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The Savannah morning news. : (Savannah, Ga.) 1900-current
Alternative Titles:
  • Light of the coastal empire
  • Morning news June 8, 1900-Dec. 1, 1901
  • Savannah morning news and Savannah evening press
Place of publication:
Savannah, Ga.
Geographic coverage:
  • Savannah, Chatham, Georgia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
J.H. Estill
Dates of publication:
  • June 8, 1900-
  • English
  • Chatham County (Ga.)--Newspapers.
  • Georgia--Chatham County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207617
  • Georgia--Savannah.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207319
  • Savannah (Ga.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Available on microfilm from University of Georgia Libraries and Bell & Howell Information and Learning.
  • Has weekly entertainment section titled: Do Savannah, <Feb. 7, 2019->
  • Latest issue consulted: Feb. 28, 2019 (microfilm surrogate).
  • Published by: Savannah News-Press, <Oct. 17, 1989->
  • Sunday issues may sometimes have their own numbering.
  • Whole numbering appears on masthead beginning March 26, 1904. Numbering may undergo numerous changes and appears to have dropped off by <Feb. 2019>
sn 89053684
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The Savannah morning news. June 8, 1900 , Image 1


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Savannah morning news, The Savannah morning news, and The morning news

Owner John M. Cooper and Editor William T. Thompson began circulating the four-page Daily Morning News in Savannah on January 15, 1850. The paper boasted a politically neutral voice for reporting the affairs of Georgia's largest city, in contrast to the political leanings of Savannah's two preexisting rival newspapers, the Georgian and the Republican. The Morning News differed from its competitors by following the penny-press model that offered readers journalism from a politically independent source at cheaper subscription rates. Uniquely, the paper also offered readers the opportunity to purchase single issues on the city streets. Within three weeks of its founding, the paper claimed the highest circulation rate in Savannah.

Despite claims of political neutrality, the Savannah Morning News gradually began espousing a conservative Democratic viewpoint, spurred largely by growing sectionalism in the United States in the 1850s. Within its pages, Thompson publicly sparred with the Whig-leaning Republican over the future of the South and its relationship with the North. By decade's end, the paper was fiercely anti-abolitionist and a staunch supporter of Southern autonomy and later secession.

During the Civil War, the Morning News maintained continual publication as a shortened two-page daily until the owners and staff abandoned the paper in anticipation of the arrival of General William T. Sherman's forces in December 1864. In its stead, Republican publisher Samuel W. Mason moved his Palmetto Herald to Savannah and began publishing it as the Savannah Daily Herald. Mason purchased the remains of the Morning News in 1866 and merged it with his own newspaper to form the Daily News and Herald. Colonel John H. Estill took sole ownership of the paper in 1868 and retitled it the Savannah Morning News. Thompson resumed his tenure as editor of the paper and continued in that capacity until his death in 1882. Thompson hired famed author Joel Chandler Harris in 1870 as the associate editor of the publication. Through his "Affairs in Georgia" columns in the Morning News, Harris built a reputation throughout the state as an accomplished writer and humorist and brought widespread acclaim to the publication. The paper covered the news of the city in the turbulent years of Reconstruction and the financial resurgence of Savannah through the flourishing export market tied to the city's port in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Beginning in 1887, the paper's title was shortened to the Morning News before reverting to the Savannah Morning News in 1900. During this period, the paper claimed a circulation of over 5,000 copies covering large portions of southern Georgia and northern Florida.

Herschel V. Jenkins purchased the Morning News in 1926 and remained publisher of the paper for over 30 years. Mills B. Lane Jr. and Alvah Chapman Jr. (future chairman of Knight Ridder) owned the paper briefly from 1957 to 1960. Southeastern Newspapers, later known as Morris Communications, purchased the Savannah Morning News in 1960. The paper continues to serve as coastal Georgia's largest newspaper and the paper of record for Chatham County.

Provided by: Digital Library of Georgia, a project of GALILEO located at the University of Georgia Libraries