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Iowa capitol reporter. [volume] : (Iowa City, Iowa) 1841-1855
Alternative Titles:
  • Capitol reporter
Place of publication:
Iowa City, Iowa
Geographic coverage:
  • Iowa City, Johnson, Iowa  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
V.P. Van Antwerp & Thomas Hughes
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Dec. 4, 1841)-
  • English
  • Iowa City (Iowa)--Newspapers.
  • Iowa--Iowa City.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01208636
  • "He is a free man whom the truth makes free."
  • "In this paper the laws, resolves and public treaties, of the United States, are published by authority."
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Includes condensed summary of legislative proceedings.
  • Issues for <May 16, 1849>- called new series.
  • Originally edited by: V.P. Antwerp and Thomas Hughes.
  • Publishers: Van Antwerp & Hughes, Dec. 4, 1841-Sept. 24, 1842; Williams & Hughes, Oct. 1-8, 1842; Hughes & Williams, Oct. 22, 1842-June 1, 1844; Jesse Williams, June 8, 1844-Apr. 19, 1845; Williams & Palmer, May 3-June 18, 1845; A.H. & G.D. Palmer, June 25, 1845-Mar. 18, 1846; A.H. Palmer, Mar. 25, 1846-Mar. 22, 1848; Garret D. Palmer & George Paul, Mar. 29, 1848-May 21, 1851; George Paul, May 28, 1851-<Feb. 18, 1852>; John Clark, <Mar. 10, 1852-May 31, 1854>; Sylvester, Harrison & Bro., <June 21, 1854>-
sn 82014116
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Iowa capitol reporter. [volume] January 21, 1846 , Image 1


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Iowa Capitol Reporter

In 1841, the capital of Iowa Territory moved from Burlington to Iowa City and the Iowa Capitol Reporter published its first issue on December 4. The Reporter was published and edited by Verplanck Van Antwerp and Thomas Hughes and was politically aligned with the Democratic Party. Its motto was, "He is a freeman whom the truth makes free." The paper focused on legislative and political news, both at the state and national levels.

Van Antwerp sold his interest in the Reporter to Jesse Williams in October 1842. Williams bought out Hughes in June 1844 and became the sole editor and proprietor. Abraham H. Palmer joined Williams as a partner in May 1845, and one month later he and his brother, Garret D. Palmer, took over as proprietors of the paper. A new prospectus announcing this partnership appeared in the February 11, 1846 issue. It declared that the Reporter would be "especially devoted to the advocacy and promulgation of sound democratic doctrines" and would "aim to blend the instructive and amusing" with columns dedicated to literature, agriculture, foreign, domestic, political, and miscellaneous news. In March 1846, Abraham Palmer became the paper's sole owner. The Reporter printed Iowa's new state Constitution in June 1846, and Iowa was officially granted statehood that December.

Edgar and Edmund Harrison purchased the paper in 1850 and hired Richard H. Sylvester to take over as editor. Five years later, the title changed to the Weekly Iowa Capital Reporter. When the state capital moved to Des Moines in 1857, the title changed again, becoming the Weekly State Reporter. Two years later, it became the Weekly Iowa State Reporter.

The year 1860 marked the beginning of the end for the Reporter. Although it had remained a Democratic paper since its establishment, the Reporter came out in support of Lincoln and shifted its support to the Republican Party. Edmund Harrison was still serving as the publisher, but Sylvester was replaced as editor by Lurton Dunham Ingersoll and Frederick Lloyd. The public did not welcome this sudden change. Democrats lamented the loss of their newspaper, and Republicans, particularly other local editors, insisted that another Republican paper would be redundant. A group of prominent Iowa City Democrats in soon formed a stock company to establish a new Democratic newspaper called the State Democratic Press, bringing in Sylvester as editor and James D. Templin as publisher. They produced their first issue on August 15, 1860.

In January 1861, Lloyd left the Reporter. Ingersoll remained the sole editor until the following July, when Edward C. Porter succeeded him. Unable to sustain its readership, however, the Weekly Iowa State Reporter ceased publication later that year.

Provided by: State Historical Society of Iowa