The History of New York State
Book 12 Chapter 21, Part 3

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam

 

Reference has already been made to the foundation of the New York "Sun" by Ben Day, the printer. Charles Anderson Dana (1819-97), its great director, had been ten years managing editor of the "Tribune" under Horace Greeley, and was, for the first three years of the Civil War, Assistant Secretary of War, before becoming editor of the "Sun." He had the faculty o choosing his lieutenants with care and retaining them by kindness. Never was an editor better served. With William H. Laffan in charge of the publishing end, Edward Page Mitchell to relieve him of responsibility for the editorial page, and Chester Sanders Lord, as managing editor, he had time to think. And he thought clearly and expressed himself lucidly. From the early seventies these men were with him, and they carried on after his death.

The "Sun" was the most brilliantly written newspaper in America during this period, and the favorite of newspaper men. It was likewise their greatest training school. For years a single share of the stock of the Sun Publishing Association, par value $100, paid annual dividends of $1,200. The financial returns might have been even more had the "Sun" been less pugnacious, but it seemed to love a fight, and never knew when it was beaten. Thus during the presidential administration of Rutherford B. Hayes, a wood set of Mr. Hayes, an opprobrious word branded across the forehead, was a daily feature of its editorial columns. After the death of Mr. Dana, who was succeeded by Paul Dana, his son, the paper became involved in a fight with the unions, and later, with the Associated Press. Its financial prosperity has ended when Mr. Munsey bought it, and finally destroyed the morning newspaper, continuing the afternoon edition, which had long been the more profitable. Mr. Mitchell remained in charge of the editorial page of the "Sun" until his death. Keats Speed, who had been managing editor of the "Press," and continued in that post when the "Press" was merged with the "Sun," was transferred for a time to the managing editorship of the "Herald"; but when Mr. Munsey sold this newspaper to the "Tribune," returned to the "Sun" again as managing editor. William T. Dewart was publisher, and in general charge of the Munsey publications from the business side. In 1926 the Munsey estate sold the "Sun" to the members of the staff, and in 1927 the paper had apparently begun a prosperous career as the only cooperatively owned paper in New York printed in English.

The "New York Daily Tribune" was founded by Horace Greeley on April 10, 1841, and was the outgrowth of the "Log Cabin," a weekly Whig organ started by

Greeley in support of the presidential candidacy of General Harrison. The total cost of production during its first week of publication was $525, but even this amount was almost too much for the slender resources of the printer-publicist. Through his persistent energy the paper was soon on a paying basis, and in 1871, when the average cost of production was $20,000 a week, no difficulty as experienced in showing a profit. When the "Tribune" was finally turned into a stock company, its shares were valued at $1,000 each, and a few days after issue commanded $3,500 each. The "Tribune" had invested $382,000 in real estate at this time, and had divided among its owners’ profits averaging $50,000 a year. Before and during the Civil War the "Tribune" was supposed to reflect the views of the Republican party. It did ore then that. It helped to formulate and enforce them. Mr. Greeley was from the first an abolitionist. Mr. Lincoln, although as a member of Congress from Illinois, advocate of a measure to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, delayed his celebrated proclamation abolishing slavery until it was forced upon him as a war measure. The "tribune" printed Mr. Greeley's famous "Prayer of Twenty Millions" on this subject, to which President Lincoln replied: "My paramount object is to save the Union. What I do about Slavery and the Colored Race, I do because it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help me to save the Union." During a visit to Europe, Mr. Greeley engaged, among other notable correspondents, Karl Marx, then residing in London, and for several years in return for the compensation of $12 a week, which was indeed his only certain income, the found of Socialism was a most prolific contributor. The most distinguished member of the staff in the realm of literature, however, was Bayard Taylor, remembered for his poetry, and especially for his superb translation of Goethe's "Faust." The "Weekly Tribune," which had a widespread circulation among the farmers of America, by no means confined to the State of New York, was, in point of circulation and influence, the most important of its class under the Greeley regime. But Mr. Greeley's campaign for the presidency wrecked both his health and his fortune, and before his death, in 1872, at the age of sixty-one years, the control had passed to Whitelaw Reid, a member of the staff with a distinguished record as a war correspondent, who had married Elizabeth Mills, daughter of Darius Mills, one of the Bonanza kings of California's '49.

Under the editorship of Mr. Reid, the "Tribune" was consistently the organ of the Republican party. John Hay was an important member of the staff. It was noted also for its critical departments: Henry Edward Krehbiel, as first baseball reporter, heading that devoted to music; William Winter, that of the drama; Royal Cortizzos, art; and Willis Fletcher Johnson, books. During the latter part of his ownership, Hart Lyman was editor, Roscoe E. C. Brown, managing editor, and George Burdick, city editor. The modernization of the "Tribune" dates from their efforts while Mr. Reid was serving his country as ambassador to the Court of St. James. On his death in 1913, his son Ogden Mills Reid, became president of the company, and virtual owner of the paper. During the World War the "Tribune" was from the first the boldest advocate of the cause of the Allies in America, and its attack upon William Randolph Hearst during that period will be recalled as the last exhibition of "personal journalism" of the old school ever seen in New York. With the purchase of the "New York Herald" from Frank A. Munsey, in 1924, as the "Herald-Tribune" this paper has entered upon a new era of prosperity and in 1927, its new home on West Fortieth Street is being rapidly outgrown. It was, in fact, the only merger effected by Munsey in which he eventual circulation surpassed that of the papers combined. In the editorial direction Mr. Reid has the able collaboration of Arthur Stimson Draper, whose connection with the "Tribune" began in his undergraduate years at New York University. The Paris edition of the "New York Herald" has been continued and improved since its purchase with the "New York Herald" by the owners of the "Tribune."

The New York "Times" came into being in 1851. Its editor, Henry J. Raymond, had received his journalistic training under Horace Greeley, and had been Lieutenant-Governor of the State of New York. Associated with him were George Jones and E. B. Wesley, but notwithstanding the reputation and ability of the triumvirate, and the especial talent shown by Raymond in handling news of the war, its existence was long precarious, and not until the reconstruction period was it able to afford a valid excuse for existence. Boss Tweed had by then become the ruler of New York. With no other aid from the press than that afforded by "Harper's Weekly," which printed a series of effective cartoons by Thomas Nast, the "Times" overthrew Boss Tweed, an achievement of which the citizens of New York are still reaping the benefit, as it proved that political corruption is not invincible. But with the death of Raymond, and the passing of his partner, Jones, in 1891, the "Times" again fell upon evil days. In April, 1893, a newly organized Times Publishing company bought the paper from the Jones heirs, who retained the building that had been erected for it, but the new company lacked sufficient capital, and as unable to influence any of the better known journalists of the day to take over its direction. Adolph S. Ochs, who had been a newsboy on the streets of Knoxville, Tennessee, and had purchased the "Times" of Chattanooga for $250 of borrowed money, assumed its debts, and converted them into assets, by this time had some spare capital. He procured letters of recommendation from everyone he knew, including Grover Cleveland, and came to New York with a proposal to again reorganize the paper, which was then in the hands of a receiver. J. P. Morgan and August Belmont, representing the bonded indebtedness, were ready to listen, and in the end Ochs obtained control of his own investment of $75000 ash and services. Other money was advanced to the amount go $125,000, but most of this was eaten up in settling pressing claims. Ochs found and retained, as editor and managing editor, Charles Ransom Miller and Albert Lowenthal. He made no radical changes, but coordinated the various departments, and began to establish such standing features as a court calendar, civil services news, and business news in general. Politically the "Times" remained independent, although with Democratic leanings. In 1896 it supported the Gold Democrats, in 1906 McKinley, and 1904 Parker, in 1908 Taft, in 1912 and 1916 Wilson, and in 1920 it advocated a League of Nations and the election of James M. Cox. In 1896 it began to feature book reviews, and from 1897 to 1913 it issued a Monday financial review. It was the fist paper in New York to adopt the rotogravure system of reproducing photographs, and the first to make extensive use of wireless telegraphy in the receipt of foreign news. The first "Times" building had been in the triangle between park Row, Beekman and Nassau streets. A larger building, which still stands, replaced it in 1888, but was becoming too small for the growth of the business. Mr. Ochs, having paid off the bonded debt, and under the terms of his contract, acquired a majority of the "Times" property, planned another triangular building at Broadway, forty-second Street and Seventh Avenue, which remained the paper's home until it too was outgrown, and the larger plant was erected in West Forty-third Street, known as the "Times" Annex. The "Weekly Family Times" was discontinued long ago, but from the "Times" Annex are issued the "Annalist," a weekly financial publication, the outgrowth of the Monday financial review, a monthly magazine called "The Times current History Magazine," and edited by George Washington Ochs Oakes, and the "Mid-Week Pictorial." On July 18, 1922, Charles Ransom Miller died, and Rollo Ogden, then of the "Evening Post," became editor-in-chief. Adolph Ochs still retains the ownership of the Chattanooga "Times," but after publishing the Philadelphia "Public Ledger," for some years, sold it to Cyrus H. K. Curtis, and gives his New York publications most of his time.

The New York "World," founded in 1860, opposed the Lincoln administration. Manton Marble, an alumnus of the New York "Evening Post," made the New York "World," the organ of the Copperheads, or sympathizers with the Confederacy, and in 1864 President Lincoln obliged it to suspend for a time on the ground that it had printed fake dispatches detrimental to the Union cause. This was the only New York daily to be so punished. It was never an important daily until 1883, when it came into possession of Joseph Pulitzer. He had been a war correspondent, and had made a success of the St. Louis "Post-Dispatch," and by sensational methods, enterprise, and editorial vigor, jumped the circulation from 15,000 to 200,000 in two years. He made the Sunday edition more attractive, and on October 10, 1887, began the publication of the "Evening World." On October 10, 1889, the corner stone was laid for the Pulitzer Building at Park row and Frankfort Street. Surmounted by a gilded dome, the new home of the "World" newspapers are completed on November 10, 1890, being the tallest building in New York until the erection of the Park Row Building some years later. The average circulation of the "World" at this time was 316,6636. An addition was made to the building, doubling its size, and this was opened to the public on May 9, 1908, the 25th anniversary of Mr. Pulitzer's purchase of the paper. An anniversary number, issued on Sunday, the day following, consisted of 200 pages, a record-breaking size for the period. An indefatigable worker, and a voracious reader, Mr. Pulitzer's last years were spent under the terrific handicap of blindness. By means of a corps of stenographers and secretaries, however, he continued in control of the publications. His one great passion was music, and in this he found his greatest consolation. He had become unduly sensitive to noises, and having tried to provide himself with sound-proof rooms, he took refuge on his yacht "Liberty," where he died suddenly, October 29, 1911. The "World," the "Evening World," and the St. Louis "Post Dispatch" there upon passed to the ownership of his three sons, Ralph, Joseph, and Herbert Pulitzer. Herbert, the youngest, received six-tenths of the ownership in the newspapers under the will, which further provided that he was to have no part in the management until 1927. Apart from his publications, the elder Pulitzer's monument is the Pulitzer School of Journalism, which be endowed at Columbia University. From 1904 until his death, the editorial page of the "World" was in charge of Frank Irving Cobb, when it was taken over by Walter Lippmann. Don Carlos Seitz and John H. Tennant were among the most trusted of Mr. Pulitzer's executives, together with Florence A. White and William Van Benthuysen. Mr. White was the publisher in 1927, Herbert Bayard Swope, executive editor.

In 1895 New York journalism was enlivened the advent of William Randolph Hearst, who proved to be, measured by the dollar yardstick of success, the greatest constructive genius in its history. Son of Senator George Hearst, of California, on leaving Harvard University in 1885, he had taken over the control of the San Francisco "Examiner," a moribund daily owned by the Senator, and made it the most widely discussed publication on the Pacific Coast. Although the name came later, derived from his comic supplements in New York, "Yellow Journalism" was born then and there, and was from the first a lively infant. Its pranks disgruntled and sometimes embarrassed in a financial way the sedate and serious press of the country, but it was never as naughty as they pictured it, and the public liked it from the first.

Founded by Albert Pulitzer's brother, but never a great success, the New York "Morning Journal" was sold to John R. McLean, owner of the Cincinnati "Enquirer," who was glad to dispose of it a few months later to Mr. Hearst, in 1895. The sensational methods which Mr. Hearst had employed to put the San Francisco "Examiner" on a sound basis were repeated in New York with variations, and he borrowed or appropriated not only what he thought best of Joseph Pulitzer's ideas, but his writers and executives as well, including Arthur Brisbane. Eventually the morning paper became the New York "American," the original title being retained for the evening editions. Campaigns and "crusades" awakened and retained public interest. Some of these brought about genuine reforms, but the most important was that directed against Spanish misrule in Cuba. Drawings by Frederic Remington, and articles by Richard Harding Davis and James Creelman, the sensational rescue of Senorita Cisneros from a Spanish prison, tended to arouse American sympathy for the Cubans, and to inflame the sentiments against Spain, so that the still unexplained blowing up of the "Maine" in the harbor at Havana quickly brought about the Spanish-American War, with its far-reaching effect upon the future foreign policies of the United States. As the point of saturation was reached in New York circulation for the Hearst style of journalism, dailies were purchased or founded in other cities, syndicates and news services organized, and magazines and class publications, some of which are referred to in the chapter on literature, were either founded, bought or controlled. In 1927 Mr. Hearst owned nearly thirty daily newspapers, more than a dozen magazines, and a book publishing house, without counting heavy realty investments in many cities. A forceful and fluent writer, not in the least averse to taking into his confidence on public affairs 18,000,000 readers whose attention he can command within any given twenty-four hours, Mr. Hearst has been singularly reticent about his private affairs. Men who have been close to him are responsible for the statement that when he came to New York his father advanced him $1,000,000 to experiment with, and that this sum was quickly exhausted, but that the had no further assistance from his family, although, of course, he inherited a large fortune upon the death of his mother. These same wiseacres assert that in 1927 Mr. Hearst's publishing businesses were worth considerably more then $300,000,000, all the result of thirty-two years of almost incessant activity.

Antithetical in most respects to that of Mr. Hearst was the career of Frank Andrew Munsey. Clerk in a country store, telegraph operator, then publisher of a juvenile weekly in New York, he laid the foundations of a fortune by utilizing the then new process of photo-engraving in "Munsey's Magazine." He developed a chain of fiction publications, a chain grocery, and greatly increased his fortune by buying U. S. Steel stock when it was almost a drug on the market. His first journalistic venture was the New York "Star," a newspaper of relatively small importance, which he bought in 1890, renamed the "New York Daily Continent," and soon discontinued. The following year he bought the "Daily News," which had prospered as representative of the Irish element in New York under Colonel Wood, and continued to earn a revenue under the management of his widow. This suspended publication in less than three years. In 1912 he bought the New York "Press," and in 1913 merged it with the New York "Sun." In 1920 he bought from the Bennett estate the New York "Herald," which he merged with the "Sun," morning edition, as the "New York Sun and Herald," but later dropped the "Sun" from the title. The "Evening Telegram" he maintained much on the lines on which James Gordon Bennett established it. In 1923 he bought the "Globe and Commercial Advertiser," and merged it with the evening edition of the "Sun." In 1924 he bought the "Evening Mail" and merged it with the "Evening Telegram." He had also b ought and relinquished the Washington "Times" and the Baltimore "News." After selling the "Herald" to the "Tribune," of all these papers he retained only the "Sun" and the "Mail." Mr. Munsey declared early in his career that New York was overcrowded with newspapers, and that his mergers were designed to correct this situation, and to place newspaper production upon a sounder economic basis.

