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The Brookhaven ledger. : (Brookhaven, Miss.) 1875-1883
Place of publication:
Brookhaven, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Brookhaven, Lincoln, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
R.H. Henry
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 13, no. 6 (Feb. 8, 1883).
  • Began in 1875.
  • English
  • Brookhaven (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--Brookhaven.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01219890
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
sn 86053968
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The Brookhaven ledger. November 11, 1875 , Image 1


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The Brookhaven ledger

Lincoln County, in the longleaf pine belt of southwestern Mississippi, is well known for producing timber. In the later part of the 19th century, Brookhaven, the county seat, was the largest cotton shipping point in the southern part of the state.

Robert Hiram Henry, a native Mississippian, is arguably one of the most successful and influential newspapermen in the history of the state. While still a teenager, Henry began his printing career as an apprentice at the Forest Register (1868-69); after a year he moved on to the influential Brandon Republican (1850-94?) in Rankin County, where he worked three years learning the journalism trade. He established his first newspaper, the Newton Weekly Ledger (1871-75) when he was barely twenty-one years old. In 1875, Henry moved 100 miles southwest and established the Brookhaven Ledger, eventually absorbing two existing newspapers, the Weekly Citizen (1841-76) and the Southern Journal (1840?-77?), which was published in nearby Monticello. Another move landed Henry in the Mississippi state capitol, Jackson, where he bought the Comet (1877-82), renaming it the State Ledger (1883-88). Five years later, Henry consolidated his Ledger with John Logan Power's Clarion to form the state-wide Clarion-Ledger (1941–current). Run by relatives of Henry until 1982, the Clarion-Ledger is still published today as a daily.

The four-page Brookhaven Ledger was published weekly on Thursdays. In early editions, the paper described itself as, "the paper for the people" and "a bold and outspoken journal." Ever the self-promoter, in George P. Rowell's American Newspaper Directory in the 1870s, Henry described his journal as the leading paper in South Mississippi and " … one of the handsomest and most generally circulated papers printed in this country." Content included articles on agriculture, serialized stories, essays, poetry, wit and humor, news, legal notices, local events and announcements, city council minutes, and summaries of the county board of supervisors meetings. Event listings and articles about the prestigious female academy, Whitworth College, often made the local news. Advertisements were for local Brookhaven stores as well as for businesses as far away as New Orleans. An active Democrat, all of Robert Hiram Henry's newspapers supported that political party. The Brookhaven Ledger endorsed Democratic candidates for state and federal offices, including General Robert Lowry for the United States Senate in 1876, saying of him, "He has done more work for the Democratic Party than any man in the state, and is entitled to this position." Henry would frequently use the editorial space on the first page to publish his own thoughts and observations about a wide variety of topics, frequently praising Democratic policies and criticizing Republican agendas.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History