The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901

140 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.

THE NEW ORLEANS NEWSPAPER FILES OF THE TEXAS
REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD.
ALEX. DIENST.
In the year eighteen hundred and thirty-five there were less than
one thousand newspapers published in the United States. Of this
number .about thirty-five were daily publications, and of these 'thirty-
five the city of New Orleans could boast of five. This looks like
a large proportion for New Orleans, but we must remember that
at that time New Orleans was the third largest city in the United
States, having an actual population of seventy thousand, and a
transient population estimated -at over thirty thousand. From a
commercial standpoint it was, the second city in the Union.
The standard of journalistic character, capacity and resources
of these New Orleans ,dailies was as high as that of any in the
United Statest. Their editors we r regarded as chiefs of their
respective parties, and besides their editorial work were frequently
called upon to, draw up the platforms, resolutions and addresses of
their parties. In the very nature of things, therefore, whatever
measures they endorsed were adopted by their readers; and so of
necessity their personal influence, exerted through their facile pens,
meant much to the revolutionary party in Texas. New Orleans was
the city through which ninety per cent of the immigration, and
more than ninety per cent. of the financial aid in the revolution
came to Texas; and it was t'he city that gave to the Texans their
strongest moral support. This support, the most valuable help that
could be given, it gave abundantly. The editorials favorable to the
Texan cause, of which ex~mpples will be given in this article, were
such as 'only a Southron whose heart is fired with patriotism could
write.
The value of newspapers as a source of history is underestimated
by most people, and by many students. Dr. A. B. Hart, professor
of history in Harvard University, in his Method of Teaching Amer-
ican History, speaking of his authorities classifies them in this
order of importance: first, official publications; second, legal pub-

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101018/. Accessed August 20, 2014.