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The Democratic leader. : (Cheyenne, Wyo.) 1884-1887
Place of publication:
Cheyenne, Wyo.
Geographic coverage:
  • Cheyenne, Laramie, Wyoming  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Democratic Leader
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 17 (Jan. 19, 1884)-v. 20 (June 12, 1887).
Daily (except Mon.)
  • English
  • Cheyenne (Wyo.)--Newspapers.
  • Laramie County (Wyo.)--Newspapers.
  • Wyoming--Cheyenne.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207517
  • Wyoming--Laramie County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01225729
  • Weekly eds.: Weekly democratic leader, 1884, and: Democratic leader (Cheyenne, Wyo. : 1884 : Weekly), 1884-1887.
sn 88067211
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The Democratic leader. January 19, 1884 , Image 1


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The Cheyenne Daily Leader, The Cheyenne Leader, and The Democratic Leader

The first edition of The Cheyenne Leader was published in September 1867, only a few short months after the town of Cheyenne was founded. Its issue line read, "Cheyenne, D.T" for Dakota Territory, and on page three, Cheyenne is identified as a city of Dakota. This changed to "Wyoming" in 1868, before the territory was admitted as a full state in 1890. As the first newspaper in the region, The Cheyenne Leader cost 15 cents and printed every day but Sunday, with the exception of a four-day delay between the first and second installments. An apology was printed by The Cheyenne Leader's editor, proprietor, and founder, Nathan Addison Baker: "... we hope to have the mechanical part in a condition to ensure its regular appearance hereafter... we are doing the best we can under the circumstances, which we in common with you all, have to suffer in a town as new as this."

Days after his move from Denver, Baker had the newspaper up and running. He worked hard to please the Leader's small list of investors; advertisements for local grocers, auction houses, and freelance painters also kept the newspaper running. Baker was keen to maintain his readership; a crowd of around 300 people reportedly gathered outside of the business to receive the first issue. Baker's apology for delayed production in the early days on the paper was not the last indication that the new town had some growing pains. On the first page within the four-column layout of advertisements and short comedic stories, an article attempted to convince patrons that with time, and the help of the railroad, Cheyenne would see drastic economic and social growth. It is largely thanks to its placement along the Union Pacific Railroad that Cheyenne grew from a pioneer's tent city to a state capital.

In its over 20 years in circulation, The Cheyenne Leader went from printing announcements for local dance events to marketing the latest in French fashion. The paper reached a relatively wide audience due to the railroad. It was distributed in Colorado, Utah, Nebraska, and California by way of train. After Baker sold the paper, the Cheyenne Leader changed names a number of times. It evolved into The Cheyenne Daily Leader, then The Democratic Leader, before reverting to and ultimately settling on The Cheyenne Daily Leader until its end in 1893. The founders shared their long-term goal in a promotional advertisement for the newspaper in its first issue. "The Leader will labor to present a faithful picture of life and events in the far West, and represent with fidelity and truthfulness the peculiar advantages and interests of the thriving city of Cheyenne. The large and rapidly expanding circulation of the Leader renders it one of the most valuable mediums in the west . . . . "

Provided by: University of Wyoming Libraries