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The daily Madisonian. [volume] : (Washington City [i.e. Washington, D.C.]) 1841-1845
Alternative Titles:
  • Madisonian
Place of publication:
Washington City [i.e. Washington, D.C.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Washington, District of Columbia  |  View more titles from this: City State
J.B. Jones
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Dec. 15, 1841)-v. 4, no. 1038 (Apr. 28, 1845).
Daily (except Sun.)
  • English
  • Washington (D.C.)--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204505
  • Washington (D.C.)--Newspapers.
  • 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.
sn 84020074
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The daily Madisonian. [volume] December 15, 1841 , Image 1


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The Madisonian, The Madisonian, and The Daily Madisonian

The Madisonian was first published on August 16, 1837, in Washington, DC. Its founder, Thomas Allen, an established lawyer from New York who moved to DC in the same year, remained chief editor of the paper until November 9, 1841. The paper was published triweekly during sessions of Congress (generally Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays), and semiweekly during recess of Congress (generally Tuesdays and Fridays). A Saturday, weekly edition of the paper, entitled the Madisonian For the Country was published from 1839 to 1841. As stated in its Prospectus published in its first issue, the newspaper was initially devoted to the "support of the principles and doctrines of the Democratic Party as delineated by Mr. Madison. It will reflect only that spirit and those principles of mutual concession, compromise, and reciprocal goodwill, which so imminently characterized the inception, formation, and subsequent adoption, buy the several States, of the constitution of the United States."

The Madisonian consistently chronicled the happenings of Congress, polling and election results, and speeches given by notable politicians. However, the newspaper reported on news from across the country and at times reported on news from overseas. The Madisonian published short and colorful fictional stories and poems on the front page alongside coverage of political news. The stories and poems themselves covered a variety of genres that equally horrified or humored the reader. The paper also reported on interesting or significant events that occurred in and around the Washington City area. For example, the December 28, 1837 issue reported that George Washington's body would be moved into a new sarcophagus, the very one that he is buried in today at Mount Vernon. "The sacred form of Washington was discovered in a wonderful state of preservation. The high pale brow wore a calm and serene expression and the lips, pressed still together, had a grave and solemn smile." Such lively and imaginative prose gave life to The Madisonian outside of political reports and polling tallies, and likely entertained its readers as much as it informed them.

Like many other papers, The Madisonian underwent changes over the course of its history. A fire suspended publication April 15, 1840, and the paper resumed on May 1, with the assistance of a new associate editor, Donald Macleod. Macleod worked for the paper until March 1, 1841. That same year, Thomas Allen sold the paper to John B. Jones, and it became The Daily Madisonian. In addition to the title change and change in publication frequency (daily except Sundays), the change in ownership brought with it changes in style and format as the newspaper began to utilize Old English font in the masthead as well as section headings. The managerial change also brought with it different political affiliations, as illustrated in the paper's new Prospectus published by John Jones on November 9, 1841: "It is our design to pursue the Right, alike heedless of party names and party interests, and to expose the Wrong, emanate from what men or in what sections it may." The Madisonian began to support the Whig party and became a firm supporter of the Tyler Administration, yet it maintained its mission to disseminate news of all political backgrounds to best inform American citizens. On May 3, 1845, the newspaper was sold to J.E. Dow & Co. and became The United States Journal and in February 1846, the short-lived The Daily Times.

Provided by: Library of Congress, Washington, DC