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About The Grenada sentinel. [volume] (Grenada, Miss.) 1868-1955
Grenada, Miss. (1868-1955)
- The Grenada sentinel. [volume] : (Grenada, Miss.) 1868-1955
- Place of publication:
- Grenada, Miss.
- Geographic coverage:
- John N. Bowen & Co.
- Dates of publication:
- Began with vol. VII, no. 34 (February 29, 1868); ceased in 1955.
- Grenada (Miss.)--Newspapers.
- Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- Description based on: Vol. VII, no. 34 (February 29, 1868).
- Editors: J. Augustine Signaigo, <1873-1874>; J.W. Buchanan, <1876>.
- Latest issue consulted: Vol. 18, no. 42 (April 12, 1873).
- Publishers: John N. Bowen & Co., February 29-<March 28, 1868>; Sentinel Pub. Co., <1873-1874>; Mrs. J.A. Signaigo, <Oct. 14, 1876>-
- sn 85034375
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- Succeeding Titles:
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The Grenada sentinel. [volume] February 29, 1868 , Image 1
The Grenada Weekly Sentinel and The Grenada Sentinel
The original title of the Sentinel, Grenada, Mississippi's longest running newspaper, started around 1855, is unclear. In 1867, the four-page paper was known as the Grenada Weekly Sentinel. Its editor was John Augustine "Gus" Signaigo, a former writer for the Memphis Daily Appeal. The paper's name was shortened to the Grenada Sentinel in February 1868, shortly before Signaigo became the proprietor. Highly regarded by his fellow newspapermen, the Italian-born Signaigo was also a scholar and a poet who published his writings in the Sentinel. Signaigo died in his mid-40s in 1876 from yellow fever.
John Walton Buchanan, a printer at the Grenada Sentinel, purchased the newspaper from Signaigo's widow, shortly before she also died from yellow fever, a year after her husband. Buchanan had moved with his family to Woodville, Mississippi, where, as a teenager, he began his journalism career at the oldest newspaper in Mississippi, the Woodville Republican (1858-current). Despite being perceived as "difficult," Buchanan succeeded in making the Sentinel profitable, expanding it to eight pages by 1881. He managed the Sentinel for over 25 years. Like his predecessor, Buchanan died in his prime; he was only 49 years old when he passed away in 1904.
From the 1860s through the early 20th century, the Grenada Sentinel emphatically supported the interests of the Democratic Party. With the title change in 1868 came a new motto, "The White Man's Government of Our Fathers," which left no doubt about the Sentinel's stance on who should control Mississippi. The Sentinel was highly critical of military rule and the Reconstruction government. After he purchased the Sentinel in 1877, Buchanan denounced policies set in motion during Reconstruction. A quote from "old Buck's" final editorial in the November 12, 1904 issue demonstrated his life-long view of the Republican Party, "The South is prosperous and flourishing and will continue to do so in spite of [Theodore] Roosevelt and Republicanism." In the early 20th century, the Sentinel enthusiastically supported Democrat Woodrow Wilson as President of the United States. In addition to political editorials, the Sentinel carried the usual mix of "general intelligence"; foreign, national, state, local, and farm news; and local announcements and advertisements; legal notices were scarce.
John Buchanan supported the modernization of Grenada through the Sentinel. In the 1880s and 90s, he constantly campaigned for improved schools and better fire protection and supported improvements to the town's water and sewage systems, electrical power, a telephone system, and transportation network. Other crusades included the passage of the prohibition ordinance in Grenada, for which Buchanan criticized the pro-liquor Grenada Gazette (1885-1890?). He also advocated for the diversification of crops and the development of industry in the area. In need of a courthouse for Grenada County (created in 1870 from four other counties), the Board of Supervisors purchased a lot for the building one month after a particularly sarcastic editorial by Buchanan appeared in the June 30, 1883 issue of the Sentinel. After Buchanan's death, the Sentinel continued to cover many of the same news items, plus others, such as women's suffrage and World War I.
The Grenada Sentinel remained a weekly until 1955 although, through a merger with the Grenada Daily Star, a daily version called the Daily Sentinel-Star was also published. In 2017, the paper is published twice weekly in 2017 as the Grenada Star.
Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History