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The Madisonian. : (Canton, Miss.) 1850-1855
Place of publication:
Canton, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Canton, Madison, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
R.D. Price
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1855.
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Feb. 21, 1850)-
  • English
  • Canton (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--Canton.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01219893
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
sn 86074079
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The Madisonian. February 21, 1850 , Image 1


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The Madisonian, The Canton Mail, The Weekly Picket, The Daily Picket, and The Canton Times

Cotton was the primary crop in Madison County, one of the richest farming sections of antebellum Mississippi. As an important railroad center, Canton, the county seat, was a primary target during the Civil War. In 1874, the Illinois Central bought and reorganized the two lines that terminated in Canton. By the end of the nineteenth century, diversification added fruits and vegetables, shipped by rail to northern markets, as profitable agricultural products.

Prominent white citizens published Canton's nineteenth and early twentieth century Democratic newspapers. Albert P. Hill, Sr., a lawyer and member of the Mississippi secession convention, edited the four-page, weekly Madisonian (1850–55) early in its run. The Madisonian printed letters and addresses of noted citizens and the prospectus of like-minded newspapers. It covered international events, such as General Narciso Lopez's failed attempt to overthrow the Spanish government in Cuba, which was vigorously supported by Mississippi Governor John A. Quitman. National topics included the admission of California as a free state and, in local news, the establishment of a Canton to Jackson railroad.

Two established newspaper families produced the Canton Mail (1865?-82) and its successor the Canton Picket. By 1868, Singleton Garrett edited and owned the four-page weekly Mail; among his business partners was his younger brother Joseph Walker Garrett. Emmett L. Ross, who bought the Mail in 1873, was the paper's most noted editor. Many editorials in the mid-1870s claimed unfair depiction of race relations in the South by northern newspapers. When Joseph Walker Garrett resumed ownership of the Canton Mail in 1883 he first changed its title to the Picket before settling on the Canton Picket (1883–94). Emmett L. Ross returned as editor of the weekly in 1886 and started the concurrent Daily Picket (1886?-1903). In the June 25, 1903 issue of the daily, current owner Howard G. Ross, Emmett's son, announced it was the final issue so he could devote his time to improving the weekly version, by then called the Weekly Picket (1894-1909?). In 1907, the newspaper strongly backed prohibition. The last record of the Picket was in 1909, according to George P. Rowell and Company's American Newspaper Directory.

The Weekly Picket's main competition was another Democratic weekly, the Canton Times (1893-1906). Benjamin Passmore owned and edited the eight-page Times by 1895; in January 1902, his son Ellis joined him as publisher. With another change in ownership in 1906, the Times became the Madison County Herald; it is published today as a semiweekly. Among the topics the Canton Times covered at the turn of the century were Cuban efforts toward independence culminating in the 1898 Spanish-American War, and the construction of a new state house in Mississippi. The Times carried a mix of serialized stories, general interest articles, political news, social announcements, advertisements, and legal notices.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History