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The Arkansas banner. [volume] : (Little Rock, Ark.) 1843-1851
Place of publication:
Little Rock, Ark.
Geographic coverage:
  • Little Rock, Pulaski, Arkansas  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
[Democratic Central Committee of the State of Arkansas]
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Sept. 16, 1843)-v. 8, no. 26 (Mar. 4, 1851).
  • English
  • Arkansas--Little Rock.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206922
  • Arkansas--Pulaski County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01208517
  • Little Rock (Ark.)--Newspapers.
  • Pulaski County (Ark.)--Newspapers.
  • Also issued on microfilm from Library of Congress Photoduplication Service.
  • Publisher varies.
sn 82007022
Succeeding Titles:
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The Arkansas banner. [volume] September 16, 1843 , Image 1


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The Arkansas Banner and Arkansas Democratic Banner

Little Rock, in central Arkansas, is the county seat of Pulaski County and the capital city. Pulaski County, one of the first five counties in Arkansas, was established in 1818. The county includes the Ouachita Mountains, Mississippi Alluvial Plain, and Coastal Plain. Little Rock was incorporated as a city in 1835 and was a hub of activity early in the state's history. Construction on the statehouse building began in 1833 along the banks of the Arkansas River. Both the county government and state government worked in the statehouse until 1883.

In 1843, Democrats in Little Rock needed a new newspaper, as the Arkansas State Gazette (1836-1850) shifted its affiliation from Democratic to Whig after an ownership change. The Arkansas Banner was founded by Archibald Yell in 1843 to be the voice of the Democrats, under the publishing name the Democratic Central Committee of the State of Arkansas. Dr. Solon Borland worked as editor with Elbert Hartwell English, who was also his associate at their joint law firm. Borland had writing experience from working at several newspapers in Memphis, Tennessee. The Banner soon changed publisher names to Borland & Farley, with Borland still working as editor.

Borland quickly began writing pointed articles about the Gazette editor, Benjamin John Borden. These jabs led to physical fights and finally a pistol duel between the two. Borland won the duel by shooting Borden. Since Borland was a doctor, he proceeded to patch Borden's gunshot wound. This led to a great friendship between the two.

Borland worked at the Banner until the start of the Mexican American War in 1845, at which time he was elected major of the Arkansas Mounted Infantry Regiment and left for Mexico.

Archibald Hamilton Rutherford took charge of the Banner next, and he ran it until 1846. Since the Banner was the voice of the Democrats, Rutherford was carefully chosen by the Democratic Party to run the paper. He had been a county judge in Clark County and clerk of the circuit court. Later he was elected to the Arkansas State Legislature for several terms and appointed deputy clerk of the United States court at Little Rock.

After Rutherford left in 1846, Lambert Jeffrey Reardon took over. He hired Lambert A. Whitely as junior editor. Reardon and Whitely were also involved in editorial and physical fights over personal insults with other newspaper editors. In one such physical fight, Borland, one of the previous Banner editors, happened to be passing by and joined in to prevent Reardon from shooting his opponent. Apparently, Borland did not want that fight to have the same outcome as his own newspaper duel.

Whitely eventually took control of the Banner, and in 1851 he added "Democratic" to the masthead, creating the Arkansas Democratic Banner. The next year he sold the paper and the name changed to The True Democrat (1852-1857) under publishers Richard Henry Johnson and Reuben S. Yerkes.

Provided by: Arkansas State Archives