Articles in database from Topeka Commonwealth: 139
By Henry King. Number 1457.
The New Commonwealth -- Today we present to our readers and the state of Kansas the largest and handsomest newspaper ever printed on Kansas soil. It contains 36 columns of reading matter and advertisements, and is printed on paper 28 by 44 inches in dimensions. All of the material is new and chosen with an eye single to symmetry and general good appearance of a journal we are certain a practical printer will delight to look upon....
On the night of the 19th of October the office of The Commonwealth and all its contents were destroyed by fire. By the prompt kindness of our friends, we were enabled to make our regular appearance without missing a single issue, but in a comparatively curtailed and meager form.
Our aim is to issue in the capital of our young state, noted for its journalistic enterprise and liberality, a newspaper which shall on all hands be conceded to be fairly representative of the best we can do in the line of newspaper making in the West....
Where We Are -- Know all men by these presents that we have removed. We have quit carrying our office in our hat, and no longer edit our paper in one part of town, set it up in another, and print it in a third....We have leased and fitted up for our express use the Merriam building of Kansas Avenue, near the corner of Fifth, where we are now at home....
Senator V. P. Wilson has purchased the Times, published in north Topeka. Mr. Wilson is an accomplished journalist. We part with Capt. Admire reluctantly.
The papers heretofore served with the dispatches of the American Associated Press, in consequence of the consolidation of the Atlantic & Pacific telegraph lines with the Western Union, now receive their telegraphic news over the latter, which they have denounced with such wealth of vituperation as an "abominable monopoly." It must be some consolation to them, however, to know that their facilities for receiving news are just as meager as ever, as they are confined to the use of the lines of the defunct Atlantic & Pacific, which amount to about one-twelfth the aggregate length of the old Western Union lines at the service of the New York, western and northwestern press organizations and their connections.
Commonwealth Job Rooms. In fitting up a first class printing office, not the least difficulty experienced is to secure such a jobbing outfit as is suitable for the work which is called for in the place where the office is located....Skill, taste and a knowledge of the wants of the business community are all required to select such type, etc., as may meet every requirement, and yet not fall into the very common error of getting a large lot of material very rarely used....In the case of the Commonwealth office, the whole job room had to be selected....In this, as in the news room, the well-known taste of Capt. King was exercised....For the past two weeks, Capt. Price and his corps of assistants have been busily engaged in putting in cases and preparing for use about 300 fonts of job type of the latest styles....New and improved presses have also been selected and are now ready for use. In addition,...we have borders and ornamental designs, cuts, and every conceivable article of taste or utility....
Our new steam newspaper press is now in full operation, and those who would like to see the finest piece of machinery in the state are cordially invited to call. This press was built to order...by the celebrated Potter Press Company of Norwich, Conn. It is the largest, fastest and handsomest press ever brought west of the Mississippi River. Although weighing about 10 tons, it runs as easily and gracefully as a sewing machine.
The weekly Commonwealth for the current week was issued yesterday, and without egotism we may say that it is a model newspaper in every respect, and the largest ever issued in the West. It contains 38 columns of solid reading matter, comprising editorials on a variety of subjects, telegraph news from everywhere, special dispatches from Washington regarding Kansas matters, general news items from all parts of the world, correspondence from leading cities and towns, full reports of the proceedings of the legislature up to this date, besides a large amount of select miscellany, with a little poetry thrown in occasionally to relieve the monotony and secure for our paper the patronage of sentimental individuals who won't read anything else....
How the Editor Reads His Paper, from the Danbury News:
"The sensations of an editor on first glancing over his paper and detecting errors in it are somewhat different from those experienced by the reader on making like discoveries. The latter is either amused at the blunder or incensed at the carelessness which caused it, and in both cases arrives at the conclusion that the trouble is avoidable, and that the editor is to blame for not avoiding it.
"He never saw an editor take his first glance over a copy of the edition. Perhaps the edition is worked off when this opportunity is offered the weary man. He has either trusted the proofs to someone else, or read them himself, but the feeling of dread is just as great in the latter as in the former case. The proofreader may not consult the copy, and so perpetuate the blunders of the compositor, and perhaps the compositor may neglect to undo the wrong he has done, although his attention is plainly called to it on the proof.
"When about to make this preparatory survey, the editor does not take a cigar in his mouth and elevate his heels to the desk, as is the popular tradition. Dying men don't do that way, you know, and we have come to the conclusion that an editor examining his paper feels very much like a man who is about to pass into eternity.
"He reads along carefully and slowly, like a man feeling his way across a piece of doubtful ice. Suddenly, his face becomes distorted with an awful pain. He doesn't cry out; he doesn't rant; the anguish within him is so broad and deep, and intense, that he dares not trust it to words. He just simply reaches up and takes a handful of his own hair and tugs at it until the tears come to his eyes. Then he picks up the paper, which he has taken the precaution to kick across the room on discovering the error, and resumes the torturing search; for after all it is but a search for errors and agony, and not an agreeable and instructive perusal.
"Suddenly he groans -- not an expectant groan like from one who hopes for help to reach him through it, but the groan of one who is beyond the reach of hope, who feels that the warm sunshine, the kind glance of friendship, the beautiful flowers and the song of the birds are gone forever and forever from him. It is a smothered groan accompanied by a kick out of the leg, as if the party had in that moment taken an eternal leave of all things earthly. There is still another search with aching eyes and throbbing brain, and then the paper is smashed down on the floor, and the infuriated man bounds up from his chair and dances around like a madman. He doesn't call upon heaven and earth to witness what he is going to do, and to blight him if he should not do it. He doesn't dash into the composing room and scorch the men with his wrath. Even this slight relief is denied him. The paper is worked off and the scrutiny that would cheerfully attack a needle in a haystack would fall paralyzed before a search for the author of the great wrong. He doesn't say anything at all; not a single intelligible word escapes his ashen lips as he holds his hair and prances about in the dingy solitude of his room. And when he is done, he sits down and groans, and afterwards puts on his hat and rushes forth into the street, rushes anywhere to get away from himself and everything belonging to him."
The Messenger is the name of a new paper just issued at Dodge City, Ford County, by A. W. Moore. This enterprising city has long needed a home paper....
The first number of the Hays City Sentinel reached us yesterday. It is a No. 1 paper in more than one respect, having 6 columns to the page, well made up, and beautifully printed.
The Atchison Champion...has a large absorbing capacity. First it swallowed up the presses and material of the Free Press. Now Col. Martin has purchased all the visible property of the deceased Globe, and is prepared to publish a first-class quarto daily whenever the railroad center shall grow up to such a venture....
The Journal of Commerce of Kansas City has completed its 20th year as a weekly, and its 17th as a daily, and celebrates in a way characteristic with old and prosperous newspapers. It puts on a new dress....The Journal's longevity and appearance of financial health are proof of the comfortable and reassuring fact that it pays to publish a well written and printed newspaper, fair and decorous in tone, and republican in politics, even in the democratic stronghold of western Missouri....Col. Van Horn and Mr. Moore still remain its managers and publishers.
The state printer has issued his edict declaring that for the next year the syllabi of supreme court decisions shall be published in the Kansas Farmer. We don't know why lawyers and others who are specially interested in the supreme court decisions should be forced to...subscribe for an exclusively agricultural paper to get the syllabi, but we suppose the mind of the state printer is perfectly clear on that point....We take it for granted, however, that there is no law or official edict in force which prohibits us from publishing these syllabi without any cost to the state, and...the syllabi of all supreme court decisions will appear in the Commonwealth as heretofore.
The Observer of Nature is the title of a small paper just issued from the state university in Lawrence.
We have received from the publishers, J. P. Ennis & Co., Topeka, a copy of the second edition of the Kansas Advertiser and Western Guide.
About Editorial Excursions. We notice that our brethren of the press are talking up the inevitable annual excursion, to take place after their convention at Fort Scott in May. The destination seems to be nem con fixed at Galveston, Texas, and the only obstacle that gives pause to the pencil shoving itinerant is a not very oppressing doubt that "arrangements" can be perfected.
These arrangements we suppose to be free transportation over the railroads, nominal charges for sleeping cars, a public reception at the end of their journey, a civic banquet and ball, free accommodations at the hotels, a free hack ride, a free steamboat excursion on the bay and -- we were going to add free whiskey, but the Kansas press is a unit in favor of the crusade and will, we believe, stand proof against the most persistent liquid seduction.
There is something, we regret to say, surpassingly meritorious and peculiarly delightful in editorial computation in all this. The middlemen accuse the grangers of being an organized principle to get something for nothing. We would rejoice to think that such a charge might not justly lie at the editorial door.
It does seem as if the average newspaper man would go to more trouble to be counted in on a "free blow" than the most ardent Christian to be saved. They do get something for nothing in these gratuitous journeyings which they do not count on. They get a very unenviable name as a class of mendicants and chronic and brazen dead-heads.
The power to see ourselves as others see us, whose absence the poet lamented, is not conferred upon us in this instance to show us that we are freely and abundantly entertained, not as much through hospitality as fear. The railroad companies, in the first place, conclude that it is a cheap way to purchase immunity from criticism; to buy us in a bunch, as it were, as Andy Wilson buys longhorns.
And the locality on which we confer the sweet boon of our collective presence turns out to receive us, and entertains us sumptuously, free of expense, that when we return home we may "o'ergreen their bad" rather than we shall their "good allow." It pays more to prevent newspapers from abusing them than to have them puff them.
On this principle of "stand and deliver" are our annual excursions founded, and we submit that it is not creditable to the goodly company of journalists. From a number of favorable notices copied into the Holton Express, which may be said to have constituted itself the organ of the excursion, we find the following bit of refreshing candor from the Kansas City News:
"The Kansas editors contemplate a raid on Texas the coming season....The railroads will, of course, surrender at discretion, and the conquering horde (conquering horde is good) will subsist upon the country as they advance."
Another paper cautiously suggests to the enthusiastic excursionists: "The time it would take and the arrangements that can be made are to be considered."
Now we do not want to be considered a churlish Pharisee, and we cannot assume virtuous airs in this respect, since we ourselves have been hearty partakers in previous excursions. But we, in company with a great many of our fellow workers in the state, have never been clear on either the good sense, good taste and, we might add, rational enjoyment of these excursions.
An independent press should not, we insist, be deprived of the inalienable right of every American freeman of paying his way. If we do have an excursion, let us do at least like other bodies of reputable citizens, arrange for excursion rates, and pay our own hotel bills. It is not to our credit as a class that we should insist upon gratuities as our due, when we certainly have no more right to ride free and eat without paying for it than any other reputable, hard working class of society, who have not the vantage ground of a newspaper to abuse a railroad or a hotel for non-compliance.
Like surprise parties, or ministerial donation bees, these excursion visitants always leave an unpleasant remembrance behind them, or take one away with them. We entertained the Illinois editors in Topeka, and made wry faces over the deficit after the subscription had been exhausted and our visitors were gone.
Cities hope that such incursions may resemble angel visits, in one essential respect. Galveston has already been raided, as the Kansas City News puts it, by congress, by the Kansas legislature and the eastern agricultural editors; a descent of the Kansas editorial fraternity would fill their cup to overflowing.
It would be an incontestable relief to them, however, to receive word that they need not ask the council for an appropriation, or put down their names on a subscription paper, as the Kansas editors came to form just conclusions to enjoy themselves like ordinary citizens, to foot their own bills, and to say what they pleased when they returned home.
It is not an excursion to Galveston, or to the moon, to which we object, but this spirit of cheeky dead-headism which has come to be recognized as the ruling characteristic of the newspaper business, and which has branded a decent calling with disgrace. (Henry King, editor)
Col. S. S. Prouty, who recently returned from "a hurried tour through Texas," has decided to remove to the Lone Star State, having made arrangements to assume command of the sprightly Dallas Commercial....
Several daily newspapers have already approved our wish to remove the approach of chronic dead-headism from the newspaper business by paying our way at any future editorial excursions we may agree upon. The last issue of the Junction City Tribune gives its voice and vote in the same direction in the following paragraph: "We are glad to see that some of the papers oppose it, and the Topeka Commonwealth goes so far as to suggest that the editors secure excursion rates, pay their own hotel bills, and travel on the same basis other citizens do. We second the motion. No dead-head for us. What we can't pay for we don't want."
The Lawrence Tribune has re-appeared after an intermission of several days. We understand that John Hutchings has satisfied all claims against the paper....
Letter from McPherson: In my last I mentioned the fact that the grangers were making arrangements to start another paper in this county. Last Monday the committee appointed by the county council of grangers entered into contract with U. A. Albin of the Augusta Republican (now suspended) to remove his office to this county and publish a paper in the interests of the farmers' movement. The Farmers' Advocate is the probable name of the embryo paper....
...Editors and Publishers Association of the State of Kansas. A meeting of the officers will be held at the office of T. D. Thacher in Lawrence on Friday, the first day of May, A.D. 1874, at 3 o'clock p.m. for the transaction of such business as may be then presented....The following are the officers: President, T. D. Thacher; vice presidents, B. J. F. Hanna, P. H. Tiernan, Louis Walker and Frank Root; secretary, W. R. Spooner, by appointment of the president, vice J. S. Wilson resigned; treasurer, W. H. Chalfant.
The Leavenworth Call has succumbed to the stress of penury and the veto and has temporarily suspended. Since Legate took hold of this newspaper, it has contained some vigorous and original writing, and deserves at least to live. It labored under the disadvantage, however, of being printed in a town where there was one too many newspapers, and the question was which was the one. The Call, by its suspension, has answered it, and friend Legate will return to his potato drill and subsoil plow a better if not a wiser man.
"The reports circulated in Topeka and elsewhere, to the effect that Mr. Pangborn has retired from the Kansas department of the Times, are without foundation in fact." -- Kansas City Times. We are glad of it. If this rumor had been true, the sprightliness of fancy, and freedom and fervor of imagination that would have been lost to our politics would have been irreparable. "Pang" has, by his inestimable powers of invention, made the dull movements of Kansas politics as thrillingly interesting as a New York Ledger story....
St. Louis -- W. R. Spooner of the Garnett Plaindealer, the avant courier of the Kansas editorial excursion party, is here arranging for a visit to this city of the members of the Kansas editorial convention which is to meet at Fort Scott May 26. The party will remain here two days, and it is not altogether unlikely that the citizens of St. Louis will notice their stay in some formal manner.
The Kansas editors meet at Fort Scott in annual convention on the 26th and propose to have a good talk, a free and thorough comparison of notes, to pass some resolutions probably, to listen to a home-made poem, and an oration for editors and all about things that interest editors. When the feast of reason has concluded, the slaves of the faber will try their unaccustomed legs in the mazy dance, perhaps, and break bread together at a banquet. This will conclude the exercises proper of the editorial convention. Up to this point it has been a business meeting and quite arduous and exhausting, so to unbend and recreate they propose going on a little excursion to St. Louis....We are glad that it is authoritatively announced that we are to pay our way and that, though we may bargain for reduced rates on account of numbers, we are not on the lookout for a "free blow." The Commonwealth, in calling attention to this feature of editorial excursions, has been heartily sustained by the members of the press throughout the state. One good thing will be accomplished by the operation of this rule; it will freeze out a multitude of bogus newspaper men who every year inflict themselves on us because there is little if anything to pay....
The Oskaloosa Independent comes to us this week in an entire new dress....An original serial story is commenced in the current issue, being a tale of Kansas past and present....F. H. Roberts is now associated with his father, J. W. Roberts, in the editorial and business management of the paper.
M. W. Reynolds has sold the Parsons Sun to Captain G. C. West and proposes to retire from the business, sustained and cheered by the assurance that the Sun is a "fixed fact."
The Commonwealth now reaches Leavenworth on the morning train from Topeka, in time to be read at a not very late breakfast. This gives the citizens of the metropolis a chance to obtain a first-class daily in good season.
Editorial Manners. To our mind, one of the aptest and most suggestive portions of Mr. Burke's graceful and forcible address before the editorial convention at Fort Scott is that wherein he refers to the manner in which members of the fraternity treat one another in their papers.
We are none of us totally exempt from the criticism of being at times unfair and unjust with our brethren. It is so much easier to say a man is a fool and his paper a fraud than to answer his arguments or give him due credit for skill and enterprise.
We like to be smart; we are nothing if not critical, and no other profession in the world holds so much of discreditable envy and uncharitableness. Mr. Burke is correct when he declares that we are our own worst enemies. If we do not treat one another with common candor and decency, we cannot expect the public to serve us any better.
To keep continually decrying rival editors and papers when we know they are a credit to the state and the profession is simply biting at our own noses to spite our own faces. And yet this rule is a prevailing one in Kansas. For example, any man who knows anything about newspapers knows that no eastern city of five times the size of Topeka has as large and good a paper in every respect as the Commonwealth; and still hardly a week passes that some splenetic exchange doesn't say that it is of "no account" and is managed by numbskulls.
And there is an obscure sheet printed here in Topeka -- a paper whose existence is a standing proof that brains are not essential to life, whatever Shakespeare may have thought about it -- which makes a regular business of copying all these little flings. The writing of such stuff in the first place is contemptible enough, but the copying of it, out of pure malice, is about the lowest and dirtiest and cowardliest thing to which a man in the newspaper business is ever known to descend.
What we have said of our own paper may be truthfully said of dozens of other papers in the state of equal excellence in their way. The truth is, the Kansas press, with a few such exceptions as the one we have cited, is more creditable than that of any other state of the union; and it is not only our duty, but should be our pleasure also, to do ourselves justice, and treat one another according to our true deserts -- neither sparing censure where it is really called for, nor withholding compliment when it is actually merited. (Henry King)
Having purchased the entire interest of Capt. Henry King and H. T. Beman in the Commonwealth Printing Company, I hereby assume and will hereafter control its interests in every respect. I have retained Capt. Henry King as editor in chief, and feel that I am fortunate in securing the services of so able and popular a journalist....The business management of the paper will be under my own immediate control....I shall devote my energies and what talents I possess to the introduction of such measures of internal economy as will further and insure success.... -- George W. Veale.
...It will be unquestionably of benefit to the Commonwealth, for it furnishes that element without which no permanent success is ever achieved in these times of panics, a careful and capable business management backed by an abundance of means. It is not intended to at all change the relationship of those who have labored to make the Commonwealth what it is, or to subordinate the editorial to the business management....In behalf of the management, we wish to bear testimony to the arduous and self-sacrificing labors of Capt. Henry King....He has given it the benefit of his ripe journalistic experience and judgment and has performed an incalculable amount of literary drudgery to make it what it is....It is the dearest object of his life to make the Commonwealth a live, reliable, decorous journal, in which the best and most intelligent public sentiment on all affairs of popular interest shall find expression....
The Ottawa Journal is for sale on reasonable terms.
Snow, Melius & Bain is the style of the new Lawrence Tribune firm.
The Farmer's Advocate is the name of a new paper to be started at McPherson.
With the last issue of the Jewell Centre Monitor, Frank B. Kirk goes out and W. P. Henderson goes in.
We have received several copies of the Elk City Courant, the new paper published by Clark & Steinbarger.
The Cawker City Sentinel has been moved to Phillipsburg.
J. A. Hoisington, editor of the Great Bend Register, goes to Iowa this week, leaving W. H. Odell in charge.
In the last number of the Wichita Beacon, Fred Sowers bids farewell to its readers and introduces Milton Gabel as the future director of its destiny.
The Fourth of July witnessed the appearance at Augusta of a new weekly paper called the Southern Kansas Advance, edited by C. H. Kurtz.
Some young swashbuckler undertook to cane Bro. Griffin of the Manhattan Nationalist for something which had appeared in his paper....The assault, as such usually are, was a cowardly one and, if the friends of the assailant had given B. F. room according to this strength and valor, the tables would have been turned and the caner caned....The old gentleman is nobody's chicken in a free fight and...the sort of person that goes around with a cudgel hunting editors to macerate wants to give him a wide berth. The venerable Griffin talks from the shoulder in his last issue on the subject: "Fighting is not our occupation. We care nothing for the barking of puppies -- either two or four-legged -- but we feel able to defend ourself; and, when we are not, are ready to take the consequences. Although never beginning a fuss, we are not a non-combatant, and want it distinctly understood that we hold ourself personally responsible to any and all persons, at all times, and under all circumstances, for everything we ever have or may hereafter say, think or do."
Our Libel Suit. As stated in the associated press dispatches, one James Rogers, a Burlingame lawyer and politician of the old Kansas regime, whom we recently helped to a somewhat unenviable notoriety, has sued the Commonwealth for libel, appraising the damages to his character and the laceration of his feelings at $20,000, with interest and costs to suit. We have sent to the district clerk of Osage County for copies of all papers in the case, until the receipt of which we refrain from further comment than this: that we shall endeavor to supply Mr. Rogers with a character before the termination of these proceedings, in regard to which there cannot be the slightest question.
The publisher of the Grasshopper Falls Grasshopper, Mr. Huron, has purchased the New Era, of the same place, and they will be merged into one weekly publication. This will be largely to the pecuniary benefit of the new journal, which is to be called the Grasshopper and New Era.
We heard...of the appointment of Jacob Stotler, editor of the Emporia News, to the post office of his town....We happen to know that the nomination was made without Stotler's intervention, and as a slight testimonial of the personal and political appreciation in which he is held by his party friends....
James L. King, city editor of the Commonwealth, left yesterday for a short visit to friends in Illinois, and to rest from his summer work.
J. L. Goode has assumed the editorial control of the Girard Press.
J. Frank McDowell has purchased the old Cherokee Pharos office and moved it to Columbus.
"Col. S. S. Prouty has returned to the Commonwealth, and intends to make a tour of the state, reporting all the notable political meetings of the campaign. Everybody in the state knows Prouty and everybody will be glad to learn of his return to the 'state paper'...." -- Leavenworth Times.
The Times is the title of a new weekly published at Lyndon, Osage County. It is not very large, but is chuck full of spice.
E. F. Campbell and A. L. Fuller will commence the publication of the Solomon Gazette at Solomon City....Mr. Campbell has long experience as a publisher....Both the publishers are also good practical printers.
One year ago this morning, the Commonwealth office lay in a heap of ashes and fallen walls. The occurrence is well remembered by our citizens. Today, through the pluck, energy and perseverance of the proprietors of this paper, it stands foremost among the daily newspapers of the state, with a better office, larger circulation, greater advertising patronage, and firmer financial standing than ever before....
Libel suits have been brought against W. M. Allison, editor of the Cowley County Telegram, and his paper has been discontinued by reason of them.
Independence has three newspapers, all of which present thrifty appearances and seem to be doing well. The Kansan is a "reform" paper edited and published by W. H. Watkins. The Tribune is Republican and is published by W. T. and C. Yoe. The Democrat is, as its name indicates, a democratic sheet....It is published by T. W. and T. B. Peacock. To a newspaper man, the Tribune seems to be the best sustained and the most prosperous paper....
E. W. Hoch has become the proprietor of the Marion County Record, having purchased the paper of C. S. Triplett.
The Garnett Plaindealer has been revived by S. H. Dodge, late of the Burlington Patriot.
We have received the first number of the Lyndon daily Times, published at Lyndon, Osage County. The Times is a small sheet but it is red hot and just full of true republicanism.
The initial number of the Chase County Courant has been received. It is published by Martin & Timmons.
Allison has resumed the publication of the Cowley County Telegram which was suspended a couple of weeks ago.
J. H. Scott of the Osage Mission Journal called to see us. The Journal was the first paper started on the Osage lands, in 1868, and has been steadily improving.
We are indebted to the publishers for a copy of the new paper at Winfield, called the Plow and Anvil....The editor is J. M. Alexander....
From the Chicago Tribune
A curious and very interesting libel suit has just been tried in Kansas, which is creating great excitement throughout the state and, from the prominence of the parties concerned, is invested with much more than local importance. The parties to the suit were Judge Lecompte and D. R. Anthony, editor of the Leavenworth Times, the former (Lecompte) having brought the suit for libel on account of certain charges preferred against him in the columns of the latter's (Anthony's) paper.
**It will be remembered that Judge Lecompte, in the days of "bleeding Kansas," figured as a border ruffian and, as judge of the territorial court, created for himself a rather unsavory reputation as a judicial ally of the slaveholders and, according to the official reports of the congressional committee of investigation, took a prominent part in the suppression and expulsion of abolitionists and the defense of the border ruffians who were arrested for disturbances of the public peace and offenses even more serious.
For years past, however, Judge Lecompte has been a republican and the recognized leader of one of the factions of the republican party. As Mr. Anthony...has been for a long time the leader of another faction, a bitter personal enmity has existed between the two, which has been manifested on every opportune occasion during the past three years. As time went on, the bitterness increased. Mr. Anthony had the advantage in controlling a newspaper, and at last provoked the suit by the publication of the alleged libel in his columns, the principal parts of which were:
Lecompte, true to his instincts and the tyrannical reputation he bears for crimes committed in the dark days of 1854, '55, '56 and '57.
Judge Lecompte was the most obsequious of the federal appointments in Kansas.
He went to such extremes that his name became infamous, and is today execrated by the friends of humanity throughout the country.
Judge S. D. Lecompte, who declared the Lawrence hotel a nuisance, and the judge who tried and cleared Fugitt, was in attendance.
These charges the Times now alleges were published with the full conviction that every word was true, and the editor is now justifying himself, in the public estimation at least, by publishing such facts from standard historical works and congressional reports as sustain the charges. The suit was brought on the 11th, and the jury, after being out 20 hours, brought in a verdict of guilty, notwithstanding the fact that the witnesses for the defense sustained all the charges made by Mr. Anthony. The judge has not yet passed sentence, which must be, under the law, a fine of not more than $1,000 or one year's imprisonment. Mr. Anthony moved for an arrest of judgment and made a motion for a new trial.
Thus the matter stands at present, and the Times continues to print articles even more savage than those which produced the suit for libel. Mr. Anthony has one advantage upon his side, namely the sympathy of the community, and also of a majority of the people of the state, who have not yet forgotten the position Judge Lecompte occupied towards free Kansas in the years of her history from 1854 to 1857. His republicanism is hardly of sufficient age to wipe out those memories.
"Capt. Henry King of Topeka contributes to the Overland Monthly for December a very fine sketch of early Kansas times entitled 'The Cabin at Pharaoh's Ford.' It is a very striking story, charmingly told....The characters are drawn with masterly clearness and vigor, the descriptive passages are strong, graphic and beautiful, and the incidents, simple and touching yet heroic, are at once pathetic and stirring, inspiring both pity and pride. Bret Harte never told a story in better style." -- Atchison Champion.
The motion for a new trial in the Lecompte-Anthony case was overruled by Judge Sherry today and sentence pronounced. The judgment of the court was a fine of $500 and costs. The whole sum amounts to about $1,200.
Anthony has taken an appeal to the supreme court in his libel suit and given security for costs. This puts a temporary quietus on the enforcement of the judgment.
We congratulate M. M. Murdock on his appointment to the post office at Wichita. It is a deserved tribute to a faithful journalist, honest man and first rate citizen....
We are glad to know that Louis Melius, lately of the Lawrence Tribune, has secured a position on the St. Louis Dispatch. Mr. Melius is a young man of more than average ability, warm hearted and generous....
From today, W. W. Waters will take charge of the Commonwealth job rooms, where his old friends can find him with a full corps of assistants.
Frank Root of the sprightly News of Holton, being now a Grant "hireling" (P.M.) and consequently pecuniarily independent, is in the legislative lobby, laughing at the frantic efforts of the office-seekers.
M. R. Moore, traveling correspondent of the Kansas City Journal, has just returned from a successful canvassing tour to the Rocky Mountains. He will remain in Topeka this winter and report for his paper.
Mr. Murdock, editor of the Ottawa Republican, one of the ablest journals in Kansas, is in attendance at the legislature, watching proceedings and advising things.
Mr. O'Flannagan, formerly of the Kansas Valley, published at Wamego, is now displaying his wealth and extensive physical resources in Topeka. It is needless to state that his riches did not develop until after his retirement from journalism.
In pursuance of a call for a second caucus, yesterday morning there assembled a majority of the republicans of the legislature and ratified the action of the evening before by unanimously nominating T. Dwight Thacher for state printer. As republican nominee, Mr. Thacher accepted and the caucus went into joint convention....Mr. Martin was elected in joint convention, securing every opposition vote of that body and enough republican votes in addition to elect him; the republican senators, for the most part, refusing to acquiesce in the decision of a caucus at which they were not present, and to the calling of which they did not consent....A summary of the vote shows that Mr. Martin received 82 votes, of which 46 were republican and 36 opposition, and that Mr. Thacher received 49 votes, all of which were republican....
Rumors having been put in circulation to the effect that the Commonwealth has been sold to F. P. Baker, I desire to state that such is not the fact. Negotiations, looking to a sale, have been pending between the proprietor and O. S. Baker, but no sale has yet been effected. -- George W. Veale.
Judge Ephraim Sanford of Eskridge displayed his ruddy countenance on our streets yesterday. He reports that the grasshoppers have caused a temporary suspension of the Landmark, a calamity which indeed caps the climax to the misfortunes of our suffering state. We are encouraged with the assurance, however, that the luminous Landmark will be revivified with more resplendence than ever next spring. The judge, in the meantime, contemplates visiting some of the Eastern states to solicit aid for our destitute people.
By F. P. Baker & Sons.
The Neodesha Free Press has changed hands, G. D. Ingersoll having sold to F. H. McCarter.
The Larned Republican has been sold to Major Inman, who removes the material to Hutchinson.
The Marysville News, in speaking of its prospects and its past business, well says, "There is no more need of two papers in Marysville than that a wagon should have five wheels. It entails that much additional expense upon the business men for which they receive no visible return." These are true words, and such as should be considered in other places than Marysville....We doubt if there is a paper published in Kansas but what is better than its patronage, speaking from a business standpoint.
Web Wilder, in the St. Joe Herald, hits the nail on the head in the following: "Some merchants, so-called, think they are doing a newspaper a favor when they advertise in it. Well, we are not publishing that kind of a paper. We are not beggars passing round a hat for charity, and we will show you so before we quit. If we do not give full value for all we receive, then we beg that you will take your favors elsewhere. You give a man 40 cents for a bushel of potatoes because you think they are worth it, not as a favor to the seller, not as an act of charity, not to keep the seller of potatoes out of the poor house....If you think the Herald worth what we ask for it, take it; if not, don't....
The Pawnee County Herald is the name of a new paper at Larned by S. W. Davis.
The election for state printer yesterday resulted in an easy victory for George W. Martin, the friends of Mr. Perry failing to stand by him at the pinch....Against Mr. Martin as a man, as a printer and as a business neighbor we have never had cause for complaint. If any man is to hold the office of state printer for a third term, we had as soon Mr. martin would be the man as any. Our conflict has not been with Mr. Martin, nor will it be in the future, but with the state printing system, a system which oppresses us in common with every printer in the state. It is not reasonable to expect us to favor a system which brings the State of Kansas into the already crowded field as a business competitor....
The Press in the House ? The reporters' table in the House is represented by gentlemen of the fourth estate. The Lambertian Burke of the Leavenworth Times sits at one corner and watches the proceedings with interest and takes frequent notes; the jolly, laughing, rotund, jelly-like mass of cartilage, Ward Burlingame, is there picking up items for the Atchison Champion; Chief Justice Joyce, the Leavenworth item chaser for the Kansas City Journal, faces "Mr. Speaker" and says "yis, yis" whenever the Speaker's rulings coincide with the opinions of his judicial mind; Scarbrough, the quintuple correspondent of the country press, is stationed near Ward Burlingame, giving sage advice to that fat waddler; Gilmore, the printer representative, whose ruling passion is printing and editing, is seated among the reporters and forgets that he is an honored member of the Kansas House of Representatives; Al Green of the Kansas City Journal is the right hand neighbor of the Cassius-like reporter of the Commonwealth. Squeezed in between Green and Burlingame "4d," the staid and sedate representative of the moral and religious Kansas City Times; flanking the emaciated reporter of the Commonwealth, on the left, is the ponderous Shinn of the Dodge City Times; Judge Bliss, journalist at large, Stotler of the Emporia News, Hutchinson of the great Arkansas Valley and other Faber manipulators are occasionally seen among this virtuous and exemplary crowd of Bohemians.
The Commonwealth takes occasion this early to make a statement and does so that there may be no misapprehension. We pay our reporters ourselves, in both houses, and it is not our expectation or desire that they be paid by the state. On the other hand, it is a part of our agreement with them that they accept nothing as pay from the state or others, except from us. We do not desire that there shall be any doubt among the members on this subject.
The Newspaper Question ? As the above question has attracted some attention, we publish what the correspondent of the Atchison Champion and Kansas City Journal say on the subject. The Champion says: "The House engaged in a lively talk over the newspaper question yesterday and...the proposition was defeated. As to the merits of the proposition, much can be said pro and con. In the present case, the affirmative argument seemed stronger than the negative. The reports heretofore furnished by the Commonwealth have been faithful and elaborate. Every newspaper man knows that the ordinary patronage of a daily paper in Kansas will not justify such reports. Moreover, most of the country papers of the state rely upon the Commonwealth's reports for their legislative news, which, being copied, find their way to every county and township in the state. I do not believe that the people of the state ? at least the reading portion, which constitutes so large a majority ? would object to a moderate expenditure for the purpose indicated. Nor is there any occasion for business jealousy on the part of other publishers, for it can be easily demonstrated that in furnishing 15 copies to each member of the Legislature at $1 per copy for the season, with full reports of the proceedings, would little if any more than pay the actual cost." The Kansas City Journal: "The 'unconstitutionality' of the act is a high-toned bugbear introduced for buncombe. Divested of this and reduced to its merits, it becomes simply a question of policy, the adoption of which, it seems to me, is perfectly expedient and proper. The newspaper is the great educator of the age. It goes everywhere, it is the poor man's book, he swears by it. Next to the cook stove, the printing press is necessary to our modern civilization. Kansas people read the papers and have a right to know what their legislators are doing. Any policy which deprives them of this is shortsighted and niggardly...."
As far as the Commonwealth is concerned, it has for two or three years furnished the members of the Legislature almost a literal copy of its journal. It has done so at no expense to the state, and at considerable loss to the proprietor. It does not propose to do so in the future unless a sufficient number of copies are taken to justify it. But some of our contemporaries have stated that we should publish no report of the proceedings. This is an error. We shall tell our readers all that is accomplished, but do it in a different manner. The patrons of the Commonwealth can be assured that they will learn from its columns all that the Legislature does, but in a condensed form, and probably it will be more satisfactory to the general reader.
Public Printing and Party Papers ? We notice that a few of the publishers of papers in Kansas are asking the Legislature to change the law regulating county printing so as to "better protect publishers from underbidding from irresponsible carpet baggers and worthless newspaper jobbers." Would it not be quite as well to ascertain what the law at present in force is? Prior to 1872, the county board was obliged to let the county printing to the lowest bidder, and under that law many papers were started for the express purpose of getting the printing. In 1872 the law was changed at the instance of publishers, giving the county boards full power over the printing, and power to give it to such papers as they chose, the expectation of course being that it would be paid for at legal rates. That is the law now. What is necessary is for papers to insist upon the law, as it is, being lived up to. In some counties, the county boards do respect the spirit of the law and pay legal rates. In others it is let to the lowest bidder in violation of the intent of the law. We know of no way to remedy the evil except for newspaper publishers to insist that party newspapers are entitled to party patronage. If the Democrats have a majority in a county or city, it is right and proper that Democratic papers have the printing and they get it. On the other hand, in Republican counties Republican papers almost universally have to compete with opposition papers for printing....
Preston B. Plumb of Emporia was elected United States senator in the legislative joint convention yesterday on the first ballot of the day, being the 16th of the season.
Colonel Plumb is a native of Ohio and learned the printing business in the office of the Xenia News. Whitelaw Reid, now of the New York Tribune, was a brother apprentice. Before he was 19 years of age, he was a partner of Rev. J. D. Liggett, recently of Leavenworth, in the publication of that paper. He came to Kansas in 1856, when he was 19 years of age, and was the leader of a small party of men who located a town in western Kansas near the site of the present town of Salina, which was named Mariposa. The location was too remote from settlements and the situation too monotonous and lonely for so restless a spirit as our young hero possessed, and so he retraced his steps and made a temporary halt at Topeka, working a few months at the case in the office of the Kansas Tribune, then published by W. W. Ross and John Speer. In the fall of that year he was foreman of the office of the Herald of Freedom at Lawrence and E. P. Harris, now superintendent of the state printing works of George W. Martin and S. S. Prouty, worked at the case under him. At this time, Colonel Plumb was a beardless young man and had a boyish appearance, however he made up in assurance and self-reliance. He conferred with Lane, Robinson, Pomeroy and other leading men of the Free State party with as much familiarity and freedom as if he was the peer in ability and experience of either and, indeed, he had that confidence in himself to believe that he was inferior to no one. In February, 1857, G. W. Brown of the Herald of Freedom and Cornelius Hornsby, Geo. W. Deitzler and Lyman Allen purchased a 640-acre Wyandotte...with the intention of locating it somewhere for a townsite in southwestern Kansas. Plumb heard of the purchase and applied to Mr. Brown for an interest.
"Why," said Mr. Brown, "it would cost you $300 to purchase a fifth interest in this enterprise; you can't raise that amount."
"Will you sell me a fifth interest for $300?" inquired Mr. Plumb. Thinking that the offer would be perfectly safe, Mr. Brown replied in the affirmative.
Plumb left the office and after a few minutes absence returned with $300 and handed it to Mr. Brown, for which he obtained a fifth interest in the town site of Emporia. He had borrowed the money, which he returned within two weeks, having sold in the meantime one-half of his interest for $2,000 cash down. He immediately went to Cincinnati and purchased a printing office and in May following he issued the first number of the Kansas News at Emporia. It was printed in the first building erected in that town and Jacob Stotler, one of the present proprietors, was the first foreman. The News at that time spelled Kansas with a "z." Richard J. Hinton was associate editor, and William A. Phillips, Martin F. Conway and L. D. Bailey were frequent contributors. It was the sprightliest, ablest and most piquant paper then published in the territory and wielded great influence. In the fall of 1859 he sold the news to Jacob Stotler and Dudley Randall and entered into the practice of law. In 1862 he took an active part in raising the Eleventh Kansas Regiment, of which he was made major, Thomas Ewing being colonel. He was in the battles of Old Fort Wayne, Cane Hill and Prairie Grove and, when Colonel Ewing was promoted to brigadier general, Major Plumb was promoted to a lieutenant colonel and was made the general's chief of staff. General Ewing was placed in command of a district, with headquarters at Kansas City, and was the author of the famous "General Order No. 11," which commanded a general depopulation of the western border counties of Missouri. It was also during General Ewing's command of this district when occurred the terrible Quantrell raid on Lawrence. Colonel Plumb was sent with a force from headquarters to overtake Quantrell, but word reached the colonel at Olathe of the destruction and massacre, and wisely presuming that the savage guerrillas would attempt to leave the state in a southerly direction, Colonel Plumb pushed westward with his force on the old Santa Fe road and intercepted Quantrell near Baldwin City. Up to this time, Quantrell and his men had been burning and murdering while on their march, but when they saw Colonel Plumb's force they sought safety in flight and hastened to Missouri as rapidly as their fresh horses, stolen at Lawrence, would carry them, and no more harm was done. Colonel Plumb has been censured for not attacking Quantrell, but good military men who were cognizant of the facts say that he acted wisely in not attempting an attack, as the chances were that he would have been defeated and, in case of a defeat, there would have been no end to Quantrell's devastating operation in Kansas. He was mustered out of the army in the fall of 1865, when he returned to Emporia and resumed the practice of law. He was one of the corporators and first directors of the Union Pacific railway, southern branch (now Missouri, Kansas & Texas railway), and was one of a party of six gentlemen who went to New York to contract with the Land Grant Railway and Trust Company for building the road....The public service of Colonel Plumb may be summed up as follows: Was a member of the Leavenworth constitutional convention in 1858, delegate to the state no9minating convention in the same year; was secretary of the state Republican nominating convention at Lawrence in 1859; was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives in 1862, and was one of the impeachment managers in the case against Governor Robinson, Secretary of State Robinson and Auditor Hillyer; was the first reporter of the supreme court; was in the army from the fall of 1862 to the fall of 1865; was a member and speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives 1867, and was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives in 1868. He retired from the practice of law four years ago, since which time he has been engaged in banking. He is president of the First National Bank at Emporia and is a stockholder in the First National Bank at Burlington and the bank at Osage City. He is one of the wealthiest men in his portion of the state, and it can truthfully be said that he is sole architect of his fortune.
A tramp printer named Ritchie, well known in Kansas, was lately killed by falling from the cars on a Missouri railroad.
The Alma News comes to us with one page blank, the result of the office being bulldozed and forms pied, which we published an account of a few days ago. Mr. Sellers alleges that it was done out of personal spite for him. It was a most dastardly outrage. The News says there has been an utter disregard for law in Alma for some time.
We received a call yesterday from the new proprietor of the Kinsley Reporter. A late number of the St. Louis Journal says of him: "W. T. Bruer, late publisher of the Putnam County Leader, has purchased the Kinsley (Kan.) Reporter, which he will continue to run on strict Republican principles under the title of the Edwards County Ledger."
The Eldorado Press is the name of the new paper at Eldorado. It is to be independent in politics and edited by J. M. Satterthwait, who has for several years been connected with the Times of that city.
John Speer announces his withdrawal from the Lawrence Tribune. He thinks that, while the business may be too much for one, it is not enough for two. It is difficult to think of the Tribune without Speer, or of Speer without a tribune. The newspaper business in Lawrence must have fallen upon evil times when Speer backs down and out of it.
We have received the first issue of the Daily Public Press, the new evening paper at Leavenworth. H. B. Horn is announced as editor. The Press is a six column paper, well printed, Republican in politics, and promises to treat people decently.
We yesterday received the first number of the Atchisonian, published by the Atchison Publishing Company. Edward Fleischer announces that he has transferred the office and good will of the Courier to the publishers of the Atchisonian, "who will endeavor to make it, with enlarged facilities, the pride of the state and the largest and best German paper in the Missouri Valley." In this connection, Mr. Fleischer makes this acknowledgment to a brother editor: "I desire to acknowledge in particular the kindness shown to me by the editor of the Atchison Champion, Col. John A. Martin, who two years ago, during the dreadful invasion of the grasshoppers, furnished paper and presswork for six months without receiving any other security than that of a slow note. When in many a household in this and the neighboring states the wolf stood before the door, when business was at a standstill and newspapers were considered a useless luxury, it was an impossibility to sustain a new paper scarcely a year old, and the timely aid received at the hands of Col. Martin alone saved it from going the road of its predecessors." The Atchisonian adopts the quarto form and an "auxiliary" inside, and furnishes a great deal of reading matter for $2 a year.
In our account of the shooting affray yesterday, we omitted to mention, through oversight, of the condition and disposition of John W. Wilson, one of the parties to fatal Swayze-Wilson shooting affray. Mr. Wilson was arrested by Deputy Sheriff Miller while the belligerent parties were pounding each other after the clinching. A stream of blood flowed from his face at the time. He made no resistance. While being marched off, he demanded the arrest of Mr. Swayze. "Why, he is killed," said his captor. "Oh, --------," said Wilson, "he's only drunk." Wilson was as cool as a cucumber. He, apparently, was of the opinion that Swayze had suffered no more harm than himself. Wilson was conducted to jail, where he remained that night, and is still confined. His preliminary examination will be held before Justice Brier this morning, commencing at 9 o'clock. Mr. Wilson was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, in 1852 and consequently is about 25 years old. He is a son of V. P. Wilson, editor and publisher of the Enterprise Gazette, published at Enterprise, Dickinson County, and formerly publisher of the Chronicle at Abilene. The father was elected a member of the state senate in 1872, in which body he served acceptably for two years. Before the expiration of his term, he removed to Topeka and, in connection with his son, John W., purchased and published the North Topeka Times, a weekly newspaper. They removed the office to the south side of the river two years ago and established a daily evening edition. A bitter warfare soon sprang up between the two evening papers and continued for some time. The Times, after various changes, passed out of the hands of the Wilsons in March 1876, and since that time John W. Wilson has had no editorial connection with any paper, and has worked at intervals in the Commonwealth news room, of late working as a "sub." He has a wife and two children residing in North Topeka.
Mr. Swayze learned the printing business in the office of the Brooklyn Eagle, and for some time was an irregular contributor to the New York Herald. Before the late war, he married Kate Edwards, and actress, with whom he traveled throughout the South, and by whom he had three children, two daughters and one son, who are still living and who are working as compositors in the office of the Leavenworth Times. He established himself in Georgia a short time before the war in the publication of a newspaper, but during the war was forced into the confederate service. He subsequently deserted to the federals and afterwards served as a scout in the Union army in the same locality where he had been "pressed" by the rebels. After the war, he established the Union at Macon, Georgia, a red-hot, peppery, Republican sheet, the utterances of which caused him much trouble and persecution. The paper was an advocate of Horace Greeley in 1872. He removed to Topeka in 1873 and commenced the publication of the Blade, a daily evening paper which lasted about six months. About the first of February 1874, he suspended publication for nearly one year. In the winter of 1875, the paper was resuscitated and it has been published ever since.
The funeral service of Mr. Swayze was held at his residence yesterday afternoon. The attendance was very large, many being unable to obtain admittance. Rev. Dr. McCabe read a chapter from the Bible and then made a brief but impressive address. A prayer by the Rev. Monjeau closed the exercises at the house. About 4:30 the solemn cortege left the residence, led by the Topeka cornet band. The procession marched down to Sixth Avenue and up Sixth Avenue to Eighth, and down Eighth to the cemetery. There were about 50 vehicles in the procession. At the grave, the ceremony was brief, being conducted by Rev. Dr. McCabe and Rev. Mr. Monjeau. After the coffin was deposited in the grave, evergreens were cast therein by the Blade employees.
There is quite a change in the newspapers of Marshall County. The Telegraph has been sold to J. L. Reece & Co....Mr. Hughes has sold the Marysville News to P. H. Peters, who formerly published it and who is well known to the press of the state.
The Lawrence Standard has been enlarged to a six column paper. We are glad to see Ed Ross prospering.
J. B. Davis, formerly one of the publishers of the Commonwealth, is publishing the Independent at Wahoo, Sanders County, Nebraska.
**P. H. Peters, formerly of the Marysville News, has located at Sherman, Texas. He has bought a lot there and will build a house and has opened up in the grocery business.
**The Kansas Emigrant of 1856
A paper read before the Kansas State Historical Society at the Presbyterian Church, Topeka, Monday, April 23, 1877, by S. S. Prouty.
Charles Sumner had been assaulted by the ruffian Brooks in the Senate Chamber of the United States for his terrible arraignment of the Democratic party in their conduct in the "Crime Against Kansas;" Lawrence had been sacked and partially destroyed by a pro-slavery mob; the oppressed freemen of Kansas were appealing to their brethren of the North for aid; Buford's band of Southern desperadoes had entered Kansas with a great deal of parade and fustian; the North and the South were getting arrayed against each other bitterly in the struggle for the possession of Kansas; and the prophetic eye then foresaw in the contest on these plains premonitions of the great strife involving the whole nation, which shortly followed.
Such was the state of affairs early in June 1856 when James H. Lane addressed a monster mass meeting in the courthouse square at Chicago. He was fresh from the scenes of dispute in the belligerent territory. He made a characteristic speech, teeming with invective, extravagance, impetuosity, denunciation and eloquence. The grass on the prairie is swayed no more easily by the winds than was this vast assemblage by the utterances of this speaker. They saw the contending factions in the territory through his glasses. The pro-slavery party appeared like demons and assassins; the free-state party like heroes and martyrs. He infused them with his warlike spirit and enthusiastic ardor for the practical champions of freedom.
Their response to his appeals for succor for the struggling freemen was immediate and decisive. An excited listener seized the speaker's hat and passed it around for contributions. Seventy-five thousand dollars were collected or subscribed on the spot, the chairman of the meeting leading off in a contribution of five hundred dollars. Cheers for free Kansas rent the air and the meeting adjourned by singing the "Star Spangled Banner" under the leadership of Frank Lombard.
The next day the subscription paper was circulated until seventy-five thousand dollars more were raised. About this time, some of the more conservative of the excitable populace began to enquire into the proposed disposition of the funds. In procuring the subscriptions, no explanations had been made. "The money is for free Kansas" was all that was said. A meeting of the donors was held, who resolved to establish a Free State colony in Kansas. It was arranged to send forthwith an advance party of picked young men to select a location and prepare the way for families. They were to establish a city in Kansas to be called Chicago.
No difficulty was had in raising a company of 75 young men. Ten times the number volunteered to go. The only trouble was in gleaning from the volunteers. When the desired number had been selected, the company met and perfected a civic organization. A man by the name of Andrews was elected president; S. P. Hand secretary, and A. A. Griffin treasurer. The names of the company were published in the newspapers of Chicago and the intentions of, and great expectations from, the advance Chicago-Kansas colony were loudly proclaimed by orators and editors. It was announced that the company would proceed to Kansas by a steamer on the Missouri River, that they would be amply prepared to defend themselves and, knowing their rights, dared to maintain them.
About the middle of June, they left the Garden City via the Illinois Central Railroad. They were furnished with a year's supply of provisions, an ample quantity of camp and garrison equipage, enough agricultural implements to start them well in farming pursuits, and a reasonable amount of money for incidental expenses. At Bloomington, they tarried two days to effect a military organization and study the manual of arms. At Alton, they embarked on the "Star of the West," one of the steamers in a regular line of Missouri River packets, which had been especially engaged to come to Alton to receive this company, though not exclusively chartered for their use. The company numbered 68 when they took the steamer, a few having fallen by the wayside.
In one of the staterooms were deposited a number of Hall's breach-loading carbines, which were to be given to the company when they reached the "promised land." These arms had previously been condemned and sold by the United States government. There were not to exceed a half dozen sidearms in the company and probably there were not 10 men who had ever discharged a firearm, and none had been accustomed to the fearful sight of a Bowie knife dangling by the side of a person. Aside from this company, the steamer contained its usual number of mixed passengers.
All went serenely until the steamer reached Lexington about 9 p.m. Sunday. No danger or trouble had been apprehended on the voyage. The unsophisticated vindicators of free speech, free soil and free men were as innocent and unsuspecting when the steamer was moored to the levee at Lexington as the lamb when led to the slaughter. Scarcely had the steamer's plank touched the shore before an immoderate rush of people was made to board the steamer.
And such a people! They wore slouched hats, ejaculated expletives, brandished Bowie knives and pistols, and expressed too warm a desire to see the Chicago abolitionists. Before the situation was fully realized by our adventurers, the cabin of the steamer was crowded with these unwelcome visitors. An intimidating sight was also presented when the glare from the steamer's torches enabled the overawed freemen to distinguish objects on the shore. Drawn up in battle array on the levee were several companies of infantry, all armed with muskets that had previously been stolen from the government arsenal at Liberty.
Our freemen had no difficulty in realizing that "business" was meant by the invaders and their cooperators on shore. A burly, solidly built man with a slouched hat and linen clothes of spotless white, and a brace of revolvers dangling from a belt, appeared to be the leader of the motley and threatening intruders. This was Colonel Joe Shelby, subsequently the leader of the division in General Price's army that was so thoroughly whipped by the Kansas boys on the memorable Sunday during the Price raid. He moved about the cabin with a swagger and demanded an interview with the officers of the Chicago company. The president and secretary met him.
Said Colonel Shelby, in substance: "We don't want any foolishness. We have come here to disarm you and we are going to do it. Don't make any explanations," said he, as the president attempted to speak. "We know all about you. We have the name of every member of your company, know how many guns you have, the number of the stateroom they are placed in, and we know your intentions. Give up your arms peaceably and you can proceed to Kansas unmolested. We only want to extract the fangs from the abolition snake before it enters Kansas."
The arms were surrendered. Many of the most respectable citizens of Lexington were present and acquiesced in the outrage....No indignities were offered to the company other than the robbery of their arms. At Kansas City was encountered the Simon-pure Border Ruffians....About a hundred specimens of this animal boarded the steamer at Kansas City. They were under the lead of David R. Atchison and Gen. B. F. Stringfellow. Atchison was at that time president of the United States Senate, the second office in the government. His appearance was as ruffianly as any of his followers. He sported the inevitable slouch hat, sucked tobacco fumes through the reed stem of a clay pipe, wore seedy clothes and stood in boots that had been slit and tattooed for ventilating purposes. General Stringfellow was the only gentlemanly appearing man in the crowd. A white dress hat adorned his sandy head, his garments were faultless, and the only hair visible on his face was a pugnacious-looking mustache. His countenance, however, was stern and forbidding. The men were mostly of Major Buford's command, and a more ruffianly crowd was never seen before nor since.
As the steamer shoved off, this band of desperadoes remained, which was evidence that they intended to stay with the Chicago party. After breakfast, Atchison and Stringfellow announced that they wished to address the Chicago party, and accordingly a meeting was held in the ladies' cabin to hear what the leaders of the chivalry had to impart. General Stringfellow was the spokesman. In a brief speech, he informed the Chicagoans that they must consider themselves prisoners and that they would not be allowed to land on Kansas soil; that they must remain on the steamer and conveyed on the same back to Alton; that if they behaved themselves and made no disturbance they would be protected from insults and outrage and allowed to retain their company and private property. If they were unwilling to accept these terms and persisted in landing in Kansas, every mother's son of them should be hanged. He would give the company a few minutes to counsel among themselves as to what course they would pursue.
It did not take long for the company, at their meeting on the hurricane deck, to decide to remain on the steamer and go back. It was clearly a ground hog case. After the announcement of this decision, the captors and captives commingled in friendly intercourse, resulting in an enlargement of the exchequer of the steamer's bar.
No other incident worthy of record occurred until the steamer reached Leavenworth, then a struggling village of frame and log houses. Here was another company of ruffians under arms, waiting to greet the Chicago Abolitionists. They were commanded by Captain Clarkson, postmaster of Leavenwort
We have received No. 1 of the Kirwin Lively Times. This makes the 172d existing Kansas publication.
The annual meeting of the Kansas Editorial Association will be held in the city of Leavenworth on Wednesday, the 13th of June, 1877. Noble L. Prentis was designated...to deliver the annual address. The editors of the state will be entertained by the citizens of Leavenworth....Through the courtesy of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, the Kansas Pacific Railroad, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, and the Colorado Central Railroad, an excursion will be made to Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Manitou, Denver, Central City, Boulder and other points of interest in the Rocky Mountains. The excursion will be absent about ten days....D. R. Anthony, president.
Mr. Bridges' new paper, the Bulletin, at Troy has made its appearance. It is well got up, editorially and mechanically.
The Kansas Farmer publishes an article from the Atchison Champion in regard to swindling advertisers. The Champion says that publishers, by informing one another, can remedy the evil. The Farmer in its comments says: "What the Champion says is altogether true. The press of the United States can easily protect itself against these thieving swindlers and yet year after year these frauds use them to swindle their readers and to enrich themselves. The least particle of common sense and business cooperation on the part of state editorial associations would result in complete protection against these impositions. So long, however, as the editorial associations continue to meet to shoot off useless, senseless buncombe speeches, secure free lunches and free excursions, all to be paid for in cheap puffs, business cooperation is out of the question. What is true of the Kansas press is true of all other states, from one end of the country to the other...."
There are six little weekly newspapers in Kansas, all of them but one, we think, great sticklers for "reform" in everything. They belong to the wonderfully good class. They were so good, most of them, that they could not support G. T. Anthony for governor. Everybody else, with them, are swindlers, thieves, murderers, poisoners. For months (till the past two weeks) not a number of these papers has been issued but what has had from two to ten articles about the editor of the Commonwealth. For some unaccountable reason, the last two issues have had nothing of the kind, and they are terrible dry reading. Whether their editors are sick or what is the matter we are unable to say. About the same feelings must come over their readers when they take up the paper as would come over those who should take up the Blade, of this city, and not find "lottery organ," "swindler," "old Baker" or something of that kind in it ? a sort of goneness ? a feeling that part of the play was left out and they were cheated. Even that most excellent and high-toned paper, the Hiawatha Herald, has let an issue pass without putting "old Baker" this way ? (name upside down). What can the matter be? We have not heard from Hiawatha since that paper came out, but we feel sure that there must be a great commotion in that usually quiet town. It was so excruciatingly funny to see words printed in that way that its readers must mourn for its non-appearance. P.S. Since the above was written, we have seen the last issue of the Lyndon Times and are a little relieved. That truly great "monumental" paper ? the paper that the Leavenworth Times says is a bright and shining ornament to the journalism of Kansas ? makes us feel easier. We are not entirely forgotten, for it spells Baker with a lower case b. We will manage to get through another week comparatively comfortable now. (F. P. Baker, editor)
The Galena Miner comes to us from Galena, Cherokee County. Galena is on Short Creek, where the new lead mines are discovered. It is published by McDowell & Lea of the Columbus Republican and is chuck full of mining news.
The Verdict ? The jury in the case of the state vs. John W. Wilson rendered a verdict of "not guilty" ? the only verdict that any reasonable, impartial man could have expected any honest jury to find....The story has been told in the columns of this paper day after day....We might let the matter rest here,...but in connection with this case a portion of the press of the state has behaved so infamously that something ought to be said in the interests of decency. To go back some months, no man, high or low, was ever treated more shamefully than John W. Wilson. He, a private citizen, a jour printer working for his living, and in no sense a public character, was held up to execration by newspaper editors who never saw him, knew nothing of his character,...and who certainly had never been injured by him or his....When Wilson, driven to madness by continued ill-treatment, utterly unprovoked by him, met the author of it all, and in a moment of uncontrollable anger felled him to the ground with his bare hand, one would have supposed by the howl raised by these papers that a murder had been committed, instead of assault and battery, and Wilson ought to be hung without trial and at once. At last the end came and Wilson, after suffering untold wrong, declined to be shot down like a dog without an effort to defend himself. He did defend himself, as any other brave man would have done, and a jury of his countrymen, as fair a jury as ever was empanelled in Shawnee County, have said he was right. But to go back: in the presence of death, one would have supposed that the clamor would have been hushed; that when Wilson was a prisoner...with every prospect of a speedy trial, that he might have been allowed to await that trial in peace. But, the very night of the killing, a torrent of lies began to flow that has never ceased since, lies wickedly and knowingly told with malice aforethought to prevent, if possible, his having an unprejudiced hearing....We would like to have any fair-minded man go over the facts and give his opinion of, say, D. R. Anthony, the leading figure in this infamous business. What is to be thought of a man who would lie about a funeral; lie about the employment of counsel; lie about a bogus "conspiracy;" lie about "mobs" and "public sentiment" and do all this lying out of pure malice, only this and nothing more? Does earth afford a greater scoundrel, and does there crawl a more pitiful creature than the editor, in a small way, who echoes lies told by such a lair? The "moral" of the late homicide has been given many times; it may briefly be given again. It is that the violent shall die by violence; it is that a professional slanderer who attempts to back his slanders with a pistol runs the risk of sometime meeting a man who will not quail. As a man sows, so shall he reap....It has been said, amid the solemn scene of a court of justice, and under the sanction of an oath, "Malicious, dangerous and desperate" was the overwhelming testimony regarding a man over whose remains it has been gravely proposed that the journalists of Kansas shall erect a monument....(F. P. Baker)
The Trial of Wilson ? For 12 days we have had the above heading in our paper. Yesterday was the 13th and last day. The court convened at nine o'clock and at about half past eleven the jury came in and rendered a verdict of "Not guilty." It was what every honest man, who had read the evidence, expected. John, himself, all through the trial, held firmly to the belief that he would be acquitted. His heroic but quiet and uncomplaining little wife, although she had grown somewhat haggard, never doubted but he would be acquitted. Hon. V. P. Wilson, the father of John, who had watched every movement closely, and always believed that his son had acted only in self defense, and would come out all right, and when the verdict was rendered broke down and sobbed like a child....All of the Wilsons have stood the abuse of unprincipled men, during the past two months, with great forbearance. John Wilson, to say the least, is a man who, on the score of morality and industry, is an average man and one who has never been guilty of anything mean or underhanded. He has borne the taunts of such men as D. R. Anthony ? a man who, on the point of morality, is as far beneath him as the arch-fiend is below the Angel Gabriel ? without reply. Well, time does make all things even, and the trial just closed is not an exception....
The Leavenworth Times of May 29, in an article under the head of "Is There No Law," stated that its reports from Topeka were that it was probable that Wilson would be acquitted, and adds, "if this be true then it follows that the twelve men who sat on that jury deliberately committed perjury."...That city (Leavenworth) has the sympathy of the residents of Kansas because it is represented by a paper that slanders, libels and vilifies good men all over the state for no earthly reason but because they will not join with it in denouncing men for not agreeing with the editor of that paper in his insane raving about men whom he hates, generally without cause. How long can the people of Leavenworth expect to have the sympathy of the people of Kansas if they, by their patronage, keep the breath of life in such a paper? And how long can the congressional delegation of Kansas expect to receive the good will of their constituents if they keep such a man in official position? (F. P. Baker)
We had not intended to again refer to the Wilson trial, unless absolutely forced to. We would not now, but that the hyena portion of the press, headed by the Leavenworth Times, have been trying to sully the good name of Topeka. For that reason we reproduce an article from the Junction City Union, and also one from the Atchison Champion. That paper (the Champion) says: "No one who has read the evidence presented at the trial of John W. Wilson for the shooting of J. Clarke Swayze, or who was acquainted with the facts that led to and attended the shooting, will be surprised at the verdict of 'Not guilty' returned by the jury. We have read the evidence carefully, and the verdict was fully justified by the facts elicited at the trial. Mr. Swayze was, in some respects, an able journalist. He was enterprising and industrious, and he was a vigorous, graphic writer. Those who knew him best attributed to him many admirable qualities. But he made his paper simply the expression of his personal hates and dislikes. It was the vehicle through which all the noisome scandals that taint the air, all the abuse which personal rancor revels in, all the vile calumnies which passion, rivalry, jealousy and hatred breed, found their way out of the corners and slums where they thrive, into that public presence which they insult, and befoul, and outrage. It was not at all strange that such a man finally came to his death by violence. He invited and provoked this fate, and sooner or later it would have overtaken him. It is always only a question of time when such a man will be killed. We felt no personal ill will towards him. But we were convinced, by reading his paper, that some one of the many men he so viciously and persistently abused would sooner or later have a quarrel with him, in which he would either be killed or kill. He took his life in his hand deliberately and his final end was provoked by his own reckless course." In this connection, and that we may not again be under the necessity of referring to the subject, we wish to make this statement. It is that at least seven-tenths of the papers of the state, after the killing of Swayze, took about the ground that the Commonwealth did. "It is only what we expected." "We are shocked, but not surprised," was the burden of the articles....
We have seen an abusive circular concerning D. R. Anthony of the Leavenworth Times, which has been sent out to the newspapers of the state, ostensibly to defeat his re-election as president of the editorial association. While we have no love for Anthony, and no idea that he would say a word against such a thing if aimed at us instead of him, we desire to be put on record as disapproving this thing in the strongest terms. The anonymous style of fighting a man, however bad he may be, is something with which we have no sympathy, and for which there is never any valid excuse. (F. P. Baker)
Junction City Union: ...There has been an unnecessary discussion of the fate of Swayze, caused by the attempt of a few newspapers to immortalize him as the head and front of an "independent press," as the victim of a conspiracy to limit the "freedom of the press," and more like slop. Such stuff is not deserving of attention, but there has been such persistency that it may be our duty as a newspaper man to protest. The freedom of the press does not include the right to pour mud daily upon a private individual in whom the public have not the slightest interest; it does not include, under any conceivable circumstances, the right to call the wife of a rival in business a prostitute; it does not include the right of the editor to go mousing about the town in scent of social private scandal, serving the same up in print to the intense disgust of the decent, and the delight of the gutter-snipe; it does not include the right to use or not use such stuff to "make a paper sell," just as the parties implicated "put up;" it does not include the right of a newspaper to favor or oppose an aspirant for office in proportion as he "comes down" or does not "come down" with fifty dollars; the freedom of the press certainly does not demand that the editor should pour abuse daily upon a lady, a private character, for no other reason than that she was compelled to give testimony against him in a law suit; it is libel of the worst sort to say that it is necessary to an independent press in Kansas that the editor shall keep his table stocked with bowie knives and revolvers and, when a party complains, brandish these ami
During this week...representatives of the press from all parts of the state dropped into Leavenworth to attend the annual convention of their association....The following is a list of those who went on the excursion: B. R. Wilton, Oskaloosa, Sickle and Sheaf; J. B. Fithian and Mrs. Belle Carroll, Topeka Blade; J. S. Collister and wife, Harvey County News; B. J. F. Hanna, Salina Herald; A. L. rivers and wife, Chanute Times; W. F. Chalfant, Burlingame Chronicle; Albert Griffin, Manhattan Nationalist; G. D. Ingersoll and wife, Iola Register; A. Reynolds, Elk County Ledger; S. Kauffman, Garnett Plaindealer; E. H. Snow and wife, Ottawa Journal and Triumph; W. A. Pfeffer and wife, Coffeyville Journal; John C. Rastall, Junction City Union; S. M. Jarvis, Cedarvale Blade; C. R. Camp, Fort Scott Guide; John Davis, Junction City Tribune; E. A. Wasser, Girard Press; C. E. Tibbets and wife, Blue Rapids Times; W. T. McElroy and wife, Humboldt Union; W. E. Wilkinson and wife, Seneca Courier; Ward Burlingame and wife; Henry King and wife; D. R. Anthony and wife, Leavenworth Times; T. C. Montgomery and lady, Hays City Sentinel; W. H. Morgan, Osage City Free Press; H. C. Riser, Eureka Herald; W. S. White, Wichita Beacon; F. R. Smith, Wichita Beacon; F. H. Roberts, Oskaloosa Independent; G. W. Cooper and wife, Garnett Journal; J. A. Anderson and wife, Manhattan Industrialist; Will V. Church, Peabody Gazette; Henry D. Morgan, Florence Herald; M. M. Lewis, Hutchinson Interior; G. W. McClintock and mother, McPherson Independent; M. M. Beck and lady, Holton Recorder; J. H. Scott and wife, Neosho County Journal; H. Clay Park, Atchison Patriot; W. A. Morgan and wife, Cottonwood Falls Leader; J. A. Martin and wife, Atchison Champion; J. M. Cavaness and wife, Chetopa Advance; C. T. Ewing and wife, Thayer Headlight; Frank Moriarty, Council Grove Democrat; Charles Hoyt, Minneapolis Sentinel; James Wilson, Olathe Progress; M. Hart and wife, Abilene Chronicle; Chief Justice Morton and wife; Hon. D. C. Haskell and wife; M. R. Tuthill. The following boarded the train at Topeka: E. C. Manning, Wirt W. Walton of the Winfield Courier, Mrs. E. F. Campbell, Mrs. Redmond, Mr. Topkins of the Larned Press.
The Commonwealth, like the rest of the newspaper press of the country, is constantly the recipient of unsolicited communications "written expressly for" it by people who have more or less knack at writing and who have a pardonable fondness for seeing their views of matters and things in print. These communications cover a wide field; indeed, considering them in the aggregate, it may be said that their field is the world....A share of such favors are good and timely and we print them. Of the rest, some are good but not timely; others are both good and timely but reach us at the time when the pressure on our columns forces their rejection; another division kill themselves by being written on both sides of the sheet ? for it may be laid down as an axiom that, in all the newspaper offices in the world, the uninvited contributions that are thus written go into the waste basket, unwept, unhonored and unread; still others are indifferent, bad, or very bad.
Some three months ago, the editor of the Commonwealth caused Mr. M. C. Morris, an attache of the Leavenworth Times, to be arrested for libel. In an article under the head of "An Experiment," published in the Commonwealth,...and in a subsequent article under the heading, "An Open Letter," we had our say about the case, and what seemed to us a necessity for appealing for the fourth time to the courts for redress. We have had little or nothing to say upon that subject since. The case against Mr. Morris is a criminal action, instituted in the name of the state, to punish the wrongdoer for wickedly and maliciously publishing false, slanderous and scandalous matters concerning us. We did not bring a private action for damages. We never did that ? probably never shall in this state, nor anywhere where the slanderer and libeler can be properly reached and punished criminally. Not that such an action is not oftentimes proper, and sometimes necessary ? but because, until clearly found necessary, we do not desire to go before the people, or the courts, apparently seeking a pecuniary compensation for injuries suffered in character or reputation. Within the past two or three years, certain false and malicious statements were revived and published against the editor of the Commonwealth by irresponsible parties ? statements which had been denied by us, time and again ? charges which we had lived down ? charges for publishing which one man was convicted and fined over a dozen years ago, and concerning which another man, some seven years since, after reviving and republishing them signed a libel, and published over his own name a full and complete retraction. But some men are remarkable for their love of scandal, and for their desire to advertise to newcomers every old slander; and by this means every few years some newly imported editor, nulens, vodens, finds himself loaded to the muzzle, and recklessly discharges a column or so of stale libels, without stopping to inquire whether there is even probable cause for his course. These libels, revived and republished by irresponsible parties, were for a time passed by in silence. Our forbearance and silence were regarded by some as an admission or confession, and when we did deny, and explain, we were met with the retort that, if they were not true we would prosecute the authors. Matters stood thus when Mr. Morris took it upon himself to assail us directly, and to all the old and exploded scandals he added new and fresh charges of crimes, without a single fact upon which to base even his malice, much less to sustain his charges. We did resort to the law, and cause the arrest of the offender. The case of The State vs. Morris is still pending and will be tried, we suppose, at the next term of the Shawnee district court. At all events, if we may use the unctuous phrase so frequently employed by a vagrant scribbler regarding a recent trial, "The State is ready." But we have not referred to the Morris case now, nor to our course in instituting that action, with the intention of discussing either the one or the other. We are led to recur to the subject by reason of the fact that Col. Anthony, the editor of the Times, has just commenced two actions for alleged libelous publications concerning him. When we caused Mr. Morris to be prosecuted, the Times was specially horrified and indignant, and day after day hurled its anathemas at us. Indeed, for nearly a whole year past, the Leavenworth Times has aided and encouraged every irresponsible vagrant, and every disreputable sheet, who would throw mud or filth at the Commonwealth or its editor, while the bitterness of its own denunciations stand unequaled in Kansas journalism. We have sometimes been led to retort, we know; but more frequently we were amazed at the audacious and reckless course which the Times pursued, and remained silent. The Times did not seem to realize the fact that some of its enemies were frequently publishing and posting vile slanders and libels against its editor ? slanders cruel and terrible in themselves, but yet far short of those which it had tacitly or directly encouraged against the editor of the Commonwealth; nor did Col Anthony seem to recognize the fact that the Commonwealth at all times wholly refrained from giving countenance or support to the charges made against him. We have often thought him wrong ? have often believed that his opposition to men was caused by personal animosity, rather than from his dispassionate judgment that they were unworthy of support. But we have never approved of the bitter attacks so frequently made upon his character, both public and private....Here, the general rule still is "the greater the truth, the greater the libel." The modification is found in our constitution, in the bill of rights ? thus: "Sec. 11. The liberty of the press shall be inviolate and all persons may freely speak, write or publish their sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of such right; and in all civil or criminal actions for libel, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury, and if it shall appear that the alleged libelous matter was published for justifiable ends, the accused party shall be acquitted." The meaning of this clause is, that if the "alleged libelous matter" be in fact true, "the truth may be given in evidence," and a verdict rendered for the defendant in any action, civil or criminal, if it shall satisfactorily "appear that the alleged libelous matter was published for justifiable ends." But it requires both propositions to constitute a justification ? the libelous matter must be true, and the ends for which the publication was made must have justified or warranted the publication. Publishing facts solely to injure another, and not to benefit or protect the public, is not justifiable, but libelous; and publishing falsehoods, even though believed to be true, and from the best of motives to the public, is also libelous. This we believe is the correct construction of the clause in question. Journalists, and others, will therefore see that their first duty, before publishing a damaging statement against anyone, is to see to it that they get the truth; and next, to be sure that they are not actuated by personal spite, or malice, or partisanship merely, but that the interests of the public require the publication of the facts. And let them remember this ? that if, in a given case, a defendant in a libel suit should be able to prove his statement true, and yet unable to show that the public interest justified the publication, such proof and such failure of proof would be conclusive of the fact that his publication was malicious, and therefore libelous. If our contemporaries would study the "law of libel" somewhat, we think Kansas journalism would be improved. (F. P. Baker)
We gladly devote our second page this morning to the address of Capt. Henry King, delivered before the editorial association at Leavenworth. The address is a good one....As to the theory which runs through the address, viz, that the press made Kansas, as at times it is claimed that the press made the world, or advised how it should be made ? that is very well to talk. It makes the editors feel good, and they ought to feel that way once a year, but it isn't exactly true, at least we do not believe it, and with due respect to the "orator of the day," we don't believe that he believes it. If the Kansas press made Kansas free, it is just as certain that the Missouri press made that state pro-slavery. The press of Kansas was not entirely devoted to freedom. We have heard of a paper called the Squatter Sovereign. If the press of Kansas denounced the invasion of the border ruffians, there was most certainly a press across the river that encouraged those invasions. The truth is, the press does not shape the opinions of the people. It reflects them.....To admit all that is claimed for the press is to assert that editors are the most learned, the bravest, the noblest of the human family....They are our oracles, in whose vicinity no dog shall be allowed to bark. We have known personally quite a number of editors, and have "hearn tell" of others, and have never perceived anything godlike about them. We do not believe the best one we ever saw would make a passable archangel....(F. P. Baker)
J. M. Lamureaux, formerly editor of the Girard News, whose business it was for one year to defame leading Republicans of Kansas and who skipped the county, leaving his bondsmen in limbo, has been caught and is now in jail at Girard.
We present to our readers this morning the Commonwealth in an entirely new dress. There is not an old type or one that has ever been used before in the paper. We have done this about a year before it was absolutely necessary, but we believed that the people of Topeka would appreciate our efforts to give them a good looking paper....We have also a complete new job office. We hope that we shall receive the patronage which this outlay justifies us in expecting. We trust that the day has passed in Topeka when every moonshine expedient to raise money by printing papers and other dodges has been encouraged. Such experiments only cost money and do no one any good. Our aim has been to give as good a paper as our patronage would afford. We shall continue to do so. (F. P. Baker)
"We understand that Col. S. S. Prouty of Topeka is in the city for the purpose of conducting the Union. The colonel was formerly proprietor of the Commonwealth, and also filled the office of state printer. He is a good writer and one of the ablest journalists in the state. If he were better acquainted in this locality, or had taken possession before the Union had lost its grip on the community, we should now expect a paper of a very high order ? almost as good as the Tribune...." ? Junction City Tribune.
We knew that Colonel Prouty was considering the question of taking hold of the Union, and conclude from the above that he has decided to do so. If that be the fact, Mr. Martin is to be congratulated....
The Arkansas Valley Democrat has changed hands, Mr. Flint selling out to Fugate & Smythe. Mr. Flint, however, is to be the political editor. He is a good writer but, in all kindness, we would advise him to get better posted on Kansas politics before he writes much on the subject. He makes terrible blunders and pitches into his own party when he thinks it is at Republicans. A better acquaintance with affairs in Kansas would keep him from such errors.
Geo. W. Martin returned yesterday from Junction City, having signed, sealed and delivered to Colonel Prouty the Junction City Union. Mr. Martin says it was like parting with an old friend to leave the paper, which has been for the past 15 years his pet. Mr. Prouty will remove his family soon.
**The Champion, in an article referring to the fact that Ed Ross, used to be a Republican and say harder things of the Democratic party than he can think to say of the Republicans, says:
"The Democratic party has not been killed. It is as lively, as aggressive, as powerful now as it was when Mr. Ross was a radical Republican. It has not changed in any respect. It has about the same leaders with the same following that it had when Mr. Ross regarded it with such intense hatred....But Mr. Ross, who says that the 'only way to reform a party, once thoroughly corrupted, is to kill it,' is now a member and a supporter of the party he denounced ten years ago as 'thoroughly corrupted.' If what he then said was true, he is now endeavoring to build up and put in power a party 'thoroughly corrupted'."...
We find the following in yesterday's Journal of Commerce: "Major W. Bloss, who has for over two years occupied the position of managing editor of the Journal of Commerce, has severed his connection with this paper to engage in the work of his profession elsewhere. Major B. is a journalist of ability and experience, and he will take his new field of labor with the best wishes of his associates here." Mr. Bloss not only has the good wishes of his associates of the Journal, but of the newspaper fraternity generally. A good writer, a gentleman in all of his transactions, he has left a good name behind him now, as he did on other papers with which he has been connected.
We are in receipt of the first number of the Madison Farmer, published at Madison, Greenwood County, by Bennet & Trask; both of them have worked in this office and both are good printers.
The Kinsley Republican is the name of a new paper received from Kinsley. It is a seven column, well printed and well filled with editorial and selected matter. M. M. Lewis, formerly of the Interior at Hutchinson, is editor and F. P. Hallowell publisher.
E. Fleischer, editor of the German paper, the Courier, at Atchison, is in the city. Our readers are aware that he originated a movement a short time ago among the Germans of Kansas for the purpose of organizing an association to promote immigration into Kansas. He informs us that there will be a state convention in Topeka on the 18th of December for the purpose of perfecting the organization. Each county will be entitled to three delegates. Already communications are pouring into the local committee at Atchison making inquiries. The movement is a good one.
The Kansas City Journal, the only real newspaper in that city, has quite lately treated itself to a new dress....In the issue of the 15th it says: "Today we commence Volume XXIV of the Journal of Commerce. Looking at the old file, we find it a weekly of six columns, just half the present size of the daily today. We doubt if the same fact can be written of any paper in the West that can be said of the Journal. The business manager of the Journal today was the publisher of the first number, and the editor today was the editor in charge of the first number of the second volume. With slight interregnums, occasioned by the war and business arrangements, they have been connected with it, one or both, during all that time."
An item floating around in several of our exchanges chronicles the death at Huntsville, Ala., a short time since, of...Peter B. Lee, the notorious tramp printer, while attempting to board a freight train, and we think the subject deserves more than a passing notice. We believe he was born and served his time somewhere in western Pennsylvania, but it would be hard to tell just when and where Peter B. did first come to the surface as a "tramp." Our first recollection of him dates back some 20 years ago, in a little town on the Western Reserve, at which time the writer was "ad agent" for Dr. E. N. Harris' "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and had stopped to bill the place and subsidize the village newspaper. A few years later, we ran across him in Galveston, Texas, and then again in New Orleans, Chicago and other points west and south; but he never became noted as a confirmed "tramp" till about the breaking out of the war. The last time Peter B. interviewed us, he was in the high tide of prosperity, having been in the town (Topeka) and at work at irregular intervals for some six weeks! He struck us for a quarter, though, all the same. Although a "tramp" in the fullest and broadest sense the term implies, yet he scorned the title, and ever refused to own the name ? a "typographical tourist" was what he usually styled himself when holding forth to the boys over the imposing stone or in using persuasive powers to manipulate some "tender-hearted gannymede" out of his matutinal cocktail, yet in no sense could Peter B. be called a bore; he was not given to tell long and prosy stories all about his own exploits and wonderful experiences; but the stories he could tell and that have been told about him would make a volume equal in bulk, and fact, if not in fancy, to the "Tales of Baron Munchausen." He was a man of keen observation, kindly disposition, and naturally charitable impulses; but his tastes and aspirations were decidedly for the road ? the "turf," as the veterans call it; and when blackberries were ripe and hazel nuts turned brown, he was happy and independent. Of late years, Peter B. has worked very little and walked a good deal ? led a sort of innocently unremunerative life, harmless in its way and injuring no one, except it might be in the moral influence on the youngest apprentice, who innocently "stood in" with the old man, and was only too ready and willing to do him a kindly turn. In this little panegyric, we have purposely omitted any mention of that one besetting sin ? that great black rock on which so many of us poor devils shipwreck. Everyone who knew him (and he was known from the Alleghenies to the Rockies, from Oregon to the Gulf of Mexico) know all about his many faults and his many virtues ? a thorough and experienced workman, well-read and gifted with rare conversational powers, and, no matter what his resources or condition, always a gentleman, but undeniably a "tramp" of the first magnitude, the result of whose whole life seems to have been "To weave but make no end, To sing and lose the song." The quoins have loosened and his form is "pied" ? has the debris been consigned to that usual receptacle for battered and squabbled matter? "Come in, poor man, come in." ? E.
The Leavenworth Public Press is now published seven times a week, that is Sundays as well as week days. This is the first time there has been such a paper in Kansas. The proprietor says that he thinks that it will pay....
The Ford County Globe is the name of a new paper from Dodge City. It is published by D. M. Frost, whom we know to be a good man, and W. N. Morphy, who we presume is or he could not get in with Frost.
Many of our readers will remember that, during the campaign last fall, and again just prior to the editorial convention last June, that handbills, charging D. R. Anthony of Leavenworth with vicious crimes, were circulated broadcast over the state. We gave our views at the time about the circulation of such documents, saying that it was a contemptible and criminal piece of business. Mr. Anthony commenced a civil suit against Ketchison & Durfee, job printers at Leavenworth, for printing the documents referred to. That suit was on trial three days last week in the district court of Leavenworth County. Ketchison & Durfee plead ignorance of the fact of the printing at the time it was done, but admitted receiving pay for doing the work, and set up justification, that is that the charges were true. Under the late decision of the Supreme Court, if they proved that the charges were true, whether published with justifiable motives or not, the verdict would have been for the defendants. After examining about 100 witnesses in all parts of the country, the jury brought in a verdict in favor of Mr. Anthony, which in effect means that the charges were not proven. The damages assessed were one cent, which carried costs amounting to about $500....Mr. Anthony swore on the stand that all of the charges were lies. We refer to this now to say that we are glad that public opinion in Kansas will now allow the courts to protect citizens....There has been too much of that kind of newspaper literature in Kansas for the good of the state or for newspapers. It is time that it stopped. Mr. Anthony has set an example that we trust will be followed by every citizen when libeled....In a case in this city, where one person caused the arrest of another for publishing that his mother was a prostitute, Mr. Anthony took the side of the publisher and stated in substance (we do not give the exact words) that one who tried to get a character through the courts had no character to lose. The effect of such utterances by Mr. Anthony help mould public opinion so that the case referred to was thrown out of court. In those days, public opinion, formed in part by Mr. Anthony's course, allowed the libeling of citizens day after day, for months and years. Those libeled, being law abiding citizens and knowing they could have no redress in the courts, submitted in silence, bearing what they could not stop, waiting and hoping for a change in public opinion.... (F. P. Baker)
The Sentinel is the name of a new paper which comes to us from Highland, Doniphan County. It is published by G. F. Hammer.
President Hayes has appointed F. P. Baker of the Commonwealth and E. L. Meyer of Hutchinson as honorary commissioners to the Paris exposition. Mr. Baker's long connection with the editorial fraternity of Kansas, and close identity with the business interests of the state, renders him eminently fitted to represent us in that capacity. (Exchange papers)
The Colored Citizen is the name of the new paper at Fort Scott, printed with the material formerly used in the publication of the Chetopa Herald.
The Larned Enterprise is a new paper issued at Larned. It is a neat looking paper and ably edited by Judge T. H. Edwards.
The Lawrence Journal announces that hereafter it will be published by the Lawrence Journal Company. The editorial control will remain in the hands of Mr. Thacher, who is among the best writers in the state.
The Clifton Localist is the name of a new paper published at Clifton by G. R. Cunningham & Co., former publishers of the Alma Blade.
The Courant-Ledger of Howard comes to us with the notice that Adrian Reynolds retires, leaving Mr. Steinbarger alone on that paper. Mr. Reynolds leaves to attend to his official duties as register of deeds.
Col. D. R. Anthony of the Leavenworth Times has sent us a calendar for 1878, a biographical sketch of his life and an engraved likeness of himself. The biographical sketch, we suppose, was prepared for the history of "self-made men of Kansas" which is being gotten up, and the likeness is probably to go into that book....Let what may be said of Col. Anthony, he is a marked man. Most anyone meeting him on the street would turn to take a second look, and ask who he was. The last sentence in the biographical sketch is as follows, and is probably as near true as anything that was ever written. It is this: "As a business man, he is exact, systematic and methodical; as a politician, he is radical, aggressive and earnest; as a friend, he is firm, active and devoted; and as an enemy ? one had better choose some other man."
All old settlers of Kansas remember R. J. Hinton, a newspaper man at different places in Kansas, and since then until within the past two years a resident of Washington. Mr. Hinton was one of the best writers for newspapers who ever shoved the pencil in Kansas. He is now residing in San Francisco and we have just received from him a book he has been getting out. It is entitled "The Hand-Book of Arizona."
A Kansan Abroad ? Mr. Prentis' book is now out. It is printed by Martin, and to say that the mechanical work on it is equally as good as the matter it contains is saying all that is necessary. It contains the letters which Mr. Prentis wrote while in Europe last year....It also contains Mr. Prentis' lecture before the State Agricultural College in 1875, entitled "The World a School."...Besides the above, the book contains his lecture "Pike of Pike's Peak," which was delivered before the State Historical Society in this city in the winter of 1877....
I find in your paper of Friday last the following: "The secretary of the State Historical Society has received Venango, Penn., newspapers which give obituary notices of Peter O. Conver, who died on the 19th at Tionesta, Penn., where he had been engaged for the past ten years in the publication of the Forest Press. The papers speak of him as having at one time lived at Topeka, where he established the Topeka Journal, which enterprise is said to have soon failed on account of the border war. We do not remember of any such newspaper enterprise at Topeka, nor of any such person here. Who does?"
I do. P. O. Conver came to Kansas from Pennsylvania in 1855. He worked as a journeyman printer in the Herald of Freedom, in the Kansas Tribune, and in the Kansas Freeman office at Topeka. He issued a prospectus for a paper at Council City (a paper town just south of where Burlingame is now located, where large numbers of lots were sold to verdant Eastern capitalists) and afterwards issued one or two numbers of the Kansas Journal, dated at that place, but printed in the Kansas Tribune office at Topeka.
He was considerable of a genius ? a queer genius, full of wit, generous to a fault, a most whole-souled, companionable man, but an oddity with a weird, wild look ? "a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy," capable of keeping "a table in the roar."
In the early part of 1856 he left Kansas, but when the battle waged I heard of him at Cleveland, Ohio, where a few friends of Kansas had fitted him out with a Sharps rifle, a canteen and a knapsack, and sent him on his way rejoicing, ready for the fray.
There were few more patriotic men among the army of Free State men than P. O. Conver. There was not a selfish thought in his heart. Many a time he trudged from Topeka to Lawrence, and to other places, threatened by the pro-slavery foe, on foot, carrying his rifle and his canteen.
There is a story told of him that he was once setting up an obituary notice where the editor had used the common expression "We must drop a tear in the memory of our dear deceased friend," and the proprietor changed the expression so as to read "a tear or two," on which a question of dispute arose as to good taste, which was referred to Conver. That was too good a joke for him, and he gravely declared that "or two" was a great improvement; he said nobody but a
d---d stingy cuss would think of shedding only one tear! It was finally referred to F. B. Swift, now foreman of the Lawrence Journal, who concurred with Conver, but added that he thought "perhaps three" in parenthesis would add to the force of the phraseology and it was accordingly amended to read: "We must shed a tear or two (or perhaps three) to the memory of our dear deceased friend." The truth of history must be preserved. ? John Speer.
H. X. Devendorf, the general traveling agent and correspondent of the Commonwealth, has moved his family to Topeka, having rented the Throop place west of the city. Mr. Devendorf has gone south on the Santa Fe on a business trip for this paper.
I have read with interest your reminiscences of the old Commonwealth crowd of editors and contributors, but you omit several of he outfit who ought not to be forgotten.
For instance, there was Charley Lyman, who used to report the camp meetings. He had a hack, I remember, to take him out to the campground; and he had a habit of filling the air with blue streaks of profanity every night over the crazy McIntosh's ghostly revels in the next room. He was a bright fellow and is now working, I think, on a Cleveland newspaper.
Then there was Billy Parsons, now a miner in Colorado, who used to come up from Burlington every month or two and help at "editing." It was Billy's custom always of an afternoon to hoist in a quart or so of juice down at the old Wallapus, and then write until he dropped off to sleep on a pile of exchanges....
Then there was Dr. McAllister, a surgeon in the navy, who wrote a series of "Around the World" letters; and the "Pilgrim Warrior," with his notes on church and Masonic matters; and S. D. Houston, with his essays on the science of government and the extension of the railway to his town; and Copley, whose voice was for "utilizing the magnificent water power of Kansas." And then there was "Allegro," who wrote those blood-curdling letters from Newton, and who finally had to be bounced because he took up too much space puffing the saloons where he got his drinks. "Allegro" was a fiddler in one of the Newton dance houses ? a mild-mannered, gentlemanly fellow, but a beat of the firewater. After severing his connection with the Commonwealth, he wrote several lurid sketches of frontier life for the New York World....And, finally, there was "Ivy Ingle," sweet singer of the Shuaganunga, who concocted verses of the pastoral sort....
There were many others, many of them who would chip in occasionally on special topics; and among them I recall Archie Williams, who was associated with Burlingame in preparing that noted biography of our distinguished fellow citizen, the Hon. John Seavey, whose views of feminine boarding schools form a part of our unwritten classical literature. What a gay crew it was that used to navigate the old ship in those halcyon days!... ? Citizen.
