The Library of Congress > Chronicling America > Montgomery County sentinel.

Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1770-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities external link and the Library of Congress. Learn more

Montgomery County sentinel. [volume] : (Rockville, Md.) 1855-1974
Place of publication:
Rockville, Md.
Geographic coverage:
  • Gaithersburg, Montgomery, Maryland  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Rockville, Montgomery, Maryland  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
M. Fields
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Aug. 11, 1855)- ; -119th year, no. 51 (Aug. 8, 1974).
  • English
  • Maryland--Montgomery County--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206093
  • Maryland--Rockville.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204976
  • Montgomery County (Md.)--Newspapers.
  • Rockville (Md.)--Newspapers.
  • Published at Gaithersburg, Md., Aug. 31, 1972-1974.
  • Sept. 29. 1955 called also Century ed.
  • Suspended during spring and summer, 1864.
sn 83016209
Succeeding Titles:
View complete holdings information
First Issue Last Issue

Montgomery County sentinel. [volume] August 11, 1855 , Image 1


Calendar View

All front pages

First Issue  |  Last Issue

Montgomery County Sentinel

Matthew Fields commenced publication of the Montgomery County Sentinel as a weekly in his hometown of Rockville on August 11, 1855. Fields had learned the newspaper business as an apprentice at Rockville's Maryland Journal and True American, published by Jesse Leach. Fields briefly was a partner with John Braddock, Jr. in publishing the Rockville Journal and Montgomery County Advocate in 1854 -1855. He was also at various times the Montgomery county sheriff and tax collector, and a Rockville town commissioner and postmaster. The Sentinel was a family business, and after Matthew died in 1871, his widow, Rebecca Glorianna Fields, and their children, continued running the newspaper until her death in 1930 at the age of 100.

Although he began his career as a Whig, Matthew Fields transferred his loyalties to the Democratic Party, and his editorial positions championed the cause of the farmer and small businessperson. These interests were reflected in the paper's extensive coverage of the annual Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. His partisanship included strong opposition to the Know-Nothing Party and its successor, the Republicans. He sided with the south during the Civil War, which led to suspensions in issuing the Sentinel from October 17, 1862 until November 7, 1862 and in the spring of 1864. On both occasions, the editor was arrested and held by federal authorities who objected to his war and political reporting.

The Baltimore Sun reported Matthew Field's sudden, unexpected death in its issue of August 17, 1871, and it noted that in "recognition of the estimation in which he was held, business in Rockville was suspended on the day of his funeral." Rebecca Fields and her children, Clay and Mary Margaret, continued the paper, and post-war local concerns generally took prominence over national affairs. The commencement of passenger service on the Metropolitan Branch of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1873 positioned Rockville on a major rail line while allowing easy commutes to the nation's capital. The population of the Washington, DC area had doubled since 1860, and Rockville was soon a booming, prosperous suburb. The news featured reports of handsome new business structures and housing, and beginning in 1872, the Sentinel had a competitor in the weekly Montgomery Advocate. The Fields sold the Sentinel to former state senator P.G. Stromberg in 1932, and it later was acquired by Dr. Leonard Kapiloff whose family continues to publish the paper, stopping print publication in January 2020, and going fully online in June 2020.

Provided by: University of Maryland, College Park, MD