The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918

Notes on Early Texas Newspapers, 1819-1836

Texas Republican, 1819.-The earliest newspaper published in
Texas of which there is any record was the Texas Republican,
established at Nacogdoches by General James Long, the last of
the so-called "filibusters." All that is known of it has been told
by Mr. E. W. Winkler.1 The first number was issued August
14, 1819, and appears to have been edited by Horatio Bigelow,2
a member of Long's "Supreme Council," though there is some
warrant for according the distinction to Eli Harris, "a native of
North Carolina."3 No copy of the paper is extant, and these
facts are gleaned from contemporary papers of St. Louis and
New Orleans. There is no clue to the number of issues that
appeared, but publication can hardly have continued longer than
two months. The extracts reprinted by contemporaries are prin-
cipally military reports, but one records that an election of trus-
tees for a "seminary of learning" had been called at Nacogdoches,
and another that a grist and saw mill was building-promises
of progress which were speedily blasted by the success of the
royal forces and the flight of the inhabitants of East Texas across
the Sabine.
Texas Courier, 182.-Some four years later a venturesome Amer-
ican who signed himself Ashbridge established a press at San
Antonio, and on April 9, 1823, announced his intention of pub-
lishing the Texas Courier "every Wednesday morning in Span-
ish and English." His prospectus, addressed in flamboyant
style "To the Advocates of Light and Reason," deplored 'the
vicious policy of Spain, which for three hundred years had con-
cealed from the world the rich and beneficent province of Texas,
neglected education, stifled the arts, and discouraged industry.'
1"The First Newspaper in Texas," in TxE QUARTERLY, VI, 162-165, VII,
2St. Louis (Missouri) Enquirer, September 25, 1819, quoted by Winkler.
'Gazette de la Louisiane (New Orleans), September 4, 1819, and L'Ami
des Lois et Journal du Commerce (New Orleans), September 4, 1819, both
quoted by Winkler.


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 29, 2015.