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Greenbrier independent. [volume] : (Lewisburg, Va. [W. Va.]) 1859-1980
Place of publication:
Lewisburg, Va. [W. Va.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Lewisburg, Greenbrier, West Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Joseph Granville
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 114, no. 43 (Apr. 23, 1980).
  • Began Feb. 25, 1859.
  • English
  • Lewisburg (W. Va.)--Newspapers.
  • West Virginia--Lewisburg.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01213960
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Available on microfilm from U.M.I.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 11 (May 22, 1860).
  • Editor: B.F. Harlow, <1876>.
  • Publication suspended during Civil War, May 1861-June 1866. June 21, 1866 is numbered Vol. 1, no. 1.
  • Publisher varies: R.P. Warren, <1870>- ; Thos. H. Dennis, <1916>-
sn 84037217
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Greenbrier independent. [volume] May 22, 1860 , Image 1


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Greenbrier independent

Founded in 1859 by Joseph Granville Alderson, member of a prominent local family, the Greenbrier Independent in Lewisburg, Virginia (later West Virginia) positioned itself as a moderate Democratic newspaper in the months prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. In the divisive election of 1860, the Independent offered its "cordial support" for John Bell and the Constitutional Union party, which hoped to avert secession through compromise. Compromise failed, however, and the Greenbrier Independent ceased publication in May 1861.

In 1866, with the clouds of war dissipating, the Greenbrier Independent was resurrected by John Alderson (a relation of Joseph’s) and Archibald Folk. Wartime connections within the Confederate army seem to have shaped the ownership of the Independent; both Alderson and Folk served together during the Civil War in the 26th Virginia Infantry Battalion. After several years, they sold the paper to another Confederate veteran, Benjamin F. Harlow, previously of the 14th Virginia Cavalry. Harlow possessed a background in printing and editorial work, having served as the editor for the Greenbrier Weekly Era for several years prior to the Civil War. Harlow ran the paper for over two decades and stamped it with his staunch Democratic politics. Harlow proved deeply critical of the state Republican Party and of Reconstruction at large. He was active within the Democratic Party, and he later served as the mayor of Lewisburg. In 1871, George Agrabrite joined Harlow as a partial owner of the Independent, but Harlow remained its editor.

In the 1880s, Thomas Dennis (yet another Confederate veteran) purchased Harlow's and Agrabrite's shares and edited the paper until 1917. A Democratic politician himself, Dennis unsurprisingly kept the Independent's Democratic slant but moderated its tone. The paper helped Dennis remain relevant in West Virginia politics, and he served multiple terms in the House of Delegates.

The Greenbrier Independent continued publication throughout most of the 20th century, changing owners and editors, but remained a staple of news and politics for Lewisburg and the county until 1980, when it merged with the White Sulphur Springs Star.

Provided by: West Virginia University