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About The new Mississippi Socialist. (Kilmichael, Miss.) 19??-19??
Kilmichael, Miss. (19??-19??)
- The new Mississippi Socialist. : (Kilmichael, Miss.) 19??-19??
- Alternative Titles:
- Mississippi Socialist
- Place of publication:
- Kilmichael, Miss.
- Geographic coverage:
- J.H. Merten
- Dates of publication:
- Kilmichael (Miss.)--Newspapers.
- Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 10 (Nov. 15, 1916).
- sn 88067104
- Related Links:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
The Grander Age and The New Mississippi Socialist
While never a threat to Democratic rule, the Socialist Party of Mississippi presented the strongest opposition to the dominant Democratic Party during the first two decades of the 20th century. This was particularly true in the southeastern and coastal counties of Jones, Forrest, and Harrison where a varied economy including lumber production, railroad operation, the seafood industry, and small family-owned farms prevailed. While many party members in the state subscribed to national journals, two Socialist newspaper runs were published in Mississippi.
Around 1894, newspaperman Sumner W. Rose, along with his family and followers, moved from Indiana to Mississippi's gulf coast where they established the Populist colony, Co-opolis. The four-page Grander Age probably supported the Populist Party. Rose began the paper in 1895, publishing it first as a monthly and possibly later as a weekly. He later switched his loyalty to the Socialist Labor Party; by September 1896 the Grander Age supported the Socialist agenda. The paper's motto "All Monopolies the Property of the People" underscored the philosophy that all means of production should be controlled by the government, not private enterprise. The Grander Age gave accounts of national and world events through the perspective of equality for the working classes. An entire column was devoted to the Co-opolis colony. Rose was an aggressive salesman promoting group subscriptions and giving away free sample copies; yet the newspaper floundered. In August 1903, Rose announced the return of the Grander Age as a regional newspaper intending to cover Southern news, publish good literature, and "explain and defend the principles of Socialism." However, it does not appear that the revived Grander Age was published after October 1903. Despite the demise of the colony and the newspaper, Rose continued to be a Socialist leader in Mississippi and was successful in his 1911 bid for the office of Biloxi city alderman. He made unsuccessful bids for several state offices as a Socialist candidate; the last was for United States Senator in 1922.
In 1916, while the Socialist movement in Mississippi was still strong, J.H. Merten founded the Mississippi Socialist in Leake County, printing only a few issues before his shop was deliberately burned. Undaunted, Merten moved north to Kilmichael where "through the generosity of a man who is not tainted with the greed of this age..., "he was able to purchase another plant and planned to published the New Mississippi Socialist twice monthly. Of Merten's two titles, only the November 15, 1916 issue of the New Mississippi Socialist, printed entirely in red ink, survived. The paper not only carried articles promoting the Socialist agenda, but also made an effort to disseminate news of the day. Less than six months after the November issue was published the United States entered World War I. Backlash from Socialist opposition to America's involvement in the war led to the decline of Socialism nationally and in Mississippi.
Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History