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Baltimore Wecker. [volume] : (Baltimore [Md.]) 1851-1867
Place of publication:
Baltimore [Md.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Baltimore, Maryland  |  View more titles from this: City State
C.H. Schnauffer
Dates of publication:
  • -Jahrg. 18, Nr. 58 (8. März 1867).
  • Began in Oct. 1851.
Daily (except Sun.)
  • German
  • Baltimore (Md.)--Newspapers.
  • Germans--Maryland--Newspapers.
  • Germans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00942100
  • Maryland--Baltimore.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204292
  • Maryland.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204739
  • Description based on: Jahrg. 3, Nr. 303 (28. Juni 1853).
  • In German.
  • Suspended Apr. 20-29, 1861. Cf. Arndt & Olson. German lang. press.
sn 85025148
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Baltimore Wecker. [volume] January 5, 1856 , Image 1


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Baltimore Wecker

The Baltimore Wecker was one of three major German language newspapers in Baltimore, Maryland that flourished in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was the most radical of its rivals, founded and edited by former German revolutionaries exiled after the failed uprisings of 1848. Its first publisher was Carl Heinrich Schnauffer, an experienced newspaper editor from Mannheim who found Baltimore's large German immigrant population receptive to his socialist-leaning political philosophy when he commenced operations in 1851. He opposed slavery and this editorial position was continued after Schnauffer's death in 1854 by editor and fellow 1848 revolutionary, Wilhelm Rapp. Rapp had worked for newspapers in both Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cincinnati, Ohio before coming to Baltimore, where he aligned the Wecker to the new Republican Party. This did not sit well with conservative leaders in Baltimore and their allies among the rioters, who attacked Union troops passing through the city in April 1861. The Wecker's offices and its workers on North Frederick Street were threatened with mob violence until the military occupation of the city made it safe to resume operations. Rapp moved to Chicago in 1861, where he edited that city's Tägliche Illinois Staats-Zeitung newspaper. He returned to Baltimore to edit the renamed Täglicher Baltimore Wecker from 1867 to 1872 before resuming his position at the Illinois Staats-zeitung in Chicago until his death in 1907.

Carl H. Schnauffer's widow, Elise, was actively involved in the operation of the Wecker as publisher even after marrying her former husband's younger brother Wilhelm Schnauffer in 1859. She reportedly defended the newspaper's offices in the face of the mob in 1861, standing at the entrance while holding her infant son. She also was a skilled translator who sent reports on events in America to German newspapers. During the Civil War, the Wecker reported on the conflict with an emphasis on the participation of Germans in the Union cause. This included the influential German-American Army General, Franz Sigel, who edited the paper for two years after the war. Wilhelm Schnauffer sold the Wecker in 1873 to Blumenthal & Co. which, in turn, transferred ownership to Captain J.R. Fellman. Fellman announced suspension of daily publication in 1877; however, a weekly edition, the Baltimore Wecker: Sonntags-Blatt continued under Wilhelm Schnauffer. The Wecker remained Republican in its politics, but the earlier radicalism waned after the Civil War. By 1900, the International Typographical Union representing printers included the Wecker among newspapers it cited for being printed by non-union labor. The final proprietor of the Wecker was Charles H. Milter who ceased its weekly publication around 1910.

Provided by: University of Maryland, College Park, MD