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Lewistown gazette. [volume] : (Lewistown, Pa.) 1843-1944
Place of publication:
Lewistown, Pa.
Geographic coverage:
  • Lewistown, Mifflin, Pennsylvania  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
William Ross
Dates of publication:
  • New ser., v. 2, no. 18 (Nov. 18, 1843)- ; new ser., v. 1, no. 1 (Oct. 24, 1846)-new ser., v. 11, no. 52 (Nov. 5, 1857) ; new ser., v. 3, no. 1 (Nov. 12, 1857)- ; new ser., v. 13, no. 1 (Nov. 11, 1858)- ; -v. 133, whole no. 6811 (Dec. 28, 1944).
  • English
  • Lewistown (Mifflin County, Pa.)--Newspapers.
  • Mifflin County (Pa.)--Newspapers.
  • Pennsylvania--Lewistown (Mifflin County)--fast--(OCoLC)fst01775214
  • Pennsylvania--Mifflin County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01209229
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources.
  • United States.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204155
  • "Whig," <1846-1854>; "American, " <1855>-1856; "Union, " 1856-<1864>; "Republican, " <1876>.
  • Absorbed: Democrat and sentinel (Lewistown, Pa.).
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Editors: George Frysinger, 1846-<1876>; George R. Frysinger, <1871>-1872, <1876>.
  • Proprietor: George Frysinger, <1876>.
  • Publishers: George Frysinger, 1846-1862; George Frysinger & Son, 1863-<1864>; David Over, <1865-1866>; George R. Frysinger, <1871>-1872; George Frysinger, <1872>; George R. Frysinger, <1876>; Stackpole Brothers, 1883-<1912>.
sn 83032276
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Lewistown gazette. [volume] May 5, 1849 , Image 1


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Lewistown Gazette

Mifflin County, in central Pennsylvania, was created in 1789 out of Cumberland and Northumberland Counties. The name honors Thomas Mifflin, Pennsylvania's first governor.  The county seat originally was Mifflintown, but the honor moved to Lewistown under the influence of legislator William Lewis. His name was bestowed in 1795 on the newly incorporated borough, previously called by its Shawnee name, Ohesson. Mifflin County was a bucolic farming region but became a crossroads of transportation of cargo and people in the 1800s, with new roads and, especially, the Pennsylvania Canal. The Juniata River canal branch opened at Lewistown in 1829, and was active until railroads took over by 1850.

The roots of the Lewistown Gazette date to 1811 when James Dickson and William Power Elliott started the Juniata Gazette using equipment imported from Carlisle, Cumberland County. Several publishers later, in 1834, Elliott repurchased the newspaper, renamed it the Lewistown Gazette, and Mifflin and Juniata Advertiser, kept it briefly, and re-sold it to F. C. Merklein, publisher of the Juniata Journal. Under Merklein, the name evolved into the Mifflin County Gazette, and Farmers' and Mechanics' Journal. Finally, on November 18, 1843, new owner William Ross conferred the mercifully short name, Lewistown Gazette, which prevailed until the newspaper ceased publication in 1944.Ross sold the Gazette in 1846 to George Frysinger, of Hanover, York County, and Frysinger's Civil War-era articles and editorials make an absorbing study of how national politics and problems translated to the grassroots level. And, Lewistown was involved from the very beginning.

On April 12, 1861, the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter started the war. On April 15, President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling up 75,000 militiamen; this call was printed in the April 18 Gazette along with a report that Lewistown's militia unit, the Logan Guards, would volunteer. On April 16, a dispatch arrived, ordering the unit to Harrisburg immediately. The 102 Guardsmen departed on the 17th the Gazette said, "They will give a good account of themselves." They were mustered in with four other Pennsylvania militia groups (two from Pottsville, one each from Reading and Allentown), subsequently known collectively as the "First Defenders."

David Over, formerly of the Bedford Inquirer, was Gazette editor briefly in 1865, after which it was run by George Frysinger and his son, George Ritter Frysinger. Previously identified with the Whig and American parties, the Gazette now was a "Union" paper, that is, it was affiliated with the National Union Party, the name used by the Republican Party in the 1864 presidential election and sometimes afterwards at the state level. Gazette editorials in this period vividly convey a postwar atmosphere of distrust and tension. In the January 10, 1866, issue, Frysinger wrote, "The war is over, it is true; but we are by no means free from danger in the future... another rebellion or, what would be still worse, an insurrection on the part of the colored population of the South...[which] the Southern cutthroats who inaugurated the rebellion are now trying their best to produce by barbarous and cruel treatment of the oppressed race."

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