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Mississippi Democrat. : (Hazlehurst, Miss.) 1875-1???
Place of publication:
Hazlehurst, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Hazlehurst, Copiah, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Burke & Bennett
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1875.
  • English
  • Hazlehurst (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--Hazlehurst.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01219996
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 15 (July 21, 1875).
sn 87065176
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Mississippi Democrat. July 21, 1875 , Image 1


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Mississippi Democrat

The mid-1870s was a pivotal time in Mississippi politics. In general, white Mississippians resented the Reconstruction agenda of the post-Civil War, Republican-controlled United States Congress which favored citizenship, voting rights, and civil rights for African Americans. Policies of the state's Republican governor, Adelbert Ames, added to the discontent. Begun in April 1875 in Hazlehurst, the Copiah County seat, the short-lived, four-page, weekly Mississippi Democrat zealously supported white efforts to reclaim political power in Mississippi. An advertisement in the newspaper left no doubt about publisher William W. Bennett's political stance: "The Democrat will oppose Radicalism with all its strength, and do all that it can to hurl from power the party that is fast sending our State to destruction." Bennett's unflinching support of the Democratic Party tactics of violence and intimidation was further demonstrated by a reprint in the September 29, 1875 Democrat casting the violence at the Republican political rally on September 4, 1875 in Clinton, an event known as the "Clinton Riot," as "a premeditated plot to masscac[re] [eve]ry white Democrat and Cons[ervati]ve on the ground." In fact, the Boutwell report, prepared by a United States Senate investigative committee and based on hundreds of sworn testimonies, concluded quite the opposite, that the riot was instigated by Democrats intending to break up the meeting. This event inaugurated an era of terror against African Americans in Mississippi and marked the beginning of the decades-long dominance of the Democratic Party in the state.

While support of the Democratic Party was the primary reason for the Mississippi Democrat's existence, it also contained abundant local news including court schedules, proceedings of the Board of Supervisors, official notices, a church directory, marriage and death announcements, social news, local advertisements, and announcements for local temperance and grange events. Bennett's editorials, usually printed on page one, often attacked editors with differing views, such as D. W. Jones of the Copiah Herald. Not surprisingly, since Hazlehurst was established as a railroad town, news about the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railway was often noted. A frequently printed advertisement promoted the healing power of the mineral waters at well-known nearby health retreat, Brown's Wells, and listed daily, weekly, and monthly rates in addition to available facilities such as croquet grounds and a bowling saloon. Virtually no national news, aside from politics, or international news was printed in the Mississippi Democrat.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History