Texas in 1850. By Melinda Rankin. Page: 57 of 196

60

TEXAS IN 1850.

An immoral sentiment uttered in print, will not affect
one individual only, but a whole community. The press
may be made a vehicle of error, or a medium of intelligence
and virtue. Hence the importance of those occupying
the public position of editors of newspapers being
men of high moral sentiment, dignified and intelligent.
They should not lightly assume, nor thoughtlessly discharge
duties of such important bearing. A weapon
for weal, or for woe, is in their hand, and if successfully
used, may do much in elevating a country to a high
standard of intelligence and virtue. With many persons,
the newspapers supply the chief reading matter;
their quick succession, the variety of their contents,
and the little labor which is requisite to run
through them, makes it rather an amusement, than a
task to read them. This fact gives such publications a
decided advantage over any others, as many persons
will read a newspaper who rarely ever look into a book,
and hence this medium may be regarded as the most
-available channel to mind and morals, and should be improved
for exerting a healthful and saving influence.
The press is the tongue
a fountain of life, or a pois
oned spring which sends forth deleterious streams; and
the agent which wields such a mighty power, should
know how to use and apply it, so as to pour light abroad
from the living fountains of his own intelligence.
The importance of a right kind of reading is felt in
Texas, and measures are used, to some extent, to supplant
the pernicious trash of " light literature," which
is operating so powerfully elsewhere, to pervert and

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Rankin, Melinda. Texas in 1850. By Melinda Rankin., book, 1850; Boston. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6107/m1/57/ocr/: accessed November 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .