First Press in the Kansas Territory
Kansas Weekly Herald
September 15, 1854
By Osborn & Adams, Vol. 1, No. 1. The Kansas Herald is published every Friday morning by Wm. J. Osborn and Wm. H. Adams. Publication office in Herald Building, on Levee, 2 doors below Corner Broadway.
Introductory. The establishment of the first press in a Territory is always an important and interesting event; and this we feel to be peculiarly so, in the establishment of one in the Territory of Kansas. We commence our efforts under a combination of circumstances, peculiarly interesting and exciting, and therefore great wisdom, prudence and moderation are indispensable in conducting a press at this time and in this place; more, indeed, of these qualities are needed than we profess to have. At the same time, the qualities of truth, honesty and firmness were never more requisite on the part of journalists than at this time....
We are Democrats, and will advocate and defend the well established and long tried principles of that democracy which has conducted our country to the elevated station she holds among the nations of the earth....We will also defend to the utmost of our abilities the constitution, the laws and the institutions of our country....We will, therefore, oppose all fanatical and factious movements, in every quarter -- of every name and every pretext, that opposes itself to that constitution, those laws and institutions.
Subscribing with all our hearts to the true and safe democratic doctrine, that the majority shall rule, that its will and decisions shall be the supreme law of the land -- we will oppose steadfastly all endeavors to counteract the same, and count those as enemies who will not submit thereto, when legally and constitutionally declared.... -- Osborn & Adams.
Our Paper and Ourselves. We have no apologies to make for the appearance of our paper, as we flatter ourselves that it needs none. We are certainly fortunate in that respect, commencing as we have done with new material, new press and without access to any other printing office. All the type of the present number of the Herald has been set under an elm tree in the city of Leavenworth. Ourselves and our compositors have been, like the Patriarchs of old, "dwellers in tents" for the last two weeks. During that time we have had almost every variety of weather, heat and cold, rain and dazzling sunshine, mists, fogs and thunderstorms. In addition to these duties and difficulties, we have packed wood, built fires, cooked for ourselves, fought mosquitoes, and slept on prairie hay on the ground. We have at the same time superintended the building of a substantial office, which is now nearly completed, and done our best to entertain and give information to the crowds of visitors who have thronged our young city. Our selections have been made, our editorials written, our proof read, sitting on the ground with a big shingle on our knee for a table. Think of this, ye editors, in your easy chairs and well furnished sanctums, and cease to grumble.
We had the pleasure...of a visit from our friends, Samuel J. Finch, editor of the Weston Reporter, and Ira F. Bird, Esq., in our sanctum sanctorum. They appeared very much astonished at our office...under an elm tree, but they seemed very much pleased with our "black bottle."
Town of Leavenworth....It was originally taken up, or claimed, by citizens of Missouri about the last of May 1854, immediately after the passage of the "Douglas Kansas and Nebraska Bill." The original claimants supposed that there would eventually be a town at Fort Leavenworth, and they desired to get as near said town as possible. Several other squatters immediately settled around and back of them. There was a variety of conflicting claims as to the time their separate claims were made. It was soon ascertained that Fort Leavenworth would probably not be abandoned as a military post for a number of years....
Article ID 3055