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Litchfield enquirer. [volume] : (Litchfield, Conn.) 1829-current
Place of publication:
Litchfield, Conn.
Geographic coverage:
  • Litchfield, Litchfield, Connecticut  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Henry Adams
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 3, no. 33 (Jan. 29, 1829)-v. 131, no. 51 (Feb. 9, 1956) ; 131st year, no. 52 (Feb. 16, 1956)-
  • English
  • Connecticut--Litchfield County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01211989
  • Connecticut--Litchfield.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01224866
  • Connecticut--New Milford.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01219254
  • Litchfield (Conn.)--Newspapers.
  • Litchfield County (Conn.)--Newspapers.
  • New Milford (Conn.)--Newspapers.
  • "Independent." Cf. Ayer, 1976.
  • "Whig," <1838-1851>; "Republican, " <1859>; "Union, " <1867>; "Republican, " 1868-<1876>.
  • Absorbed: Litchfield sentinel, May 1875., and: Litchfield star, 1891, and: Torrington leader, 1891, and: Cornwall news, 1891, and: Washington star (Litchfield, Conn.), 1891, and: New Milford observer, Nov. 28, 1940.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America newspaper collection.
  • Available on microfilm from New England Micrographics, Marlboro, Mass.
  • Editors: H. Adams, 1829-1842; C. Adams, 1842-1845; P.K. Kilbourne, 1845-1853; H.W. Hyatt, 1853-1856; C. Adams, 1857-1859; J. Humphrey, Jr., 1859-1865; H.E. Wing, 1865-1866; G.A. Hickox, 1866-<1876>.
  • Issues for 1829-Nov. 2, 1950 also called: Whole no. 137-6491. Issues for Nov. 9, 1950-Apr. 1, 1954 lack numbering, are called: Vol. 125-v. 128. Issues for Mar. 1990- lack numbering.
  • Published at the same office: Woodbury reporter, 193 -195.
  • Publishers: C. Adams, 1842-1845; Payne Kenyon Kilbourne, 1845-1853; Henry W. Hyatt, 1853-1856; Edward C. Goodwin, 1856-1857; Charles Adams and H.E.B. Betts, 1857-1859; James Humphrey, Jr., 1859-1865; Wing & Shumway, 1865-1866; A.B. Shumway, 1866-1869; G.A. Hickox, 1869-<1876>.
sn 84020071
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Litchfield enquirer. [volume] January 29, 1829 , Image 1


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The Litchfield County post and Litchfield enquirer.

Stephen Stanford Smith founded The Litchfield County Post, which was published weekly in the town of Litchfield, CT in 1826. This was just as the "Era of Good Feelings" was beginning to dissolve into the more contentious political scene that characterized the years of Jacksonian Democracy. As a paper with a statewide audience and a vigorous editorial practice, The Litchfield County Post was clearly at the center of discussions about the fate of Republicanism and the merits of its various wings. The fact that Smith represented the most conservative wing of the Republicans can be gleaned from various letters to the editor, accusing The Litchfield County Post of federalism. Frequent editorial spats with John M. Niles of The Hartford Times, a publication that advanced from anti-federalism to support for the Democratic Party of Andrew Jackson, illuminate the politics of this period on both a state and national level.

In December 1828, D.C. McClarey purchased the paper from Smith, and then sold it a month later to Henry Adams, who changed the paper's name to the Litchfield Enquirer. Adams ran the paper until his sudden death in 1842, after which his brother, Charles Adams, took over. In 1845, Payne Kenyon Kilbourne became owner and editor of the Litchfield Enquirer; he was pro-temperance, a member of the Whig Party and often a delegate to Whig nominating conventions. The columns of the paper during Kilbourne's tenure (1845-1853) have stories about the growth of the western territories and states, town finances, showman P.T. Barnum, lists of Whig candidates, and announcements of their conventions.

The Litchfield Enquirer went through several owners and editors before it was purchased by George A. Hickox, who owned and edited the paper from 1866 to 1891 and supported the Republicans. The paper continued to print the Public Acts of the State and the proceedings of the U.S. Congress, as well as political news, with a focus on Republican activities. During Hickox's tenure, it also began to dedicate space each week to the nearby towns. Hickox's 1903 obituary in the Litchfield Enquirer said he was in touch with policies that were very meaningful to the state and nation. As early as 1870, the paper declared for women suffrage and in that year published a series of articles "setting for the disabilities of married women under Connecticut law."

Throughout the 19th century the Litchfield Enquirer was consistently a four page paper, and its growth in coverage can be seen from the increase in column numbers, starting with five columns in 1826 and increasing to eight columns by 1871. According to Connecticut State Historian Walter W. Woodward, the Litchfield Enquirer was, in many ways, the paper of record in western Connecticut during one of the most significant state transitions, the period in which Connecticut moved from being an agrarian-based society suffering severe outmigration to the time when it was one of the nation's most formidable industrial giants.

Provided by: Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT