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The Southwest Sentinel was published between March 10, 1883, and May 1896, in Silver City, New Mexico. It usually appeared weekly although it was published semiweekly between March 10, 1883, and December 29, 1885, and daily between September 1887 and June 1888. For the first eleven issues, the paper was called the South-west Sentinel. On July 5, 1892, the paper stated in the heading that it offered “First Class Job Work,” while the editorial page indicated that the Sentinel was the “official paper of Silver City.” A reader could get a subscription for one year for $3.00, six months for $1.75, or three months for $1.00. Advertising rates ran one inch for one issue for $1.00, one inch for one month for $2.00, or one inch for one year for $12.00.
The railroad’s arrival in Silver City and the inexpensive shipping it provided spurred the growth of mining activities in the region. The town’s population grew rapidly and included a number of journalists who founded eight newspapers between 1879 and 1883. The Mining Life was the first paper published at the mining camp in 1873. The Grant County Herald, a weekly established in 1877, experienced intense competition from a daily paper beginning in March 1880. It responded by publishing the Daily Southwest, although the latter was suspended six months later. The Grant County Herald changed its name to the New Southwest and Grant County Herald, and the paper was enlarged in April 1881 to compete with two short-lived challengers, the Mining Chronicle and the Daily Telegram. The following year, the New Southwest contended with five new competitors, one daily and four weeklies. Four of the five Silver City newspapers were finally consolidated to form the Southwest Sentinel in March 1883. The new paper claimed to be independent but was actually Democratic. The Enterprise, a Republican weekly launched on October 24, 1882, remained its sole competitor.
Thereafter, the Southwest Sentinel and the Enterprise controlled journalism in Silver City. Several other newspapers tried to compete, but because the established papers were affiliated with the major political parties and because of declining economic conditions, they quickly failed. The Enterprise experienced few managerial changes, although the Southwest Sentinel had more difficulties and changed publishers many times between 1883 and 1898. The Southwest Sentinel was succeeded by the Silver City Independent in 1896.
Provided by: University of New Mexico