The Library of Congress > Chronicling America > The Conservative

Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities external link and the Library of Congress. Learn more

Pages Available: 8,056,532

Title:
The Conservative [microform]. : (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902
Place of publication:
Nebraska City, Neb.
Geographic coverage:
  • None, None  |  View more titles from this: City State
Publisher:
Morton Print. Co.
Dates of publication:
1898-1902
Description:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (July 14, 1898)-v. 4, no. 47 (May 29, 1902).
Frequency:
Weekly
Language:
  • English
Subjects:
  • Nebraska City (Neb.)--Newspapers.
  • Social sciences--Periodicals.
  • United States--Politics and government--Periodicals.
Notes:
  • A journal devoted to the discussion of political, economic, and sociological questions.
  • Editor: J. Sterling Morton.
  • Microfilm.
  • Title from caption.
LCCN:
sn 96080161
OCLC:
34575208
Succeeding Titles:
Holdings:
View complete holdings information

Conservative

In 1898, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (1893-97) J. Sterling Morton returned to his journalism background to establish a newspaper called the Conservative in Nebraska City, Otoe County. During its four years of publication, from July 14, 1898 to May 29, 1902, the Conservative addressed a broad range of national and local issues and enjoyed a circulation of more than 14,000. Issued every Thursday, the Conservative was printed in a magazine-style, three-column format and ranged from 10 to 20 pages per issue. Morton published the newspaper himself through his Morton Printing Co. and edited it personally until April 24, 1902, when poor health forced him to turn over editorial duties to his son, Paul Morton. The paper continued afterward under the title of the Nebraska City Weekly.

Although the Conservative had no official political affiliation, it mirrored Morton’s views as a long-time adherent of the conservative monetary and economic policies that prevailed within the Democratic Party until William Jennings Bryan gained control in 1896 on the platform of free coinage of silver and government intervention in the nation’s economy. In the first issue, Morton announced that the paper would be published “in the interest of conservation of all that is deemed desirable in the social, industrial and political life of the United States.” In practice, this editorial stance translated into a staunch and unrelenting denunciation of bimetallism and the policies of Bryan and the silver wing of the Democratic Party. Morton used the paper to campaign for the creation of a new “Conservative” party to be formed by “a realignment of the best elements of existing political organizations,” but nothing came of his crusade. The Conservative also articulated Morton’s long-held views that individual and corporate enterprise should be free of government interference or regulation. His paper vigorously defended labor and constantly criticized extravagant government spending. All Americans, in the Conservative’s view, were constituents in a general laboring class, and struggles between money and muscle were politically instigated, not the result of class divisions.

In addition to focusing on economic and political issues, the Conservative reflected Morton’s life-long interest in agriculture and horticultural development in Nebraska and the Great Plains. Morton’s proposal to set aside a day to plant trees, called Arbor Day, was first implemented in Nebraska in April 1872, and the idea subsequently spread across the United States and to other countries as well.

Provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE