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Weekly commercial herald. : (Vicksburg, Miss.) 1884-18??
Place of publication:
Vicksburg, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Vicksburg, Warren, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
[Vicksburg Print. & Pub. Co.]
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 19, no. 22 (Mar. 21, 1884)-
  • English
  • Mississippi--Vicksburg.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204951
  • Mississippi--Warren County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01218302
  • Vicksburg (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Warren County (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Daily eds.: Commercial herald (Vicksburg, Miss.), and: Daily commercial herald.
sn 87090237
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Weekly commercial herald. July 10, 1885 , Image 1


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The Vicksburg Weekly Herald, Vicksburg Weekly Herald and Weekly Commercial Herald

On land once owned by Methodist preacher Newitt Vick and located on a defensible high bluff overlooking an S-bend in the Mississippi River, Vicksburg became the seat of Warren County, Mississippi, in 1836 and was an important port and social center for the nearby cotton planters. The strongest Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River, Vicksburg was the critical point in President Abraham Lincoln's goal to gain full control of the Mississippi River and cut off the Confederacy's western sources of supplies. After a 47-day siege, Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863. Following Federal occupation during the war and Reconstruction, Vicksburg regained its footing as a prosperous industrial center and remained Mississippi's largest town throughout the 19th century.

Union soldier Ira Abbott Batterton began the four-page Vicksburg Weekly Herald (1864-67) during the Federal occupation of Vicksburg, using a press owned by James M. Swords of the defunct Daily Citizen (1859-64). Swords became sole publisher/proprietor after Batterton died from a shooting accident in 1865. Ironically, the pro-Union newspaper merged with the Daily Mississippian (1861-67), once a bastion of the Democratic Party published in Jackson, to form the Weekly Herald and Mississippian (1867-68). Maintaining its Democratic affiliation, in 1868 the title reverted to the Vicksburg Weekly Herald (1868-83) and expanded to eight pages; each weekly title also had a daily version. A merger with the Vicksburg Daily Commercial (1877-84) in 1884 formed the daily Commercial Herald (1884-96?) and the eight-page Weekly Commercial Herald (1884-96?). The newspaper, known as the daily Vicksburg Herald after 1897, ceased publication in 1957.

The Vicksburg Weekly Herald was highly partisan, with many editorials and reprints denouncing federal measures of Reconstruction and "the radicals" (Republicans) of the early 1870s, including President Ulysses S. Grant and Mississippi Governor James L. Alcorn. A June 11, 1870 article commented that, with the passage of a bill to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment ensuring voting rights for former slaves "As usual . . . that miserable body [the United States Congress] . . . has legislated solely in the interest of the negro and to the injury of the white man of the South." Foreign news throughout the 1870s reported on Cuba's first war of liberation against Spain (1868-78). National and state legislative news was prominent, as was county and city proceedings. The paper claimed to be "The Official Journal of Warren Co. and City of Vicksburg." Market prices were a weekly feature and many articles focused on commercial news; legal notices and advertisements comprised a small percentage of content. Not surprisingly, information on steamboat traffic frequently appeared, including a December 18, 1869 reprint on the merits of the Robert E. Lee over the Natchez steamboat that claimed if ". . . a trial of speed is made, the Lee will wear the horns . . ." in fact, the Lee won the famous July 1870 New Orleans to St. Louis race.

Although the Weekly Commercial Herald was also strongly Democratic, running articles that supported the party and Democratic office-holders such as Governor Robert Lowry, its content was more diversified than the Vicksburg Weekly Herald and included serialized stories, general interest news, a Farm and Garden column, and items from selected cities around the state, in addition to political news. One such reprint from Columbus, Mississippi, in the October 30, 1885 issue described the opening of the Mississippi Industrial Institute and College for the Education of White Girls, now known as the Mississippi University for Women--the first taxpayer-supported college for women in the nation.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History