The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Kendall of the Picayune. By Fayette Copeland. Norman (Uni-
versity of Oklahoma Press), 1943. Pp. ix+351. Illustra-
tions. $3.00.
George Wilkins Kendall was a descendant of Francis Kendall,
who came to Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1640, and of Bray
Wilkins, who landed at Salem, Massachusetts, with Governor
John Endicott in 1628. He was born on August 22, 1809, in the
village of Mont Vernon in present-day Hillsboro County, New
Hampshire, as the oldest son of Thaddeus and Abigail Wilkins
Kendall. He spent ten years in the home of his grandfather,
Deacon Samuel Wilkins, and subsequently acknowledged his
gratitude for the training which he received there by always
including "his middle name 'Wilkins' in his later famous signa-
ture."
At the age of sixteen he became an apprentice in the shop of
the Amherst (New Hampshire) Herald, and once this interest
in newspaper work took possession of him he was not to lose it
until his death on October 21, 1867. In January, 1837, he and
Francis Asbury Lumsden formed a partnership in New Orleans
to engage in the newspaper business, and on January 25, 1837,
they distributed the first issue of The Picayune in New Orleans.
From that time on, newspaper journalism was the very life and
blood of George Wilkins Kendall, and, no matter what his
primary business was, news reporting and writing articles for
The Picayune always demanded some of his time.
For many years New Orleans was his legal residence, but
Texas has a claim on his citizenship for the period from 1856
to 1867. He owned a tract of land on the Nueces, had a ranch
home near New Braunfels, and finally moved to his ranch on
Post Oak Spring near Boerne, Texas, in the county that was
created and named for him in 1862. In Texas he did much to
improve the sheep on his ranches, and less than two months
before his death he was in San Antonio where he tried "without
success to borrow money to promote a factory for the manu-
facture of woolens in New Braunfels."
The circumstances of the times gave Kendall four full years
in which to build up the business of The Picayune. (Picayune,
by the way, comes from the French picaillon, Spanish picayn,
a coin worth six and a fourth cents, the cost of one copy of
The Picayune.) Then, early in 1841, Kendall heard of the pro-
posed Santa Fe expedition which President Lamar was spon-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/. Accessed August 28, 2014.