Heritage, 2011, Volume 4 Page: 26
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This section features archived articles from past issues of THF's award-winning publication.
Summer 1999 HERITAGE
Generals Scott and Taylor were followed into the battles between the
United States and Mexico by journalists -- who brought the story to the nation.
BY TOM REILLY
Iitluenced by a dynamic pe-
riod ,,i x in to r the country's press and
communication systems, the U.S.-Mexican
War of 1846-1848 became history's first war
to receive consistent and extensive media
coverage. Using colorful pen-names such
as "Mustang," "Chaparral," and "John of
York," American correspondents followed
into Mexico with the armies of Generals
Winfield Scott and Zachary Taylor and
provided the eager editors and readers at
home with continuing coverage of the ex-
peditionary forces. Although New Orleans
newspapers served as the main funnel
through which news about the armies and
fighting reached the nation's press, Texas
also played a unique role in the war's cov-
Because of their key geographical re-
lationship to the war, Texas newspapers
were an important source of news, par-
ticularly in the opening months ot th<
conflict. Additionally, five of the war':
more successful correspondents - Georg(
Wilkins Kendall, Jane McManus Storms
John Peoples, James L. Freaner, ant
George Tobin - lived in Texas for vary
ing periods before or after the two-yea:
Wartime business fueled commerce anc
industry in New Orleans, and the city',
daily newspapers, led by the Picayune
Delta, Tropic, Bee, and later the Crescent
aggressively supported and covered the
American incursion. One of the most in
teresting, productive and enterprising
newsmen during the war was Georgt
Wilkins Kendall, part-owner of the Pica.
yune. He is often called the first Americar
war correspondent, and while he is amon
the first, it is not totally accurate to say he
was the first (there are at least three other!
26 TEXASHERITAGE I Volume 4 2011
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2011, Volume 4, periodical, 2011; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254223/m1/26/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.