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Wheeling times and advertiser. [volume] : (Wheeling, Va. [W. Va.]) 1839-1849
Alternative Titles:
  • Daily Wheeling times Jan. 2-27, 1849
Place of publication:
Wheeling, Va. [W. Va.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Wheeling, Ohio, West Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
James E. Wharton
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 6, no. 51 (Apr. 27, 1839)-v. 16, no. 21 (Jan. 27, 1849).
Daily 1842-1849
  • English
  • West Virginia--Wheeling.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01213675
  • Wheeling (W. Va.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Available on microfilm from Bell & Howell.
  • Editor: James E. Thorpe, <1839-1843>.
  • Issued also in weekly editions: Western Virginia times, and: Wheeling gazette (Wheeling, Va. : 1846).
sn 84038585
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Wheeling times and advertiser. [volume] January 2, 1840 , Image 1


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Wheeling Times & Advertiser

The Wheeling Times & Advertiser was the product of James Edwin Wharton. Born Jonathan Whitcomb, Jr., he learned the printing trade in the offices of the Fitchburg Gazette in Massachusetts. Yet political differences led to a bitter fallout with his father and a name change to James Wharton. Around 1835, Whitcomb-turned-Wharton moved to Wheeling, Virginia, and soon became co-editor of the Wheeling Tri-Weekly Times and Advertiser alongside E. W. Newton. Wharton also oversaw the publication of a weekly iteration of the paper known as the Western Virginia Times. When Newton left the printing business, Wharton became the sole proprietor and editor for both the weekly Western Virginia Times and the tri-weekly Wheeling Times and Advertiser (dropping the tri-weekly from the title).

Headquartered on Union Street, the first floor of the Advertiser's offices constituted a reading room, stocked with books and a variety of magazines and newspapers which readers could peruse for a small fee. A strong supporter of education and literacy, Wharton's reading room proved popular in a town without a library. It was undoubtedly also a clever way to attract new subscribers.

Those interested in the Advertiser could subscribe for five dollars annually. The four-page Advertiser offered Wheeling's residents a variety of news. Local affairs, such as city elections, temperance meetings, business advertisements, the arrival of merchant goods, stagecoach and mail schedules, and more lined the paper's pages. The Advertiser likewise attended to regional and national news, including coverage of the Mexican-American War. Although initially published tri-weekly, beginning in 1843 the Advertiser was published daily except Sundays (the Western Virginia Times ceased publication around the time the Advertiser went daily).

Though a former Democrat, Wharton turned to the rising Whig Party in the 1840s, and the Advertiser reflected its proprietor's politics. The paper echoed the Whig platform: decrying the growing influence of the executive branch, opposing wars of conquest (like that in Mexico), supporting infrastructure improvements across the US, and demanding economic protection against European competitors. The paper faithfully supported the candidacies of Whig presidential hopefuls including William Harrison, Henry Clay, and Zachary Taylor. Its Whiggish outlook led to feuds with local competitors the Wheeling Gazette and Wheeling Argus.

In 1848, James Wharton ceased publication of the Wheeling Times & Advertiser. Yet he quickly resumed editorial duties of The Wheeling Times and Gazette alongside Enos R. Bartleson from 1850 to 1853. During this time, Wharton embraced the emerging Republican Party. Just prior to the Civil War, Wharton moved to Wood County, where he edited numerous local papers over the next decade including The Parkersburg Gazette, Parkersburg Daily Times, and the short-lived The West Virginia Journal.

In the Reconstruction era, Wharton at times found himself at odds with the Radical Republican faction in West Virginia, particularly over registration boards to determine citizens' loyalty and eligibility to vote. In 1871, Wharton moved to Mansfield, Ohio, then eventually to Portsmouth, Ohio, where he established the town's first library. He remained attuned to Wheeling affairs and politics until his death in 1881.

Provided by: West Virginia University