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The weekly Mississippian. [volume] : (Jackson, Miss.) 1859-1864
Place of publication:
Jackson, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Jackson, Hinds, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
E. Barksdale
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1859; ceased in 1864?
  • English
  • Hinds County (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Jackson (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--Hinds County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01208481
  • Mississippi--Jackson.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01205500
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Available on microfilm from Bell & Howell.
sn 84024323
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The weekly Mississippian. [volume] July 6, 1859 , Image 1


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The Weekly Mississippian

While the Weekly Clarion (1863-82) of Jackson, Mississippi, and its counterpart, the Daily Clarion (1866-88), were the premiere state-wide Democratic newspapers after the Civil War, the Mississippian (1832-50) and related titles filled that role during the antebellum period.

The Mississippian was started in January 1832 by R.P. Catlett and future governor Henry Stuart Foote (1852-54) in Vicksburg. By November, Catlett was printing the newspaper in Clinton, but after his death from cholera in June 1833 new owners moved it to nearby state capital, Jackson. During this period, the paper was a four-page weekly except during the 1839 legislative session when it was published tri-weekly.

Ethelbert Barksdale, fiery former editor of the Yazoo Democrat (1844-60), was the editor, publisher, or co-publisher of the Mississippian from 1850 until his election to the Confederate Congress in 1861. During his tenure the title changed twice, first to Mississippian and State Gazette(1851-59) then to the Weekly Mississippian (1859-64?). Another edition, the Semi-Weekly Mississippian (1854-1861) was published daily during legislative sessions. After the war Barksdale worked for the new Democratic powerhouse, the Daily Clarion, which later became the Clarion-Ledger (1941-current), until his election to the United States Congress (1883-87).

Due to hardship brought on by the Civil War, the Mississippian went into decline. Before the Battle of Jackson on May 14, 1863, most of the printing equipment was moved to Selma, Alabama; anything left behind was destroyed by the Union army. Printing resumed in Jackson on a cobbled together press in 1864; however, the lucrative state printing contract, long held by Mississippian publishers, was awarded by the 1863 legislative session to James J. Shannon's Clarion. Owners Fleet T. Cooper and A. N. Kimball, who renamed the semiweekly edition the Daily Mississippian (1861-1867), dissolved their partnership in August 1865; Kimball then continued publishing for a few months before selling the newspaper. The Daily Mississippian later merged with the major paper in Vicksburg to temporarily form the Weekly Herald and Mississippian (1867-68) and the daily Herald and Mississippian (1867), ending its 35-year run in the city where had begun.

The Weekly Mississippian covered the turbulent years prior to the outbreak of war and was one of 14 state newspapers that survived the conflict. Its first two pages were devoted to political editorials, Democratic Party news, and state legislative and congressional coverage. The third and fourth pages contained advertisements, such as one for decorative painter Charles Henry Manship, (Civil War mayor of Jackson, 1862-63), legal notices, and limited local and social news. Editorials were devoted to the justification of slavery and the deteriorating relationship with the Federal government. Indicative of contemporary sentiment was the January 2, 1861 issue which included an article captioned "Black Republican Governors in Council ---War upon the South Threatened" and South Carolina's ordinance of secession. Also in this issue was an address delivered to the Georgia legislature by the governor-appointed commissioner for the task, Mississippi High Court of Errors and Appeals judge William Littleton Harris (1858-67), asking for their support as Mississippi convened its own session convention.  Mississippi seceded from the Union, the second southern state to do so, seven days later on January 9, 1861.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History