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The Southern banner. [volume] : (Holly Springs, Miss.) 1839-1839
Place of publication:
Holly Springs, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Holly Springs, Marshall, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
G.W. Pittman
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan. 18, 1839)-v. 1, no. 19 (May 25, 1839).
  • English
  • Holly Springs (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--Holly Springs.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01219889
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
sn 83016789
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The Southern banner. [volume] January 18, 1839 , Image 1


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The Southern Banner, Holly Springs Banner, Conservative, and Holly Springs Banner, Southern Banner and Holly Springs Gazette

On the Tennessee border in north-central Mississippi, Marshall County's gently rolling terrain of well-drained, extremely fertile soil was perfect for growing cotton. In 1850, the area produced more than 30,000 bales of cotton and had the largest population in the state. Known as "the capital of North Mississippi," Holly Springs, the county seat, was a prosperous antebellum town.

The large Whig following in Holly Springs and the surrounding area supported a party-affiliated newspaper run: the Southern Banner (1839); Holly Springs Banner (1839-40); Conservative, and Holly Springs Banner (1840-41), also known as the Southern Banner and Conservative; and the Southern Banner (1841); all were four-page weeklies. For a few weeks in 1841, Thomas A. Falconer was editor and publisher of the Conservative, and Holly Springs Banner, but a former proprietor soon resumed publication and changed the title to the Southern Banner. Falconer became sole publisher/editor of the Holly Springs Gazette (1841-18??), also a four-page weekly. In the Gazette's first issue, dated July 28, 1841, Falconer stated that "this paper will issue from the same press upon which the "Conservative" was formerly printed, and is intended to supersede that paper." He also specified that "politics will be Harrisonian and not a wild adherence to ultra-Whig doctrines." Falconer was a staunch states' rights supporter, a viewpoint that became noticeable in later issues of the Gazette. He next published the Democratic Unionist newspaper, the Mississippi Palladium (1851-52); Falconer died in the 1878 yellow fever epidemic that devastated hard-hit Holly Springs.

All of these papers were quite political, with editorials, letters to the editor, national and state legislative news, Whig political tickets, election results, and coverage of Whig events such as a regional rally announced in the August 3, 1844 Gazette. Other general content included sermons, poetry and stories, anecdotes and jokes, and general advice for farmers. Local educational opportunities, entertainments, legal notices, obituaries, and marriage announcements were also carried. In a rare glimpse into life in antebellum Mississippi, the September 9, 1841 issue of the Holly Springs Gazette printed the corporate laws of the town; statutes covered required community service by males citizens, or their substitutes, for road building; regulation of slaves and free Negroes; duties of the tax collector and treasurer; and fines imposed for shooting firearms in town. In addition to discussing the national and state banking crises, the Banner and Gazette covered north Mississippi's own banking crisis. In the August 4, 1841 issue of the Holly Springs Gazette, candidate for sheriff, A. C. McEwen, of the Bank of McEwen, King & Co., addressed the citizens of Marshall County: "The failure of the bank originated from releasing the mortgages and failing to effect the transfer [to the Northern Bank]." The banking fiasco caused many stockholders to flee to Texas. Later, news about the Republic of Texas, its border dispute with Mexico and annexation by the United States was a nearly weekly topic in the paper. Sympathy for Texas ran so high that volunteers from the county, listed in the April 15, 1842 issue of the Gazette, left to go " . . . marching through the prairies of Texas to meet the . . . Mexicans"; however, the next issue, April 22, 1842, reported that they had only made it to New Orleans.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History