...How the early annals of the Commonwealth could have been written with so important an "out" as the name of W. R. Spooner is not easily accounted for. Whoever has come under the cogent spell of his all-compelling cheek, it seems to me, could not forget him....Spooner was a most perfect specimen of a certain "off" type of newspaper attaches ? the peripatetic fellow, in fact, whom the country brother announces in something like this style: "Mr. Jefferson Brick Maginnis looked in on us the other day for a few moments. He visits Coyote Center in the interest of that able and influential journal, the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is fortunate in obtaining the services of so perfect a gentleman and able a correspondent as Mr. McGinnis. Call again, Mac." With this greeting somewhat varied, he is welcomed and sped on his way by all the bucolic brethren of the quill till he becomes even more famous than the paper he represents. Of such and facile princeps of his class was Spooner. Subscriptions and job work were his ceaseless quest. When he came to the Commonwealth, the only excuses for printing a weekly edition were the sheriff's sales and the tax list. Spooner carried the banner of the weekly Commonwealth up and down the broad valleys of the state, and even into the commons and waste places, and returned home laden with loot. The subscription list went up booming....Spooner's cheek was the universal solvent. Before it even such obdurate metal as a landlord's heart melted. Spooner came, he ate, he slept, he went his way and paid no shot....He was the most successful promoter of the "editorial excursion" on the same inexpensive plan that our journalism has ever produced....He now occupies palatial offices on Nassau Street, New York, and is a prosperous practitioner at law.... ? Tax Payer.
We have received the first number of the Kingman Mercury, published at Kingman by J. C. Martin, formerly of the Chase County Courant.
The Oskaloosa Sickle and Sheaf announces the death of Jules Legender Williams, formerly one of the editors of that paper. Mr. Williams was a native of Wales, but emigrated when quite young with his parents to Canada. He entered Hillsdale College, Michigan, in 1859, but left school in 1861 to enlist in the 4th Michigan Infantry. He subsequently served in the 137th Pennsylvania; then on board the United States receiving ship Grampus as masters mate, and then as lieutenant in the 42nd Colored Infantry. In 1866 he was discharged for the last time from his country's service, when he removed to Kansas. During his life in Kansas, he was a teacher, a preacher of the Free Will Baptist faith, an editor, and probate judge of Jefferson County....
The Colored Citizen has been removed from Fort Scott to this city, and the office has been established at the corner of Tenth and Kansas avenues. The publishers will be Eagleson Brothers, and the editorial management will be in the hands of W. L. Eagleson and Rev. T. W. Henderson. The Colored Citizen has already a good list, and we hope the colored people of Topeka and Kansas will give it a hearty support.
J. B. Fugate, editor of the Arkansas Valley Democrat, has resigned that position and C. H. Hopkins becomes editor. Mr. Fugate does this to enable him to devote his whole time to the canvass, he being the Democratic nominee for Congress in this district.
Some half dozen papers in Kansas have made themselves ridiculous by stating that the Commonwealth had had a fat thing in being the "state paper." They are glad that some other paper is going to have a chance to get rich, and that the Commonwealth will have to run on its merits and not on the patronage of the state hereafter....For their benefit, we will make a statement, and if anyone does not believe what we say, they have the privilege of examining our books. We have received from the state, for the year ending September 1st, 1878, for official work in the Commonwealth, the magnificent sum of $470.25. To get this amount, we paid out for typesetting $285.15. This leaves us a net profit of $188.10, not enough to pay compositors, foreman, and press work on the paper a week. The amount paid out for typesetting includes nothing for proofreading, the use of our columns, etc....While on this subject, we wish to say that the "state paper" of Kansas ought to be a position sought for. In any other state than Kansas, it would be. In Kansas the state, county and city officials have for years made it a point to cripple the Republican papers of the state....The policy of the Republican party in Kansas has always been to build up opposition papers and hurt their own. We do not say that this has been the intention, but it has been the result of their acts....
Reduction in Price ? It will be seen...that we have put the price of the Weekly Commonwealth at $1.25 per year, 75 cents for six months, and 50 cents for three months....Under no conceivable circumstance will it be sent to anyone without prepayment. Clergymen will be supplied at $1.00 per year as heretofore. Postage, in all cases, prepaid.
The temperance Banner is published monthly at Osage Mission, Kansas, by J. R. Detwiler, GWCT of Kansas. It is a seven column paper and is devoted exclusively to the interest of temperance, and the organization of Good Templars. Every lodge in the state should get up a club for the Banner. Subscriptions 50 cents per annum, in advance.
Noble L. Prentis delivered his new lecture, "Funny Americans," to a Valley Falls audience...and it met with their entire and expressed approval.
The Lawrence Standard is the only really free trade paper in the United States. At least, we don't remember seeing any that takes the broad ground of "utterly annihilating" the whole tariff system ? that is free trade. Most men who talk and write about free trade don't mean it, while Ross does.
From St. Joseph Herald:
The Associated Press in this country at first consisted of a few papers in New York City. They formed an association in order to save the expense of paying six times for a President's message or other general news, when the paying of one time for six newspapers gave them the same news. Thus they collected news from each other and benefited themselves and the general public. Other associations have been formed all over the country, but all connected with the parent organization and under the Western Union Telegraph, and constantly paying tribute to both. The Association to which we here belong is called the Kansas and Missouri Associated Press. Its field is the state of Kansas and that part of Missouri west of a line drawn north and south through Jefferson City. The contract with the telegraph company and with the Western Associated Press was made in the winter of 1869. In the year of 1869-70, the daily papers in this association paid for their dispatches $14,295. Ten years have gone by, at the same rate, the few dailies in this organization have paid $142,950 for their telegraphic news ? for your telegraphic news. The telegraph was completed to Leavenworth in December 1858, twenty years ago. Thence it came up to Atchison and St. Joseph, on the Kansas side of the river, and was brought over the river here by a cable in mid-air ? so high as to be above the smokestacks of steamboats.
From St. Joseph Herald:
The Kansas City Times, in a communication, charged that F. P. Baker of the Topeka Commonwealth was guilty of the murder of Clarke Swayze. John W. Wilson, who killed Swayze, was tried and acquitted. Baker was not present at the encounter and had not directly anything to do with it. For the charge in the Times, Mr. Baker brought an action asking $20,000 damages. It was lately tried in Jefferson City and one dollar allowed by the jury. Mr. Baker took an appeal.
A few days ago, the publisher of the Times was found in Kansas, papers served and a criminal suit begun against him. That suit is now pending.
The Times has made no apology for its assault, we believe, but on Sunday published an article more than three columns long, stating its side of the case and giving a summary of its testimony, as produced at Jefferson City. All that it amounts to is this ? that three or four witnesses swore that they heard Baker say that "Swayze was dead, and he thanked God for it."
That is pretty thin defense for charging a man with being guilty of murder. We do not know whether Mr. Baker made that remark or not, but we think nearly all good men and women felt just as Mr. Baker is quoted as saying. Swayze published a paper for only one object ? to make money by publishing personalities. He was paid to talk and paid to be silent. Blackmailing was his business. The law should no more allow such wretches to run at large than it should use its power to spread hydrophobia or to encourage assassins. An infamous editor can do more harm to a community than murder and yellow fever. And Swayze was the editor of the least conscience and the most sensual brutality that we have ever known or heard of. When the laws do not protect society from such creatures, it is not surprising that they are shot down like mad dogs.
"Nearly every newspaper in Kansas favors the re-election of Geo. W. Martin to the office of state printer. The very few that have spoken in favor of other candidates have never said a word against Mr. Martin, either as an officer or a gentleman....He pays his workmen the highest prices of any establishment west of the Mississippi River, and the result is he turns out the best printing in the country...." ? Junction City Tribune.
There are other candidates for state printer besides Mr. Martin. Each one of them has received as many favorable notices as Mr. Martin. It is false that nearly every paper in the state favors Mr. Martin's re-election. Not one-tenth of them do. It is true that Mr. Martin pays higher prices than any establishment west of the Mississippi River, if we except the Commonwealth, which pays the same wages that Martin does for the same class of work. Topeka pays printers a much larger price than any town west of the Mississippi river, and it does it because G. W. Martin, for the sake of boasting of his liberality, does so, and thus forces the Commonwealth to. The state work makes him able to do it, and we are forced to do as he does by the inexorable laws of trade. It is about this that we complain. The state work enables him to pay high wages, and do cheap work, thus driving his competitors to the wall.
"The Junction City Union is quite actively supporting Geo. W. Martin for state printer. It is all right. If Mr. Martin owned our outfit as he does the Union outfit, we suppose we should support him too. But he don't and besides we don't take him to be the superfine, XXX angel that some of his friends represent. It would be quite a blessing to the printers of Topeka if Mr. Martin would be supplanted by some party who would be content not to enter into competition with them for the work that is theirs by right. The Kansas Publishing House professes never to solicit patronage, and yet may be seen its employees buttonholing a man half an hour for a fifty cent job. Mr. Martin claims to take work at uniform and legitimate prices, and when endeavoring to silence competition, he takes work at unreasonably low prices, he explains by saying it is owing to "superior facilities." Now we have a little curiosity and would like to see if Mr. Martin's "facilities" would not be crippled if he did not receive a profit of 33.33 percent on all cost of work done for the state, besides having supplies furnished from the same source. We think that the result would be that he would come to grief in a short time." ? Topeka Democrat.
Sol Miller of the Troy Chief preaches the funeral sermon of the 24th newspaper in Doniphan County since he commenced publishing the Chief at White Cloud....We give two extended extracts.
"As a preliminary, we shall say that we have no exclusive privilege or right over any other man. But there should be a difference in men's claims for public patronage, founded upon solid grounds. A workman who has learned and understands his trade and relies upon it for a life support should be given the preference over one who adopts it as the best present means of accomplishing a purpose, without understanding the business, but who is compelled to pick up men here and there to do his work. And a man who settles down with a community, with the determination of staying there, sharing its good and bad fortunes alike, and bearing the brunt with others, is entitled to patronage in preference to one who is first here and then there, always on hand when the rich cream is ready to be skimmed off, and off somewhere else when the cream is gone.
"...On the other hand, how is it with our late competitor? In the first place, he knows nothing at all of the printing business, and could not carry on a newspaper for a single day without the assistance of others. He came to Kansas, as he had to other places, because he thought he saw an opening for a lucrative business - holding himself in readiness to go elsewhere when a better opening offered. He had been a merchant, speculator, insurance agent, drummer, newspaper publisher - anything that offered an open field, except work - not plotting, blowing, or exercise of cheek, but manual labor. In his efforts to support his family, he has never tried labor. He entrenched himself behind his constitutional right to engage in whatever business he chose, in order to make a living for his family. On the same principle, he could have opened a carpenter's shop, or a lawyer's, or a doctor's office, and hired cheap botches, pettifoggers or quacks to do the work, while he went about on his cheek, drumming up custom. He might have had a legal right to do this, yet we think that legitimate carpenters, lawyers and doctors, who had spent years fitting themselves for their business, would have had a right to complain, and to claim that they were better entitled to the patronage of the community. This is the way we felt."
...It is not necessary to charge Mr. Martin, or any other printer who has, or may in future have, the state work under the present law with dishonesty. The law itself is a monstrosity. We do not believe that any other state has so awkward and imperfect a system for getting its printing done as Kansas, a system which, if continued, will prove in the future one of the greatest sinks of corruption and waste to the state to be found anywhere in the West. The printing of the state, at present, amounts to a mere bagatelle to what it will grow to in the next ten or fifteen years.
And are we to continue to have a state printer elected by the Legislature, with power to run a stupendous publishing business in connection with the state work? An establishment consuming the immense volume of stock required to do the state work, and which is constantly augmenting, cannot be run in connection with a private concern, the work of which will soon approach that of the state, where the stock of the two concerns are continually and unavoidably interchanging and mixing, without remnants and pickings aggregating in the course of a year a very large sum, being absorbed by the private establishment.
Mr. Martin has already started the nucleus of such a business which, by the immense patronage of the state that it feeds on, will grow, if not checked, in the years to come to inconceivable proportions. In other states, the public printing is put out to the lowest responsible bidder. The great Government Printing House at Washington is confined altogether to government work, with a salaried manager, which is the more sensible way.
Our system will have to be abandoned sooner or later, and the sooner the better. Why should the state printer be an officer of so widely a different class from al other state officers? Let him be a salaried officer, as other officers are, at say $1,500 or $2,000 a year, to superintend the government printing and the stock and material be furnished by the state with the customary checks upon the purchasing, the bills to be audited and paid by the treasurer. Or else, put the work out by advertised proposals to the lowest bidder, and get rid of the monstrous system by which the state furnishes stock and capital to some favored party to compete with, and break down, private parties. This Legislature should not adjourn without changing the law in the matter of state printing, abolishing the present costly, unjust plan, and substituting one more in conformity with common practice, justice and common sense.... - Anti-Monopoly and Fair Play.
Mr. Davis, late of the Emporia Sun, is in the city. He informs us that he has sold that paper and will soon start an evening daily Democratic paper in this city. It will be called the Evening Star, and publication commenced not later than March 15th. He is looking around for an office.
...This morning the Executive Council has named the Commonwealth as the official state paper. The appointment takes effect April 1st. The Commonwealth has, since Mr. Martin named the Blade as state paper, exercising his right under the law as it then stood, published all syllabi just the same as though receiving pay for it. Under the present law, all laws passed by the Legislature, whether ordered published in any other paper or not, will also be published in the official state paper.
Charley Miller announces in the Leavenworth Press...that he had sold that paper to J. F. Legate and Joseph Clark....Mr. Legate is well known as one of the ablest men in Kansas. He has had considerable newspaper experience and is a terse, logical writer. Mr. Clark is one of the old newspaper pioneers of Kansas. His business qualifications are unsurpassed. As a newspaper man he has always been successful.
A. B. Hard of Lawrence has deposited with the State Historical Society a copy of John Speer's Tribune of August 27, 1863, the first number issued after the Quantrell raid upon Lawrence. The paper is full of the details of that terrible massacre, and contains the names of 73 of the persons who were killed. This sheet, printed on but one side, was printed at the Topeka Tribune office, and Mr. Speer acknowledges his indebtedness to Mr. Cummings for the use of his type, and to Major W. W. Ross for assistance in setting type, and also to Baker & Macdonald of the State Record for favors....This copy of the Tribune Mr. Hard has carefully preserved since its publication, and now gives it to the Historical Society, that it may be preserved for all time as a valuable and instructive relic.
Mr. Robbins of the Wichita Herald has sold to G. A. Martin of Topeka that paper. Mr. Martin has been connected with the AT&SF RR for a year past, and is a thoroughgoing, good business man. Mr. Robbins stays on at the Herald and will do the editorial work. He is a good writer and a stalwart Republican. His residence in Mississippi makes him the latter. No Northern man can live in the South without becoming a radical Republican, we don't care what his politics were before he went there.
Newton, May 3, 1879 - The Arkansas Valley Editorial Association held their quarterly meeting in the opera house, this city, this afternoon and evening. The attendance was large, considering the fact that these meetings are held every three months.
J. S. Collister of the Harvey County News is president....He is ably assisted by H. D. Morgan of the Florence Herald as secretary....When the meeting was called to order, the following answered to their names: T. L. Powers, Express, Ellinwood; H. D. Morgan, Herald, Florence; C. D. Ulmer, Bulletin, Sterling; E. B. Cowgill, Gazette, Sterling; Ed M. Wood, Democrat, Lyons; F. Meridith, News, Hutchinson; C. G. Coutant, Interior, Hutchinson; H. Von Sanger, Das Neue Vaterland, Newton; J. S. Collister, News, Newton; J. W. Sargent, Argosy, Nickerson; W. H. Walker, Gazette, Peabody; C. P. Townsley, Tribune, Great Bend; K. Himrod, Garden City paper; W. H. Warner, Bee, Newton; V. Taylor, Bee, Newton; W. C. Davis, Press, Iuka; H. P. Myton, News, Spearville; H. C. Ashbaugh, Kansan, Newton; W. H. Bruer, Leader, Kinsley; A. J. Hoisington, Register, Great Bend; J. P. Morris, Telephone, Burton.
Judge R. P. Muse gave the boys some of the best advice I ever listened to, being an editor long in the harness. His remarks were well received....Judge S. R. Peters also came forward with one of his open-hearted speeches.
There were several questions discussed, but the "How best to collect subscriptions" brought forth the most varied answers of any subject presented, and one could almost see ham, beef, potatoes, eggs, flour, hay, beans, physic, railroad passes and other garden truck floating all through the room, with here and there a greenback for variety.
At the evening session, C. G. Coutant, in well chosen words, wanted to know what are we in the Arkansas Valley going to do in regard to the colored immigrants coming into our state. Ed M. Wood of the Lyons Democrat, and a Democrat of the most radical stripe, just made the opera house ring with his welcome to the colored men of the South. Several speeches were made upon this subject and the resolution...was unanimously adopted.... - Vilas.
**Mark W. Delahay - We find the following in the Kansas City Mail of Tuesday, the 8th: "Hon. Mark W. Delahay of Leavenworth breathed his last this morning in Kansas City, Kan. The judge came down, some two weeks ago, and stopped with his old friend, Pat McGrew, of the Grand View Hotel. He was quite feeble when he arrived, and has been gradually growing weaker, until last evening, when he attempted to descend the stairs, but before reaching the lower steps, his strength gave way and he fell, striking his head on the floor below. The fall, not in itself fatal, was too much for him in his weakened condition. He lingered a few hours until death relieved him."
Mr. Delahay came to Kansas, we believe, in 1854 or '55 from Springfield, Ill. We glean from Wilder's "Annals" the following items in his Kansas life:
In May 1855, he began the publication of the Territorial Register in Leavenworth, a Free State paper, and was denounced as a traitor to the pro-slavery party. He was a member of the Topeka Constitutional Convention which met in this city October 23 of that year, and which was dispersed by Federal troops. On the 15th of December, the same year, his printing office was destroyed by the pro-slavery party. In January 1856, at the time of the election under the Topeka Constitution, he was elected as a delegate to Congress, but was never allowed to take his seat. May 18, 1859, he attended the famous Osawatomie Convention. As an old friend, and by marriage a relative, of Abraham Lincoln, when that gentleman visited Kansas in 1859 he was met by Mr. Delahay. He was chief clerk of the Territorial Legislature in 1860. In the spring of 1861 he was appointed surveyor general of Kansas by Abe Lincoln. He held that office till October 1863, when, at the death of Judge Williams, he was appointed U.S. district judge for the District of Kansas. He held that position ten years, or till 1873, when he resigned. Since that time...he has resided in Leavenworth, engaged in no business, except perhaps at one time he had control of the state railroad of that city.
In any history of Kansas that can be written, the name of Judge Delahay must often appear. He took part in all of the early struggles of the Territory; was always on the side of the Free State party. Mr. Delahay was not an educated man, in a scholastic sense; was not a well-read lawyer, but was possessed of a great amount of good common sense and natural force of character, which helped him through life to take a prominent part in politics and business. The wife of Thos. A. Osborn, ex-governor of Kansas and now U.S. minister in Chili, is a daughter of Judge Delahay. He has left one son who is in the U.S. Navy....He has one son, Robert, who lives in Leavenworth, and another, Charles, who lives in Denver. He has also left a daughter, Molly, who, we think, lives in Lexington, Mo. We believe that in 1855, when a member of the Topeka Convention, he was 27 years old, which would make his age...51 years.
Newspaper History of Shawnee County
The Kansas Freeman was founded July 4, 1855, by E. C. K. Garvey, editor and proprietor. It was Free State in politics and was published at the time of the meeting of the Topeka Constitutional Convention, when a daily evening edition was published during the session of that body.
The Kansas Tribune was first issued in Lawrence September 15, 1855, by John Speer, S. N. Wood soon becoming one of the editors and proprietors. After continuing till December, the paper suspended for a few weeks, when it was removed to Topeka and its publication continued by Speer and W. W. Ross until February 1857, when Speer sold out to Ross Bros. March 5, 1856, a daily edition was commenced, but lasted only a short time. In September 1858, the Messrs. Ross retired from the paper, Shepherd & Cummings continuing the publication. Afterwards, Cummings was the sole proprietor. Late in 1863 or early in 1864, Andrew Stark became the editor and proprietor, publishing a daily edition during the legislative session of 1864; and on May 5, 1865, it was purchased of him by E. C. K. Garvey and C. K. Holliday. After a brief interval, they sold to John P. Greer, and a daily was issued for a short time, beginning October 27, 1866. Greer retired from the paper February 23, 1867. December 6 of the same year, the daily Tribune was reissued under the management of Greer and A. L. Williams, and continued during the legislative session of 1868. The Tribune soon expired.
(It is difficult to trace the history of this paper accurately, owing to the absence of files, and the frequent changes of proprietorship.)
The Kansas State Record was founded by E. G. & W. W. Ross, October 1, 1859. In the spring of 1861, W. W. Ross sold to his brother, and August 10, 1862, the latter sold to S. D. Macdonald and F. G. Adams. February 1, 1863, Adams sold to F. P. Baker, and on February 6, 1868, Macdonald also sold to Baker, who was sole proprietor till the spring of 1869. The Daily Record was commenced June 3, 1868, and on April 3, 1869, the office was destroyed by fire. On the 20th of the same month, Henry King bought a half interest. A half sheet was issued for a month, when new material arrived, and the paper was reissued in its former proportions. February 15, 1871, King retired from the Record. From 1870 to December 1871, the paper was published by a joint stock company, of which Henry King was the first president, and F. P. Baker secretary and business manager. Upon the retirement of King, G. D. Baker became president of the company, and so remained until the Record was consolidated with the Commonwealth December 7, 1871. The Weekly Record was continued by G. D. Baker for a few weeks, when the Commonwealth Printing Company sold the material to G. D. Baker and S. D. Macdonald, who continued the publication till May 25, 1875, when it was also absorbed in the Commonwealth.
The Auburn Docket was started at Auburn June 20, 1860, by D. B. Emmert, editor and proprietor, and was continued for about a year.
The Truth-Teller, a sort of campaign paper, was published daily by Trask & Lowman during the first session of the state Legislature.
The Kansas Farmer, devoted to agriculture and kindred topics, was established May 1, 1863, as the organ of the State Agricultural Society and published monthly at Topeka under the immediate charge of F. G. Adams, secretary of the society. The paper was transferred to J. S. Brown January 1, 1865, who removed it to Lawrence, and continued it till August 1, 1867. It was then purchased by George T. Anthony and published by him at Leavenworth with George A. Crawford as associate editor and traveling agent till May 15, 1872, when it was issued as a semi-monthly. In January 1873, the Farmer was sold to M. S. Grant, who employed as editor Dr. A. G. Chase, who had latterly been assistant editor under Anthony. Grant continued the publication to November 15, 1873, when the establishment was purchased by J. K. Hudson, who removed it to Topeka January 1, 1874, and first issued the paper as a weekly on the 7th of the same month. The publication was continued by Hudson to May 1, 1878, when a half interest was sold to E. E. Ewing and the firm is now Hudson & Ewing.
The first number of the Kansas Educational Journal, monthly, was published January 1, 1864, and continued about nine years in book form, and one year as a quarto. It ceased to exist in the latter part of 1874. It was supported by persons interested in educational work, aided by appropriations from the state treasury. It was edited by the Rev. Peter McVicar, with numerous contributors.
The Topeka Leader was established December 9, 1865, by J. F. Cummings and Ward Burlingame, the latter being the editor. He withdrew in a few weeks and the paper was continued by Cummings till March 4, 1869, when it was absorbed in the Commonwealth. The Leader was revived in September 1876 by Cummings & Johnson and ran a few months, when it was again absorbed in the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth, daily and weekly, Republican, was established May 1, 1869, by S. S. Prouty and J. B. Davis. Ward Burlingame was the chief editor. July 1, 1869, Prouty sold his interest to A. W. Edwards and George W. Crane, but repurchased Edwards' interest in the latter part of the same month, when the firm became Prouty, Davis & Crane. Subsequently Davis and Crane sold their interests to F. L. Crane and S. D. Macdonald, the firm being known as S. S. Prouty & Co. The Daily State Record and the Commonwealth were consolidated December 7, 1871, the consolidated paper taking the name of the Commonwealth and being published by a stock company, Henry King managing editor. In November 1872, W. H. Rossington became one of the editors of the paper, and April 1, 1873, managing editor. August 17, 1873, Prouty severed his connection with the establishment and King became both publisher and managing editor. October 20 of the same year, the Commonwealth building, with all its material, was destroyed by fire. For a few weeks the paper was printed in the Blade office, when new material was procured and the paper resumed its old proportions, George W. Veale, a member of the old printing company, being the proprietor. He continued the publication until January 1, 1875, when the paper was sold to F. P. Baker, who did not take charge till March 7, 1875, when he assumed the control with N. L. Prentis as local and news editor. On June 1, 1876, Mr. Baker associated his three sons with him as partners, and since that time the paper has been published by F. P. Baker & Sons.
The American Young Folks, a 16-page illustrated monthly for boys and girls, was established by J. K. Hudson at Topeka in 1875 as a quarterly. In 1876, it was issued as a monthly and is continued by the firm of Hudson & Ewing.
The Topeka Tribune, a campaign paper, was started by the Topeka Greenback Publishing Company as a tri-weekly October 15, 1878.
The Tanner and Cobbler was published by M. R. Moore and J. L. King during the fall of 1872 as a campaign paper.
The Topeka Bulletin, a daily evening paper, was published for one week by L. M. Crawford at the time J. M. Harvey was elected United States senator. F. G. Adams was editor.
In the fall of 1870, a weekly paper called the Independent was issued by J. F. Cummings, but it lingered only for a few months.
The Kansas Staats Zeitung was founded September 15, 1871, by George Tauber. It was published about a year, when the material was purchased by A. Thoman and others, who continued the publication of the paper during the campaign of 1872 in the interest of Mr. Greeley. The material was then employed in printing a Swedish paper called the Kansas Monitor, which survived about a year, when the material was removed to Nebraska.
The Star of Empire was published by the National Land Company with Dr. W. E. Webb as editor during the years 1869 and '70. It was monthly and was printed at the Record office, a very large edition being issued.
The Advertiser, a monthly real estate paper, was published by Mills & Smith...and subsequently by J. Ennis & Co.
The North Topeka Times, Republican, was founded by C. Maynard, March,16, 1871. May 30, 1872, he sold it to J. V. Admire, who in turn sold to V. P. Wilson, January 1874. Mr. Wilson continued the Times as a weekly till the spring of 1875, when it was published as an evening daily (having been removed to the south side of the river) by Wilson & Sons till May 25, 1876. At that time it was purchased by N. R. Baker, who continued it, with S. S. Prouty as editor, for about six weeks, when it was merged into the Commonwealth.
The Wood Chopper was a campaign paper which was run through the Presidential canvass in advocacy of the election of Horace Greeley by F. P. Baker.
The Kansas Magazine Company was incorporated November 8, 1871. S. S. Prouty, Henry King, D. W. Wilder, C. W. Babcock, T. A. Osborn, John A. Martin, D. M. Valentine, M. W. Reynolds and W. H. Smallwood were the incorporators. The first number of the Kansas Magazine was issued January 1872. Henry King was the editor, and was succeeded by James W. Steele. The last number of the magazine was published in October 1873.
The Topeka Blade, a daily evening independent paper, was founded August 1, 1873, by J. Clark Swayze and was discontinued January 31, 1874. The publication was resumed by Swayze January 7, 1875, who continued it till March 27, 1877, when he was killed in a street encounter by J. W. Wilson. The paper was continued by Mrs. Swayze till February 28, 1878, when it was purchased by George W. Reed, by whom it is now published as an Independent Republican paper.
The Democrat was first issued at Topeka with material brought from Independence, Kan., January 20, 1875, by Peacock & Sons, by whom it is still continued. It is, as the
The annual convention of the Kansas Editors and Publishers for 1879 will be held at Topeka Thursday, June 12th, and the order of proceedings will embrace an address by T. Dwight Thacher of the Lawrence Journal; a poem by George W. Reed of the Topeka Blade and the transaction of business....The people of Topeka will entertain the editors free of all expense, a military ball will be given...under the auspices of the Capital Guards....The excursion will start from Topeka the afternoon of the 13th, arriving at Chicago on Chicago & Alton Railroad the afternoon of the 14th, and leaving there on lake steamer "Peerless" for Mackinac Straits via Milwaukee, Sheboygan and Manitowoc at 8 o'clock the same evening....One bona fide editor or publisher, and one lady, from each paper of the state will be entitled to go....The Emporia Knights Templar Band will attend the convention and accompany the excursion on the whole trip.... - Henry King, president.
We receive each week from 150 to 200 Kansas exchanges, printed on what is known as the patent outside plan. As we open these papers, we find that we have seen much of the reading matter in them already in one or the other of the Kansas City papers' Sunday supplements. Most of the patent outsides are printed in that city, and their immense Sunday supplements and much of their inside matter through the week, we have a chance to look at 40 to 50 times. All this we can get along with, but now comes something new. A religious paper has been started in Kansas City and comes to us with a request to X. No thank you. We have seen the most of the matter in your issue not much less than a hundred times during the past week, and we will manage to get along without seeing it again in your paper. Please don't send it.
Visiting Editors - The work of the convention having been concluded evening before last, yesterday forenoon was spent in showing the visitors about the city. According to the programme, the band wagon, a large bus, and numerous hacks and private carriages drew up in front of the Tefft House, ready to convey all those who wished to inspect the city to any locality they chose. The procession of vehicles, headed by the Emporia Knights Templar Band, and led by Dr. Huntoon, started about 9:30 o'clock....Immediately after dinner, the newspaper men who expected to go upon the excursion began to assemble at the Tefft House and Fifth Avenue Hotel, and by half past two o'clock the depot platform and waiting room were crowded....
Our stereotyping outfit has arrived and will be in running order today. Now is the time to get work done at St. Louis or Chicago prices. Parties wishing to get the maps of counties, stereotyped from the plates in the office of Secretary Gray, can be accommodated in the Commonwealth office.
We are glad to notice the prosperity of the Sumner County Press. It has a new cylinder press and new type, and comes out looking as neat as possible. It has always been ably edited. Capt. Folks and his paper have done much for Sumner County and much for the Republican Party of the state.
The Commonwealth stereotyping apparatus is now working well. Newspaper publishers and others who desire stereotyping will do well to correspond with the Commonwealth. It will save publishers many a bill for type, sorts, &c., to have their standing ads set up in the Commonwealth office and stereotyped.
The Wichita Beacon announces that it will commence to issue an evening daily on the 1st of September, and that it has secured the afternoon dispatches.
From the Wichita Eagle:
The daily papers of Kansas and Kansas City have been raising a fearful racket over their respective circulations. The Atchison Champion, Lawrence Journal and one or two others have carefully refrained from taking a hand. The row, we acknowledge, has resulted in our own enlightenment, the circulation according to their own stories being infinitely smaller than we had supposed. But figures won't lie and certificates of postmasters are hard to get over. For instance, the great Leavenworth Times acknowledges that its daily edition only reaches four thousand and odd. It even brags of that figure. The Daily Capital at Topeka, which announces through its own columns that it has agents employed along every prominent railway line in the state, only claims a little over four thousand of a circulation. The Kansas City Journal, the oldest paper in the West, and the Times, the mightiest blower that ever went anywhere outside of New York, make no better showings when brought down to cold facts and stubborn figures. We have always been afraid to blow about the Eagle's circulation heretofore, being only a country paper, but since the expositions alluded to, we have no hesitancy in saying that we can floor anything that has yet come out, excepting the Commonwealth, the figures and P.M.'s certificate being open to the inspection of all....
F. B. McGill, well and favorably known throughout the state as editor of the Oswego Independent, died at his home on the 19th. He had just returned from Colorado, where he went last spring, hoping to regain his health. Failing to obtain relief from that dread disease, consumption, he returned only to die surrounded by his family and friends.
Contracts for erecting a building on Jackson Street, between Seventh and Eighth,...for the Commonwealth office were let yesterday. The excavation, stone work and plastering were let to P. Mullady; for the carpenter work, roof and painting to C. B. Hopkins & Son. The building is to be...ready for occupancy by the 1st of December. It will be 25 by 110 feet, two stories high, of stone with brick front.
The Kansas City Journal and Times of that place, in their Sunday issue, contained articles on the early history of Kansas which are of great interest. Both papers deserve much credit.
The article in the Journal is written by Chas. S. Gleed, formerly local editor of the Lawrence Journal, and now clerk of P. B. Groat in the KP RR Passenger Department. It is the recollections of Samuel Walker of Lawrence. Our readers know that Mr. Walker was one of the first settlers in Douglas County, and that he took an active part in all the events in the first settlement of the state. He was a prominent figure in all of the border troubles. The account which Mr. Gleed takes from Mr. Walker's lips is as interesting as the most sensational novel ever published....
The Times has two articles, one written by John Speer and the other by M. W. Reynolds. Mr. Speer's article is, in fact, almost a complete history of Kansas from 1854 to 1858. No man in the state now took a more active part in, and made, that history than did Mr. Speer. It is intensely interesting, going as it does over almost every event of importance during the time stated. Mr. Speer's account of the times, as well as Mr. Walker's, will be criticized by others who took part in the exciting events of the period....This is true of all history. No two men see things in just the same light.
Mr. Reynolds' article is devoted to "Kansas Public Men." It touches lightly the character of the different governors and U.S. senators, and a few others....
Mr. Sharpe of the Ottawa Republican announces that he will start a daily in a few days. He is well qualified to run a daily and, if one can be made to succeed in that place, he will do it.
Judge Bailey is no longer the editor of the Lawrence Tribune. The reason is that he would not consent to a union between the Greenbackers and Democrats in Douglas County. Although the judge is a Greenbacker, he can't unite with Democrats to beat Republicans.
The first number of the Ottawa Daily Republican is on our table. Amasa Sharpe is the editor and proprietor, as he has long been of the weekly edition.
Topeka has another newspaper. It is called the Liberal Advocate and is published by the Liberal Publishing Company. From a hasty glance at it, we judge that its main idea is opposition to the Prohibition amendment to the constitution.
From the Wamego Agriculturist -- In the development of Kansas, there is nothing more marked than the great change in her newspapers. In looking back from the present time to that of Territorial days, the fact is clearly developed that, among all the newspapers started "to fill a long-felt want," "to represent the people," etc., only those who were managed by men who knew the requirements of journalism; men who had the foresight to see and know that self must be merged into the public good; have succeeded, and their papers are the only ones living today. Too many wart toads have engaged in the business, and their failure of success but demonstrates the fact that to run a newspaper is like managing any other business to a certain extent -- selfish motives and the "pulling down" policy must be eschewed to make it a success....So it is that, when a paper gives the news, and in doing so eschews so far as possible the traducing of private character, they will succeed just the same as the Commonwealth, Lawrence Journal, Standard, Leavenworth Times and others we might mention have succeeded....
From Atwood, Rawlins County, comes the Pioneer, a new, neat, well edited and printed paper. It is edited by A. S. Thorne, who brought his material from Butler County, Penn. Mr. Thorne says he lived in Kansas from 1857 to 1860.
...I never claimed to have started the first Free State paper in Kansas, though early settlers who know the facts have frequently given me that credit. What I mean to do now is very briefly state the facts and let the public judge.
I came to Kansas in September with my brother, J. L. Speer, and traveled as far west as Tecumseh and north to Leavenworth. There was no house then in Lawrence except a squatter's cabin. The Aid Society's immigrants were on the ground in tents. Judge Wakefield's house, six miles west of Lawrence, was the farthest house west on the old California road. There were but one or two houses between Lawrence and the east line of the state, except Indian houses, and no house of a white man between Lawrence and Leavenworth. I made a contract on my way to the Territory to have a specimen copy of my paper printed at Kansas City, but that contract was violated because my paper was to oppose slavery. I then went to Leavenworth and made a contract with the Herald, a pro-slavery paper just started, but that contract was violated for the same reason that operated against me at Kansas City.
"While in Kansas in September 1854, I collected material, wrote all my editorials and prepared everything on the soil of Kansas for a paper. I am very certain that the article which caused the violation of my contracts both in Leavenworth and Kansas City was the first anti-slavery editorials ever penned in Kansas, and it was as positive as I was able to write one. Failing in all efforts, I returned East and, at Medina, Ohio, printed and published my paper October 15, 1854. The first copy of the Herald of Freedom was printed at Conneautville, Penn., by G. W. Brown, dated October 21, 1854. It was dated at Wakarusa and represented itself as printed at the mouth of the Wakarusa. Mr. Brown never having been in Kansas, and supposing that the new settlement was called Wakarusa, and was located at the mouth of that river.
