About New farmer. (Winona, Miss.) 18??-1???
Winona, Miss. (18??-1???)
- New farmer. : (Winona, Miss.) 18??-1???
- Place of publication:
- Winona, Miss.
- Geographic coverage:
- W.A. Hurt
- Dates of publication:
- Winona (Miss.)--Newspapers.
- Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 42 (July 25, 1888).
- sn 88067115
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After the Civil War, several national organizations were 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.
In 1888, Dr. Wilson Alexander Hurt established the New Farmer, a weekly agrarian paper published on Wednesdays in Winona, Mississippi. Hurt had previously founded the temperance journal, the Argus (1883-84) and was a former editor of the Winona Times (1884-current). An 1889 advertisement declared the New Farmer as "Progressive, Wide-awake, Conservative, Non-Political, Independent, [and] Newsy." In 1890, the New Farmer merged with two Jackson-based newspapers, the Democratic Commonwealth (1889-90) and the agrarian New Mississippian (1882-90), to form the Mississippian (1890-9?). The latter continued the New Farmer's role as the official organ of the Farmers' Alliance of Mississippi.
Content and coverage in the New Farmer reflected the concerns of the late-19th century agrarian movement in general and the Farmers' Alliance in particular. The paper primarily consisted of county, state, and national Alliance news; letters to the editor; and notices of Alliance meetings. Occasionally, instructional articles appeared on topics such as the care of horses or rules for maintaining an apple orchard. Advertisements were often for farm equipment and supplies and sometime household goods. The January 16, 1889 issue featured the constitution and by-laws of the merged Farmers' Alliance and Agricultural Wheel organizations. The Alliance fought monopolies that adversely affected the economic well-being of farmers. For example, the New Farmer documented the successful production of cotton bagging for cotton bales to replace higher-priced jute bagging. The paper also reported on businesses suspected of deliberately undermining Alliance practices. The July 25, 1888 issue accused the owner of the Mississippi Mills in Wesson of firing 100 employees who were Farmers Alliance members because they did business at the alliance store instead of with town merchants who charged higher prices. The owner defended his actions, claiming that he planned to construct a larger mill that would employ twice as many workers.
As the membership of the Farmers' Alliance grew, so did its political influence. In the early 1890s, the Alliance supported the farm-labor Populist Party, also known as the People's Party, with a platform that called for free coinage of silver, government regulated railroads, and income tax. The 1892 election is the only time the short-lived party fielded a slate of national candidates.
Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History