About The Handsboro Democrat. (Handsboro, Miss.) 1858-1878
Handsboro, Miss. (1858-1878)
- The Handsboro Democrat. : (Handsboro, Miss.) 1858-1878
- Place of publication:
- Handsboro, Miss.
- Geographic coverage:
- None, Green, Mississippi | View more titles from this: City County, State
- None, Hancock, Mississippi | View more titles from this: City County, State
- Handsboro, Harrison, Mississippi | View more titles from this: City County, State
- Jackson, Mississippi | View more titles from this: City State
- None, Marion, Mississippi | View more titles from this: City County, State
- None, Perry, Mississippi | View more titles from this: City County, State
- P.K. Mayers
- Dates of publication:
- Ceased in 1878?
- Vol. 1, no. 1 (Sept. 14, 1858)-
- Harrison County (Miss.)--Newspapers.
- Mississippi--Harrison County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01221063
- "The Democrat is the official paper of the counties of Harrison, Hancock, Green, Jackson, Perry and Marion."
- Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- sn 85034376
- Succeeding Titles:
- Related Links:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
The Handsboro Democrat, The Star of Pascagoula, The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, The Pascagoula Chronicle and The Chronicle-Star
French, English, and Spanish colonists first settled the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the 1700s. Jackson was the easternmost of two original coastal counties and one of 14 counties at the time of statehood in 1817. By mid-century, it was a popular destination for wealthy Southerners fleeing summertime heat and yellow fever epidemics, and after 1870, railroads brought affluent northerners to the Coast's resorts. Pascagoula, the county seat named after local Native Americans, recovered from the Civil War through the development of tourism, yellow pine lumbering and related industries, and shipbuilding.
In its early days, Pascagoula had several Democratic papers, and most eventually merged into one title. In 1878, when the Handsboro Democrat (1858-78), perhaps the earliest coastal paper, and the Star of Pascagoula (1873-78), also called the Star, consolidated, the owners chose burgeoning Pascagoula instead of declining Handsboro as their headquarters. The Pascagoula Democrat-Star (1878-1920) was the paper's new title. The next merger came in 1920 when the Pascagoula Chronicle (1905-20) acquired the declining Democrat-Star to form the Chronicle-Star (1920-41). After several more name changes, the Chronicle-Star exists in 2015 as the daily Mississippi Press.
Native Mississippian, Captain Pizarro Kemp Mayers re-established the Handsboro Democrat (1858-78) after the Civil War and was the driving force behind the Democrat-Star. Mayers had started as a "printers devil" (apprentice) and by 1860, in his early twenties, was a newspaper editor. Described by colleagues as positive, self-assertive, and dogmatic, the die-hard Confederate used his newspaper to criticize non-Democratic Party views, leading to two attempts on his life. A charter member of the Mississippi Press Association, established 1866, Mayers continued as publisher of the Democrat-Star until his death in 1914. His obituary noted that he was ". . . one of the most conspicuous characters in the field of journalism that Mississippi has known in the last century."
Published weekly, titles in the Chronicle-Star run had four-pages prior to 1900, but often were longer after 1900. Staunchly Democratic, they unapologetically reflected southern white attitudes toward race. Regional and increasingly county news, including legal notices and Board of Supervisor meeting minutes, predominated. The Democrat-Star had an elaborate, unusual name plate with a center image of the Port of Pascagoula. In 1874-75, the Star was one of the few Mississippi papers printing state Grange proceedings and news. Articles on local disasters such as fires and hurricanes featured prominently throughout the run of the paper. The October 6, 1893 issue of the Democrat-Star was devoted to storm reports after a devastating hurricane hit Pascagoula and Ocean Springs. In 1921, the paper provided extensive coverage of a fire that burned downtown Pascagoula and destroyed the Chronicle-Star printing plant and offices. After the International Shipbuilding Corporation opened in Pascagoula in 1917 to build ships for World War I, the Pascagoula Chronicle covered its operations in great detail.
Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History