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Lincoln telegraph. [volume] : (Bath, Me.) 1836-1846
Place of publication:
Bath, Me.
Geographic coverage:
  • Bath, Sagadahoc, Maine  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Elisha Clarke
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in Sept. 1846.
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Oct. 21, 1836)-
  • English
  • Bath (Me.)--Newspapers.
  • Maine--Bath.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01210217
  • April 8, 1843 issue called Supplementary telegraph.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Editor: E. Clarke.
sn 82014358
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Lincoln telegraph. [volume] April 5, 1838 , Image 1


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Lincoln Telegraph

The Lincoln Telegraph was established in Bath, Maine in 1836. Though now the county seat of Sagadahoc County, the paper was so-named because Bath was a city in Lincoln County at the time. It wasn't until 1854 that Bath became a part of the newly-formed Sagadahoc County.

Elisha Clarke was the first publisher of the Lincoln Telegraph. He purchased the paper from Josiah Swift, who had published it under the name the Gazette and Inquirer. The first edition of the Lincoln Telegraph was published on October 21, 1836, but the earliest edition that is available is from April 5, 1838.

Initially, the Lincoln Telegraph had a circulation of fewer than 100, but it grew quickly. It was a four-page, weekly paper, published on Thursdays. A subscription was two dollars per year. A note on the front page informed readers that the paper's office was located above Dr. Weld's store.

According to the book The History of Current Maine Newspapers, the Lincoln Telegraph was an "ardent Whig supporter," and a competing paper, Bath's Maine Inquirer, was created in 1842 to share Democrat views.

The Lincoln Telegraph's Whig support is made clear in the first paragraph of an article discussing the 1840 presidential election and Whig politician William Henry Harrison's victory:

The history of the world has never afforded a really sublimer spectacle than has just been witnessed by the American People in the recent development of the Popular Will, as manifested in the overwhelming political revolution, which has consigned the mousing politician of Kinderhook to his more appropriate sphere of action and exalted the patriot farmer of North Bend to the most honorable station in the world.

In 1838, the Lincoln Telegraph's masthead read "Literary, Religious, Moral, Agricultural, Commercial, &e.;, &e;,." On February 4, 1841, these words no longer appeared on the masthead. In the paper's later years, an illustration of a coastal scene appears between the words "Lincoln" and "Telegraph," indicating the coastal location of Bath, Maine. Also indicative of its coastal location and the importance of marine industry to the community, the Lincoln Telegraph published a "Marine List" reporting on ship activity.

The front page of the Lincoln Telegraph included speeches, correspondence, and news items related to state, local, and national news, as did interior pages of the paper. Poetry, Miscellaneous, and Moral and Religious were other section headings that appeared on the front page at times throughout the publication's run. The Lincoln Telegraph ran ads throughout the paper, along with marriages, deaths, and other announcements.

In the April 8, 1841 edition of the Lincoln Telegraph, there is a report on the illness of President William Henry Harrison on page two; the same edition, on the same page also carries the "Painful News!" of his death: "William Henry Harrison, President of the United States, is no more!"

Clarke sold the Lincoln Telegraph in 1846 to Chamberlain, Haines, and Plummer. In 1847, it was briefly known as the Northern Tribune and Lincoln Telegraph before becoming just the Northern Tribune.

Clarke retired from the newspaper business when he sold the Lincoln Telegraph, but he was elected to serve as a State Senator from 1853-1854.

Provided by: Maine State Library