Heritage, 2011, Volume 4 Page: 29
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of Captain Ben McCulloch, but the jour-
nalist considered himself a volunteer, or
"high private," as he put it; Freaner briefly
rode with Colonel Jack Hays' Ranger com-
pany; Samuel Reid Jr. served (together
with Kendall) in McCulloch's unit and
fought at Monterrey in September 1846.
Afterward Reid compiled a successful book
of stories and anecdotes (many by Haile
and Kendall) that added to the growing
national image of McCulloch and the
Lumsden, Kendall's partner at the Pica-
yune, briefly joined the Rangers as a vol-
unteer in fall 1846 but did not enjoy the
long, exhausting trips behind enemy lines
and soon returned to New Orleans. The
longest service, and most colorful and en-
tertaining writing by the Ranger-corre-
spondents, was provided by George Tobin,
who served with several Ranger units in
northern Mexico from early 1847 until the
war ended in summer 1848. Tobin wrote
both satirical and straight news reports
about his experiences in the Louisiana
Volunteers and later the Texas Rangers.
Another Texas chapter in the war's
press coverage occurred in early 1847 when
New York Sun editor-owner Moses Yale
Beach went to Mexico City on an ill-fated
peace mission. At the time the Sun
claimed the largest newspaper circulation
in the United States (approximately
50,000 daily). Beach convinced the Polk
Administration he might use his connec-
tions in the Catholic Church to persuade
church leaders in Mexico to support a
peace effort. At Mexico City, Beach found
the church embroiled with the govern-
ment over the issue of war contributions.
Mexican General Santa Anna was in the
north with his army when Beach arrived,
and the American representative rashly
supported a clerical-backed uprising in the
Mexican capital. Santa Anna suddenly
returned, put down the revolt, and Beach
had to flee for his life.
th Beach on his trip to
Mexico was writer Jane McManus Storms,
an outspoken advocate of Manifest Des-
tiny. Previously she had written Washing-
ton correspondence for the Sun and ex-
pansionist articles for the New York-based
Democratic Review. Since she could speak
Spanish and was a Catholic, she accom-
panied Beach (and his daughter) to
In 1841 Kendall was
captured by Mexican
troops along with more
than 200 Texans...the
experience left Kendall
critical of the Mexican
his reporting of the war.
Mexico. As a result, she became the only
woman correspondent to provide first-
hand coverage of the war, and the only cor-
respondent to do reporting from behind
the Mexican lines. Storms was 39 when
the Mexican War broke out and had been
active as a writer of political letters and
essays for about six years. She first became
interested in Texas and the Southwest
when her father joined other investors,
including Aaron Burr, to form the
Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company.
She lived in Matagorda, Texas, during the
mid-1830s and became acquainted with
Texas politics and political figures. Her
father's colonization project failed, but the
ground work had been established for
Storms' long interest in American expan-
sion into Texas, Cuba, the Carribean, and
When Beach's peace negotiations in the
Mexican capital broke off, Storms traveled
the 200 miles to Vera Cruz alone, where
General Scott was preparing to march into
the interior. She provided him information
about possible routes; Scott, however, dis-
approved of a woman being present at the
battlefront and later reprimanded Beach for
sending her. She remained in Vera Cruz for
several weeks sending articles to the Sun
using the pen-name "Cora Montgomery,"
generally urging strong American action to
seize all of Mexico. She provided a fitting
summary for the war's press coverage when
she noted in one of her letters that "Truth
always goes home in clothes of American
exans also played a role in a spe-
cial group of "camp newspapers" published
by American and Mexican printers during
the war in occupied Mexican Territory.
These papers, which proved invaluable to
the coverage of the war, were established
by printers who followed in the wake of
the army (many originally served as vol-
unteers in military units).
Before the war was over enterprising
Yankee journalists established 25 such pub-
lications in 14 Mexican locations. The first
was established at Corpus Christi before
Zachary Taylor's troops marched south to
the Rio Grande. Serving both the troops
at the front and the public at home these
papers provided much of the war's news.
It was in the role of editor of four of these
newspapers that John Peoples, a former
Texas resident and New Orleans printer,
made his largest contribution to reporting
the war. Peoples, with financial support
from General Scott, established "occupa-
tion papers" at Vera Cruz, Puebla, Jalapa,
and Mexico City. The latter paper was pub-
lished on a daily basis in the captured Mexi-
can capital for more than eight months.
Printed in English and Spanish, the army
found most of the war papers useful for
troop morale and as a means of communi-
cating with the occupied Mexican popu-
lation. Peoples, using the pen-name "Chap-
arral," made a further mark on the cover-
age of the war by corresponding on a regu-
lar basis with the New Orleans Delta, and
later with the New Orleans Daily Crescent.
The U.S.-Mexican War came at a time
of rapid expansion of the American press.
The public demand for news, and the im-
proving means of transportation and com-
munication, gave the nation's press
impetus to provide heavy coverage of the
war. The efforts of Kendall, Freaner, Haile,
Peoples, Storms, and other correspondents
who went to Mexico helped to meet the
demand, and in the process, the develop-
ment of the role of reporters on American
newspapers, and the role of foreign corre-
Tom Reilly is professor of journalism at Cali-
fornia State University, Northridge. He was
founding editor of the academic journal, Jour-
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Vol u m e 4 2 01 1 ITEXAS HERITAGE 29
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2011, Volume 4, periodical, 2011; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254223/m1/29/: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.