About The patriot. (Indiana, Pa.) 1914-1955
Indiana, Pa. (1914-1955)
- The patriot. : (Indiana, Pa.) 1914-1955
- Alternative Titles:
- Place of publication:
- Indiana, Pa.
- Geographic coverage:
- Patriot Pub. Co.
- Dates of publication:
- Ceased in Dec. 1955?
- Vol. 1, no. 1 (Aug. 8, 1914)-
- Indiana (Pa.)--Newspapers.
- "Settimanale indipente bilingue," <Aug. 2, 1914>.
- Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- In Italian and English. Issues for June 23, 1917-<Oct. 22, 1921> mostly in Italian with one to two pages in English. Issues for <Jan. 5, 1929-Oct. 29, 1955> lack Italian title and contain one page in Italian.
- Order of titles varies.
- Publisher: Francesco Biamonte, <Jan. 5, 1929-Nov. 17, 1934>.
- Suspended July 28, 1918-Apr. 5, 1919.
- sn 85054967
- Related Links:
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- First Issue Last Issue
Westmoreland and Lycoming Counties provided land to form Indiana County, Pennsylvania, on March 30, 1803. The enabling legislation did not explain the name, but historians theorize that it imitated the Indiana (Home of the Indians) Territory, created in 1800.
The town of Indiana, about 55 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, became the county seat in 1805, and eventually home to actor James Stewart and environmentalist author Edward Abbey. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, with origins in 1875 as a school for teachers, is located in the town. Coal was mined in the area as early as 1795, and mining and farming dominated the economy by the end of the 19th century. Employment opportunities in the mines, mills, and railroads of Indiana and elsewhere in western Pennsylvania drew large numbers of European immigrants. The county’s population increased 55.6 percent between 1900 and 1910, with the proportion of foreign-born inhabitants rising from 4 to 20 percent. Indiana Borough and environs had fewer Italian-born residents than other western Pennsylvania towns, but Indiana was centrally located among the dispersed Italian immigrant communities in that part of the state, so an Italian-English newspaper published there would command a wide group of potential readers.
The founder and editor-for-life of thePatriot, Francesco Biamonte (1891-1955), was an exemplar of an enthusiastic immigrant to America, determined to be fully assimilated into his adopted country. Born in Calabria, Italy, Biamonte came to the United States in 1904, summoned by his brother, an Indiana County businessman. Biamonte returned to Italy a year later, but came back to Pennsylvania in 1914, attending business college in Johnstown before moving to Indiana to work in a bank.
Seeing a need for a publication to provide news about Italians in the region and to offer immigrants advice on adjusting to American life, Biamonte launched the Patriot as a weekly (Saturday) newspaper on August 8, 1914. “Il Nostro Saluto” (Our Greeting) in the first issue said that the paper would be politically independent but conscientiously provide information of the utmost importance. The Patriot was bilingual with four pages in English followed by four in Italian; in later years, the number of pages in Italian was reduced to one. This evolution reflected the shifting nature of the newspaper’s audience after 1914: a new generation of readers who were American-born.
A permanent column in the newspaper, beginning with its second issue, listed questions probably taken from the citizenship test. The column was initially titled “Questions that a Good Citizen Should Know,” later becoming “Voter’s Catechism.” Following his own lead, Biamonte became a naturalized citizen on February 16, 1917, and was drafted the following July, causing the newspaper to suspend publication until his return in April 1919. Biamonte did not report circulation figures to the standard newspaper directories, but his obituary in the Indiana Evening Gazette of September 6, 1955, said that, “His newspaper was widely read throughout the United States and Italy,” adding that Biamonte “ will be remembered by his many friends as a gentleman who truly represented the finest in Old World culture.” The Patriot did not survive the death of its hands-on manager, ceasing by December 1955.
Provided by: Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA