SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK.
by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER
THE PRESS OF SARATOGA.
I. - THE BALLSTON PRESS.
Court-house Hill, in the town of Ballston, one mile and a half southwesterly from the village of Ballston Spa, was the first place in the county of Saratoga in which a newspaper was established. In French's "Gazetteer of the State of New York," published in 1860, it is stated that "the Waterford Gazette, established at Waterford about 1801, was the first paper published in the county;" but this is an error, - the first of several, occurring in the notices of the county press, which have been detected by the investigations entered into by the author of this sketch.
Seventy-nine years have elapsed since the first Ballston printing-office was opened: and during this period ten different weeklies have made their bow to the public; only two of which continue to be published at the county-seat, - one of them being the Ballston Democrat, first issued in 1845; the other the Ballston Journal, the first in chronological order, and now in its eightieth year. Its lineage is as follows:
1. The Saratoga Register or Farmer's Journal, issued June 14, 1798; size of page eleven inches by eighteen; four columns to a page; sheet about one-half the present size of the Ballston Journal. Under the title, and extending across the page, were these words: "BALLSTON, SARATOGA COUNTY: printed every Wednesday morning, by INCREASE and WILLIAM CHILD, over the Store of Messrs. Robert Leonard & Co., nearly opposite the Court House. - Where subscriptions for this paper, articles of intelligence, miscellaneous pieces, advertisements, &c., are thankfully received, and printing in general executed with neatness and dispatch, and on moderate terms."
The Journal supported the administration of President John Adams, then the head of the political party which bore the name of Federal, and which was opposed by the party called Republican, whose acknowledged leader was Jefferson.
These party divisions had grown out of discussions in Congress during the first administration of Washington, whose second election was a triumph of the Federal party, as was also the election of Adams, under whose presidency the "alien and sedition laws" were passed, with features so obnoxious as to defeat him at his next candidacy.
The Journal favored those laws, as is shown by the following articles copied from the issue of August 22, 1798:
"There is at the present so strong an opposition to the measures of the general government prevailing through the counties of Ulster and Orange, that it is dangerous for a man to applaud the administration, and he is fortunate to escape personal injury. In many parts of those counties the friend of the government is viewed as an enemy to the general cause, and is treated with marked contempt and disrespect. Almost every town exhibits a Liberty Pole, as they falsely term it, which these sons of Belial have erected to their idol faction. Our informants saw these poles at Newburg, New Windsor, Montgomery, Wardsbridge, Goshen, Florida, Warwick, etc., etc., but they could give us no information concerning the intention of this combination of knaves and fools to oppose the execution of the laws by force. We believe, however, they know too well their own insignificance and weakness to be the deliberate authors of their own destruction. The sedition and stamp acts, added to their long-invited enmity to the constitution, are the chief cause of this display of democratic fervor. The former of these laws will never give a moment's uneasiness to any good citizen; and the latter imposes a tax which promises to be highly productive, and not felt by the agriculturist, as it will fall almost exclusively on the mercantile part of the community."
From the same issue is copied the following:
"MARRIED. - On Sunday evening last, MR. DAVID MAKER, of Stillwater, to the amiable Miss ELIZA SWEET, of Milton."
"GREENFIELD, AUG. 14, 1798.
"In the field of Elisha Carpenter, Esq., of this town, were pulled this day a number of ears of Corn, completely filled out and fit for roasting, which ,were planted on the 14th of June, on a piece of land which was never plowed, and the said corn was never hoed."
FIRST BOOK PRINTED, 1798.
Soon after the press of the Childs was set up, they got out the first book ever printed in the county, with this title-page: "A Plain Account of the Ordinance of Baptism; in which all the texts in the New Testament relating to it are proved, and the whole Doctrine concerning it drawn from them alone. In a Course of Letters to the Right Rev. Dr. Benjamin Hoadley, late Lord Bishop of Winchester; author of the 'Plain Account of the Lord's Supper;' ye shall not add unto the word which I have commanded you, neither shall you diminish from it. First Ballston Edition. London. Printed: Ballston. Re-printed by I. & W. Child. Sold at their Printing-Office, nearly opposite the Court-House. 1798."
In April, 1800, the firm of Increase & William Child dissolved, the former retiring and the latter taking sole charge.
SECOND BOOK PRINTED, 1800.
In that year William Child printed a book of two hundred and twenty-two pages, entitled "A Plea for the Nonconformists," by Thomas Delaune, with a preface by Rev. Elias Lee, pastor of the Baptist church at Ballston Spa. It was published by subscription, and the names of the subscribers, numbering over one thousand, are printed at the end of the volume.
Mr. Child continued the paper under its original name until September 27, 1808, on which day it was issued under the name of The Independent American. Its polities were unchanged.
James Madison was elected President in 1809 by the Republican party, after an unusually excited campaign. Party spirit ran high, and was kept up long after the inauguration in 1809. From the issue of June 6 of that year are taken the following extracts, to show that political writing was as harsh and severe as in these modern times:
"It is whispered in private Democratic circles at Washington that Madison has turned a damned Federalist. The next President is to be pledged beforehand to a certain line of policy. General Snyder has been mentioned as a candidate, but it is generally thought that though he has by no means too much sense, he has too little nerve, as he did not carry on the war against the United States with sufficient energy.
"The gentlemen who now appear to be most peculiarly possessed of what are now settled to be the true Democratic qualifications for the presidency, are Mr. Smilie, Mr. Alston, and Mr. Alexander Wilson; the last a representative of Virginia, as different a man in point of mind from his namesake, the author of the 'American Ornithology,' as a Satyr is different from a Hyperion.
"Some of the Democrats now begin to cast the blame of the recent settlement with Great Britain upon the President's wife. They say she is a Federalist, and has too much influence over her spouse. What a happy circumstance it would have been for this country had Thomas Jefferson been governed by such a woman!"
From the same old paper we obtain something of the same miscellany as at present.
"MARRIED. - On Saturday evening, the 27th ult., Mr. John Vandenberg, Jr., of Half-Moon, to Miss Betsey Patrick, daughter of Captain Robert W. Patrick, of Ballston."
"DIED. - At Stillwater, on the 26th ult., of typhoid fever, Miss Phebe Woodworth, aged fifteen years, daughter of Ephraim Woodworth, Jr., of that place."
"Money is said to be the root of all evil; nevertheless, the Post-riders are willing to run the risk of receiving their dues from the subscribers for the past two quarters."
Margaret Cornell, who seems to have been advertised by her husband, indignantly retorts:
"He should have showed that he had a bed, for this is the first time I ever knew that he was the owner of one. Indeed, I am now inclined to believe that he alludes to one of mine. He says I have left his board. Now he never provided any board, except now and then a scanty meal of potatoes. As for running him in debt he need have no apprehension, as no one will trust him where he is so unfortunate as to be known."
Politicians in those days were up to "tricks that were vain and ways that were dark," equally with those of the present time. Joshua Burnham seems to have written a private letter, which the opposite party obtained possession of, and published it broadcast as follows in a hand-bill:
"LANSINGBURG, April 23, 1806.
"SIR. - Mr. T----- has been up from Albany, and says the county ticket nominated at Troy must not be elected. At all events, he says keep F----- out if possible. You must therefore turn out at the election every day. It won't cost much. Eat your breakfast late and you can stand it till the poll adjourns. Do all you can against F-----. He is our mark. Tell the people that he makes cards out of old Bibles and then carries them to Claverack, and gets folks drunk, and then cheats them. Tell them it is he that makes those awful lights in the north. The ignorant Dutchmen will believe it. Tell them everything published in the hand-bills about F----- is true - stop - no, that won't do. There are same of them that recommend him that are really true. These you must say are all lies. Lest you should be confounded, mind this rule. Everything in his favor say it is a lie, everything against him say it is true, and you can prove it by D---- L-----. D----- is good at that you may depend. In short tell them F----- has done everything except shoot his daddy.
"Yours, in haste,
"Mr. J----- V-----."
After seventeen years of service, Mr. Child sold to James Comstock in 1815, and the name was changed to The People's Watch Tower.
In 1820, Horatio Gates Spafford, LL.D., became proprietor, and changed the name to The Saratoga Farmer. In 1821 he made the title, The Ballston Spa Gazette and Saratoga Farmer. Mr. Spafford was a learned, intelligent, well-informed man, and an indefatigable worker. He compiled and published the first complete Gazetteer of the State in 1813, and in 1824 republished it, with large additions, making it more accurate and complete, embodying a vast amount of useful information from which others have drawn in later years.
He removed to Albany in 1822, disposing of his paper to its former proprietor, Mr. Comstock, who abbreviated its name to The Ballston Spa Gazette, under which it was continued until 1847. For thirty years Mr. Comstock had charge of the paper, conducting it ably and successfully.
THIRD BOOK PRINTED, 1822.
In 1822 he issued from his press the third book printed in Ballston, entitled "The Friend of Peace," a volume of three hundred and eight pages, designed to show the evils of war and the blessings of peace.
In April, 1847, the establishment was bought by J.O. Nodyne, who changed the name to the Ballston Democratic Whig Journal, the date of his first issue being the 20th.
