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The Grenada gazette. : (Grenada, Miss.) 1885-18??
Place of publication:
Grenada, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Grenada, Grenada, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
W.H. Ladd
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1885.
  • English
  • Mississippi.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207034
  • Populism--Mississippi--Newspapers.
  • Populism.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01071658
  • "Official journal of the Farmer's Alliance of Grenada County."
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 3 (Sept. 5, 1885).
sn 88067090
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The Grenada gazette. September 5, 1885 , Image 1


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The Grenada Gazette

After the Civil War, several national organizations formed to help farmers; in the South they addressed the crippling crop-lien debt system that had replaced slavery. The first Mississippi chapters of one such group, the Farmers'Alliance, were chartered in 1887. As with the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry before it, the Farmers' Alliance reached its maximum membership in the state quickly, but by the early 1890s, declined just as rapidly.

Associated with the Farmers' Alliance was the Grenada Gazette (1885-90?), published in the cotton-producing north-central region of Mississippi. The paper began as a four-page weekly on Saturday, August 22, 1885, with Walter H. Ladd as editor/manager. There was animosity between the Gazette and its rival and Ladd's former employer, the Grenada Sentinel (1868-1955), despite the fact that both newspapers supported the Democratic Party. For example, the December 25, 1886 issue of the Gazette carried a reprint from the Sentinel that claimed there was "too much toadying" to county officials by some county newspapers. In a retort, another newspaper asked, "... were you not an applicant for the public printing of Grenada county, and didn't the Gazette beat you?" From March 1886 until at least May 1887 the Gazette was the official journal of Grenada County; however, Board of Supervisors proceedings and Circuit Court business appeared throughout the paper's existence. Local news and legal notices were also consistent features of the paper.

Two events occurred in 1887 that shifted the focus of the Grenada Gazette. On March 19, former journalist, R.T. Payne, joined Ladd as co-editor and manager, vowing, "My aspiration is to get up a good, readable home newspaper..." The second event, announced on August 6 was the selection of the Gazette as the official journal of Grenada County's newly formed Farmers' Alliance chapter. News about the Alliance took over from general interest articles. The Gazette promoted the Alliance's agenda of crop diversification, scientific farming methods, and cooperative buying from Alliance-owned stores and selling of the cotton stored at Alliance warehouses. A September 13, 1888 article reported on the successful production of cotton bagging for cotton bales to replace higher-priced jute bagging. Although it was relegated to a half column on page eight of the newspaper and only appeared from June to November 1887, the Gazette did print news contributed by African American readers in a column entitled "Our Colored Friends," which was unusual for newspapers in Mississippi at the time. According to the April 25, 1889 issue, there were "800 colored alliances," a separate but related Alliance organization, in the state. The Gazette also supported hometown lawyer Edward Cary Walthall as U.S. Senator (1885-98), although as a "redeemer" Democrat Walthall was viewed as a friend of big business and unsympathetic towards small farmers.

Ladd and Payne maintained their partnership for over a year, finally announcing the dissolution of their association on June 2, 1888. Payne continued as sole proprietor of the Gazette for another year; by June 1889, he was no longer associated with the newspaper. It is likely that the Grenada Gazette ceased publication in 1890.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History