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Council Bluffs bugle. [volume] : (City of Council Bluffs, Iowa) 1853-1857
Alternative Titles:
  • Semi-weekly bugle, Apr. 13-Dec. 25, 1855
Place of publication:
City of Council Bluffs, Iowa
Geographic coverage:
  • Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Joseph E. Johnson
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 7, no. 10 (June 23, 1857).
  • Began in 1853.
Weekly May 1, 1855-June 23, 1857
  • English
  • Council Bluffs (Iowa)--Newspapers.
  • Iowa--Council Bluffs.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01224198
  • Also issued on microfilm from the Library of Congress, Photoduplication Service.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 30 (Nov. 16, 1853).
  • Issue for Jan. 5, 1855 misdated Jan. 2, 1855.
  • Issues for Jan. 4, 1854-July 10, 1855 have subtitle: Semi-weekly. This subtitle was maintained from May 1-July 10, 1855 despite the change in periodicity from semiweekly to weekly with the issue of May 1, 1855.
  • Issues for Jan. 4, 1854-Mar. 23, 1855 also called whole no. 89-103 [i.e. 203].
  • Issues for Mar. 12-23, 1855 called whole no. 100-103 but constitute whole no. 200-203.
  • Vol. 5, no. [18] (July 17, 1855)-v. 5, no. [44] (Jan. 8, 1856) misnumbered Vol. 5, no. 19-43.
sn 82014139
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Council Bluffs bugle. [volume] January 2, 1855 , Image 1


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Council Bluffs Bugle, Weekly Council Bluffs Bugle, and Council Bluffs Bugle

Almon W. Babbitt established the Western Bugle in the town of Kanesville in April 1852. By December, the town was renamed Council Bluffs, and the following year Babbitt sold the Bugle to Joseph E. Johnson, who changed the title to the Council Bluffs Bugle. Under Johnson, the Bugle held close ties to the Mormon faith and prioritized the interests of the church over any political considerations.

After three years, printer L.O. Littlefield left the paper and was replaced by D.W. Carpenter. The Bugle office survived two fires, which took place one year apart on November 14, 1853, and November 14, 1854. A significant amount of printing equipment and materials were lost in both instances. In 1856, Lysander Wilkins Babbitt (no relation to Almon W. Babbitt) took over as editor, working alongside Carpenter until 1864, when Babbitt's son, Charles Henry Babbitt became the publisher. William T. Giles purchased the paper in January 1866, though his tenure at the Bugle was short-lived, ending in October 1867 when he sold the paper back to Lysander and Charles Babbitt.

During the 1860s, the Bugle aligned with the Democratic party, and specifically with the Copperhead movement. The Copperheads, or Peace Democrats, strongly opposed the Civil War and advocated for an immediate peace agreement with the Confederates. The Bugle reflected these views, criticizing Lincoln and his administration and blaming abolitionists for the war. The civil and political unrest of the war years gave rise to remarkably partisan journalism across the country, and even in such a climate, Copperhead newspapers like the Bugle were distinct in their harsh, heated rhetoric.

From its establishment, the Bugle's masthead featured the motto, "Truth, tho' crushed, shall rise again," seemingly in reference to the poem "The Battle-Field," by William Cullen Bryant, a longtime editor of the New York Post. Interestingly, Bryant was a fervent supporter of Abraham Lincoln and gave an influential speech at Cooper's Union that helped propel Lincoln to the presidency.

There is no record of the Bugle publishing between 1870 and 1876. It appears to have been revived in 1876 by Lysander Babbitt and R.C. Hubbard, and it was occasionally published as the Workingmen's Sunday Bugle. In 1878, Colonel John H. Keatly bought the Bugle and served as the editor and publisher until 1880, when the paper once again ceased publication.

Provided by: State Historical Society of Iowa