year. The elder Vail was a man of prominence and influence, and from the correspondence of Samuel Vail after he came West it would seem that he was also a man of con- siderable property. There is no account, however, of Sam- uel getting any of it upon leaving the family roof-tree, except the articles mentioned in the following schedule: i Hors, ... . . .pound;24 i Sadil .1.10 X Bridal. . . ..0. . . . ... . . o 5 29 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. Samuel Vail grew to manhood in the backwoods of Vermont, surrounded by few advantages for social or liter- ary culture. His education was confined to the primitive schools of the newly settled region in which he was brought up. When he was twenty years of age he began the battle of life on his own account, by going to the town of Wind- sor, about fifteen miles from the place of his birth, and apprenticing himself to the printing business. He learned the art with George Hough and Alden Spooner, publish- ers of the Vermont Journal. Through some chance now unknown to his descendants, he made the acquaintance of the celebrated and somewhat notorious Matthew Lyon, a man of wealth and influence, and an early settler in Ken- tucky. It is supposed that he came to Kentucky with Lyon about the beginning of the present century, but remained at the Falls of the Ohio when Lyon went to Western Ken. tucky. A number of young men came out under convoy of Lyon and his company of emigrants, and in return for the protection thus afforded made themselves useful to him by rendering assistance when needed in looking after his goods. Doubtless Vail was one of this number, though none of his letters tell precisely when or how he got here. This article would be considered incomplete, and no doubt unsatisfactory to many readers if it omitted a sketch The Vermont Journal was established August 7, 1783, and was the second paper in the State. 30 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. of Matthew Lyon, a man that fills a large space in the his- tory of Western Kentucky. He was no common man in any thing. He was not especially learned in books, but he was rich and original in intellect, and rough sometimes in his speech, but still noble in a rugged way. Of him, Governor Reynolds, in his Pioneer Reminiscences of Illinois, said: He possessed some talent, and was always, during a long and impor- tant life, an excessively warm and enthusiastic partisan in politics. He was a droll composition. His leading trait of character was his zeal and enthu- siasm, almost to madness itself, in any cause he espoused. He never seemed to act coolly and deliberately, but always in a tumult and bustle, as if he were in a house on fire and was hurrying to get out. His Irish impulses were honest and always on the side of freedom. This covered his excessive zeal. Matthew Lyon was born in Ireland in 1746, and sprang from a family active and zealous in politics and of the strongest partisan feelings. His father suffered death on the scaffold for engaging in a conspiracy against the British crown. This occurred when Matthew was but a lad, and, his mother marrying again, he was subjected to the restraints of a stepfather, at which he rebelled. Yearning for freedom- freedom in its fullest sense-at the age of nineteen he ran away from home and came to America. Upon arriving here, the captain of the vessel that brought him over sold him to a Vermont farmer for a yoke of oxen, to pay his pas- There is a story prevalent that he was sold for a pair of bulls, instead of oxen, and that ever after his favorite by-word was, " By the bulls that bought me 1"-COLLINS' HISTORY. 31 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. sage across the sea. The sum was soon refunded to his master, and he was a free man. He learned the printing business, and in that profession laid the foundation of his fortune, in later years acquiring distinction and wealth. He served in the Revolutionary War, and after it was over was promoted to the rank of colonel of militia. He was sent to Congress in 1797 from his district in Vermont, where his hot Irish temper kept him almost constantly in difficulty. He opposed the administration of President Adams with characteristic vehemence, thereby bringing down upon his head a violent storm of indignation. He published a bitter and denunciatory article against the President in the Ver- mont Journal in 1798, and under the alien and sedition laws was fined ite and imprisoned four months in the Ver- gennes "gaol." In i840, nearly a quarter of a century after his death, the Sioo, with interest from I 799, was paid to his heirs by the United States Government. He established a paper in Vermont, which he called by the following. very unique name, The Scourge of Aristocracy and Repository of Important Political Truths. Originating with Col. Lyon, it could be nothing else but an organ of the old Bourbon bare- footed Democracy of the Jeffersonian type. Lyon was a man of strong intellect, but he was not a journalist. He did not seek to be one. He was a politician naturally, and he soon forsook journalism for his favorite pursuit. With storms of wild eloquence he waked the echoes of the prime- tHE PIONEER MEWSPAPER PRESS. val forests, And bore down all opposition as he rode in tri- umph into the affection of the voters and into high official position. He served ten years in the Vermont Legislature and two terms in Congress from that State. While still lying in prison he was elected to his second term in Con- gress, 1799-i80i. It was during this session that Col. Lyon, on the 17th of February, i8oi, on the thirty-sixth ballot, cast the vote of Vermont for Thomas Jefferson, thus electing him President over Aaron Burr, and deciding the bitter seven days' voting. Col. Lyon came to Kentucky, and in i8oi settled in what was then Livingston County, afterward Caldwell County, and at present Lyon County-the last named in honor of his eldest son, Hon. Chittenden Lyon. He founded the town of Eddyville, where he lived a number of years, becom. ing the possessor of a large fortune in lands and negroes. He served in the legislature and eight years in Congress, i803-i8 I, from Kentucky. During the war of i812 he was employed by the United States Government to build gun- boats, but in this he became bankrupt. President Monroe appointed him Indian agent, or, as then called, factor, among the Cherokee Indians in Arkansas. When the Arkansas Territory was organized he was elected the first delegate to Congress, but did not live to take his seat. He died at Spa- dra Bluff, Arkansas Territory, August i, i822. His remains were brought to Kentucky and interred at Eddyville. THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. But this is wandering from the sketch of Samuel Vail and the Farmers' Library. The digression, however, could not be very well avoided. The press and type used by Vail for the establishment of his paper were the same brought to this State by Matthew Lyon, and which he had used in printing his famous paper, "The Scourge of Aristocracy," etc. How long Vail used Lyon's material is not known, but the arrangement seems to have remained satisfactory but a short time, judging by the following extract from a letter written July 12, I802, by Samuel Vail to his friends in Vermont: CoL Lyon has intimated to me that he may want his press and types before long, and that after the 7th of January, 1803, he shall charge, if I continue to use them, for the interest of the money they are worth, wear and tare, and something to indemnify him for the expense of moving them to this country, etc. This, he said, I must not think hard of, as I was now in profitable business, etc. I am now making another press at this place, and think of sending to Philadelphia for types by the first opportunity. I do not know exactly how much they will cost, but am afraid I shall be hard run to raise money enough. It is very hard to collect small debts sgattered over three hundred miles of country. . . . [uly 20th] I received a letter from Col. Lyon by the last mail in answer to one of mine, in which I stated my contract with him for the press and types, which was that I should have them four years clear of rent, except ten papers a week which have been sent to him. This agreement was made in presence of Capt. Patten, who remembers it perfectly well. He, Col. Lyon, now has the meanness to say that this agreement shall continue but two years, and that it looks like ingratitude in me to make any objection to it. You may recollect that I always had this opinion of the man. His friendship can not be depended on where interest is in the way. I shall, as soon as possible, break off all connection with him. 34 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. About all that is known of Mr. Vail is obtained from the Farmers' Library and the letters and papers already referred to. From these it appears that he was a genial, good- natured gentleman, a "hail fellow well met," not averse to a share in the pleasures of the world, and could take his toddy with the boys and "set 'em up" occasionally himself, all of which but added to his popularity. Confirmatory of this to some extent is the following extract from a letter to his sis- ter: " I am sorry our brother Augustus is puzzling his brain with religious subtleties. The whole system of my religion is to do unto others as I would have them do unto me. I want nothing more for this world or the next." But his life was not without its trials and difficulties. Among the old papers in the circuit clerk's office may be found the record of a case where Vail brought suit on an open account, in which appeared the following items: To subscription to horse race . . . . . . x oo To cash won from you at van, . . . . 45 00 By "vantoon" it is presumed that he meant the old French game of cards, vingt-un. But the fact of his bring- ing suit to recover the amount shows he was lacking in that liberality that characterized John Bradford on a similar occa- sion. Another suit in which Vail appears as plaintiff is shown by the same old records. He took out a bail writ From an article in the Courier-Journal by Col. Durrett. 35 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. against one Alfred Sebastian to secure a debt of 30. Vail accompanied the sheriff, Samuel Dickinson, to the river, in order to make sure of the prisoner, whom they found about putting off in a boat. Sebastian took in the situation at once, and with a stout piece of a hickory hoop-pole, which he flourished like an Irish shillalah, he invited them to come aboard and they dared. The sheriff declined the invitation, went away, and made the following return on the bail writ: " The within named Alfred Sebastian would not be taken, but kept me off by force, namely, with a cudgel while in a boat." This is somewhat similar to a writ that may be seen in the clerk's office at Paris, Ky., indorsed on the back as follows: Executed on Thos. Theobold, and he has not give security, because he run in a house and armed himself with a shot gun after the writ was served. GEORGE MOUNTJOY. The above indorsement is crossed out, and beneath it written the following: Executed and broke Custiday. GEORGE MOUNTJOY. The Farmers' Library continued until in i8o8, when it was "shoved to the wall" by the more vigorous and enter- prising Gazette, which had just been established. There is no knowledge of it ever having changed hands; but at one time Joshua Vail, a younger brother, was associated with 36 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. Samuel in its publication. He did not remain in the busi- ness long, however, but married and removed to Christian County, where, at a place called Davisburg, he kept the post- office and a store. After discontinuing the newspaper business Samuel Vail entered the army as an ensign, his commission being dated May 3, 18o8. He was attached to the Seventh Regiment and served in the South. He participated in the battle of New Orleans, and in a letter to his old Vermont home, dated May 20, I815, from Natchez, Miss., he gives a very graphic account of that memorable battle. He was a gallant and popular soldier, as shown by his advancement in rank. He was promoted from ensign to second lieutenant October i, i809; first lieutenant in March, i8ii, and captain in April, i814. He was brevetted major January 8, i815, for gallant conduct on the battle-field of New Orleans, and on the i5th of June, i8T5, he was mustered out of the United States service and honorably discharged. About the year i82i he was married at Baton Rouge, La., to Mary Bird. They had five children, three boys and two girls. He called his eldest son Henry Clay, and in a letter home, under date of May I, x824, he thus speaks of him: "We have a fine son, whom we call Henry Clay Vail, after our favorite and worthy can- didate for the presidency. Who knows but that he may be as illustrious as his namesake " The rank of ensign is not known or recognized in the army now, but formerly it vas a grade below a second lieutenant. 37 8THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. Mr. Vail after his marriage engaged in mercantile pur- suits for some years. At first he was quite successful, but afterward mct with reverses, and eventually retired from the business. While in the full tide of his mercantile experi- ment he wrote his sister, August I4, i8i6, that he had four stores-one at New Orleans, one at Mobile Point, one at Petite Coquilla, and one at Baton Rouge. After this venture he opened a sugar plantation, cultivating that great southern staple extensively, and owning and employing a number of slaves. He was thus engaged when we hear of him last. None of the papers and correspondence examined afford any account of his death. Bardstown was the next point in the Commonwealth to extend a fostering hand to the press. August 27, i803, the Western American was established there by F. Peniston. It was a folio, with four columns to the page, and differed little from its predecessors in general make-up. Its publication was continued at Bardstown about three years, when Mr. Peniston moved his paper to Louisville, and issued the first number in the new field January 30, i8o6, without changing its title. Success did not crown his efforts. He was either not adapted to the business or the journalistic field was over. crowded. He did not remain long in Louisville, but took his paper to St. Louis, where its final fate is not known. Following close in the wake of the Western American came the Independent Gazetteer, established at Lexington 38 YHE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. in i803; the Western Messenger at Washington, the same year; the Republican Register at Shelbyville, in i804; the Mirror at Danville the same year, and the Informant at Danville in i8o5. Nothing more is known of any of these papers than that they appear in the list compiled by Col. Major. The Western World, established in Frankfort on the ist of July, i8o6, is the next paper in the list. Considerable interest attached to it in that its birth was contemporaneous with the Burr conspiracy. Humphrey Marshall, the histo- rian, writing of the Western World and its founders, says: An occurrence of the winter of I805-6, simple as it was, and unimpor- tant as it then seemed, will be mentioned, on the same principle that the visit of Col. Burr has been noticed-it was the arrival in Frankfort of John Wood and Joseph M. Street-because it concatenates itself with events which as much as any others excited and agitated popular feeling, and espe- cially those of some official characters of high importance. . . . In the mean time, John Wood and Joseph M. Street, who have been named-the first a professed man of letters; the other familiar with newspapers and of " sterling mettle" and good capacity, as he afterward approved himself- formed the project of publishing a weekly newspaper in Frankfort, to be styled "The Western World." The World was first published by Col. Hunter, of the Palladium, for Wood Street. Of the early existence of the paper Col. Major says: The World was printed in the usual style of that day, except that it furnished an excess of reading matter. It is announced as being published 4VE PI6NEE1 NE WSPAPER PRESS. by Joseph M. Street. No terms of subscription are stated. It had press and types soon after its commencement. Its circulation must have been extensive in the first year of its publication, and we know that its numbers were carefully filed by many, and presume it was perused with deep inter- est. It was a live Federal organ of the Hamilton-Adams school, and yet I doubt from the evidence before me whether either Wood or Street were ever burdened with any fixed political principles of their own. On the contrary, I feel authorized to name them as the first true Bohemians of the Western press, while I give them the credit for being the first, at least in this State, to show by example that an editor might perform other and higher service than employing his whole time in the use of scissors and the solicitation of generally worthless communications from unpracticed pens. It is not definitely known what became of Wood. His aggressive style of writing was not, it is said, backed up by the moral courage to sustain his liberal opinions, and the atmosphere of Frankfort became too warm for him, and he departed abruptly. Not so with Street. He was bold and aggressive, and the recklessness with which he handled his pen involved him almost constantly in difficulty. He was assaulted time and again, and more than once his life was endangered; but he quailed not. With a bold front he faced his enemies and returned blow for blow. He was challenged, and came out of the afaire de honour with flying colors. Nor was this all. He was ejected from the hotel during a ball given to Aaron Burr in honor of his acquittal when tried in Frankfort for treason. At another time he was assaulted By Dr. Preston W. Brown for severe editorial criticism of his brothers, John Brown, United States Senator from Kentucky, and James Brown, United States Min- ister to France.-MAJOR. 40 THB PIONERP NEWSPAPER PRESS. in the public room of the hotel by Hon. George Adams, who fired two pistol shots at him, by one of which he was wounded. Street stood the fire like a trained soldier, and after Adams had emptied his pistol drew his "dirk" and made him (Adams), as he afterward stated in his paper, "advance backward on the double quick." The closing scenes in the World's career can not be given better than in the words of Col. Major: While Street and Wood performed to the public gaze, I am satisfied that sly old Humphrey (Marshall) pulled the strings that moved the pup- pets. His vanity prompted him to claim authorship of the famous commu- nications signed "Observer." He admits becoming bail for Street, and doubtless staked him financially. Marshall had revenge of the personal and political opponents who had pulled him down from high place, while the World is admitted to have accomplished wonders in the first year of its existence. Its bold assaults led to the arrest of Aaron Burr and the over- throw of his treasonable projects. They also led to the exposure of an earlier " conspiracy," as it was termed, to render the whole valley of the Mississippi tributary to the Spanish monarchy, and brought all concerned to the bar of public opinion, and several to unexpected punishment. They caused the successful impeachment of Judge Sebastian-at the time Chief Justice of Kentucky-as a pensioner of Spain, and ultimately led to the exposure of Maj.-Gen. Wilkinson, of the United States Army, for a like offense. The World inaugurated a bitter style in political discussion, which did not entirely disappear from editorials until " the era of good feeling " in Kentucky politics since the close of the late civil war. Henry Gore and Troilus Barnes, who succeeded Street and kept the World slowly moving until the zoth of June, i8io, when it died a natural death, were printers apparently without brains, money, or industry. This is an error of Col. Major. Sebastian was a judge of the Court of Appeals of Kentucky, but according to the court reports was never Chief Justice. 41 4AE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. The next papers in order are the Auxillary, Washington; the Mirror, Russellville; the Impartial Review, Bardstown; the Lamp, Lincoln County. The Auxillary was established in i8o6, the Mirror and Impartial Review in 1807, and the Lamp in i809. The history of these papers consists in the mere record of their birth. Nothing of their existence is known but the acts of the legislature authorizing them, except the Lamp, which was established in Lincoln County, and as the title page has it, "At Dr. Anthony Hunn's, near Capt. James Hickman's plantation, by S. Ogilsby and Com- pany." The Lamp was a small four-page paper, and seems to have been conspicuous for nothing in particular except its name and motto: THE LAMP. LET THERE BE LIGHT. In i8io the American Republic was established at Frankfort by Humphrey Marshall. The first number ap- peared on the 24th of June, and was not dissimilar to the papers already described. Its title page bore the motto: FOR MY COUNTRY. The American Republic was succeeded by the Harbin- ger, and it by the Constitutional Advocate. The latter made its appearance about the beginning of the great political con- Col. Durrett has a copy of the Lamp, which is a fair sample of the early journals. 42 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. flict between the Old and New Court parties. It is not known what time elapsed between the discontinuance of one and the beginning of another of these papers, or if each was succeeded by the next one in order, without any break in publication. Both the Harbinger and the Advocate, as well as the American Republic, were established by Marshall. The last of the three papers-the Constitutional Advocate- Marshall transferred to one Patrick H. Darby, who has been termed the " low comedian" of early journalism in Kentucky. He came from Tennessee, and was a lawyer of some ability, but is described as "a noisy, mischief-making demagogue." He located in Frankfort about 182 I-'22, taking editorial con- trol of the Advocate just when the State was becoming thor- oughly warmed up to the court war. He entered into the controversy " with more zeal than brains. In the hot contest of 1825, in Franklin County, for a seat in the legislature, when John J. Crittenden led the Old Court party, and Solo- mon P. Sharp championed the New Court, resulting in a dead heat, both Sharp and Crittenden being elected, as the county was entitled to two representatives, while their respect- ive coadjutors upon the several tickets were left out. Darby disgusted almost every one with his coarse assaults upon the private life of Sharp, made not only in the columns of the Advocate, but upon the stump. The shocking assassination of Sharp on the morning of the meeting of the Assembly, when the real perpetrator was unknown and unsuspected, 43 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. when the victim was at the zenith of his popularity, and was not supposed to have but the one calumniator and enemy in the community, together with Darby's own zealous efforts to fix the guilt upon some one else, led to a deep-seated belief that he was an accomplice in the horrid crime. This impres. sion was heightened by charges founded on circumstantial evidence adduced in public print by the widow of Sharp. Darby's efforts, however, to turn suspicion from himself led to the detection and conviction of the real murderer; but he himself was unfortunate to the last. His testimony against Beauchamp was a maze of tall and varied swearing, and the latter, on his way to the gallows, refused the appeals of the editor to acquit him of complicity with the murder. Darby found it a relief to his pent up feelings to doff the editorial garments in the summer of 1826 and try the more genial atmosphere of a State where he was not so notorious. Thus died the Constitutional Advocate, -the last of the World's unacclimated progeny, since which time unadulterated Fed. eralism has found no organ until the late civil war 'waked snakes' again, and turned Jefferson and the Resolutions of I798 upside down in Kentucky." The three papers under consideration were ably con. ducted organs while in editorial charge of Humphrey Mar. shall, but owing to the unpopularity of Mr. Marshall they never wielded much influence. Says Col. Major: "' I do not ' Col. Major's Sketch. 44 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. remember to have seen a copy of either of these journals. The oldest inhabitants remember nothing of the Republic and Harbinger, except that their title heads were adorned with a rough wood-cut of a rattlesnake in coil, with the motto, ' Wake Snakes.' It was by most persons of that day considered either moral or political contamination, perhaps both, to be found with a copy in possession, though we can well believe that, from promptings of natural curiosity or Old Nick, many read the productions of such an able pen with more than ordinary enjoyment, especially when report- ers were not about." It would not be proper to dismiss these papers without a sketch of their illustrious founder, Humphrey Marshall. He was born in Virginia, and was a son of Rev. John and Jane (Quisenberry) Marshall. He came to Kentucky in 1780, and his commanding talent, with a natural love of political excitement, soon brought him into public notice. He was a member of the Danville Convention of I 787, looking to the formation of Kentucky into a State. He was a delegate to the Virginia Convention that ratified the Federal Constitu- tion. He was a member of the lower house of the Ken- tucky Legislature in I 793, from Woodford County, where he first located, and United States Senator from Kentucky from 1795 to i8oi. The last-named position was won over no less a competitor than John Breckinridge, the first of that distinguished family in Kentucky. But the star of his polit 7 45 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. ical destiny passed the zenith and began to wane. " Up to the time of his election to the United States Senate the political waters were undisturbed by the storms that were soon to wreck his official prospects. In the first years of his service in the Senate the hard - fought contest between Adams and Jefferson occurred, the first results of which, as well as his advocacy of the Federal champion, proved dis- tasteful to Kentuckians. Then came his hardy defiance of public sentiment in his refusal to obey the instructions of the legislature to oppose the Jay treaty with England. These obnoxious practices, combined with incurable eccen- tricities of character exhibited in unpopular views of religion and politics, peculiar dress and manners, avowed admiration of English customs and institutions at a time when the heads of Kentuckians were scarcely safe from the scalping knives of England's allies, and their bodies bore marks of Hessian bullets, soon gave the coup de grace to his waning popularity in the State at large. The frequent hustings of ambitious rivals such as Clay, Breckinridge, Brown, and oth- ers, aided no little to produce this result. Though the field seemed lost, Marshall, like Miltonr's hero, had left to him ' the unconquerable will and study of revenge' to animate him for the remainder of a long life. The pen and tongue of genius were the weapons with which he fought those who had abet- ted his downfall, and there is a question with us to-day whether his reputation or that of his prominent opponents PHE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. at Frankfort suffered most in the unequal contest. When driven from larger fields, he centered his aspirations within the gift of the people of the county in which he resided. He was the first patentee of the land upon which the prin- cipal portion of Frankfort is located, and was to the end of his life the devoted friend of that town. This friendship was evidently appreciated. Accordingly we find him chairman of the Board of Trustees in i812 and I813. We find him elected to represent the county of Franklin in 1807, i8o8, i809, and again as late as i823 to fill a vacancy created by the death of Gen. Martin D. Hardin, despite the odium attaching to Western Worlds, Harbingers, and Advocates, despite the combined efforts and bitter hostility of the many Democratic leaders then located in Frankfort. Thus ended his official career, though he lived on for nearly twenty years. His last labors were given to the completion of his history of Kentucky, which yet remains to us the chief monlument of his abilities as a writer. "Lawyer, scholar, and gentleman of fortune, Humphrey Of that book I must be allowed to say a word. Each time that I have read it, at intervals of years and with increased interest, it has impressed me with an extraor- dinary characteristic, that although evidently written out of the memory of one man, with little or no evidence that documents then of easy access were consulted, it remains to-day ahead of all rivals, both in accuracy and fullness of detail. The prejudices of the defeated and revengeful politician sometimes get the better of the judgment of the sober historian in its picturesquely writtcn pages, yet I nsubt be allowed to display my powers of criticism and literary tastes when I say that I would not give old Humphrey as the chronicler of my native State for all the Littells, Butlers, and McClungs, who have succeeded in rendering the history of Kentucky so intensely dull as to deter any but an "Old Mortality " from pursuing what ought by rights to be a delightful study.- MAJOR. 47 8THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. Marshall was withal good game, and practiced under the code of honor. His stinging pen and bitter tongue, applied frequently and without mercy to opponents, led him into personal difficulties. He came out of these rarely, if ever, second best. His celebrated duel with Henry Clay occurred in i807, when both were members of the legislature. It grew out of his sarcastic criticisms of Clay for affecting homespun clothes and advocating Jefferson's embargo and non-intercourse policy. It resulted, fortunately, in a slight wound to Mr. Clay's jeans breeches inflicted by Marshall's 'Manton.' As to his coolness and intrepidity under the most trying circumstances, an anecdote is still current among the elders of Frankfort that I have not met with in print: On one occasion, in the height of his unpopularity-perhaps after the ratification of Jay's treaty and his defiance of instructions from the sover- eigns or their legislative servants-an ugly mob assembled around his house in Frankfort, avowing a purpose to duck the Federalism out of him in the neighboring Kentucky River. He was forcibly seized, dragged through the muddy streets, and carried to the banks of the river without being allowed a word in his own behalf. The affair was evidently becoming serious, and, as the elder Marshalls were never known to take water straight, old Hum- phrey made a stand and addressed his assailants: " Fellow-citizens! Most of you I know to be good Christian people when in proper mind, and many of you I recognize as members of the good old Baptist Church. Now allow me to say that according to Baptist rules it is irregular to administer bap- tism before the mourner gives in his experience. If you are determined to proceed, let the exercises be performed in decent order. Let me give my experience first." The appeal, coming from a well-known infidel, was irre- 48 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. sistible. The mob relaxed its grim features into a general smile, followed by bursts of laughter. It resulted that "experience" in that instance would not justify baptism. "Political Ishmaelite as he was-for truly his hand was against all men and all men's hands against him in the polit- ical world of his day-Marshall was a shining ornament to the Frankfort press, and would compare favorably with the ablest editors, not only of his time, but of the present, had his time and attention been given regularly to the profes- sion." The prominence of Mr. Marshall as a journalist and his- torian is a sufficient excuse for the space devoted to him in this sketch. As a writer he had no equal in the period in which he lived, and Col. Major but says truly that his " His- tory of Kentucky remains to-day ahead of all rivals both in accuracy and fullness of detail." As much may be said of its literary merit. The Argus of Western America was established at Frankfort in February, i8o6, by whom is not known at this day. The oldest among a number of copies in Col. Dur- rett's files, dated Friday, January ii, i8i6, is volume 8, num- ber 4i, and shows Messrs. Gerard and Berry proprietors. Another copy, dated Wednesday, February 9, i83I, is vol- ume 24, number 52, and Gervas E. Russell is proprietor. Who preceded these gentlemen in its control, and who con- Col. Major's Sketch. 49 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. so trolled it from its origin to their time, are alike unknown to the writer, except in the single instance of Hon. Amos Kendall. This distinguished gentleman at one time occupied an editorial position on the Argus, and wielded his pen in the interest of Gen. Jackson with such marked effect as to win a place in the old hero's cabinet when elected to the Presi- dency. He was a writer of more than ordinary brilliance. But it was as a statesman and politician he was best known to the people of Kentucky, and as such his career is familiar to all readers of Kentucky history. The number of the Argus mentioned above has, at the head of the first page, a wood-cut of the American eagle, bearing a scroll in its beak upon which is inscribed the Latin motto, "E P/uribus Unum." Above the cut are the words, " By Authority," which would seem to imply that the publishers had to obtain the consent of the United States or of o lsc LUto use either the cut or the motto. The Argus was succeeded by the Yeoman, a paper estab- lished February I3, I840, and whose death has been chroni- cled within a year past. Col. Major, so long the editor of the Yeoman, though belonging not to the pioneer newspaper press of the State, deserves a place in this article, if for no other reason than in recognition of his efforts to preserve the history of the press, and a brief sketch of him is given herewith: THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. Samuel I. M. Major was born in i830, near Frankfort. He received a classical education, was a great lover of books, and to the end of his life was a hard student. It is related of him that when a boy he would gather nuts and berries while other boys were playing marbles and ball, and these he would take to town and sell and buy books, and that when he died there were books in his extensive library that were purchased in this way. In i852 he became editor of the Yeoman, and for over a quarter of a century he held that position. He was an able writer, and ranked as one of the most brilliant editors of the State. Shortly before his death, which occurred a few years ago, he commenced writing a his- tory of the Frankfort press, unfortunately dying before he completed it, thus depriving the public of an interesting chapter of newspaper history. As far as written, it is full of interesting reminiscences of the early Frankfort papers, and a number of extracts from it are embodied in this sketch. Col. Major was a public-spirited citizen, and filled many important positions in his town, county, and State. He was elected to the legislature in I867, and proved himself a zeal- ous and tireless worker. Hc was mayor of Frankfort from i867 to i871, and to him the city was indebted for many needed improvements. He held the office of Public Printer and Binder for a number of years by successive elections. His death while still in the prime of life was greatly lamented throughout the State, 5 1 5THE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS. The next paper in order is one that for more than half a century held a prominent place in the history of the Ken- tucky press. the Lexington Observer and Reporter. It was established in i807, under the name of the " Kentucky Reporter," by William W. Worsley and Samuel W. Overton. The first named of these gentlemen was a Virginian, and learned the printing business in Richmond. He first estab- lished a paper at Norfolk in connection with Thomas Ritchie, afterward well known as editor of the Richmond Enquirer. After remaining a short time at Norfolk, Mr. Worsley returned to Richmond, and a little later came to Kentucky, perhaps about the time Henry Clay came. He came out as an adventurer, and thus we find him soon engaging in his legitimate calling-that of the printing business. After closing out his newspaper interest in Lex- ington he came to Louisville, and on his way stopped at Shelbyville, where he met Dr. Buchanon. There and then they arranged to establish a paper in Louisville in opposition to Shadrach Penn, who was having things editorially pretty much his own way. The result was the establishment of the Focus, of which more anon. Mr. Worsley was one of the most enterprising newspaper men of that day. He had an arrangement with a party in Washington to send him news to Frankfort by mail, which arrived there on Thursday. He owned a negro man whom he always had in Frankfort waiting the arrival of the mail, 52 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. and as soon as it came would hurry off to Lexington with the news, when it was hastily put in the paper, and the paper workcd off and sent out by postriders, in time to intercept the mail at Danville on Friday as it went on south. The negro who thus performed such an active part finally became known as Worsley's "man Friday." Mr. Worsley died in Louisville in 1852. Mr. Overton, Mr. Worsley's partner, was a native of Fayette County. His connection with the press was brief. The prospectus of the Reporter contains this patriotic sentiment: The character of the Reporter with relation to politics shall be strictly Republican. Highly approving of the principles of the Revolution, as con- tained in the Federal Constitution, and duly appreciating the enlightened policy preserved by the present Administration, it shall be the undeviating object of the editors, as far as it may come within the sphere of their influ- ence, to contribute to the promotion and preservation of the former, and embrace every opportunity of testifying to the virtue and faithfulness of the latter. Whenever we may discover ourselves deviating from the principles held sacred by the people, we shall invariably be disposed to retrace our steps and make such assertions as may clearly and satisfactorily present themselves. We shall also rely with confidence on the vigilance of the people to point out those errors to which we may be subject and in which their interest may be involved. The Reporter was established as a Jeffersonian Demo. cratic paper. "After Mr. Overton's retirement Mr. Worsley continued its publication alone until i8i6, when he took into partnership his brother-in-law, Thomas Smith, at one 8 53 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. time president of the Frankfort Lexington Railroad. Smith bought out Worsley in i8ig, and conducted the paper alone until April, i828, when he took in James W. Palmer as a partner. He remained with it about a year, after which Mr. Smith had entire charge again until March, i832, when the paper passed into the hands of Edwin Bryant and N. L. Finnell, who united with it the Lexington Observer, an anti- Jackson organ, which had been established the year before, the consolidated papers being called the Kentucky Reporter and Lexington Observer. Mr. Bryant was the editor. In i833 he was succeeded by Robert N. Wickliffe. . . . In Sep- tember, 1838, D. C. Wickliffe became editor and proprietor of the paper, and gave all the rest of his active life to the profession of journalism. He died in I87o. After the death of Mr. Wickliffe the Observer and Reporter was purchased by a company of gentlemen, and William A. Dudley became editor. He resigned the editorial chair for a seat in the leg- islature, and Col. WV. C. P. Breckinridge succeeded him as editor. In i868 George W. Ranck succeeded Col. Breckin- ridge, becoming proprietor of the paper as well as its editor. In i871 Mr. Ranck sold out to a company, and Dr. Thomas Pickett became editor. He was shortly after succeeded by J. Soule' Smith, and in i873 the publication of the Observer and Reporter, after an existence of sixty-six years, ceased." The Observer and Reporter had many able editors and 1Fanck in History of Fayette County, pp. 366, 367. 54 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. contributors during its long career. The most prominent, perhaps, were Judge Edwin Bryant, Robert N. and D. C. Wickliffe. Those yet living are omitted on the ground that this is a case in which present company is excepted. Judge Bryant was born in Massachusetts, but came to Kentucky when a mere boy. After his retirement from the Observer and Reporter he removed to Louisville, and was at one time associated with Mr. W. N. Haldeman in the publication of the Louisville Dime. When failing health forced him to relinquish literary work, he made an overland journey to California, and was with Gen. Fremont in his expedition to that country. He was the "first American who admin- istered justice on the Pacific slope in a civil capacity. After his return he published a book entitled ' What I saw in Cali- fornia,' which had a very large sale. He died in i869." The Wickliffes belong to one of the most distinguished fam- ilies of Kentucky. Robert N. was a graduate, of Transyl- vania University. Many considered him the equal of Pren- tice as an editor and of Clay as an orator. He died in i855 at the age of fifty. Next in chronological order is the Western Citizen, established at Paris the year after the Observer and Re- porter. The Citizen has not only passed its three-score and ten years, but has reached its fourscore, and is still in the heyday of life. It was started in i8o8 by Grimes John- , Ranck. 55 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. son. Mr. F. L. McChesney, long the editor of the Citizen, gives some of its early history as follows: In early times printers were under the necessity of making their own ink-an art which few of them understood. While this operation was in progress in the Citizen office, the fire used for the purpose communicated to some rubbish, and before it could be extinguished the early files of the paper were destroyed. It is therefore impossible to ascertain the exact date of the first issue. The oldest number seen by A. M. Brown, the editor of the paper in i855, bore date Thursday, November 3, i8o8, and was the thirtieth number of the first volume. Supposing a number to have been issued each week, this would bring the date of the first paper to the 7th day of April of that year. The number referred to was a curiosity. It was printed on foolscap paper, the pages measuring 7 by 12 inches. This was smaller, however, than the ordinary size, for in the same issue this reference to the paper used appears, "We are this week reduced to the necessity of printing on writing paper, in consequence of having been disappointed in receiving a supply of the usual size." In i809 the Citizen was purchased by Mr. Joel R. Lyle, whose name remained with the paper as one of its owners until I832-almost a quarter of a century. For several years prior to his retirement, Mr. Adam C. Keenon, long Public Binder, was the partner of Mr. Lyle. He learned the printing business in the citizen ofce, and in 8Q; estab. a -_ -. - " 1.ij in L i, lished a paper at Cynthiana called the Guardian of Liberty, but it existed but a year or two. It will be an item of inter- est to many to know that the late Bishop H. H. Kavanaugh, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, worked in the Citizen office when a boy. William C. Lyle and J. L. Walker pur- THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. chased the paper January i, 1832, and conducted it under the firm name of Lyle Walker. " In its early years the Citizen supported the principles of the Republican party, as opposed to those of the Federalists. It was a warm advo- cate of the war with England in i8I2; in the fierce struggle between the Old and New Court parties it took the side of the Old Court party; it supported Mr. Adams and Mr. Clay in opposition to Gen. Jackson; and when parties divided under the names of Whig and Democrat, it was found con- sistently advocating the principles of the former." The following sketch of Mr. Lyle, so long connected with the Citizen, was given by one who knew him well: Joel R. Lyle was a man of strong, active, and well-informed mind, and conducted his paper with ability and spirit. He was possessed of a rich and genial humor, which made him a pleasant companion, while his integ- rity of character and his warm and devoted piety secured to him the respect and confidence of all who knew him. His personal appearance is among the earliest recollections of our boyhood. In those days it was the custom in the Presbyterian Church for the leaders of the music, or clerks, as they were called, to stand up in front of the pulpit while singing. Mr. Lyle and Ebenezer Sharpe, one of the best men we ever knew, were the leaders of the music in the church on High Street. They were both very fleshy, realizing Shakespeare's description of the fourth stage in man's life, and we remem- ber them as they stood up there thirty years ago with their round, protuber- ant stomachs, and with voices uncommonly rich, mellow, and powerful sang the songs of praise they both loved so well, and of which they never wea- ried while on earth. He died in 1849. William C. Lyle died in x874, and J. L. Walker in i873. They were exemplary citizens and highly respected by all who knew them. Mr. McChesney in History of Bourbon County, p. 10o. 57 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. The Citizen was published in 1867 by the firm of John R. Johnson Co. In February, i868, it passed into the hands of F. L. McChesney and Lemuel T. Fisher, and its politics changed. Since that time it has advocated the prin. ciples of the Democratic party. Mr. McChesney became the sole owner in i878, but recently has retired from the edito- rial chair and the newspaper business. The Citizen and True Kentuckian have been consolidated, and the new con- cern is happily moving on in the full tide of successful experiment. The Citizen was, and, if it has not lost its identity by con- solidation, is the oldest newspaper in Kentucky, and is reel- ing off the last quarter of its first hundred years. What a career it has had! It witnessed our second war (i8I 2) with Great Britain. It chronicled the battle of Waterloo in i815 and the downfall of the first Napoleon. It passed through our late civil war, the most terrific of modern times, and in 1870 contained an account of the battle of Sedan and the arrest of Napoleon III. The same can be said of very few newspapers in the United States. It has participated in all the exciting political contests that have disturbed the Com. monwealth from Old and New Court issues down to the many knotty questions growing out of the civil war. From its present appearance of prosperity it is good for another hundred years. In i809 the Farmer's Friend, Russellville, the Political THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. Theater, Lancaster, the Dove, Washington, the Globe, Richmond, and in i8io the Examiner, Lancaster, and the Luminary, Richmond, were established. None of them ever had any great notoriety. Some of them had but a brief existence. They were followed in i8i i by the Repository at Bardstown, the Telegraph at Georgetown, the American Statesman at Lexington, and Western Courier at Louisville. The Telegraph was established by Shadrach Penn, says Dr. S. F. Gano, in a sketch of Georgetown written a few years ago; but he does not state how long Mr. Penn pub- lished the paper, nor any particulars concerning it-merely the fact that it was established in i8i i by Shadrach Penn; "only this, and nothing more." The American Statesman, according to Mr. Ranck, was established in July, i8i i, also by Shadrach Penn, the same year that Dr. Gano says the Telegraph was established. If this be true-and Col. Major in his list of early newspapers corroborates the statement-the only solution of the matter is that he started the Telegraph in the early part of i8i i, and the Statesman in July, as stated by Ranck. Explana- tory ifl some degree, however, WC the matter is the following letter upon the subject, received by the writer from Mr. John A. Bell, editor of the Georgetown Times: I have before me a copy of the Telegraph, Georgetown, Ky., of date April 9, 1812. It is Vol. I, No. 38, so that the first number of the Telegraph See sketch of Maysville Eagle. 59 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. must have appeared about July 25, i8ii. It is a five-column folio, pages about i3 by 21 inches, and, like all papers of the olden time, had no local news outside of the advertising columns. My conclusion is that the Tele- graph ceased to exist in the fall of 1812, for I have also before me a copy of the Minerva Press, a paper of same size as the Telegraph and same typo- graphical appearance, bearing date Georgetown, Ky., October iz, 2815, No. 4, Vol. 4, whole number 16o, edited by Amos Kendall. Running back the figures, you will see that the Minerva Press was started about October i, 1812. Whether Mr. Penn took the printing material with him when he left Georgetown I do not know, but my conclusion is that the Minerva Press appeared soon after the Telegraph ceased to exist. Mr. Ranck must be mistaken in his claim that the Western Statesman was established at Lexing- ton by Penn in July, i8ii; for I take it that no man in those days was bold enough to start two papers. If Mr. Ranck is correct in his statement, then Penn had a paper at Georgetown as well as at Lexington, and started about the same time. From the above it would seem that the Minerva Press succeeded the Georgetown Telegraph; but, further than Mr. Bell's account and the reference to the Telegraph by Dr. Gano, nothing is known of either paper. The Minerva rress is a paper that has escaped the notice of all chroni- clers until Mr. Bell's letter quoted above. Its existence even is ignored in the acts of the legislature. The Western Courier was established in the fall of 181 I at Louisville, according to the list of newspapers compiled by Col. Major, but in i8io, according to Mr. Ben Casseday's history of Louisville, which latter is probably correct. It was started by Nicholas Clark, and was published weekly. S. H. Bullen and A. G. Meriwether, in i82i, became associ- THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. ated with Clark, and the name of the paper was changed to the Emporium and Commercial Advertiser, and it became a semi-weekly. Clark and Meriwether finally sold to Bullen and F. E. Goddard, and withdrew from it. The latter gen- tleman subsequently became sole owner, and under his con- trol the paper died. Mann Butler, the historian, held an editorial position on the Western Courier while it was owned by Mr. Clark, but he resigned it in a short time and retired from the work. "About the same time," says Mr. Casseday, "the Louisville Correspondent was issued, and was edited by Col. E. C. Barry, but in i817 it was discontinued." Mr. Casseday relates an anecdote in connection with the Western Courier and the great earthquake of i8 i i that will bear repetition. He makes the following extract from a let- ter in the Bedford (Pa.) Gazette, giving the effect of the earthquake on the people of Louisville: At Louisville, in the State of Kentucky, a town about four times as large as Bedford, they have no church. When the earthquake gave them the first shock they grew very devout in one night, and on the next day with long faces subscribed i,ooo to build a house of public worship. Thus the matter rested until the second shock came, when another devout paroxysm produced another x,ooo. It rested again until a third earthquake and devout fit produced another subscription to the same amount. There was no more of the matter. The earthquake did not return, and the Louis- villians concluded the devil would not send for them for a few years more, and in the mean time determined to be merry. They immediately built a theater, which cost them 7,ooo, and employed a company of actors, the 9 6i THE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS. offscourings of maritime city theaters. To this company they gave about 500 per week, till at length the actors, instead of raising the curtain, broke through it and broke each other's heads with sticks, and the heads of some of the audience who interfered. The earthquakes have lately begun to shake Louisville again, but whether the people laugh or pray I have not heard. " The Western Courier," says Mr. Casseday, " copied this article, with some stringent remarks upon its contents, and attributes the authorship of it to some actor whose efforts in his profession had not been duly honored by the people whom he villifies. Who is in the right in this matter it is now impossible to say; but it is certain that the author of the article in question is guilty of an anachronism, for it will be remembered that the theater was built previous to the commencement of the earthquakes." The Evangelical Record and Western Review was estab- lished at Lexington, in 18I2, by Thomas T. Skillman. It was of the Presbyterian faith, and was the first religious newspaper, not only in Kentucky, but west of the Allegha- nies. It was succeeded in about two years by the Presby- terian Advocate, Mr. Skillman still controlling it. In i823 he commenced a paper called the Western Luminary, to counteract, it was said, the influence of infidelity, which was gaining a strong foothold in the town. It also was of the Presbyterian faith, a weekly paper, and wielded a strong in- fluence during its existence, which ended in 1836. Mr. Skill. man, its founder, was all extensive book publisher in his day. 62 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. In 1813 the Western Eagle at Hopkinsville, the Light. house at Harrodsburg, and the Sovereign People at Russell. ville were established. Nothing is known of these papers beyond the mere fact that such papers at one time existed in the Commonwealth. The Western Monitor was a weekly paper published in Lexington, and was established in i8I4. It espoused the Federalist cause, and was edited by Thomas Curry. He was succeeded in I8I8 by Wm. Gibbs Hunt, a New Englander by birth, and a man of fine scholarly attainments. In i8i9 he changed the Monitor into the Western Review, which he published until i822. It was a literary journal, and also devoted considerable space to Western history. The Washington Union was established in 1814 by David V. Rannells. It was continued until i820, when it suspended publication. The MaySvi11e Eagle, which has ceased to exist within the last year, was established in i8i4. It was a continua- tion, under a new name, of the Dove, established in i8o8, the same year as the Paris Citizen. It is the first instance on record, perhaps, of a dove changing into an eagle. Mr. Collins gives the following sketch of the two papers: "TThe brothers Joab H. and Richard Corwine (the latter left his paper to become a soldier in the war of 1812) pub- lished the Dove for six years at Washington, i808-14; then removed to Maysville and continued its publication, first 63 4THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. changing its name to the Eagle. In i815 they sold it to Chalfant Pickett, who published it for a year and then sold it to Mr. Grinstead. In i817 its ownership passed to Aaron Crookshanks, and on the ist of November, 1820, to its most permanent publisher and editor, Lewis Collins, with whom it remained constantly (except the short ownership of Richard Henry Lee, May, i828-30) until November 1, 1847. Henry B. Brown was associate editor and publisher, May 1, i842, to May i, i845. Richard H. Collins purchased it November i, i847, and was the editor and publisher until March i, i85o, and again from June i, i853, to March i, i857, and joint owner and editor one year longer to March I, 1858. Thomas B. Stevenson was the editor and publisher from March i, i850, to June I, i853, with James E. Byers associate publisher a year, from March I, i852. Thomas A. Curran edited and published the Eagle from March I, I857, to i86o, except for a few months, when itwas edited and con- trolled by Wm. F. Trimble. At the latter date Thomas M. Green purchased it, and has since been and in i873 is still the editor and publisher, twice having an associate publisher for a short time. The first " head " or title of the Eagle was cast shortly after the siege of Fort Meigs, in that fort, by a printer soldier named Rogle, who presented it to his fellow- soldier, Richard Corwine, one of its publishers." The Eagle in its day numbered among its editors and contributors some of Kentucky's ablest men. Mr. Collins 64 THE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS. thus enumerates them: Col. James C. Pickett, John Bickley, Col. Wm. Henry McCardle, Wm. Musgrove, Henry Waller, Elijah C. Phister, Wm. P. Conwell, John D. Taylor, Colonel Thos. B. Stevenson, Richard Henry Lee, Henry B. Brown, Walter N. Haldeman, Charles D. Kirk, Joseph S. Chambers, Thomas M. Green, Maj. Henry T. Stanton, and Dr. Thomas E. Pickett. But the limits of this article will not admit of a sketch of each of these distinguished writers. Judge Lewis Collins, author and editor, merits more than a passing notice. He was born December 25, 1797, in Fay- ette County, Kentucky, and was a son of Richard Collins, a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Left an orphan at an early age, he learned the printing business in the office of the West- ern Citizen, at Paris, under the veteran journalist, Joel R. Lyle. He assisted David V. Rannells to establish the Wash. ington Union, and remained with him as long as the paper lived. in 847 he published "Collins' Historical Sketches of Kentucky," a work of vast research, and containing much valuable historical information. He filled with honor and credit many positions of importance, not the least of which was that of Judge of the Mason County Court from i 851 to i854. He died in Lexington, January 29, i870, aged sev- enty-two years. The Kentucky Legislature was in session at the time, and adopted resolutions highly extolling his worth as a man and a citizen. In i814 was established at Glasgow the Patriot, at Shel- 65 THE PIONEER NE WSPA PER PRESS. byville the Kentuckian, at Russellville the Weekly Messen- ger, at Winchester the Advertiser, and, in 1815, at Harrods- burg the Independent Observer, and at Bardstown the Tel- escope. The history of these papers is told in the legislative acts authorizing public advertisements inserted in their col- umns. A paper called the Instructor was established at Paris in 1817 by a young man named Lilly. It was afterward removed to Millersburg, in the same county, where it shortly after died a natural death, and where the editor also died of consumption. The Guardian of Liberty was established at Cynthiana in January, i817, by John G. Keenan. It is not known to have existed longer than to March, 1819. Mr. L. G. Mar. shall says: "On this paper (Guardian of Liberty) worked as printers two young men, now gentlemen of national rep- utation. We mean Bishop H. H. Kavanaugh and Hon. A. Dudley Mann, now resident in Chantilly, France. Both were then in their teens, and both are said to have mani- fested, even then, predilections for the high spheres of life they afterward reached. When a boy-, fr. Mann would say he should be a statesman; and we may well imagine that young Kavanaugh dreamed of his own great career of use- fulness." Newspapers were established in i8i8 as follows: The 1 In a sketch of Cynthiana, written in i88i. 66 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. Commentator at Frankfort, Green River Telegraph at Glas- gow, the People's Friend at Danville, the Western American at Springfield, the Impartial Compiler at Shelbyville, the Laurel at Mt. Sterling, the Whig at Augusta, the Star at Flemingsburg; and, in i820, the Public Advertiser at Lex- ington, Bracken Sentinel at Augusta, Kentucky Republican at Hopkinsville, Kentucky Advertiser and Farmer's Maga- zine at Winchester, People's Friend at Glasgow, and the Backwoodsman at Bowling Green. Nothing is known of these papers but the fact of their establishment. The Kentuckian was a newspaper established at Lancas- ter in i82 i by Col. Albert G. Hodges, who afterward became widely known as a newspaper publisher throughout the State. He remained with the Kentuckian only about three months, when he left Lancaster and returned to Lexington, where he had learned the printing business. Col. Hodges was born in Virginia in i802, and when eight years old was brought by his mother (his father hav- ing died) to Fayette County. At the age of twelve he was apprenticed to the printing business with Worsley Smith, proprietors of the Lexington Reporter. After his return from Lancaster in 182i he became foreman in the office where he had learned his trade. In i824 he went to Louis- ville, and in connection with D. C. Pinkham purchased from S. H. Bullen the Louisville Morning Post. William Tan- ner, a man of considerable prominence as a writer, succeeded 67 8THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. Pinkham. Hodges shortly after sold out to Tanner and returned to Lexington, where he started the Kentucky Whig. This paper had a brief existence, and, after a few other changes, Mr. Hodges, in 1833, was elected Public Printer, and in the same year he established the Frankfort Commonwealth, a paper that existed until 1872, when, rather than support President Grant for renomination to the Presi- dency, its publication was suspended. An amusing anecdote is told in the biography of Col. Hodges, published in Collins' History. While publishing the Louisville Morning Post, a semi-weekly paper, in con- nection with William Tanner, they stood upon opposite sides of the political fence. It was at a time when the conflict between the Old and New Court parties was at its height. Two pages of the paper were filled by Tanner with the doctrines of " New Court " and " Relief," while the other two, under the supervision of Hodges, championed the "Old Court" and "Anti-Relief." It was literally a "house divided against itself," and to prevent its fall the proprietors threw "heads and tails" for ownership, or, rather, as to who should sell out to the other. Tanner won, and Hodges sold to him on favorable terms. We come now to a new era in the history of the press of Kentucky-the daily newspaper. The Public Advertiser, a The Commonwealth was originally a Whig paper-during the war uncondition. ally Union, and after the war Republican in politics. 68 THE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS. paper that eventually became the first daily in the West, was established in Louisville on the 23d of June, i8i8, by Sha- drach Penn. It was started as a weekly paper, but some years later-just what date is not known-it was changed to a semi-weekly. April 4, 1826, it was again changed, and the first daily newspaper west of the Alleghanies was flung to the public. The oldest copy of the daily in Col. Durrett's collection is dated July 3, I 830, and is "No. 1345." Omit- ting the Sundays, and counting an issue of the paper for six days of each week, it brings the birth of the daily to the date above given. The Advertiser was an able paper from its birth, and Mr. Penn was not without experience in journalism when he came to Louisville. His paper soon became a formidable opponent of the Western Courier, then the leading paper of the opposite political party in the State. Mr. Ben Casseday, in a8 sketch written some years agu uf the Louisville press, says: " Mr. Penn was an experienced politician, a forcible writer, and a man of extraordinary tact. His paper soon took the position of political leader, not merely in its local circle, but all over the West. It was the acknowledged Jack- son organ, and both city and State recognized its power and influence. It was without a rival; and if it did not create, it represented the dominant party for over twelve years. Until the birth of the Louisville Journal, in 1830, Penn found 'no foeman worthy of his steel.' His adversaries had, one by IQ 69 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. one, fallen before him. He was supreme in his position, and a few years previous to the date above referred to was con- firmed in it by a great victory over the Old Court or Anti- Relief party, and his acknowledged championship of a party victorious in a political struggle as bitter as had ever agi- tated the State." Shadrach Penn was a native of Kentucky, and was born in Scott County. He received a good practical education, which fitted him well for the stirring scenes of political life he was destined to take part in. He was a large man, a fine specimen of the typical Kentuckian, six feet high, and weigh. ing over two hundred pounds. He is described by those who knew him well, as a genial, whole-souled gentleman, with a heart corresponding in size to his gigantic frame. He was a statesman and leader naturally, and a politician from choice, and swayed the opinions of men by the power of his own will. The editorial warfare he provoked by his open defiance of' George D. Prentice and the Louisville Journal is probably without parallel in the newspaper his. tory of the country; and of which more later on. Following the establishment of the Advertiser, and in the interval between it and the Journal, a number of papers sprang into existence in different parts of the State, of which little or nothing is now known beyond the acts of the Gen- eral Assembly authorizing public advertisements inserted in their columns. The list is as follows: The Wasp and Inde- 70 SHADRACH PENN. This page in the original text is blank. THE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS; pendent Gazette established in i820 at Georgetown, the Olive Branch in Mercer County, the Christian Advocate at Bowling Green, the Columbian at Henderson; in 1821, the Chronicle at Glasgow, the Kentucky Intelligencer at Millers- burg, the Republican Orbit at Cynthiana, the Kentucky Patriot and Springfield Literary Register at Springfield, the Republican Centinel at Winchester, the Kentucky Farmer in I824 at Versailles, the Western Herald at Bardstown, the Farmer's Register at Flemingsburg, and the Microscope at Louisville. The last-named paper was established April I7, i824, and purported to be edited by Tim Tickler, jr., Esq., and published every Saturday morning by Johnson Rob- erts, No. I 2 Van Buskirk's Row, 35 Cross Street. This paper was started with the laudable intention of reforming the vices of the city, with occasional broadsides at its follies. It continued about a year, when its reckless course made the atmosphere of Louisville so warm it was forced to find a new field, and "Col. Tickler, jr., Esq." removed it to New Albany. In i825 the Constitutionalist was established at Ver- sailles, the Advertiser at Cynthiana, the Villagc MfuseumL at Princeton, the Constitutional Advocate at Frankfort, the Star at Flemingsburg, the Columbia Reporter at Columbia, the Kentucky Democrat at Millersburg, the Advertiser at Danville, the Whig at Mt. Sterling, the Western Intelli- gencer at Elizabethtown, the Iris at Bowling Green, the THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. Central Watchtower and Farmer's Journal in i826 at Har- rodsburg, and the Spirit of 'Seventy-six at Frankfort. The Focus, already incidentally alluded to, was a news- paper of some importance, and was established at Louisville in i826 by W. W. Worsley and Dr. Buchanan, the former one of the original proprietors of the Lexington Reporter. The Focus opposed Gen. Jackson, the Advertiser, and Sha- drach Penn; but being more of a literary and scientific jour- nal than a partisan organ, it was unable to stand before the political projectiles hurled at it by Penn. After a fitful existence of a little less than four years it was purchased by Cairns Robinson, and later was merged into the Louis- ville Journal. In i828 the Rural Visitor was established at Glasgow, the Kentucky Statesman at Elizabethtown, the Reflector at Augusta; in i829, the Kentucky Intelligencer at Flemings- burg, the Kentucky Sentinel at Georgetown; in i830, the Spy at I Iopkinsviile, the Religious and Literary Intelli- gencer at Princeton, the Public Ledger at Shelbyville, the Herald at Bardstown, and the Journal at Lancaster. The Louisville Journal, whose influence for more than a third of a century was equaled by few American newspapers, was established on the 24th of November, 1830, by George D. Prentice. " Its success was assured from the circulation of its first issue, and in four weeks from its birth it was the most extensively read paper that had ever been published in 7 2 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. the State." Prentice at once crossed swords with Shadrach Penn, and the contest between these rival editors, often sharp and bitter, is still vividly remembered by the older citizens of Louisville and Kentucky. Prentice's pen bris- tled 'like the "fretful porcupine," and he shot the pointed quills in every direction. In his writings he frequently made people laugh, sometimes stare, and often squirm, and he seemed ever equally indifferent as to which result flowed out from his pen. The Journal soon obtained political ascendancy, and as long as the Whig party existed piloted it to victory in Kentucky in all State and national elections. The editorial warfare was kept up between Prentice and Penn, and would of itself fill a large volume. Much of it was of such a character that would scarcely have been tolerated from any other than George D. Prentice and Shadrach Penn. Some of it would not be tolerated in this sketch. Few articles or even sentences were written by Penn but were turned or twisted by Prentice to his dis- comfiture. Prentice once perpetrated a joke on Penn that has sel- dom apneared in -rint, and will go to ilu-strate in a reaure their editorial- pastimes. About a year previous a horrible murder had occurred in Louisiana not far from New Orleans, and it so happened that Prentice had preserved a paper con- taining the particulars of the affair. Looking through his Historical Sketch of the Courier-Journal. 73 THE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS. desk one day, he came across it, then a year old, but un- stained by age, and his natural wit suggested at once a joke on Penn. He sprinkled the paper, folded it neatly, and pressed it, which gave it the appearance of a new issue, and placing it in a wrapper addressed it, "Compliments clerk of the steamer Waucousta, five days, seventy-eight hours out from New Orleans. Quickest trip on record. To Shadrach Penn, editor Louisville Advertiser." The boy rushed into Penn's office, threw the paper on the editorial table, and scampered away. Penn took it up, and, hurriedly tearing off the wrapper, his eye encountered the important item of news-the murder. The paper was nearly up, and no time was to be lost. Several important matters were taken out of the forms, and the new copy set in their place, with elaborate editorial comments, and very profuse thanks to the gentle- manly clerk of the elegant and fast steamer Waucousta for the valuable favor, etc. The whole trick proved successful, and it was many a day before Penn heard the last of it. Especially when he had a "big thing" in the Advertiser, would Prentice ask, "Did that item come by the Wau- cousta " Dr. Theodore S. Bell said of Prentice's wit and humor, "The wit and humor of Mr. Prentice were daily feasts to the readers of the Louisville Journal, and I readily recall to memory many persons who would sooner have done without The Waucousta bore the name of being the slowest old boat on the river. 74 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. their breakfast than their morning Journal. In this depart- ment of daily wit, humor, and delightful instruction I think Mr. Prentice never had an equal. That this wit and humor should pass successfully, as it did, through a daily ordeal of nearly forty years, is one of the marvels of literature." But Prentice did not always escape without a scratch, as evi- denced in the following caustic epigram once written on N. P. Willis: Unwritten honors to thy name belong, Willis, immortal both in prose and song; Unwritten poetry thy pen inspires; Unwritten music, too, thy fancy fires; And more than all, philosophy divine, With its unwritten beauties, all are thine. Oh, how much greater praise would be thy due If thine own prose had been unwritten too! Willis good naturedly returned the following response: Unwritten honors do in truth belong To him who gets a living by his song; Unwritten poeyt, though wits do mutter, And " music" too, to him is bread and butter; And, more than all, philosophy divine Helps him to ask poor wits like thee to dine. Oh, how much greater praise would be your due If your own wits could do as much for you! But to go. back a little. Mr. Penn in his paper of Sep- tember io, i830, some two months before the establishment 7 5 6 THE PTONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. of the Journal, thus editorially heralded the coming of Pren- tice: GEORGE D. PRENTICE. This gentleman and Mr. Buxton, of Cincinnati, have issued proposals for publishing a daily paper in Louisville, which is to be edited by Mr. Prentice. Willing that the gentleman shall be known by the people whose patronage he is seeking, we copy to-day from a Cincinnati paper his account of the late elections in Kentucky. The production may be viewed as a fair specimen of his " fine literature," his " drollery, strong powers of sarcasm," and, above all, his "poetical capacity." The respect and attachment he displays toward Kentucky (to say nothing of the Jackson party) must be exquisitely gratifying to the respectable portion of Mr. Clay's friends in this city. To them we commend the letter of Mr. Prentice as an erudite, chaste, and veritable production, worthy of the " great editor" who is here- after to figure as Mr. Clay's champion in the West. We may, moreover, congratulate them in consequence of the fair prospect before them; for with the aid of such an editor they can not fail to effect miraculous rev- olutions or revulsions in the political world. The occupants of all our fish markets will be confirmed in their devotion to the opposition beyond redemption. The above appeared in the editorial columns of the Advertiser. In another column appeared the " election account" referred to in the editorial, and credited to a Cin- cinnati paper. It seems to have been written, if not by a Kentuckian, by one who apparently took considerable inter. est either in Kentucky affairs or in Jackson politics, and who, after giving Prentice's account of the election, indulges in some rather stinging comments. The whole is given ver. ballm et literatim as follows; 76 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. "PRICK ME A BULL CALF TILL HE ROAR." (FROM THE CINCINNATI ADVERTISER.] Mr. G. D. Prentice, Mr. Clay's protege, and author of all the ribaldry and slang lately emanating from New England, I have heard, intends pub- lishing a paper in Louisville, Ky. As a specimen of his feelings toward the citizens of that State, I request you would publish the following extract from a letter written by him to a friend in New England: [EXTRACT FROM THE FIFTH LETTER OF A STROLLING EDITOR TO THE PUBLISHERS OF THE N. E. W. REVIEW.] DEAR SIRS: I have just witnessed a strange thing-a Kentucky elec- tion-and am disposed to give you an account of it. An election in Ken- tucky lasts three days, and during that period whisky and apple toddy flow through our cities and villages like the Euphrates through ancient Babylon. I must do Lexington the justice to say that matters were conducted here with tolerable propriety; but in Frankfort, a place which I had the curiosity to visit on the last day of the election, Jacksonism and drunkenness stalked triumphant-" an unclean pair of lubberly giants." A number of runners, each with a whisky bottle poking its long neck from his pocket, were busily employed bribing voters, and each party kept half a dozen bullies under pay, genuine specimens of Kentucky alligatorism, to flog every poor fellow who should attempt to vote illegally. A half a hundred of mortar would scarcely fill up the chinks of the skulls that were broken on that occasion. I barely escaped myself. One of the runners came up to me, and slapping me on the shoulder with his right hand, and a whisky bottle with his left, asked me if I was a voter. " No," said I. "Ah, never mind," quoth the fellow, pulling a corn cob out of the neck of the bottle, and shaking it up to the best advantage, "jest take a swig at the cretur and toss in a vote for old Hickory's boys-I '11 fight for you, damme !" Here was a temptation, to be sure; but after looking alternately at the bottle and the bullies who were standing ready with their sledge-hammer fists to knock down all inter- lopers, my fears prevailed and I lost my whisky. Shortly after this I wit- nessed a fight that would have done honor to Mendoza and Big Ben. A great ruffian-looking scoundrel, with arms like a pair of cables knotted at II 177 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. the ends, and a round black head that looked like a forty-pound cannon shot, swaggered up to the polls and threw in his bit of paper, and was walk- ing off in triumph. " Stop, friend," exclaimed one of the Salt River Roar- ers, stepping deliberately up to him, "are you a voter" "Yes, by ," replied he of the Bullet Head. " That's a lie," rejoined the Roarer, " and you must just prepare yourself to go home an old man, for I'll be damned if I don't knock you into the middle of your ninety-ninth year." "Ay, ay," replied the other, " come on, then; I '11 ride you to hell, whipped up with the sea sarpint!" They had now reached an open space, and the Salt River bully, shaking his fist a moment by way of a feint, dropped his chin sud- denly upon his bosom and pitched headforemost toward the stomach of his antagonist with the whole force of his gigantic frame. Bullet Head, how- ever, was on his guard, and, dodging aside with the quickness of lightning to avoid the shock, gave the assailant a blow that sent him staggering against a whisky table, where he fell to the ground amid the crash of bot- tles, mugs, and tumblers. Nothing daunted by this temporary discomfiture, the bully gathered himself up, and with a single muttered curse renewed his place in front of his foe. Several blows were now given on both sides with tremendous effect, and in a few moments the Salt River boy, watching his opportunity, repeated the maneuver in which he had first been foiled. This time he was successful. His head was planted directly in his antago- nist's stomach, who fell backward with such force that I had no expectation of his es.er rising agai. L Ti lte scouundreil done for` inquired the tempo- rary victor, walking up and looking down on his prostrate foe. Bullet Head spoke not, but with the bound of a wildcat leaped to his feet and grappled with his enemy. It was a trial of strength, and the combatants tugged and strained and foamed It the mouth, and twined like serpents around each ohehr's ' dies. 61i!. at 1 dci1h thi strength of the Builet Head prevailed and his opponent lay strUggling beneath him. "Gouge him !" " Gouge him !" exclAimed a dozen voices, and the topmost combatant seized his victim by the hair and was preparing to follow the advice that was thus shouted in his ear, wvhen the prostrate man, roused by desperation and exerting a strength that seemed superhuman, caught his assailant by the throat with a grasp like that of fate. For a few moments the struggle seemed to cease, and then thb 78 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. face of the throttled man turned black, his tongue fell out of his mouth, and he rolled to the ground as senseless as a dead man. I turned away a con- firmed believer in the doctrine of total depravity. Notwithstanding the severity of the foregoing article, the older citizens of Kentucky who remember the three-days' elections held under the old Constitution of the State can readily see in Prentice's description "more truth than po- etry." The extract from his letter published in the Adver- tiser, however, and the comment of Penn, had much the same effect on Prentice that the waving of a red flag in the face of a bull would have on the maddened animal. He resented it in his own way and manner. There are hun- dreds still living in Louisville and in the State who remem- ber the bitter editorial warfare that raged between Prentice and Penn as long as the latter remained in Louisville-a period of twelve years after the birth of the Journal. Pren- tice soon usurped the place that Penn had held as the lead- ing editor of the State, and so terribly did he belabor him through the columns of the Journal that he finally drove him from the field. In i842 Penn went to St. Louis, and Prentice, seemingly satisfied with having brushed him out of his way, paid him a flattering tribute through the columns of the Journal that allayed any ill feeling that may have rankled in Penn's bosom; for, notwithstanding their "wars of words," a warm feeling of friendship really existed between these edi- torial gladiators that lasted through life. "The Advertiser," 79 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. says Mr. Casseday, "deprived of its master spirit (Mr. Penn), lingered along a few years, and finally expired in the arms of the Rev. W. C. Buck, of 'Baptist Hymns' memory." In the establishment of the Journal, Mr. Prentice had for a partner A. S. Buxton, a practical printer, who continued with him three years, and then sold his interest to John N. Johnson, and two years later Johnson sold to George W. Weissinger. The firm of Prentice Weissinger continued until 1849, when Weissinger sold out to Isham Henderson, Esq., long a well - known citizen of Louisville, and but recently dead. During all these years Mr. Prentice had been editor of the Journal, and had given it a world-wide reputation. But about this time he called to his editorial aid Mr. Paul R. Shipman, a graceful and fluent writer, and who remained with the paper many years. In a short time after purchasing Mr. Weissinger's interest, Mr. Henderson sold one half of his own interest to his kinsman, John D. Osborne, and the firini became Prentice, Henderson Osborne-the last named the business manager. About the close of the civil war the firm was changed into a corporation, under the title of the " Louisville Journal Company," of which Mr. Osborne became president, and Mr. W. H. Perrin secretary. In the winter of i 867-'68 Mr. Henderson purchased the stock of Mr. Osborne, who retired from the business management of the paper. A few months later Henderson bought out Prentice, and during the summer sold an interest to Mr. Henry Wat- 80 GEORGE D. PRENTICE. This page in the original text is blank. THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. terson, the present brilliant editor of the Courier-Journal. Thus the editorial and also the business control of the Jour- nal passed from the hands of its founder. Mr. Prentice was a native of Connecticut, and was born in New London County, December i8, i802. After prepar- ing for college he entered Brown University at the age of eighteen, and in i823 graduated with honors. Upon com- pleting his education he spent some time in teaching, and wrote occasional articles for the local press. His writings attracted considerable attention, and in 1828 he was offered and accepted a position as editor of the New England Re- view. He came to Kentucky in i830 to write the Life of Henry Clay. This led to the establishment of the Louis- ville Journal, and made Mr. Prentice a citizen of Kentucky. " His biography of Clay was written from the standpoint of strong partisanship, and scarcely had he finished it than he was persuaded by strong party leaders in Kentucky to estab- lish a new daily paper at Louisville in opposition to the Jackson Democracy." No newspaper published in Kentucky, perhaps none ever published south of the Ohio River, wielded an influence equal to that of the Louisville Journal. It built the city of Louisville, and gave an importance to the whole State it had never before possessed. When the Journal was established Louisville was a straggling village of a few thousand inhab. Casseday. 8i 8 HE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. itants. Describing it at a time when the Journal was in the full tide of its glory, the correspondent of a New York jour- nal said, "Louisville is situated on the south bank of the Ohio River, at the Falls, but it is significant for nothing except as the place where the Louisville Journal is pub- lished." And Prentice I Few men attained the fame as an editor that George D. Prentice did. In a memorial address delivered by Hon. Henry Watterson on the great journalist, he said: From i830 to i86i the influence of Prentice was perhaps greater than the influence of any political writer who ever lived. It was an influence directly positive and personal. It owed its origin to the union in his per- son of gifts which no one else had combined before him. He had to build upon an intellect naturally strong and practical, and this was trained by rigid scholarly culture. He was brave and aggressive, and though by no means quarrelsome he was as ready to fight as to write, and his lot was cast in a region where he had to do a good deal of both. By turns a statesman, a wit, a poet, a man of the world, and always a journalist, he gave the press of his country its most brilliant illustration, and has left to the State and to his progeny by oddl the lrgest reputation ever achicved by a newspaper writer. During the civil war Mr. Prentice was an unswerving Union man, and all his great energies were enlisted to avert the calamities of war and preserve the Government. He ' The writer of this article was intimately associated with Mr. Prentice in business from the fall of 1864 until the consolidation of the Journal and Courier, and unhesi- tatingly pronounces the absurd story going the rounds of the press some years ago that Mr. Prentice was bought by the Government, or entertained for a moment propositions from the Confederate Government, as absolutely false from beginning to end. No man in Kentucky was more truly loyal from the commencement of the war to its close than George D. Prentice. 82 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. failed in this, but there can be no doubt that the vast influ- ence he wielded through the Journal prevented the secession of Kentucky. In the long, desperate struggle that ensued between the North and South his fidelity to the Union never wavered. Notwithstanding his two sons, his only children, had entered the Confederate army, and many of his life-long friends were arrayed under the " Southern Cross," he stood firmly by the old flag and made a gallant fight. When the war closed he was pretty well broken down, his health and spirits were gone, the terrible battle he had fought had bat- tered his decaying tabernacle, and the twilight shadows were gathering around him. Many of his oldest and dear- est friends were dead or had slipped away, leaving him, as it were, the hero of a passage in his "Closing Year": The proud bird, The condor of the Andes, that can soar Through. hAve.n's "nfa.thom.ab!e depths, o- b-ra.:e The fury of the northern hurricane, And bathe his plumage in the thunder's home, Furls his broad wings at nightfall, and sinks down To rest upon his mountain crag. His wife, the companion of his youth, died in i868, and shortly after her decease the Journal passed into other hands. Although he continued to perform editorial work on the Courier-Journal at a liberal salary up to the time of his death, his heart was not in the work. fie died on the 2;d 83 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. of January, i870, at the country residence of his son, Col. Clarence J. Prentice, ten miles below Louisville, on the Ohio River, whither he had gone to spend the Christmas holidays. Upon the announcement of his death, great respect was paid to his memory throughout the country. The legislatures of Kentucky and Tennessee, in session at the time, adopted appropriate resolutions, pronouncing his death a " public bereavement." He was buried with "Masonic honors " in Cave Hill Cemetery, and there, on a sunny slope, he sleeps beside those he loved while living. Mr. Prentice survived his two great Louisville rivals, Shadrach Penn and John H. Harney. He lived to follow both to the tomb and to strew immortelles upon their graves. His memorial sketch of Penn was as touching as it was eloquent and pathetic. His notice of Mr. Harney's death closed with the following beautiful words: "Farewell, old friend! The green earth is above thy mortal body, but the ulue sky is no longer above thy immortal soul." The history of the Journal would be incomplete without a notice of the Couricr and the Democrat. The Courier was established in I844 by Mr. W. N. Haldeman, now president of the Courier-Journal Company. A paper had been started in i843 in Louisville by a company of printers, called the Daily Dime. This enterprise was not a financial success, and on the i ith of February, 1844, the Dime passed into the hands of Mr. Haldeman, who, on the 3d of June following, 84 TEE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS. changed it into the Morning Courier. Mr. Casseday, in his sketch of the Louisville press, says of Mr. Haldeman: " Hal- deman brought to his task inflexible will and indomitable energy. In the hands of almost any other man the paper would soon have emulated the example of many of its imme- diate predecessors. Haldeman did not know the meaning of failure. Adversity only fixed his determination more firmly, and urged him to increased effort. He fairly con- quered success in the face of all difficulties. He started out with the idea of making a newspaper, and his enterprise in this direction soon woke up the sleepy old journalists, not only of Louisville, but all over the West. As there were few railroads reaching this city, and, as the telegraph was yet unborn, the securing of news at the earliest possible moment was a matter of energy, enterprise, and expense. Haldeman spared none of these, and from the very start his paper was what is now called a 'live institution.' As an instance of his determination to spare no expense for the benefit of his readers, he sent, in i849, H. M. McCarty to Frankfort as resident correspondent, to remain during the Constitutional Convention which framed the present constitution of Ken- tucky. No paper in the State had ever before incurred the expense of a daily correspondent during the whole session of a legislative body." Up to the period of the civil war Mr. Haldeman had as partners, at different times, F. B. French, Wm. D. Gallagher, I; 85 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. Col. Reuben T. Durrett, and Maj. Walter G. Overton. The last-named gentleman was his partner when, in the summer of i86i, the Courier was suppressed for "disloyalty." At Bowling, Green Mr. Haldeman was requested by Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, commanding the Confederate army, to re- sume its publication, such being considered a necessity at the time. Kentucky was trembling in the political balance, and it was still a little uncertain upon which side of Mason and Dixon's line she would fall. In order to influence her decision and to retain its own identity, the Courier was dated at Bowling Green, but the type-setting and printing were done in Nashville, owing to the impossibility of secur- ing the proper mechanical facilities at the former place. Col. Robert McKee was stationed at Bowling Green as editor, while Mr. Haldeman took up his headquarters in Nashville to superintend publication. When the Confederate army fell back to Nashville, the Courier fell back with it, and continued to make its regular appearance. The Louisville- Bowling-Green-Nashville Courier, as it was facetiously called by the papers in the Federal lines, was probably as brilliant a success as journalistic annals afford. It at once became the favorite of the army and of the people of the South, and immediately attained a circulation limited only by its me- chanical ability to supply the demand. Extraordinary efforts were made to procure Northern papers, which were not then easily accessible, and voluminous extracts were made from 86 THE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS. them daily. No outlay was considered too great to secure these papers, and so perfect were the arrangements that up to the evacuation of Nashville scarcely a day but full files of papers from all the Northern cities were received at the Courier office. So perfect was the system that the military relied on the Courier for the most important intelligence outside of their lines." Upon the restoration of peace Mr. Haldeman returned to Louisville, and, at the urgent request of many of his old friends and of prominent citizens of the city and State, he, on the 4th of December, i865, recom- menced the publication of the Courier. The Louisville Democrat was established in i843 by Phineas M. Kent, of New Albany, Ind. He was aided by subscriptions from James Guthrie and other leading Demo- crats of Louisville and Kentucky. The object of the paper was to advocate the claims of the Democracy in the Presi- dential campaign of i844, then opening, and it went vig- orously into the contest. Mr. Kent did not fulfill all the requirements of the party leaders, and in a short time the paper was purchased by Mr. John H. Harney, who remained its editor until his death in i868. Shortly after the purchase of the paper, Mr. Harney took into partnership William E. and Thomas P. Hughes. The latter soon retired, but Wil- liam Hughes remained with the paper, and under the firm- title of Harney Hughes published it until absorbed by the Courier-Journal combination. Historical Sketch of the Courier-Journal. 87 88TE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. Mr. Harney was a man of education and ability and broad and statesmanlike views. He had no experience in journalism when he took charge of the Democrat, and a less courageous man, with George D. Prentice in front of him, would have quailed. But Harney soon became a prominent politician and recognized leader of his party. His style was strong, forcible, and correct, and he wrote to convince, and went about it in the most direct manner. His party ac- knowledged his services, and he held his leading position without any attempt at rivalry from any source. A wordy warfare sometimes prevailed between him and Prentice, but Mr. Prentice always entertained the most unbounded respect for him, and personally they were warm friends. Such is a brief sketch of the three papers combined in the Louisville Courier-Journal, a newspaper recognized as the ablest south of the Ohio River, and as one of the most influential published in the United States. It probably con- trois the general sentiment throughout a larger extent of country than any other newspaper in existence. In the South and Southwest it wields a power never before attained in the history of the press, except by Prentice's Journal. No event in the newspaper history of Louisville or Kentucky created the surprise and interest that did the consolidation of the Journal and the Courier. It took place on the 8th of November, i868, a few days after the Presidential election, and the history of the paper under its present title is well 88 THE PIONEER NE WSPAPER PRESS. known. Its editor, Mr. Watterson, is one of the ablest in the country, and is a worthy successor of the talented Prentice. Walter N. Haldeman, the president of the Courier-Jour- nal Company, has but few equals in the business manage- ment of a newspaper. Few men living, except himself, could have taken the Courier-Journal at the time of the consolida- tion and carried it successfully through the many difficulties that surrounded it, and made it the great newspaper it is to-day. He is a writer of more than ordinary ability; but it is as a financier and practical business man that he has been most useful to the Courier-Journal in securing to it the prosperity it enjoys and the prominent position it occupies among the great newspapers of the country. So "endeth the chapter" on the pioneer press of Ken. tucky. Although it can scarcely be claimed that the Cou- rier-Journal belongs to the pioneer press, yet, being com- prised in part of the old Journal, the second daily issued in the State, a brief sketch of it could not be omitted. It was thought, in designing this article, that it would be appropri- ate to close it with an account of the establishment of the daily press, and so it concludes for the present, but may be resumed at some future time, and a sketch given of the " modern " press. 89 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. NOTE. Since the foregoing paper was placed in the hands of the printers Dr. Richard Henry Collins, the historian, and long editor of the Maysville Eagle, also an active member of the Filson Club, has died. A committee of the Club, appointed to prepare a memorial paper, presented the follow- ing, which was unanimously adopted by the Club and ordered filed with the records: TO THE PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF THE FILSON CLUB: Your committee begs leave to report the following: It is not always the most of worth that has the most of real attention, and the quiet and unostentatious burial of our friend was in keeping with his whole life, and, had they been expressed, of his real wishes. Not an orator in the usual sense, nor a statesman, and never a military man, he never sought a place in the public eye; and yet few of more famous men held so warm a place in as many hearts. Born at Maysville, Ky., on the 4th of May, 1824, he gave to his beloved Commonwealth and to mankind the most of the sixty-four years of what we call life, but which God and the angels probably know of as only life's probation. Son of the historian of 1847, Judge Lewis Collins, it is not strange to say that the mantle of the "ascended prophet" and sire fell upon him. Few men in any State or country ever devoted such labored and exhaustive -esearch to a work which msaat nLecesisy bce local in its scope and limited in its compensative returns. In the matter of court depositions or the early periods alone, or, in so small a matter as to who was the first white child born in the present State limits, he gave an attention and attained to an accuracy which before we had only expected in the field of the microscope. It was for Filson to lay the " mudsills " of Kentucky history where no man had before broken ground; it was for Marshall to make a commentary go THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. rather than a history of the times of Kentucky before and during his day; but in the two volumes of Richard Henry Collins (of i874) there is a mine of Kentucky history, from which other and later historians, however labo- rious, careful, and original, must dig, and to which they will be careful to point as original authority in many matters now passed into the graves of the pioneers and the oblivion of time, save as kept alive in his pages. When the venerable Dr. Christopher Columbus Graham, then far on the way which was at last a century long, gave him a list of the pioneer sta- tions of the then Kentucky County of Virginia, his amazement must be imagined when met with a reply letter from Mr. Collins, giving him another list of stations that he, the pioneer doctor, had never heard of, and asking for information in matters of which he was then for the first time informed. Dr. Graham's letter still exists, with a thousand more written from every part of America, where representatives of old Kentucky families had located. So extensively was the research carried, even in the details of construction in old buildings and special sketches of men and things, that the old gentleman at once grew restless if any later searcher for truth hap- pened to stumble upon or by patient search to find any single item that he had missed. One of the members of this committee who has had ten years' experi- ence in historical research can most truly and sincerely testify to the great labor Dr. Collins bestowed upon his history of Kentucky. It was a hercu- lean task, and faithfully and truly he performed it. The day must come when his book will be more highly prized than it is now, and the work required in its preparation be appreciated as it deserves; nay, when it will be classed as one of the most valuable of all Kentucky histories. Dr. Collins was unselfish as the sunshine and the rain, and alike liberal. In one case he sat down for days to rcau dic proofs and correct errors in a work that was, in a sense, the rival of his own (Hon. Z. F. Smith's). In this he expected no compensation, but stood aside to welcome the new his- torian with the first kindly words, and accepted with warm thanks a copy of the rival book. One who was with him in the last of his days in Louisville testifies that he never heard him express envy or jealousy, nor any feeling unworthy of 9I 9THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. a large and liberal soul. Yet this was in a time when he was arranging to part with his fine library, that it had been the pride of his life to collect, and his closest companion after the death of his beloved wife and the mar- riage of his children. As he said to one of the members of this committee, " In laying down this tool that my brain and hand have used so long, I feel that I am giving place altogether to other men. I am not pained that they should take it, for they are worthy, but only to feel that my life-work ends with this consent to part with these old friends, my books." He was a gentleman in the best sense of that much-abused word. In the very last week of his stay in this city, before going to the western home of a well-loved daughter to die, he engaged to prepare an index for Rev. Dr. Edward P. Humphrey's History of the Presbyterian Church, and neither had any premonition that the other stood on the very verge of eter- nity. This, too, Dr. Collins expected to do " without money and without price." On the last occasion that one of these writers ever saw him, there sat a lady in his room receiving the accurate legal advice that he could give so well, and, as usual, without fee; and when asked why he did not make this a source of revenue, he said, " Why, I never charged a poor person a dollar in my life for legal help, and you really don't think, do you, that I could begin now " He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and had more than once filled the eldership with profit to the church and honor to him- celf He Smi asfte rcrnve to hiesIst prayer mec:.ng this city, " I have never gotten over the feeling of great responsibility in leading the public devotions of a congregation, nor the deep sense of my own unworthiness for such duty." The files of his old Maysville Eagle from 1845 to i85o, and again from x857, prove his ability as an editor; as dn his arenunt books, with many an entry uncredited, his patience with his debtors. Also, at the bar of Cincin- nati, while he lived in Covington, it may be said that he only failed to be eminent because he would not take the pains to be rich. His capacity and taste for research made him in law, as in history, one of the most accurate of men. His modesty was so great that he never asked for the parchment of his honorary degree, and friends passed years with him without know. 92 THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER PRESS. ing that he held the LL.D. of a great Texas college. He refused a nomi- nation for the legislature when in young manhood, and in a day when Congress and Governorship lay beyond the swinging door. He has often made, but seldom unmade, even when they deserved it, the reputations of statesmen now better known than himself. He has handed down to all time the fame of generals and soldiers, who with little thought have long since passed him in their upward flight. Quick to speak, and as quick to repent when convinced that he was in error; generous beyond his means; devoted to his friends, as Jonathan was to David, and as unselfishly so; brave as a lion, without his cruelty; gentle as a woman, without weakness, we may still honor him and hope to meet him where, "Beyond these voices, there is peace." Your committee, in conclusion, would recommend the adoption of the following resolutions: WHEREAS, An All-wise Ruler has, in His infinite wisdom, seen fit to remove our worthy friend, brother, and co-laborer Richard Henry Collins from this transitory existence to a life of joy and peace and glory beyond the grave; therefore, Resolved, That in the death of Dr. Collins the Filson Club has lost a zealous member and a tireless and patient worker, the State a useful and vnulable citizen, and the church a bright s shinuiig itng . Resolved, That as a tribute of respect to our deceased member, this memorial paper be preserved among the records of the Filson Club, and a copy of the same be presented to the family of the deceased. All of which is respectfully submitted. WILLIAM HENRY PERRIN, HENRY WHITNEY CLEVELAND, Committee. 93