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The National tribune. [volume] : (Washington, D.C.) 1877-1917
Alternative Titles:
  • United States national tribune
Place of publication:
Washington, D.C.
Geographic coverage:
  • Washington, District of Columbia  |  View more titles from this: City State
G.E. Lemon & Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Oct. 1877)-v. 36, no. 28 (July 12, 1917).
Weekly Aug. 20, 1881-July 12, 1917
  • English
  • Washington (D.C.)--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204505
  • Washington (D.C.)--Newspapers.
  • Also issued on microfilm from the Library of Congress Photoduplication Service.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Began New ser., v. 1, no. 1 (Aug. 20, 1881).
  • Beginning with v. 2, no. 3, imprint varies: Washington, D.C. : National Tribune Company.
  • Issues for Aug. 12, 1882-July 12, 1917 called also whole no. 53-whole no. 1870.
  • Supplements accompany some issues.
  • Suspended July-Aug. 19, 1881?
sn 82016187
Succeeding Titles:
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The National tribune. [volume] October 1, 1877 , Image 1


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The National Tribune

The National Tribune was founded as a monthly newspaper for Civil War veterans and their families in October 1877.  Its aim was “to secure to soldiers and sailors their rights, and to expose their wrongs to public inspection so that correction may be made…” The Tribune included articles on the experiences of both commanding officers as well as ordinary soldiers, ranging from detailed battle descriptions to personal narratives.

The paper showed a particular interest in the Civil War as its founder, George E. Lemon, was himself a Union veteran. An attorney and accountant, Lemon intended the National Tribune to advocate on behalf of veterans rights and specifically for laws to ensure the receipt of pensions by veterans and their families. Later, in 1881, Lemon added to the paper’s motto a quotation from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address: “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan…”

During its first few years of publication, the National Tribune covered Congressional news related to pension laws and the Pension Office, as well as providing narratives, tables, and statistics about past wars. Relying on his background as a lawyer, Lemon frequently printed simple, yet valuable advice to veterans on claiming their pensions. The paper also covered lighter topics and included anecdotes, poems, and jokes.  Large illustrations many drawn by Thomas Nast, a well-known political cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly , appeared on its front page.  Later the Tribune became known for its regular feature, “Fighting them Over: What Our Veterans Have to Say About Their Old Campaigns,” which solicited memoirs from veterans of all ranks and backgrounds. This column established the National Tribune as a forum for discussion, debate, and reminiscence for veterans around the country, eventually becoming the official paper of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Like many other papers, the National Tribune underwent changes over the course of its history. On August 20, 1881, it shifted to a weekly publication schedule and adopted a new masthead and motto.  The Tribune gave rise to several special interest papers focusing on the veterans of specific wars, including the American Standard and the National Guardsman.Eventually, theTribune absorbed these titles, changing its name in 1917 to the National Tribune, incorporating the National Guardsman and the American Standard .  Between 1926 and 1927, the paper was briefly renamed the National Tribune, Stars and Stripes, the National Guardsman, the American Standard , preceding the penultimate name change on January 7, 1926, when it became known as the National Tribune, the Stars and Stripes, representing a merger with the Stars and Stripes, the official publication of the American Expeditionary Force from World War I. A final name change to Stars and Stripes, the National Tribune  followed in 1963, and afterwards it was printed as an independent newspaper reporting on the activities of the Department of Veterans Affairs and veterans’ organizations, as well as veterans legislation in Congress.

Provided by: Library of Congress, Washington, DC