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Washington sentinel. [volume] : (City of Washington [D.C.]) 1853-1856
Place of publication:
City of Washington [D.C.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Washington, District of Columbia  |  View more titles from this: City State
Beverley Tucker
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Oct. 4, 1853)-v. 3, no. 138 (Aug. 19, 1856).
  • English
  • Washington (D.C.)--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204505
  • Washington (D.C.)--Newspapers.
  • Also issued on microfilm from the Library of Congress, Photoduplication Service.
  • Also published in daily and weekly eds. of the same name.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Editors: W.M. Overton and C. Maurice Smith, <1853>; W.M. Overton, C. Maurice Smith and Beverley Tucker, <1855>-1856.
  • Publishers: Beverley Tucker, <1853>; Beverley Tucker and W.M. Overton, <1855>-1856.
  • Supplements accompany some issues.
  • Vol. 3, no. 138 misnumbered v. 3, no. 136.
sn 82014835
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Washington sentinel. [volume] March 27, 1855 , Image 1


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Washington Sentinel

On September 24, 1853, Beverley Tucker published the first issue of the Washington Sentinel, a pro-Democratic daily newspaper that remained in publication until March 25, 1855. Tucker was also appointed as the official printer of the Senate in 1853. In addition to the daily newspaper, tri-weekly, and weekly editions were also printed under the same name. The non-daily editions of the Washington Sentinel were published until August 19, 1856. The Washington Sentinel advocated strongly for the interests of the Democratic Party, serving as the organ of James Buchanan.

In the prospectus of the newspaper, the Washington Sentinel declared that it would "support cordially and earnestly the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States." The prospectus assures readers that the newspaper would be friendly to all Democratic Party press and was not the personal enemy of any non-Democratic newspaper, as stated in the September 24, 1853 issue. Despite this assertion, the Washington Sentinel regularly clashed with the Washington Union, engaging in many back-and-forth columns arguing over the results of the Baltimore Democratic Convention in 1853, as noted in the December 1, 1853 issue. The Washington Sentinel actively opposed both the Whig and Republican parties. On the question of abolition, it took a pro-slavery stance, arguing in the June 9, 1854 issue that free Black laborers took the work of poor white laborers. The Washington Sentinel often blamed the North for the problem of slavery. In addition to placing a heavy emphasis on states' rights, the paper stated the need for the United States to form a solid foreign policy.

In December of 1853, William M. Overton joined Beverley Tucker as an associate editor and publisher of the newspaper. Overton would serve as the associate editor and publisher of the daily, weekly, and tri-weekly editions until his death in 1856, which was announced in the January 5 issue. Charles Maurice Smith served as the assistant editor of the papers. On March 25, 1855, the Washington Sentinel announced the suspension of the daily newspaper, stating that the daily newspaper would resume printing again at an indefinite time. The tri-weekly and weekly newspapers continued to be published regularly for some time. However, on August 20, 1856, Beverley Tucker wrote to the Daily National Intelligencer and confirmed that the newspaper would be closing for good, stating that the strength of the Democratic party did not warrant the need for a newspaper like the Washington Sentinel. The daily newspaper never did resume printing before the permanent closure of the newspaper. Other newspapers hinted at different reasons for the newspaper's closure. The New York Herald reported in its August 26, 1856 issue that other pro-Buchanan newspapers had recently run out of money. Regardless of the reason for the newspaper's closure, Beverley Tucker continued a robust political career, writing letters to newspapers, acting as an economic agent to England, France, and Canada from 1852-1854, and being appointed by the president as the consulate to Liverpool, England from 1857-1861, as noted in the New Orleans Daily Crescent, September 12, 1857. In 1862, he joined the Confederate Army. After the Civil War, he lived in Mexico until 1869 before returning to Washington, DC.

Provided by: Library of Congress, Washington, DC