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Title:
The Farmers' vindicator. : (Jackson, Miss.) 1873-1???
Place of publication:
Jackson, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Jackson, Hinds, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Publisher:
[s.n.]
Dates of publication:
1873-1???
Description:
  • Began in 1873?
Frequency:
Weekly
Language:
  • English
Notes:
  • "A weekly newspaper: devoted to the industrial interests of the South, the Granges, and the fireside."
  • "Official journal, Patrons of Husbandry, Mi."
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 45 (Aug. 7, 1874).
LCCN:
sn 87090126
OCLC:
15152056
Holdings:
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The Farmers' vindicator. October 31, 1873, Image 1

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The Farmers' Vindicator and The Patron of Husbandry

After the Civil War, several national organizations, such as the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry established in 1867 in Washington, D.C., were formed to promote agrarian interests, particularly against railroads and other large corporations.  Appealing to poor, white small-farm owners struggling to recover from the ravages of war within the crop-lien system that had replaced slavery, the Grange grew quickly in Mississippi, from four local chapters in 1871 to over 600 chapters by 1875.

Several pro-Grange newspapers were published in the state during this period. TheFarmer’s Vindicator (1873-76), an eight-page weekly in Jackson, called itself the "Official Journal of Patron of Husbandry, [Mississippi]." Another pro-Grange paper, thePatron of Husbandry began as an eight-page, monthly journal in Columbus in 1873. Two years later, Patron editor William H. Worthington, former publisher of the Columbus Democrat (1834-76), changed the format to a four-page, weekly newspaper (1875-83). When the Co-operative News Company bought the Vindicator in 1876 and moved it to New Orleans, the Patron declared itself the official newspaper of Mississippi's Grange and subsequently also sometimes claimed to be the official state journal of the Grange in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Additionally, since the Mississippi Grange endorsed two other newspapers, the Southern Homestead (1872-81?) and the Star of Pascagoula (1873-78), all four publications carried official proceedings and notifications. As elsewhere in the United States, however, when Grange membership declined in the mid-1880s, Grange-only newspapers became no longer viable in Mississippi.

The Farmer's Vindicator and the Patron of Husbandry, both enthusiastically promoted the agrarian agenda of the late 19th-century farmer's movement. While they overlapped in news coverage, such as the proceedings of annual state meetings, and both had elaborate depictions of agriculture and industry in their mastheads, the two publications had distinctive presentations and promoted different aspects of the national Grange. The Vindicator focused on local and state activities and strived to educate and improve the lives of individual readers. It included regular columns on scientific methods in agriculture, horticulture, and stock-raising, which covered topics such as crop diversification, home-made fertilizer, breaking colts, and care of sheep; its fireside column contained house-keeping tips and recipes. In contrast, the Patron focused on national and regional Grange news and promoted business cooperatives and the election of farmer-friendly candidates. For example, the September 4, 1880 issue of the Patron published the Grange's "Declaration of Purpose" and included an article on the establishment of a cooperative cotton warehouse in Aberdeen, Mississippi. The Patron also endorsed candidates such as Hernando DeSoto Money, United States Representative (1875-85, 1893-97), and supported his efforts to enlarge the power and duties of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History