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The enquirer southerner. [volume] : (Tarboro', N.C.) 1874-1875
Alternative Titles:
  • Southerner enquirer
Place of publication:
Tarboro', N.C.
Geographic coverage:
  • Tarboro, Edgecombe, North Carolina  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
E.R. Stamps
Dates of publication:
  • New ser. vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan. 2, 1874)-new ser. v. 2, no. 3 (Jan. 22, 1875) = Old ser. vol. 50-52.
  • English
  • Edgecombe County (N.C.)--Newspapers.
  • North Carolina--Edgecombe County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206610
  • North Carolina--Tarboro.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01215113
  • Tarboro (N.C.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Available on microfilm from North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh.
  • Old ser. vol. 51, incorrectly called vol. 52.
  • Published as: Southerner enquirer, Jan. 8-22, 1875.
sn 92073987
Preceding Titles:
Succeeding Titles:
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The enquirer southerner. [volume] January 2, 1874 , Image 1


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George Howard (1798-1863) established the first incarnation of the newspaper, a weekly Democratic publication, in 1824 in Halifax, N. C. as the Free Press. Two years later, Howard relocated to Tarboro and continued the paper, under the names North-Carolina Free Press and North Carolina Free Press retaining the name until 1833, when he changed it to Tarborough Free Press. On January 2, 1835, Howard published the first issue of the newspaper under the title Tarboro' Press noting its change from four to six columns and explaining that the change in title and addition of columns was "in order to keep pace with the ‘spirit of improvement,' which has obtruded itself even within the borders of this State." Under the new title plate, Howard continued to spell the town's name as Tarborough. In January 1848, Howard returned to spelling the full name of the town in the newspaper's title, publishing as the Tarborough Press.

In the early 1850s, Howard's son, George Howard, Jr. (1829-1905), began assisting with the editorial work and eventually took over the publication. The Howards focused the bulk of editorials on agriculture and commerce and dedicated roughly fifty percent of the space to advertisements for goods and services. In January 1852, the paper began the year with a new name, the Southerner as sectional strife placed the country on a course for war.

Believing another editor could better cover the pending presidential campaign and election, the Howards sold the paper to Chris Callan in August 1860. Callan debuted as editor on September 1 and quickly set the Southerner's new political tone. In messages to the paper's patrons, Callan professed support of the Union but not at the expense of states' rights and slavery and endorsed John C. Breckinridge for the presidential election. Additionally he promised his patrons more coverage of local news and items of interest. The amount of advertisement space on the front page reduced dramatically in the year following to make room for coverage of political news and the secession crisis.

Callan's tenure at the Southerner was short. The Daily Bulletin of Charlotte, N.C. reported on November 26, 1860 that Callan had bought the Independent of Goldsboro, N.C. and moved it to Washington, N.C., where he planned to begin publication of the newspaper as the Post. There is no record of publication of a newspaper of either name in Washington. Callan's name appeared on the Southerner's masthead through the remainder of 1860, though the December 18, 1860 issue reported that "the editor is absent." A legal notice dated February 10, 1861, which ran in several issues of the Southerner, noted that "C.C. Callan resides beyond the limits of the state."

With Callan's departure, the Howard family appears to have reclaimed ownership of the Southerner. On January 19, 1861, the newspaper appeared with William Howard and Co. listed as proprietors. William Howard (1842-1903) was the son of George Howard, Sr., and a druggist.

Due to missing issues or lapses in publication, the Southerner's views on the secession convention or the election of Confederate President Jefferson Davis are not known. However, the newspaper did place its full support behind Davis and the new Confederate government very early in the war. Editorials during the war period illuminate such topics as mobilization, training, supplies, military hospitals, conscription, casualties, and taxes. Company rosters, general orders, military reports, ordinances, and telegraphs are also published in the columns of the Southerner. Throughout the war, the Southerner's editors struggled to publish regularly, often missing weeks at a time due to the effects of the war. The paper reduced to two pages and dedicated most of the available space to war news and ads. On November 8, 1862, the Southerner announced the hiring of Lorenzo Dow Pender (1824-1869), an attorney and the county solicitor, as editor. Six months later, on June 27, 1863, the newspaper listed Pender as editor and proprietor.

Pender remained with the Southerner until 1866. On January 6, 1866, the newspaper listed Hugh MacNair (1826?-1871), a Tarboro merchant, as proprietor. But Pender remained on the masthead as editor. However, on June 23, 1866, Pender announced the sale of his share of the Southerner to MacNair and James G. Charles (1841?-1898), the newspaper's printer. He wrote, "I could not attend to the editorial department of a paper without doing injustice to my professional duties."

On August 29, 1867, the newspaper published its final issue under the title Southerner. The following week the newspaper appeared as the Tarboro' Southerner, and its front page noted its publication every Thursday by "Charles, Hearne, and Biggs." William A. Hearne (1843-1891) and William Biggs (1843-1883) were also listed as editors. Citing business needs, Charles announced the sale of his share of the Southerner to Biggs and his departure from the newspaper on March 23, 1871. However, Charles returned to newspaper publishing on June 29, 1872, joining Edward Roe Stamps (1844-1891) in ownership of the Enquirer of Tarboro, which issued its first edition on September 30, 1871. With the announcement of his partnership with Charles, Stamps also told readers that talks with Biggs about possible merger of the two newspapers had concluded with both owners deciding to continue publishing their separate titles. However, on December 20, 1873, the Enquirer announced its merger with the Southerner, and on January 4, 1874, the Enquirer Southerner published its first issue with Stamps listed as editor. One year later, the January 8, 1875, issue of the newspaper, appearing under the title Southerner-Enquirer, included a note from Walter P. Williamson (1856-1918), who announced the departure of Stamps and his arrival as the new editor. The newspaper remained the Southerner-Enquirer for three issues. On January 29, Williamson announced that the publication would return to a previous title, the Tarborough Southerner.

Provided by: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library, Chapel Hill, NC