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The Charlotte journal. [volume] : (Charlotte, N.C.) 1835-1851
Place of publication:
Charlotte, N.C.
Geographic coverage:
  • Charlotte, Mecklenburg, North Carolina  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
T.J. Holton
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 5, no. 248 (July 3, 1835)-v. 21, no. 52 (Dec. 17, 1851).
  • English
  • Charlotte (N.C.)--Newspapers.
  • Mecklenburg County (N.C.)--Newspapers.
  • North Carolina--Charlotte.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204596
  • North Carolina--Mecklenburg County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01208074
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
sn 84020716
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The Charlotte journal. [volume] January 1, 1836 , Image 1


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The Charlotte Journal

The Charlotte (NC) Journal published its first issue on July 3, 1835, with Thomas Jefferson Holton (1802-1860) serving as publisher and "proprietor." The newspaper was a continuation of the Miners' & Farmers' Journal, which Holton and a partner began publishing on September 27, 1830.

During the Journal's first year of publication, Robert H. Madra (?-1841) served as editor. Holton held the title of publisher and proprietor. Madra announced his resignation as editor in the newspaper's July 1, 1836 edition, citing "private interests of much importance" in another part of the country. Holton added a note just below Madra's announcement urging readers' continued support for the newspaper and reporting "that a friend, fully capable of the task, has kindly offered to assist me in the Editorial Department for the present." Holton did not reveal the friend's name, nor did the name of an editor appear on the masthead.

The Journal was one of dozens of newspapers affiliated with the Whig Party published in North Carolina between 1830 and 1860. The newspaper made its party affiliation known in its first issue, with Madra endorsing Hugh L. White, the Whig Party candidate for president of the United States in 1836. With the endorsement, however, Madra noted that the Journal would "not deny the use of our columns from those who differ from us." On October 3, 1839, the newspaper made its party tie more explicit, adding "A Union of the Whigs for the Sake of the Union" as a slogan just below the newspaper title. The slogan was taken from a speech by Henry Alexander Wise, a United States congressperson from Virginia and a prominent Whig. On January 7, 1841, the Journal's slogan changed to "'Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,' for 'Power is always stealing from the many to the few,'" two phrases that circulated in the mid-1800s and were found on the nameplates of a number of newspapers in the United States.

In addition to news of Whig political activities, the Journal reprinted stories culled from other newspapers in North Carolina and around the country. Its pages also included fiction, poetry, and religious commentary.

On January 7, 1841, Holton announced in the Journal that Dr. Daniel Asbury (1816-1882), a physician and top Whig Party official in Charlotte, had agreed to oversee the "editorial department." Asbury held the position for a year and announced his departure in the December 30, 1841 issue of the newspaper.

Holton informed readers in the December 17, 1851 issue of the Journal that the newspaper would cease to publish under its current title and would return in the new year as the North Carolina Whig, with Holton remaining as editor and publisher. He wrote, "To those friends who have supported us in the management of the Journal, we return our grateful thanks, and it is gratifying to us that, although the name is changed, it is revived in that of the North Carolina Whig."

Holton died on December 27, 1860 from injuries sustained in a carriage accident; his death was widely reported. A death notice in the January 3, 1861 Greensboro Patriot eulogized Holton as "one of the oldest Editors in the State, always sustaining the character of a Christian gentleman." The January 3, 1861 Wilmington Journal described Holton as an "industrious and steady man, kind to his family, correct in his deportment, and honest in all his dealings." Holton's widow, Rachel Jones Holton (1813-1905), assumed leadership of the Whig and ran the newspaper until it ceased publication in 1863.

Provided by: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library, Chapel Hill, NC