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About The Waterbury Democrat. [volume] (Waterbury, Conn.) 1917-1946
Waterbury, Conn. (1917-1946)
- The Waterbury Democrat. [volume] : (Waterbury, Conn.) 1917-1946
- Place of publication:
- Waterbury, Conn.
- Geographic coverage:
- Waterbury Democrat
- Dates of publication:
- Vol. 36, no. 56 (Mar. 7, 1917)-v. 44, no. 301 (Dec. 28, 1946).
- Daily (except Sun.)
- Waterbury (Conn.)--Newspapers.
- "Independent Democratic."
- Archived issues available at Library of Congress Chronicling America.
- Description based on: Vol. 63, no. 85 (Apr. 13, 1945).
- sn 82014085
- Preceding Titles:
- Succeeding Titles:
- Related Links:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
Cornelius Maloney founded a number of Democratic newspapers in Waterbury, Connecticut in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Maloney was part of the first wave of Irish immigrants who arrived in Waterbury during the early 1830s; by the 1880s, the Irish comprised about half of the city population. By this time, the Irish had largely overcome discrimination from the Protestant community and were establishing themselves as a formidable force in local politics. Maloney served as a Democratic Representative in the Connecticut General Assembly in 1887 and 1888.
According to city directories, Maloney operated a weekly newspaper in Waterbury known as the Valley Democrat in 1882-83. The paper was renamed the Waterbury Valley Democrat (1884-85) and the Sunday Democrat (1886-87). The first daily edition, the Waterbury Evening Democrat, appeared on December 5, 1887. This important publication reported chiefly on news and sports in Waterbury itself, but also included columns for the neighboring towns of Naugatuck, Oakville, and Watertown. It was later billed as the only Democratic paper in the industrializing Naugatuck Valley.
The Democrat began as a family affair. Cornelius Maloney and his brother, Michael Thomas Maloney, had established the publishing firm of C. & M. T. Maloney in 1882. The brothers first learned the printing and newspaper business in New Britain, where Cornelius had apprenticed with Oviatt & Guernsey and later worked for The New Britain Record and The New Britain Observer.
Maloney hired Irish activist Stephen J. Meany as the first editor of the daily Waterbury Evening Democrat. An attorney and a poet, Meany actively promoted the Irish nationalist cause as well as advancing a populist, pro-labor viewpoint. In an editorial for the first edition of the Evening Democrat, Meany declared his belief in "the greatest good of the greatest number; the triumph of popular rule over oligarchical recklessness; the requital for honest labor as against capitalist greed; the dignity of mind and muscle above monopoly and money-bags; religious liberty instead of sectarian strife; and, extending sympathy to our people beyond the ocean, the establishment of Irish nationhood on the ruins of British provincial servitude." Meany's famous tenure at the Democrat was brief: he died unexpectedly on February 8, 1888.
The purchase of a new and faster printing press in 1891 allowed the Maloneys to keep up with the growing interest in their publication. Daily circulation expanded from 2,500 in 1893 to 4,851 in 1903, when the Evening Democrat was marketed as "The Peoples' Paper." During the 210-day Waterbury trolley strike, which began on January 11, 1903, editorials supported workers' demands for a pay raise; they also underscored the peaceful nature of the strike and condemned strikebreakers as disreputable "scabs." This support for the working class and immigrants continued in the late 1920's when Maloney's son, E. Vincent Maloney, served as editor. He filled the paper with coverage such as news of Al Smith's riposte to the anti-Catholicism and anti-immigrant sentiments of the Ku Klux Klan and editorialized on behalf of those who felt excluded from the economic boom of the 1920s.
The title of the newspaper shifted slightly over the years. After August 1895, it was called the Waterbury Democrat, after November 1897 the Waterbury Evening Democrat; after October of 1900, its name reverted to the Waterbury Democrat. In March 1903, the paper again became known as the Waterbury Evening Democrat, and in 1917 The Waterbury Democrat. The paper continued to play an important role in Waterbury life until December 28, 1946, when the Maloney family, citing increasing costs, sold the Waterbury Democrat to the American-Republican, Inc., publishers of the Waterbury Republican and the Waterbury American.
Provided by: Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT