The First Texas Newspaper
THE FIRST TEXAS NEWSPAPER
DoUGLAS 0. MCMURTRIE
In the preparation of an article on "Pioneer Printing in Texas,"
published in the January, 1932, issue of this QUARTERLY., I over-
looked, quite unaccountably, an important source of information
regarding the, first Texas newspaper-the Texas Republican. This
was Clarence S. Brigham's Bibliography of American Newspapers,
which I use constantly in my studies of printing history in other
states. The date limit set by Brigham is 1820, and as I knew no
copies of Texas newspapers published prior to that date were known
to be extant, I did not consult his bibliography.
Since the publication of my recent article, I find Brigham has
references to extracts from the Texas Republican published in other
newspapers, additional to those published by Winkler nearly thirty
years ago in the pages of this QUARTERLY.' Transcripts of these
articles copied by other newspapers from the Texas Republican
are here presented. They will be found to contain much material
of value to the student of Texas history.
In the Nashville Clarion of September 14, 1819, we find the
following at the top of the editorial column on page three:
"We have received the first number of the Texas Republican,
published by Eli Harris, who some years ago published a newspaper
in Franklin. Extracts from it appear in this day's paper. We
have conversed with a gentleman lately from the Republican army,
he represents the prospects as very flattering, and the hopes of
ultimate success is said to brighten every day.
"Gen. Long, who commands, we are told, was raised in this
state. His father lives in Maury county, and he received his edu-
cation under Mr. Black, in Rutherford. He has energy of charac-
ter, and some little military experience, but would cheerfully give
place to any officer better qualified to head the republicans. He
has repeatedly declared his devotion to principle, his wish for the
success of his compatriots, and that he cheerfully would obey the
commands of any person who would be more likely to further the
cause of independence."
The reference to Franklin is, of course, to Franklin, Tennessee.
A newspaper in that town named the Monitor was being published
as early as February, 1819, as is shown by a quotation from it which
1Notes by E. W. Winkler in Quarterly of the Texas State Historical
Association, VI, 162-165; VII, 242-243.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101093/. Accessed September 4, 2015.