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The pilot. [volume] : (Baltimore [Md.]) 1840-1840
Place of publication:
Baltimore [Md.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Baltimore, Maryland  |  View more titles from this: City State
Duff Green
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Apr. 2, 1840)-v. 1, no. 20 (May 2, 1840).
Daily (except Sunday)
  • English
  • Baltimore (Md.)--Newspapers.
  • Maryland--Baltimore.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204292
  • "Whig campaign paper for the presidency."
  • 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.
  • Suspended Apr. 3-8, 1840.
sn 83016474
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The pilot. [volume] April 2, 1840 , Image 1


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The Pilot and The Pilot and Transcript

The Pilot, thereafter named the Pilot and Transcript, was a Whig newspaper published daily in Baltimore from April 2, 1840, to January 25, 1841, owned and edited by Gen. Duff Green. The Pilot was a campaign paper for William Henry Harrison and John Tyler, the Whig candidates in the 1840 presidential election. It was four pages in length and contained matters related to the Whig party of Maryland, election news, editorials, letters to the editor, as well as public sales, shipping and commercial intelligence, marriage and death announcements, poetry and fiction, and advertisements. A weekly edition and a semiweekly called Pilot for the Country were also published by Green.

Green first became involved in politics in Missouri, where he was elected to the state legislature. President James Monroe appointed him a brigadier general in the Missouri state militia in 1820. In December 1823, Green purchased his first newspaper, the St. Louis Enquirer, and molded it into a political newspaper that supported John C. Calhoun, and subsequently Andrew Jackson, for the presidency in 1824. Green then moved to Washington and bought the United States Telegraph and likewise used it to champion Jackson's politics. When Jackson won the presidency in 1828, Green became a trusted adviser in Jackson's "Kitchen Cabinet's" and was appointed the official printer of Congress. In 1831, Green broke with Jackson and became a Whig supporter. He retired from the Telegraph in 1836, but continued to edit campaign newspapers, such as the Pilot.

In the months leading up to the 1840 election, Green was embroiled in a religious controversy that played out in the pages of the Pilot and eventually led to the paper's demise. It began when Green responded to a letter republished in the September 5, 1840, issue of the Baltimore Sun written by Bishop John England of Charleston, South Carolina, in which the bishop stated that it was the duty of good Catholics to support the Van Buren administration in the election. Green responded with an editorial on September 7 that urged Protestants to unite not only to resist Mr. Van Buren, but to resist Catholicism.

The Maryland Whigs were uncomfortable with Green's statements and insisted he leave religion out of the Pilot political discussions. Green ignored their demand, and the Maryland Whigs withdrew their endorsement of the Pilot in a statement published on October 26 that repudiated Green's comments regarding Catholics and naturalized voters. Afterwards, the number of subscribers to the Pilot dwindled, and the paper suspended publication in early 1841.

Green remained active in politics, acting as an advocate for free trade in England and then as the American consul to Texas in the 1840s. He was staunchly pro-Southern and opposed to abolition. But although Green supported states rights, he opposed secession. In 1860, Green was President James Buchanan's unofficial agent to President-Elect Abraham Lincoln, urging Lincoln to come to Washington and help Buchanan reach a compromise with seceding states. Green died on June 10, 1875, at his estate in Dalton, Georgia.

Provided by: University of Maryland, College Park, MD