In the place of the great dailies he annihilated there sprang into being the tabloid papers. First in the field in 1924 was the New York "Daily News," an experiment on the part of the owners of the Chicago "Tribune," which proved an instant success. Its daily circulation for the six months ending in September, 1926, was 1,082,976. The second tabloid was the "Graphic," founded by Bernarr Macfadden. Its average circulation during the same period was 242,508. Mr. Hearst's first venture in tabloid, and youngest of the three in this group in New York, the "Mirror" reached a circulation for the same period of 371,465. All three give more space to illustrations than to text, and disregard the news standards of the older dailies, featuring "human interest" rather than routine news.

Besides the newspapers of general circulation, New York City produces many daily and weekly publications devoted to special or class interests. The highest priced daily newspaper in the world is the New York "Morning Telegraph," which sells for ten cents, and in 1927 had an average circulation of almost 50,000. Founded by T. Oakey Hall, who was Mayor of New York, 1869-72, it caters to the theatrical and sporting classes, and is a mirror of Broadway life and thought. For many years owned b the ate William C. Whitney, it passed to E, R, Thomas, a wealthy sporting man, and was controlled in 1927 by his widow, who announced it to be her intention to devote five years to an attempt to make it one of the leading newspapers of America, and who declined to sell at a handsome price.

The "Wall Street Journal" dates from 1882, when it was founded by Charles H. Dow and Edward H. Jones. Thomas F. Woodlock and Charles M. Bergstresser soon joined them, and William P. Hamilton became editor-in-chief. Clarence W. Barron, who had founded the Boston News Bureau in 1887, bought out Dow, Jones & Co., in 1882, and made it one of the world's leading financial organs, retaining the active direction of its affairs in 1927.

The "Wall Street News," first issued in 1893 as the "Wall Street Summary," was developed by James Rascover, and Colin Armstrong, assisted by Melvin J. Woodworth. In 1903 the name was changed to "Financial America," and the following year Mr. Woodworth, becoming sole owner, changed the name again to the "Wall Street News." This company owns a ticker service, the Central News, Ltd., of London, and the Central news Company of America.

In so cosmopolitan a city the foreign language press, as might be expected, is large, important and extremely influential. Of the dailies, the largest in circulation is the Jewish "Daily Forward," edited for a quarter of a century, almost the sum of its existence, by Abraham Cahan, the novelist of East Side life. It has a roto section and an English supplement on Sundays, owns a fine building with modern equipment, and represents the Socialist Right Wing. The circulation is 150,000. Other dailies printed in Yiddish are the "Day-Warheit," the Jewish "Daily News" and the Jewish "Morning Journal."

"Il Progresso Italo-Americano," one of the oldest Italian dailies, has long been edited by Cav. Barsotti, and attained a daily circulation in 1927 of 81, 118, Sunday, 985,739.

The "Staats-Zeitung," with a daily circulation slightly less than 100,000, and a Sunday circulation of more than 100,000, absorbed its chief competitor the "Herold," during the World War period, becoming the "Staats-Zeitung-Herold." It was founded in 1834 and is still owned by the Ridder family, also referred to above as the present owners of the "Journal of Commerce."

"Le Courier des Etats Unis," is edited by H. P. Sampers, whose family has always owned it, and its literary qualities are naturally of the highest. There are four publications in Arabic, two in Chinese, one in Japanese, three in Polish, five in Russian, four in Hungarian, including two dailies. Last, but not least in importance, there is "La Prensa," an excellent daily in Spanish.

