Rural Repository. - In 1824 on May 29, William B. Stoddard (son of Ashbel Stoddard, founder of the Gazette)
commenced the publication of a semi-monthly literary magazine of eight quarto pages, entitled The Rural Repository,
which was continued with marked success for twenty seven years, the last number being issued on the 4th of October,
1851, not from lack of patronage, but because Mr. Stoddard had arrived at the age when he desired to retire from
active business, and there was no person "in sight" to whom he was willing to consign his pet publication
which had involved his tact and talent for more than a quarter of a century. The Rural Repository of sixty years
ago would compare favorably with the most popular literary publications of to-day. It counted among its contributors
young authors all over this State and the New England States, many of whom have achieved eminence in the realm
of literature. Here we find poems from N. P. Willis, William Cullen Bryant, John G. Whittier, and others of that
character. Among the local writers, Clark W. Bryan, then a young man of less than twenty, contributed poems and
sketches which would do credit to older heads; in after life he became prominent through his connection with Samuel
Bowles and Dr. J. G. Holland in the publication of the Springfield (Mass.) Daily Republican; later as one of the
founders of the Springfield Daily Union; and still later as publisher and editor of Good Housekeeping, a popular
monthly magazine; and the Paper World, an elaborate and artistic trade journal - all of which form an enduring
monument to the talent, skill and enterprise of Mr. Bryan. Another talented and prolific contributor hailed from
Chatham, and signed her poems and sketches "Emillie," many of which are worthy of preservation in enduring
volumes. The Repository was profusely illustrated with wood engravings, representing local scenes and buildings
of general interest, now as well as then, and these engravings are equal in outline and clearness to the best photo
engravings of to day. In his last years Mr. Stoddard referred with just pride to his creation, The Repository,
and the wide popularity it achieved.
Columbia and Greene County Envoy. - In 1831 Edward G. Linsley, a young and ambitious politician of the Whig persuasion,
commenced the publication of a small weekly paper, designed to cover the political demands of the party in the
two counties. It was ably conducted, but attempted to cover too large a territory, and had a fitful existence of
about two years, being discontinued in 1833.
The Diamond. - In 1833 George F. Stone, a man of experience and ability, attempted to fill the place of the Repository,
and started a semi monthly magazine. It proved an unsuccessful venture, and did not survive its first year.
The Magnolia. - In 1834 P. Dean Carrique, of the Gazette, commenced the publication of another semi monthly magazine,
but not conning up to the standard of the old Repository, it was as short lived as its immediate predecessor.
The Hudson Mirror. - In 1839, at the beginning of the year, another literary paper was started in Hudson, by P.
Dean Carrique, under favorable auspices. It was scholarly in tone, and among its contributors were Mrs. Sigourney
of Hartford, Conn., N. P. Willis, of Portland, Me., and others who became celebrated in the world of literature
in after years. But The Rural Repository had been firmly established for fifteen years, and the field not being
sufficiently broad for two literary papers, The Mirror was discontinued after an existence of less than two years.
CAMPAIGN PAPERS. - The Presidential campaign of 1840 was one of the hottest the country has ever witnessed. It
was between the Democrats, led by Martin Van Buren, who was then President, having been elected in 1836; and the
Whigs, led by William Henry Harrison, who had been defeated by Van Buren at the election four years previous. The
regular party organs were not sufficiently rabid to meet the fiery elements of the leading contestants, and campaign
papers were established all over the country. Hudson had its full share, each party being represented by temporary
organs, the venomous and personal expressions of which would hardly be tolerated at this period:
The Flail. - The Whig party published The Flail, in the interests of Harrison and Tyler, with the shibboleth of
"Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," "Log Cabin and Hard Cider," with the "Coon-skin," as
an emblem, and it executed some heavy flailing during the campaign.
The Thrasher. - Was started as an offset by the Democrats, in the interest of Van Buren and Johnson. The political
battle was hotly contested, and while the one "flailed" the other "thrashed" unmercifully,
to the amusement and applause of the partisans they respectively represented, and it would be difficult to decide,
at this late day in looking over their files, which dealt the hardest blows; but Van Buren carried the county by
an immense majority, although badly defeated in the general result.
