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Liberty advocate. [volume] : (Liberty, Miss.) 1835-1866
Place of publication:
Liberty, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Liberty, Amite, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
J.J. Graves
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1835; ceased with Dec. 22, 1866 issue.
  • English
  • Liberty (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--Liberty.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01287519
  • Also issued on microfilm from UMI.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 8 (Jan. 24, 1837).
  • Editors: James J. Graves, <Jan. 24, 1837-Jan. 6, 1838>; Graves & Smiley, <Jan. 20, 1838-Sept. 8, 1838>; James M. Smiley, <Sept. 29, 1838-Oct. 22, 1840>; Ham. McKnight, <May 13, 1841-Mar. 12, 1842>; Augustus W. Forsythe & Thomas M. Kincade, <Apr. 2, 1842-<Jan. 17, 1843>; Hamilton McKnight, -July 15, 1843; H. McKnight and J.F. Lowry, July 22, 1843-
  • Latest issue consulted: Vol. 31, no. 44 (Dec. 22, 1866).
sn 83016942
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Liberty advocate. [volume] January 24, 1837 , Image 1


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Liberty Advocate

Situated on the Louisiana border in the southwest corner of Mississippi, Amite County was created in 1809 in the Mississippi Territory, before statehood in 1817. With flat to hilly terrain and sandy and silt loam soil, the area was a rich agricultural and timber-growing region, forested with longleaf yellow pine. Cotton reigned supreme as the antebellum cash crop. The establishment of a seat of government to be known as Liberty was also authorized in 1809 and the town, near a branch of the Amite River, was incorporated in 1828.

Before the Civil War the Liberty Advocate (1835-66) was emphatically "Whig all over," as proclaimed in a January 10, 1846 article addressed to the newspaper's patrons. Its motto by 1846 was "Liberty and Union, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable"; by 1862 it had changed to "In native arms, and native ranks, The [sic] only hope of freedom dwells," reflecting the paper's support of the Southern cause once the Civil War started. Although not its founder, Augustus W. Forsythe published the Advocate by January 1837 and, according to George P. Rowell's American Newspaper Directory, was still the editor/publisher in 1869 of the then Democratic newspaper. By 1870, Forsythe's daughter, Piney Woods Forsythe, was the publisher; the Advocate's last entry in Rowell's Directory was in 1877. Except for a time during the Civil War when the paper was reduced to two columns on two pages, the Advocate was a four-page, weekly although the day of publication varied over the years.

Often at odds with local Democratic publications, the Piney Woods Planter and Amite Union Literary Reflector (1838) and its successor, the Piney Woods Planter (1838-40), the Liberty Advocate provided the Whig perspective on national and local events. The Advocate covered current events, from the late 1830s/early 1840s banking crisis to the Mexican-American War (1846-48), and later the Civil War (1861-65) and its aftermath. Content included political editorials; speeches and addresses from notable personages; general interest articles; foreign, national, and state news; stories and poetry; marriage announcements and obituaries; newspaper prospectuses; and legal notices and advertisements. Local news was sparse, but informative. An unusual, but not unheard of event was reported in a January 17, 1843 article which described an earthquake felt in Liberty and other parts of Mississippi further north. An interesting notice in the December 22, 1866 issue for a lost pocketbook stated "The most valuable [paper] among them is a list of contributions . . . for the Monument to be erected in Liberty, to the memory of our noble Confederate dead . . . ." Built in 1871, Liberty's was the oldest Confederate monument in Mississippi and arguably the oldest in the nation. And sometimes a sense of humor surfaced, as in an October 3, 1837 notice for a "one kid reward" for the return of two escaped goats named Adam and Eve, who was ". . . of a fairer complexion, and no doubt enticed Adam away."

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History