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The Helena [Montana] Weekly Herald was established in 1867. From the beginning, Robert E. Fisk, editor of the five-column, eight-page weekly, gained a reputation for his feisty political rhetoric in support of the Union. Born in Ohio, Fisk had served as an officer in the New York volunteers during the Civil War. Prior to the war, Fisk worked for the New York Herald as a compositor. Fisk and his brothers established the Helena Weekly Herald in part to promote Republican politics in Montana, which was reflected in an early editorial in which Fisk characterized a Democratic rival as "a copperhead snotrag."

The early pages of the paper followed both local and state politics, especially in 1874-75 with the decision to move the territorial capital from Virginia City to Helena. The Herald regularly published passenger lists for the steamboats at Fort Benton and reported on Indian troubles in southeastern Montana. A reflection of Helena's cosmopolitan nature can be seen in a regular ad for John T. Ward, a local book dealer, which lists newspapers available from New York, St. Louis, Chicago, and Cincinnati, and a wide array of monthly periodicals including Harper's, Atlantic Monthly, and Godey's Ladies Magazine. Robert Fisk managed the Herald for 28 years, with his tenure ending in 1895.

Provided by: Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT