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The Mississippi lynx. : (Panola, Miss.) 1846-18??
Place of publication:
Panola, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Panola, Panola, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Rockett & Middleton
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1846.
  • English
  • Mississippi--Panola County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01225837
  • Panola County (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 13 (May 16, 1846).
sn 87065518
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The Mississippi lynx. May 16, 1846 , Image 1


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Ponola [sic] Weekly Register, The Weekly Register, The Lynx, The Panola Lynx, The Panola Miss and The Mississippi Lynx

Panola County was established in 1836 from lands recently acquired from the Choctaw and Chickasaw. Located in northwest Mississippi at the eastern edge of the fertile Yazoo-Mississippi River Delta, the flat to rolling terrain was perfect for growing the cash crop of 19th-century Mississippi, cotton. The Tallahatchie River, a vital means of transporting cotton to markets, divided the county into rival northwest and southeast sections. By 1840, the south-side river town, Panola, had won the contest for county seat and was a thriving trade center with a population of 1,000 at its peak in the 1840s/early 1850s.

Lawyer, publisher, and clergyman Fisher Ames Tyler had begun his newspaper career in Vicksburg, Mississippi, before establishing the Weekly Register (1842-43) in Grenada. Using an early town spelling, he renamed the publication the Ponola [Sic] Weekly Register when he moved the business to Panola in 1843; but after 20 issues the name reverted to the Weekly Register (1843-44). In the first Panola issue Tyler stated that the paper would ". . . exercise the right of withdrawing from the arena of party conflict . . . ." In January 1845, however, new owners/editors William S. Keith and F. Y. Rockett renamed the publication the Lynx and explained that "the political aspect of the Register will undergo no change. To the Whig party we belong . . . ." In addition to political intelligence, they intended ". . . to amuse and delight . . . readers." The Lynx had a succession of titles in its short run: the Panola Lynx (1845-46), the Panola Miss. Lynx (1846), and the Mississippi Lynx (1846); there are no known issues of the newspaper after 1846.

The Register and Lynx titles, all four-page weeklies, published the typical mix of content for the 1840s: general interest stories, political editorials, state legislative news and newspaper prospectuses. Editorials first focused on the banking crisis and later included the annexation of Texas by the United States. Reports from the field appeared during the ensuing Mexican-American War (1846-48). Also included were local news, legal notices, and advertisements, with the occasional obituary and marriage announcement. The Register had a weekly description of counterfeit bills and a recurring list of state officials with the schedule of circuit court locations and judges' names. The Lynx printed news about local and state Whig organizations. The importance of the Tallahatchie River to the region's vitality and economy was reflected not only in announcements of steamboat arrivals, with descriptions of cargo and cotton bale capacity, but also in the declaration in the January 11, 1845 issue of the Lynx, which declared that "the subject of clearing out the Tallahatchie river, is one of vast importance to the citizens of Panola, and other counties bordering on it; and to the investigation of it, we intend to devote our columns, until its importance shall be fully understood by every person interested." As early as April 1846, the Panola Miss. Lynx explained that citizens were discussing the need for a railroad to provide more reliable transport of cotton to market.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History