The Columbia Washingtonian. - In 1842, at the inception of the "Washingtonian" temperance movement, J.
R. S. Van Vliet commenced the publication of a paper ardently devoted to the cause of total abstinence, on the
"moral suasion" principle. In 1843 the paper was transferred to Warren Rockwell, who in 1847 sold the
establishment to Alexander N. Webb, who continued its publication to 1850, when he changed the name to the Hudson
Weekly Star; and gave the paper the character of a general independent newspaper.
Spirit of the Age. - In 1844, May 16, William B. Stoddard commenced the publication of another temperance organ,
and it was as spirited as its name suggested. In the first issue Mr. Stoddard announced that he would be ably assisted
by a number of "Washingtonians." In his salutatory he says, with a vigor and sincerity that must have
been impressive at the time:
"Although a deadly enemy to the spirits. (the earthly kind I mean) yet my name is 'Spirit of the Age.' I do
not mean to have you understand that I call myself a spirit, that is, an immaterial being, for I make no pretensions
to anything unearthly; yet, if I mistake not, I shall be considered sometimes quite spirited or in high spirits.
. . Although my name is 'Age.' I am quite young, for this is my natal day - the dawn of my existence. I have just
merged from the din, chaos and confusion of a printer's office, and appear in your presence with all my youthful
frailties. . . . I will depict the horrors of intemperance in such vivid, plain and striking colors, that the degraded
inebriate, as he sees the gloomy picture of his own polluted life, portrayed in all its hideous and revolting frightfulness,
will shrink in terror and dismay from the fearful and appalling sight. . . . With simple, cheerful talk, I'll entertain
the playful youth; I will supply the lover of a joke with abundance to amuse. The grave and gay, old and young,
romantic and sedate, will each in turn be served. Ever diligent in my vocation, it shall always be my pride and
delight to serve my benefactors, increase the amount of human happiness, and to exercise a beneficial influence
through all the sphere in which I move."
The paper was ably conducted and gained early popularity, but it gradually receded from its "Washingtonian,
Moral Suasion" sentiment, to those of the "Ramrod" or radical element, and thereby lost its prestige
with the masses, and the publication was suspended after an existence of less than twelve months.
The Daily Star. - In 1848, January 3, Alexander N. Webb commencd the publication of the first daily paper in Hudson.
It was a four page, five column sheet, independent in politics, and displayed considerable literary and editorial
ability. It had a limited news service "by telegraph," received by way of New York, and shows that its
"telegraph service" required from twelve to fifteen hours in transmission, although not over an average
of two hundred words were received daily. Foreign news was received by steamer via New York and Boston, and was
from eighteen to twenty days from London and Liverpool. In its issues of August 10 and 11 quite full reports are
given of the famous "Buffalo Convention," which assembled on the 9th, and nominated Martin Van Buren
as the Free Soil candidate for president, in opposition to Lewis Cass, the regular Democratic candidate. On August
18 it gives an account of a great conflagration in Albany which occurred on the day previous, when five hundred
buildings were destroyed, including those of the principal hotels, and involving a loss of over two million dollars.
It was recorded that "one eighth of the city is in ruins." The Albany fire aroused the citizens of Hudson
to the importance of "reorganizing and enlarging" the local fire department, and in the Star of the 19th,
is published a call for the members of "The Independent Fire Company" to meet at Roger's Columbia Hotel
on that evening to take action in the matter. The organization of the "Volunteer Fire Company" was completed
on the 23d, by electing as officers Henry Waldo, foreman; Richard F. Clark, assistant foreman; F. A. Gifford, treasurer;
Charles E. Butler, secretary; J. T. Perkins, steward; C. Best, assistant. A committee was appointed consisting
of Messrs. John C. Newkirk, Silas W. Tobey and Walter Rogers to draft a constitution and by laws for the company.
In 1873 Alexander N. Webb was succeeded by his son Herbert N. Webb and Louis Goeltz, who changed the character
of the paper to an organ of the Republican party. Webb & Goeltz continued the publication until May 1, 1876,
when Mr. Webb sold his interest to William Bryan, and the paper was merged in the Republican, under the firm of
Bryan & Goeltz. Mr. Goeltz died in October, 1877, leaving Mr. Bryan the sole manager and editor.
The Democratic Freeman. - In June, 1848, a newspaper plant was removed from Chatham Four Corners to Hudson, and
christened the Democratic Freeman. It was conducted by Charles H. Collins, as an organ of the Free Soil wing of
the Democratic party, advocating Martin Van Buren for election to the presidency on the "Buffalo Platform,"
which opposed the regular Democratic nominee, Lewis Cass, and resulted in the election of Zachary Taylor, the Whig
candidate. In welcoming the Freeman, the Star of August 16 extended to it this greeting:
"It is a very singular and striking fact that for a year or more, previous to the Democratic Freeman,' (the
organ of the Barnburners) removing to this city, we had not had a single fire, not even a Barn or an alarm. And
now since its arrival, scarcely two months have elapsed and we have had two fires. What in the world does this
mean? Will the Gazette explain? If the Gazette can't explain, we suppose our neighbor of the Republican can, for
it is more than whispered that the Whigs and Barnburners are in league."
The Freeman was published until August, 1855, when it was merged in the Gazette.
The Weekly Star. - In 1850, Alexander N. Webb, having previously purchased the Columbia Washingtonian, changed
the name to the Weekly Star, and published it in connection with the Daily Star. The weekly issue followed the
fortunes of the daily, and in 1876 was merged in The Republican.
The Temperance Palladium. - In 1851 John W. Dutcher commenced the publication of a small weekly paper, devoted
to the cause of total abstinence; but for lack of support it survived less than a year.
The Daily News. - In 1855 Richard Van Antwerp commenced the publication of a second daily paper in Hudson. It was
then thought that the Star ought to have an opponent, but proving a very weak opponent, it existed only two months.
The American Repository. - In 1856, at the opening of the presidential campaign, Richard Van Antwerp, who had made
a failure in attempting to establish a daily paper, commenced the publication of a weekly sheet, devoted to the
Native American, or "Know nothing" cause, and advocating the election of Millard Fillmore, the presidential
candidate of that faction. The paper was discontinued at the close of the campaign, which resulted in the election
of James Buchanan, the Democratic candidate.
Columbia County Democrat. - In 1860, at the opening of the Presidential campaign, R. F. Williams, backed by a number
of leading Democrats, including John C. Dormandy, Richard F. Clark, Edwin C. Terry, Dr. Peter P. Rossman, John
F. Collin, J. H. Overhiser, and others of like prominence, published a Democratic campaign paper to advocate the
candidacy of John C. Breckinridge in opposition to Stephen A. Douglas, (" The Little Giant "). The paper
was conducted with ability and vigor through the campaign, and in November, at the close of the memorable contest
which resulted in the first election of Abraham Lincoln, the Democrat was merged in the Gazette.
The Family Journal. - In 1861, Frank H. Webb, who had been connected with the Daily and Weekly "Star,"
commenced the publication of a semi monthly literary paper. It was ably conducted, but had an existence of only
The Columbia County Farmer. - In 1876 Mr. Webb made another journalistic venture in the publication of an agricultural
paper; but the field being limited, it was discontinued at the close of its first year.
The Daily Republican. - In 1876, having removed to their new and commodious building, the Daily Star was discontinued
and the Daily Republican established as a morning paper, in connection with the weekly Columbia Republican. In
1881, on May 5th, Mr. Bryan admitted to partnership his son, Henry R., and the style of the firm was changed to
William Bryan & Son, which continued until the death of the senior partner on September 11, 1897, since which
the paper has been under the management of Henry R. Bryan. Both the daily and weekly issues are Republican in politics,
and ably advocate the principies of their party and its regular organization. The sheet has been enlarged several
times and now carries thirty two columns of well printed matter, with a generous local and general advertising
patronage. At this writing Mr. Bryan is postmaster at Hudson under appointment of President McKinley.
The Drafted Men's Advocate. - In July, 1886, Rev. William Hull, a Lutheran clergyman, commenced the publication
of a monthly sheet, under the auspices of "The Association of Drafted Men of the State of New York,"
of which Mr. Hull was chairman and treasurer. The paper was neatly printed by Frank H. Webb, and was continued
until 1891, when it was removed to Cooperstown, N. Y. The object of The Advocate was to facilitate the passage
of an Act in the Legislature to enable cities and towns to refund the money expended by the men who were drafted
for the Civil War in 1863, and were allowed to commute by the payment of three hundred dollars. The grievance of
the drafted men was that while they were compelled then to furnish their own substitutes, subsequent quotas were
filled by public taxation in which they were of course included as taxpayers. The provisions of the Act were enabling
and not mandatory. For nearly twenty years Mr. Hull devoted himself to this cause with untiring energy and succeeded
in practically accomplishing the object, but died in 1899 before his hopes were realized. There were about fifteen
thousand men interested in the movement in this State. Among the supporters of the measure were prominent State
officers and numerous leading Senators and Assemblymen.
The Hudson Repository - August, 1877, a monthly publication, after the style of the old Rural Repository, was
started under the auspices of the Young Men's Christian Associations of Hudson, Catskill, Coxsackie, Athens, and
Leeds. It was handsomely printed by Frank H. Webb, ably edited, and a valuable auxiliary to these Christian organizations,
and was worthy of substantial support; but it survived a little over a year, and was suspended with the September
issue of 1878.
The Sunday Journal. - In 1886, November 13, Charles H. Van Deusen commenced the publication of the first Sunday
newspaper in Hudson. It was of the "ready print outside" order of country weeklies; and while professing
to be independent in politics, it wielded a sort of "free lance," which made it pungent and attracted
attention. Van Deusen continued the paper until March, 1897, when he disposed of it to "The Record Printing
and Publishing Company."
The Eastern Lutheran. - In 1888 the Rev. William Hull commenced the publication of a religious monthly, devoted
to the Lutheran faith, which was continued in Hudson until 1891, when it was united with the Hartwick Seminary
Monthly, in Otsego county, where it is still published.
Hudson Weekly Record. - In 1893, on July 1st, The Weekly Record was started by Rowley & Mambert, as a Democratic
journal. Three months later Mr. Mambert withdrew and the paper passed to the control of Edwin C. Rowley, the senior
partner. In October, 1895, a joint stock company was incorporated under the title of "The Record Printing
and Publishing Company." On February 1, 1896, this company purchased the Weekly Gazette and Daily Register
from M. Parker Williams, and the Record merged in the Gazette, as before noticed in the history of the latter.
Transient Newspapers. - Between 1896 and 1899 several transient newspapers were started in Hudson, among them the
Weekly Messenger and the Sunday Press, but they had a brief and fitful existence, and left no record worthy of
Saturday Herald - In 1900, February 24, Charles H. Van Deusen made another newspaper venture in Hudson, and commenced
the publication of the Saturday Herald, of the "ready print outside" order, and of about the same character
as his previous Sunday Journal. At this writing the paper still exists and is apparently prosperous.
The Rough Notes. - The first location in Columbia county, outside of Hudson, to aspire to newspaper representation
was the village of Kinderhook, in 1825. Although the venerable town has really had but one newspaper, its name
has been changed seven times, and is now known as The Rough Notes. Early in 1825, Peter Van Schaack, a young man
of education and prominent family, established a small weekly paper, christened The Kinderhook Herald, which he
continued until 1832, when Elias Pitts became the proprietor, and changed the name to The Columbia Sentinel. In
1834 he was succeeded by John V. A. Hoes, a nephew of Martin Van Buren. He conducted it for two years, and in 1836
Mr. Van Schaack, the original founder, resumed control of the paper, and continued in charge until 1854, when the
plant was sold to Peter H. Van Vleck. The latter dropped the name "Sentinel" and christened it The Kinderhook
Rough Notes. Van Vleck developed a vein of paragraphic wit and humor which made the paper popular with the masses
throughout the northern section of the county and surrounding region. He was a practical printer, "with brains
in his fingers," and seldom wrote out his copy, but with composing stick in hand stood at the case and set
up his ideas in cold type, ready for the "form," whether a three line witty item or a half column sarcastic
"editorial." Many a good natured "tilt with types" did he have with his more prominent contemporaries,
but it is safe to record that Peter came off at the best end of the controversy more than half the time, In 1864
Van Vleck passed in his last copy and final joke, and his remains quietly repose in the old Kinderhook cemetery,
along with Martin Van Buren, Jesse Merwin ("Ichabod Crane," whom Washington Irving made famous in his
"Legends of Sleepy Hollow"), and other celebrities. Van Vleck was succeeded by James R. Arrowsmith, who
in 1867 disposed of the paper to Willard Pond, an eccentric journeyman printer, who changed the name to The Columbia
County Advertiser. He was succeeded by James H. Woolhiser, who conducted it until 1871, when William B. Howland
assumed control. The new proprietor again changed the name, and called it The Advertiser. Mr. Howland conducted
the paper until May, 1875, when he sold the plant to Charles W. Davis. Mr. Davis enlarged the sheet and restored
the title of Kinderhook Rough Notes. A few years later the plant was removed from Kinderhook village to Valatie,
the name "Kinderhook" was dropped from the title, and the paper became The Rough Notes. The publisher
further enlarged the sheet, discarded its independent character, and it became an advocate of the Democratic party,
which principles it still maintains. At this time it very creditably represents the political, as well as the industrial
and social interests of the northern district of the county and southern Rensselaer.
Valatie Weekly Times. - In 1853 Henry N. Hopkins commenced the publication of a weekly paper in the village of
Valatie. It continued until 1855, when it was merged in the Hudson Gazette.
Kinderhook Courier. - In 1898, J. W. Darrow, of the Chatham Courier, commenced the issue of an edition for Kinderhook
which has a considerable circulation in that locality, and advocates the interests of its enterprising constituency.
Equal Rights Advocate. - In 1846 the Anti Rent Association commenced the publication of an organ, as the anti
rent excitement in Columbia county, under the lead of "Big Thunder," was then at its height, and much
ill feeling prevailed between the proprietors of the manor of Livingston and their farmer tenants. The paper was
continued until 1848, when the plant was purchased by the Free Soil Democrats, removed to Hudson, and the Democratic
Freeman established. (See Hudson Democratic Freeman.)
Columbia Democrat. - In 1847 a paper advocating the interests of the "hunkers" or "hard shell"
Democrats, was established by the antifree soil element of the party, but it had a brief existence, and its subscription
list was passed over to the Hudson Gazette.
Columbia County Journal. - In 1850 Philip H. Ostrander started the publication of an independent family journal,
but it did not prove a success and was short lived.
Chatham Courier. - In 1862 Frank O. Sayles, from South Adams, Mass., established The Courier. It was a modest country
weekly, of four pages, six columns to the page. Mr. Sayles possessed good newspaper qualities, and his paper soon
gained a local popularity. He sold the paper to Delos Sutherland, a practical printer, who continued the publication
until 1868, when Charles B. Canfield became his successor, who still further improved the paper. In 1871 Mr. Canfield
admitted James H. Woolhiser as associate, but the partnership only existed two years, when Woolhiser withdrew,
and Canfield continued the publication until June, 1875, when he sold to William B. Howland, who had conducted
a paper at Kinderhook. Howland was a bright, progressive newspaper man, enlarged the paper, and added to its circulation.
He established a monthly magazine called Outing, which became popular with the large class for which it catered.
But Chatham village was not broad enough for Howland, and his magazine was transferred to Boston, and subsequently
to New York city, where it is now published, and a simultaneous edition issued in London, England.
In 1883, on the 1st of April, J. W. Darrow purchased the Courier, and made still further improvements, enlarging
it to eight pages, with frequent supplements, neatly printed and every department systematically arranged. New
and modern presses were introduced, and later typesetting machines, and other like improvements. In 1893 the proprietor
of the Courier erected a commodious building, which is wholly devoted to the business of the concern, and is a
credit to his enterprise and public spirit. The Courier is a model rural newspaper in every feature, well conducted,
handsomely printed, and influential in the broad field it covers. The Courier issues regular special editions for
Rensselaer county and Kinderhook. - (See Kinderhook Courier.)
The Chatham Press. - In 1877, April 11, George Woolhiser and Frank Burrows commenced the publication of The Press.
It never reached beyond a limited local circulation, and expired in 1878.
The Echo. - In 1879 George Woolhiser commenced the publication of a small paper, devoted to advertising and bright
local items, circulation free. Its success was such that within a few months Woolhiser took in as partner Frank
H. Kenworthy, and enlarged the paper to a regular publication. Although a bright local sheet, it did not develop
into a financial success, and in the spring of 1880 Frank Burrows succeeded Woolhiser. Soon afterward Kenworthy
dropped out. Then Burrows and P. B. Blain, jr., ran it for about a year. They dropped out in October, 1881, and
the paper was conducted by Charles H. Starks until February, 1882, when it finally passed to that bourne from which
a large number of Columbia county newspapers have never returned.
Chatham Republican. - In 1886, October 15, a weekly paper, of the Republican faith, was established by a stock
company in which Messrs. Blunck & Leaning, a newspaper firm then located at Johnstown and Gloversville, N.
Y., held the controlling interest. Hon. Louis F. Payn was also a considerable owner of stock, and subsequently
he became the holder of practically the whole number of shares. The new paper was fortunate in securing the services
of John Streeter, a gentleman of wide newspaper experience, as its editor. Mr. Streeter did all the preliminary
work in establishing the paper; he still remains its editor, and the present business manager is Hugh McC. Potter,
a grandson of the late Hon. Hugh W. McClellan. The Republican has kept good faith with its pledges at the start
to be "stalwart in its advocacy of the principles of its party, vigorously aggressive against honest political
opponents, and merciless in its warfare against political shams and frauds, in whatever guise they might appear."
The Republican became popular and influential from the outset, and its political utterances command attention far
beyond the boundaries of this county. The paper was made the official party organ by the Board of Supervisors when
it was only a year old, and it so remains at this time. The Republican is a neatly printed quarto sheet of six
columns to the page, and aside from its political feature contains well conducted departments of local, literary,
social and domestic interests.
Fancier's Review. - In 1887, J W. Darrow, proprietor of the Courier, established a monthly poultry journal, which
at once attracted attention as an authority with poultry raisers and farmers generally. It is still published with
apparent financial success.
The Practical Dairyman. - In 1892 Mr. Darrow established a journal especially devoted to the interests of dairymen
and kindred industries. It gained such wide popularity among the class for whose interests it was designed, that
in 1898 Mr. Darrow accepted a liberal proposition to sell the publication to the Agricultural Epitomist, of Indianapolis,
Ind., where it is now published.
The Herald. - In 1879, January 23, E. J. Beardsley commenced publication of the first newspaper in the village
of Hillsdale. It was a small sheet at first, but gradually grew in size and circulation. In the spring of 1880
H. S. Johnson, a school teacher, purchased the paper, and Beardsley started a paper in Philmont. Johnson continued
the Herald a few years, when he sold to Charles Eyre. In the Fall of 1884 Beardsley again took charge of the paper,
running his Philmont sheet at the same time, until January, 1887, when he sold the Herald to Joseph W. Prentiss,
of Hudson, who ran the paper for a few months, when it was discontinued,
Hillsdale Enterprise. - In the Spring of 1887, Prentiss started another paper, called the Enterprise, but it did
not prove a paying enterprise, and lived only three months.
Hillsdale Harbinger. - In 1887, Oct. 20, H. D. Harvey commenced the publication of the Harbinger, an eight page
paper of the "ready print outside" order, which is still continued, and creditably represents the pretty
little village and surrounding country.
The Sentinel. - In 1880, January 1, E. J. Beardsley, of Hillsdale, conceived the idea that the growing and enterprising
manufacturing village of Philmont ought to support a local newspaper, and the leading citizens were in full accord
with the project. The result was the birth of the Sentinel, and Beardsley again became a pioneer in local journalism.
The paper has proved a valuable incentive and auxiliary to the progress of the thrifty village, and apparently
is well supported by those for whose benefit it was established.
Philmont News. - In 1900, January 6, Charles H. Van Deusen, of Hudson, commenced the publication of a rival sheet,
but it survived only two weeks, the older paper evidently covering the whole local field.
[Return to the Press of Columbia County Part 1.]