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The prairie news. [volume] : (Okolona, Miss.) 1851-1875
Place of publication:
Okolona, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Okolona, Chickasaw, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Reuben Nason
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1851; ceased in 1875?
  • English
  • Mississippi--Okolona.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01226855
  • Okolona (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • "Official journal of the United States."
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: No. 97 (June 7, 1855).
  • Editors: W.E. Weddell, Dr. R.M. Tindall, <1873>.
sn 85034467
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The prairie news. [volume] February 3, 1858 , Image 1


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The Prairie News

Located in north Mississippi, Chickasaw County was established in 1836 from land ceded to the United States by the Chickasaw through the 1832 Treaty of Pontotoc. Cotton was the primary cash crop and the many indigenous hardwoods supported a thriving lumber industry. Although Houston was the county seat, Okolona was the area's commercial center because of its location on the Mobile & Ohio rail line.

The four-page weekly Prairie News (1851-75?) was established in Okolona in 1851; by the late 1850s John D. Richardson and J. H. Knox were proprietors. The masthead announced its purpose: "An American Newspaper, Devoted to Politics, Latest News, Literature, Morality, Temperance, Agriculture, Home Industry, &c.;,& &c;," and its motto was: "Let all the Ends Thou Aimest at be Thy Country's, God's and Truth's." The paper had no prospectus but its editorials critical of President James Buchanan and reprints from Whig newspapers suggested Unionist sentiments. Although he was not nominated by the short-lived Constitutional Union Party, the January 6, 1859 issue nonetheless declared the paper's support for John J. Crittenden for president and William A. Shaw of Mississippi for vice president. Even though pro-Union, the Prairie News opposed the abolition of slavery. Editorials frequently discussed the admission of Kansas as a slave or non-slave state; international news often focused on United States' interest in a transoceanic route in Central America; and news about the status of the Mobile and Ohio railroad was a topic of local concern. The Prairie News also included general interest articles, stories and poetry, crop reports, and market news, with some obituaries and marriage announcements. Advertisements and newspaper prospectuses filled the last two pages; there were no legal notices.

After the Civil War, William E. Weddell restarted the Prairie News; Robert (?) M. Tindall, assistant editor before the war, became co-editor by 1873. In the 1870s, the paper became an "Official journal of the United States" and printed federal laws. The 1870-76 editions of George P. Rowell and Company's American Newspaper Directory listed the News as a Republican newspaper.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History