"The Kansas Tribune, Kansas Free State and the Herald of Freedom were all issued during the first week of January 1855. As all the papers had to be mailed in Kansas City, Mo., there being no post offices in the Territory of Kansas except at military stations, such as Forts Leavenworth and Riley, and were sent East to subscribers and exchanges, I am not able to say which paper was printed or mailed first. These are unvarnished facts, not opinions...." - John Speer.
We see by the last Clay County Dispatch that Wirt W. Walton has purchased a half interest in that paper, and takes editorial control on the first of January....It has been a good paper under the management of Mr. Campbell, and will be still better under the control of Mr. Walton.
This is the first paper issued from our new office....For the benefit of our out of town friends, we will state that when they are at the Tefft House, instead of going south on Kansas Avenue to get to the Capitol, turn west one block and then south, and half way across the block is our office. It is but half a block from the northeast corner of Capitol Square....Jackson Street, on which is the office, is as well lighted as Kansas Avenue....
The moving of an extensive printing office is no small affair, and has required the constant superintendence of the proprietors and editors to get things into shape....Since Saturday morning, we have taken down and put up five steam presses and a cutter, besides the news and job office and bindery. Besides this, our engine had to go to Mr. Cofran's machine shop for repairs and, at the last moment, we found that the great ten-horsepower boiler was leaking and had to be repaired....Will Fisher, the pressman, has hardly eaten or slept since two days before we commenced....
We are under obligations to the Journal office for printing our Sunday morning's issue. All parts of the office are now in running order except that all of the presses are not yet supplied with their steam fixtures....In three or four days, we shall be glad to show our friends the new Commonwealth office, the most complete printing office in the West....There are no "gilt-edge" furniture or fixings, but we believe it will prove to be convenient....
Father Baker was presented with a comfortable office chair by the Commonwealth employees after the moving of the printing material into the new office was completed. F. P. Baker has earned an easy chair and an honorable place in Kansas history. - Lawrence Tribune.
From the Hutchinson News -- When last at Topeka we had the pleasure of being shown over the new office of the Commonwealth. Heretofore, when one desired to visit the office of the state paper, he was compelled to go up a dirty stairway and follow a long, dark hall to a number of dingy, irregular, dark rooms, inconveniently arranged. Now they have a new, well-lighted stone building with brick front, 25 by 100 feet, two stories high with a basement arranged to be used when needed. The offices for business and editorial work are on the first floor, front. In the rear of this room is the large press room containing the power presses, cutters, etc., and still in the rear of this is the engine and boiler room. Upstairs is the composing, job, and news rooms, bindery, etc. It is lighted with gas and heated with steam. Taking it altogether, it is probably the best printing office in the state....
Special correspondence of the Inter-Ocean -- The Commonwealth has just moved into a handsome brick building, built expressly for an office of publication, and is owned and occupied solely by it. The Commonwealth is the outgrowth of a consolidation between the old Record, founded by ex-Senator Ed Ross in 1859, and the Commonwealth, started in 1869. With both papers, F. P. Baker of F. P. Baker & Sons, who now owns the Commonwealth, has been connected for 18 years. It is a pastime with the Democracy of the state to abuse "Old Baker" because he is a stalwart, and to the Commonwealth is accorded the place in Kansas which the Inter-Ocean has gained in the nation -- the "chief among stalwarts."...
Larned -- A regular quarterly meeting of the Arkansas Valley Editorial Association was held here today....Several subjects of interest were discussed, such as the spelling reform, prices of publishing legal notices, and on the latter question the attorney general was called upon and gave his opinion. A. J. Hoisington of Great Bend was elected president; C. L. Hubbs of Kinsley, vice-president; Walker of Peabody, secretary; and Conklin of Winfield, treasurer....The banquet and ball held at the Larned House was a very elegant affair....
Leavenworth -- At the annual meeting of the Trans-Mississippi Press Association held here this afternoon, the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President, Geo. W. Reed, Topeka State Journal; vice-president, H. Clay Park, Atchison Patriot; secretary and treasurer, J. C. Shea, Kansas City Mail.
From the Lawrence Standard -- We have for several years been receiving a number of the leading daily papers of Kansas in exchange for our little Evening Standard. This favor has been one of very considerable moment to us,...especially when we take into account how little benefit the Evening Standard must be to them.
Among these leading dailies is the Topeka Commonwealth. The recent removal of the Commonwealth into its new, elegant, and commodious quarters affords us a good opportunity to give that paper a first-rate advertisement...and at the same time give our readers some idea of a first-class Kansas printing office.
The new building is situated on Jackson street, immediately northeast of the Statehouse, in the block cornering on Capital Square. Its dimensions are 110 feet by 25 -- two stories high. The front is occupied as the general business office, Mr. Nett. Baker, with his corps of clerks and their appropriate desks.
Next comes the general reception and reading room, supplied with chairs, tables, desks and files, for the convenience and pleasure of the numerous visitants to the establishment.
Adjoining this is the editorial room, where the old man and Cliff Baker have their den. Though sacred to the mysteries of journalism, this precinct, where are forged the sledge hammer blows of the Commonwealth in a terribly bad cause, is, after all, not so forbidding a place, especially when lightened up by the welcoming smiles of the occupants, that never fail to greet a fellow martyr of the editorial treadmill.
In the rear and adjoining this is a large stockroom for the storage of paper and general printing stock, at times containing several thousand dollars worth of stock.
Adjoining this, again, is the press room. In this room are five steam presses of all sizes, and a steam paper cutter and other machinery -- four of the presses running daily on job work, the fifth being the large newspaper press on which the Daily and Weekly Commonwealth are printed. All this machinery is of the most perfect character, well arranged, and under the excellent supervision of Mr. Fisher, the foreman of the press room. In this room are also folding tables, the stereotyping apparatus and gas generator from which is obtained the gas with which the building is lighted.
Next to this is the engine room, snug, compact, yet commodious and fireproof. The engine is of eight horsepower with a ten-horse boiler, ample for all their machinery, and that, in addition, forces steam through in pipes comfortably warming the entire building in a pleasant, safe, and economical manner.
The front room of the upper story is used as a composing room, where the typesetting of the Commonwealth is performed. This is a spacious, well-lighted, well-arranged and well-stocked room under the supervision of Geo. A. Clark, the foreman of that department. It is here the "galley slaves" of the morning paper toil till the waning hours of night in ceaseless efforts to decipher the hieroglyphics of the corps or editors, correspondents, and telegraph operators for the benefit of the comfortable but captious breakfast table reader who d--s the stupidity of the printer who gets a letter upside down, or misspells the jaw-breaking name of the fellow who got the last shot at the Czar.
The center of this story is occupied by the very complete job office of the establishment under the supervision of Ike Baker,...and it is by no means an inconsiderable part of the Commonwealth establishment. Between the job and composing rooms is Ike's private office, where he "figures down" job work....
In the rear of this is the Commonwealth bindery, also under Ike's charge, where book and newspaper binding of every description is executed....
The building is connected by telephone with 60 business places of the city, besides separate telephone lines to the residences of Nett. Baker and the chief of the establishment.
This is probably the most complete printing office in the state, as the Commonwealth is one of the most complete newspapers. It is one of the oldest papers in the state -- one of the most widely circulated and influential -- and barring its politics, which are simply damnable -- one of the very best. It is a newspaper of which the state and its party may be proud. Long may it wave.
The multiplication of newspapers in Kansas is so rapid that it is almost impossible to keep track of them. Of late we have had frequent inquiries as to whether a paper was published in this or that place or not, and who the publishers of such and such a paper were. In many cases, we could not answer these questions. In order to know the exact facts, we have, at considerable expense and trouble, got together a revised list and herewith print it. (This long list includes every county that had a newspaper.)
Atchison Champion, daily and weekly, John A. Martin, editor and proprietor.
Atchison Patriot, daily and weekly, H. Clay Park and Thomas Stivers, proprietors.
Globe, daily and weekly, Howe & Co., Atchison.
Atchison Courier, German, Edward Fleischer, editor.
Sunday Morning Call, Frank Pearce, editor.
The New West, monthly, published by New West Publishing Co., H. H. Allen, editor, Atchison.
Concordia Empire, Harris E. Smith, editor, Concordia.
Concordia Expositor, J. S. Paradis, editor, Concordia.
Clyde Herald, W. T. Beatty & Batchelder, publishers, Clyde.
Cloud County Blade, J. K. Hagaman, editor, Concordia.
Glasco Banner, V. C. Post, editor, Glasco.
Kansas Tribune, daily and weekly, N. L. Strong, manager, Lawrence.
Republican Daily Journal, and Western Home Journal, weekly, T. Dwight Thacher, editor, Lawrence.
Spirit of Kansas, by James T. Stevens, Lawrence.
Lawrence Standard, daily and weekly, E. G. Ross, editor; H. C. Burnett, assistant editor, Lawrence.
Kansas monthly, J. S. Boughton, publisher; G. A. Atwood, editor, Lawrence.
Kansas Review, monthly, Colin Timmons, editor, Lawrence.
Lawrence Germania, Gottlieb Oehrle, editor.
Ellis County Star, J. H. Downing, Hays City.
Hays City Sentinel, F. C. Montgomery, editor and proprietor, Hays City.
Ellis Weekly Headlight, Chas. E. Griffith, editor and publisher, Ellis.
Ellsworth Reporter, R. F. Kellogg, editor and proprietor, Ellsworth.
Ellsworth Times, Maberly & Collett, editors and publishers, Ellsworth.
Wilson Echo, S. A. Coover, editor, Wilson.
Western Star, T. H. McGill, editor, Hill City.
Graham County Lever, John H. Currie, editor; W. L. Risoter, proprietor, Gettysburg.
Millbrook Times, Benj. B. F. Graves, editor and publisher.
Jewell County Monitor, Geo. H. Case, editor; J. Thompson & Co., publishers.
Jewell County Republican, W. W. Brown editor; H. C. Brown & Co., publishers.
Burr Oak Reveille, H. E. Taylor, editor and publisher.
Jewell County Journal, Asa P. Wilbur, editor; Wilbur & Co., publishers.
Leavenworth Times, daily and weekly, D. R. Anthony, editor and proprietor, Leavenworth.
Kansas Freie Presse, daily and weekly, Haberlein Bros., publishers, Leavenworth.
Public Press, daily and weekly, Jos. Clark, publisher and proprietor, Leavenworth.
Workingman's Friend, James W. Remington, editor and publisher, Leavenworth.
Home Record, monthly, Mrs. C. H. Cushing, editor, Leavenworth.
Orphans' Friend, monthly, J. B. McCleery, editor; Mrs. Thos. Carney, business manager, Leavenworth.
Western Homestead, monthly, W. S. Burke & Beckwith, editors and proprietors, Leavenworth.
Appeal and Tribune, P. B. Castle, editor and publisher.
Lincoln County Register, Geo. W. Anderson, editor and proprietor, Lincoln.
Lincoln County Beacon, W. S. and Anna C. Wait, editors.
Marshall County News, Thos. Hughes, editor and proprietor, Marysville.
Blue Rapids Times, E. M. Brice, editor and publisher, Blue Rapids.
Waterville Telegraph, C. F. Stanley, editor, publisher and proprietor, Waterville.
Kansas Staats Zeitung, Dr. L. Rick, editor, Marysville.
Irving Blue Valley Citizen, Wm. J. Granger, editor and proprietor, Irving.
National Headlight, S. B. Todd, editor and publisher, Frankfort.
Beloit Gazette, John Coulter, editor; Brewster Cameron, publisher.
Beloit Courier, W. H. Caldwell, editor and proprietor.
Cawker City Free Press, Stephen De Young, publisher.
Western Democrat, Joseph B. Chapman, editor, Beloit.
Glen Elder Key, Geo. E. Dougherty, editor.
Norton County Advance, published by V. B. Beckett.
Osborne County Farmer, F. H. Barnhart, editor and publisher, Osborne.
The Truth Teller, C. Boren, publisher, Osborne.
Downs Times, Tom G. and C. W. Nicklin, editors and proprietors.
Bull City Post, Horning & Co., proprietors.
Kirwin Chief, A. G. McBride, editor and publisher.
Phillips County Herald, Korns & Stinson, editors, Phillipsburg.
Logan Enterprise, Gray & Swartout, proprietors.
Republic County Journal, S. W. Moore, editor and publisher, Scandia.
Belleville Telescope, J. C. Humphrey, editor and publisher, Belleville.
Industrialist, E. M. Shelton, managing editor, Manhattan.
Nationalist, Albert Griffin, editor and proprietor, Manhattan.
Manhattan Enterprise, A. L. Runyan, editor, Manhattan.
Independent, A. Southwick & Son, publishers, Riley Center.
Gleaner, monthly, Isaac Moon, Mayday.
Stockton News, Smith & Tremper, editors.
Stockton Record, Chambers & McBreen, editors and publishers.
Russell County Record, issued by Dollison Bros. (Wm. F. and Jas. F.), Russell.
Russell Independent, Wm. P. Tomlinson, editor; Wm. F. Tomlinson & W. A. Lewis, proprietors, Russell.
Saline County Journal, published by M. D. & L. E. Sampion, Salina.
Salina Herald, A. G. Stacy, editor, Salina.
Svensk Harolden, Ericson, Peterson & Co., C. A. Wenngren, editor, A. T. Sniggs, business manager, Salina.
Salina News and Farmers' Advocate, W. H. Johnson, publisher.
Western Reformer, monthly, S. Paris Davis, Salina.
Kansas Benevolent Society Record, quarterly, E. C. Culp, Salina.
Brookville Independent, weekly, Albin & Tupper, Brookville.
Wichita Republican, Frank K. Kirkpatrick, editor; Kirkpatrick & Kirk, publishers, daily and weekly.
National Monitor, J. S. Jennings, editor; J. S. Jennings & Co., publishers, Wichita.
The Eagle, weekly, M. M. & R. Murdock, editors and publishers.
Beacon, White & Smythe, editors and publishers.
Commonwealth, daily and weekly, by F. P. Baker & Sons (F. P., N. R., C. C., and I. N. Baker), Topeka.
Kansas Farmer, E. E. Ewing, editor and proprietor, Topeka.
American Young Folks, J. K. Hudson, publisher and proprietor; Mrs. Mary E. Hudson, editor, Topeka.
Kansas State Journal, daily and weekly, Geo. W. Reed, editor, publisher and proprietor.
Kansas Democrat, T. W. Peacock, editor; T. B. and F. L. Peacock, associate editors, Topeka.
North Topeka Times, Geo. S. Irwin, editor, North Topeka.
Kansas Churchman, monthly, Bishop Vail, editor and publisher.
Topeka Capital, daily and weekly, J. K. Hudson, editor and publisher.
Kansas Methodist, monthly, Rev. James E. Gilbert and Rev. John D. Knox, editors, Topeka; Silas Slusser, publisher.
Kansas Valley Times, O. Leroy Sedgwick, editor and proprietor, Rossville.
Herald of Kansas, H. C. Rutherford and W. L. Eagleson, editors and publishers, Topeka.
Kansas Staats Anzeiger, Phillip Schmitz, proprietor, Topeka.
Smith County Kansas Pioneer, Will D. Jenkins, editor and proprietor, Smith Center.
Kansas Free Press, N. Thompson, editor; J. A. Scarbrough, associate editor, Smith Center.
The Independent, W. A. Garretson, editor; Garretson & Topliff, publishers, Smith Center and Harlan.
Gaylord Herald, J. W. McBride, editor and proprietor.
Wa-Keeney Weekly World, W. S. Tilton, editor.
Wa-Keeney Kansas Leader, H. P. Stultz, editor and proprietor.
Washington Republican, J. B. Besack & Son, publishers, Washington.
Hanover Democrat, J. M. Hood, editor, Hanover.
Clifton Review, A. Dobbins & Co., Clifton.
State Historical Society -- We omitted in our list of newspapers in Kansas that of the Belle Plaine News. There were a few other omissions, which were added after it appeared in the Commonwealth, and worked off in slips for the State Historical Society, and will be sent to each publisher by Mr. Adams....We desire to state that the daughter of Mr. Adams, who devotes her entire time to the office in the State Historical Society rooms, should have the credit of compiling and correcting the list....Nearly all the papers of the state are on file, and not a day passes but what they are consulted by numerous parties....Mr. Adams and one daughter devote their entire time to the office, and often the services of Mrs. Adams and another daughter are required to keep the work up.
F. G. Adams, secretary of the State Historical Society, has corrected the list of papers we published, besides the one we noticed yesterday, as follows:
Temperance Palladium, James A. Troutman, editor, Lawrence.
Free Discussion, monthly, Lewis O. Hummer, editor, Topeka.
The following are published monthly: Educationalist, Emporia; Little Hatchet, Clay Center; American Young Folks, Topeka.
The Coffeyville Journal is published daily and weekly.
The places of publication of the following are omitted from the list: Sunday Morning Call, Atchison; Medical Index, Fort Scott; Jewell County Monitor, Jewell Center; Jewell County Republican, Jewell City; The Progress, Deighton Junction, Lane County; Lincoln County Beacon, Lincoln; Appeal and Tribune, Leavenworth; Ness County Pioneer, Sidney; Kansas Pilot, Kansas City, Kan.; Stock Farm and Home Weekly, Kansas City, Kansas.
Mr. Adams adds: They number 21 dailies, 273 weeklies, 3 semi-monthlies, 21 monthlies, 1 quarterly -- making 319 of all issues. Except in some instances where daily and weekly editions are both issued, they are all, with the exception of 11 in number, now being received by the society, and are bound by the society as volumes are completed, for permanent preservation as the property of the state. They are generously contributed by the publishers.
And still another new paper comes. This time it is the Times of Elk City, Montgomery County, published by Doud & Zike.
From the Lawrence Tribune -- The Commonwealth publishes a list of newspapers, daily, weekly and monthly, for Kansas....Some queer things appear in the list. The newly settled counties have more papers in proportion to population than the older ones. This is caused by the efforts of the town companies to boost their places, a newspaper being considered indispensable to make a town grow and blazon its wonderful advantages over all rivals. Doniphan, one of the oldest, richest and best settled counties of the state, is credited with but one paper, a weekly, while several of the new counties have five or six each. There are now fewer papers in eastern Kansas than there were 10 years ago, and 10 years hence will witness the death of many of those now being printed in the central and western counties....