Brooklyn has four important dailies which, in point of quality and circulation, are comparable to those published in Manhattan Island. The "Daily Eagle," edited by Arthur M. Howe, was long the organ of liberal Democracy. For a brief time Walt Whitman was the editor. Then St. Clair McKelway, who had won his spurs in Albany was the editor for nearly a third of a century, and until his death. The "Standard Union," on which Murat Halsted closed his journalistic career, is the Republican organ of Kings County. Owned by William C. Berri, it has been ably edited by John A. Halton for forty years. His training was received under Henry J. Raymond of the New York "Times." In 1927 the company was reorganized, new capital put in, and Joseph J. Early, who entered the paper's service as a reporter in 1902, became president of the company. The Brooklyn "Citizen" has always been the organ of the Democrat leaders in Kings County. For many years it was edited by Andrew McLean, who was succeeded by Solon Barbanell. The Brooklyn "Times," long the spokesman for the Easter n District of Brooklyn and nearby regions of Long Island, was founded by the Bryants, and had the benefit of early guidance from William Cullen Bryant himself. For many years John N. Harmon has been both editor and general manager, and Clarence A. Hebb, managing editor.

Dailies on other boroughs of the greater city include the Long Island City "Star," the Flushing "Journal," the Jamaica "Long Island Press," the Staten Island "Advance," the Bronx "Home News," and "North Side News."

While strictly speaking all weeklies are newspapers, and so classified in the United States Postal regulations, it is doubtful whether the weekly publications of New York City might not be more appropriately treated under the chapter heading of literature, where the magazines are of necessity, included. The standard of literary excellence in most cases has been very high indeed. But their history is relatively brief, whatever their achievements may have been.

Of the more serious weeklies the first in age and importance was that issued by Messrs. Harper and Brothers, now only a memory to most New Yorkers, but still useful to the student of men and manners, and accessible in the collections of the larger libraries. "Harper's Weekly" was an illustrated publication when illustrations cost money, for every picture used must first be drawn, and then engraved by hand. That which was impossible for the daily press half a century ago, the pictorial representation of news, was only barely possible for the more leisurely weeklies, of which this was the first in importance from the middle of the last century.

For many years the editor was George William Curtis, who brought "Harper's Weekly" to a plane of distinction as to both text and illustrations which it never surpassed. The most famous of the cartoonists engaged was Thomas Nast, who, as already recorded, contributed materially to the overthrow of Boss Tweed. But the House of Harper had fall upon evil days. J. P. Morgan & Company undertook its rehabilitation, and in 1900 placed George B. Harvey, then managing editor of the New York "World," at the head of its affairs as president of the company. Mr. Harvey assumed the editorship of "Harper's Weekly," and contributed signed editorials, but left the bulk of the direction to George Buchanan Fife, as managing editor. Mr. Fife eventually became one of the stars of the "Evening World," and Norman Hapgood was made editor in 1913, and discontinued its publication in 1916. "Leslie's Weekly," the most formidable early rival of "Harper's Weekly," was established by Frank Leslie, a versatile and accomplished Englishman, who created a chain of popular publications in New York, in most of which he succeeded by his widow, who later called herself Baroness de Bazus, and died in 1914, leaving a large fortune to Mrs. Carrie C. Catt, for use in the suffrage cause. In the early nineties possession was acquired by John A. Sleicher, a Troy, New York, newspaper man, who also took over "Judge," and became president of the "Leslie-Judge Company." The tone of the publications altered greatly under the management of Mr. Sleicher, a fact which was explained after his death, May 5, 1921, when litigation revealed the fact that the actual owner was the Standard Oil Company. "Leslie's Weekly," which had been losing money for some time, was then discontinued, but "Judge," a humorous illustrated weekly, which had represented the Republican point of view in contrast to the Democratic tastes of its now deceased rival, "Puck," took a new lease on life, and abandoned partisan politics.

The end of both "Harper's Weekly" and Leslie's Weekly" was probably hastened by "Collier's Weekly." Originally little better than the "Fireside Companion," and "The Family Story Paper," it was owned by Peter Fenelon collier, who had made a fortune in publishing subscription books. It appearing to Mr. collier that New York might easily support a weekly of the grade of Philadelphia's "Saturday Evening Post," he placed Norman Hapgood in charge in 1903, and with the brilliant youngsters Hapgood was able to assembly as contributors, nearly realized his ambition. Hapgood proved too radical for Mr. Collier's associates, and although his son Robert Collier, supported Hapgood, his place was made untenable, and he was succeeded by mark Sullivan, who had been his assistant. During the numerous changes in editorship which followed the guiding influence was Peter Finley Dun, originally a Chicago newspaper man, wand the creator of "Mr. Dooley." Its chief rival was "Liberty," issued in 1926 by the owners of the Chicago "Times," and the "News."

The "New Republic" and "Asia" were made possible by the liberality of Mrs. William, D. Straight, who was Dorothy Payne Whitney, daughter of William C. Whitney. She desired both publication to be liberal, fair, constructive. Beyond this she took no part in the suggestion of policies. The short-lived but brilliantly written "Freeman" was guaranteed in the same way by Mrs. Joseph Fels, who only insisted that it advocate single tax, to which both she and her late husband were definitely committed. "The Nation," which had, after brilliant beginnings with Horace White, Godkin, the Garrisons, and others, become more or less A weekly appanage of the New York "Evening Post," took on a new impetus under the direction of Oswald Garrison Villard, after the divorce of both from the daily field. As an organ of protest it filled a useful purpose, and its literary and critical departments were never more skillfully handled than in 1927, when the circulation was more than a four times greater than it had been in its earlier history. "The Survey," edited by a group headed by Dr. Paul U. Kellogg, specialized in sociological studies. The "New Yorker," devoted to somewhat poignant personalities, and the presentation of a peculiarly Manhattanese point of view, was in 1927 the youngest of New York's more important weeklies devoted to humor and criticism. "Life" one of the oldest, remained one of the best under the ownership of Charles Dana Gibson, whose reputation it had made in the days of John Ames Mitchell, who founded it in January 3, 1883, and was its editor until he died.

For a time New York seemed a suitable field for a serious type of weekly, distinctly religious in tone. Among the best of its class was the "independent," long owned and edited by Hamilton Holt, but which ceased to exist after his retirement. The one survival in 1927 is "The Outlook," long edited by Dr. Lyman Abbott. Theodore Roosevelt was a contributing editor, and Don Carlos Seitz became an associate editor in 1926, while the contributors were among the best in the country. Unique among the weeklies of large circulation is the "Literary Digest," which presents and interprets the views of other publications on the news of the day.

The press of New York City overshadows that of the State, as is to be expected of a district in which more than half the population of the State is compacted. Estimating from the number of people reached by its journals, tenor twelve times that of the papers printed outside the metropolis, it is also the more influential. But there was a day when Albany, the capital of New York, contended valiantly for the scepter and secured it, the day of the "Regency." True, it was a time when a newspaper was issued less for the news in it than for its political propaganda. Journals often were started merely as party organs, and after having served their purpose were abandoned. The "Jeffersonian," of Albany, with no lesser editor than Horace Greeley, was such a one. It was an era of notable editors, and Albany ranked with the "City" in the possession of great men in the field. The history of journalism in the State could not be written without giving a high place to Thurlow Weed, and Jesse Buel, the Croswells, Edwin and Sherman, George Dawson and Daniel manning, not to mention a score of others who played prominent roles on the journalistic state of Albany and the State at large. The capital city was for many years conspicuous for the ability of its editors and the influence its press wielded, often of a truly National character.

 

The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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