January 18, 1848, Albert A. Moor, Esq., became joint proprietor with Mr. Nodyne, the latter continuing to occupy the chair editorial, and the name being shortened to The Ballston Journal. January 25, Mr. Moor first appears as one of the editors, and on December 5 he became sole editor, occupying that position about twelve years. He was a good writer, a member of the bar, and for several years one of the loan commissioners for the county.
In April, 1860, the journal passed into the hands of H.L. Grose, who enlarged its size, and otherwise improved its appearance.
In 1864 it was again enlarged, increasing its dimensions beyond that of most country papers. It has remained under his control from that day to this, and during the period of seventeen years its patronage and circulation have steadily increased. During most of this time Mr. Grose's four sons have been associated with him in office work, business management, and editorial charge. Three of them are now in the establishment. The fourth is the New York correspondent of the Chicago Daily Tribune.
The political relations of the paper whose career is now sketched will readily be known by the character of the presidential administrations which it has supported or opposed, and for that character any general history of our country may be consulted. The administrations opposed were those of Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, Van Buren, Polk, Pierce, Buchanan, and Johnson, extending over a period of forty-four years. It supported the administrations of John Adams, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Harrison and Tyler, Taylor and Fillmore, Lincoln, Grant, and Hayes, extending over a period of thirty-seven years.
2. In 1804, David C. Miller began at Court-house Hill the publication of the Saratoga Advertiser, size of page, thirteen by eighteen, or one-fourth that of the present Ballston Journal; terms of subscription not stated; politics anti-Federal. In the issue of Sept. 23, 1806, appeared the following advertisement:
"FOR SALE. -A healthy middle-aged negro wench and child. For particulars, inquire of the printer."
In that year a man named Riggs was taken into partnership. He was bought out in 1807 by Samuel R. Brown, and the name was coolly changed to The Aurora Borealis and Saratoga Advertiser. In 1808, Mr. Brown retired from the establishment, and Mr. Miller restored the original name. It was discontinued in 1811, and the office merged into that of The Independent American. Mr. Miller moved to Batavia, Genesee Co., and there, in connection with Benjamin Blodgett, started the Republican Advocate, which is still published. Mr. Miller continued to issue the Advocate until near the end of the year 1828. He printed the Morgan pamphlet, which professed to disclose the secrets of the first three degrees of Freemasonry; and a weekly paper, called The Morgan Investigator, was issued from his office in 1827, continuing about a year. At that day he was a conspicuous and famous man. Mr. Brown went to Saratoga Springs in 1809, and in that year began the publication of the Saratoga Patriot. He moved his establishment to Albany in April, 1812, and gave his paper the name of the Albany Republican. He sold out in the latter part of the year 1813, and went to Auburn, Cayuga Co., where in 1814 he started the Cayuga Patriot, which he conducted for several years.
3. The Saratoga Journal, first number was published in the village of Ballston Spa, by Isaiah Bunce, in the first week of January, 1813; terms, two dollars, payable quarterly; size of page, fourteen by eighteen. In politics it was Republican, the name of the party then opposed to the Federal party. The Federals in Saratoga County were few - the Republicans many; and having everything their own way, in 1816 there was a split in their ranks, one part being called "Old Liners," embracing such prominent men as John W. Taylor, David Rogers, George Palmer, Thomas Palmer, Seth C. Baldwin, L.B. Langworthy, A.W. Odell, Esek Cowen, and others. The "New Liners;" so called, embraced such men as Judge James Thompson, Colonel Samuel Young, Joel Lee, Judge Salmon Child, William Stillwell, Colonel Isaac Gere, and others. (These names will be found in the official list given in another part of this work.) The Journal was very violent in its opposition to the "New Liners," and consequently they established an organ of their own, whose history follows.
4. The Saratoga Courier was issued at Ballston Spa, in 1816, with Ulysses F. Doubleday as editor. This reduced the patronage of the Journal, without securing sufficient for its own maintenance, and, after about three years of Kilkenny fighting, both papers suspended indefinitely. Mr. Doubleday went to Auburn and bought an interest in the Cayuga Patriot, of which he became the editor. He was elected a member of Congress in 1831 and 1835, and made himself conspicuous among the public men of the time.
In collecting the facts respecting the papers thus far noticed, material aid has been rendered by Hon. G. G.
Scott, of Ballston Spa, who has preserved a rare collection of old papers and documents.
5. The Saratoga Recorder and Anti-Masonic Democrat was started in 1831 by Thomas Jefferson Sutherland. The purpose of its publication is indicated by the title. At the end of a year it was discontinued.
6. The New York Palladium was begun in 1831 by Ansel Warren. It supported the administration of General Jackson. In 1832 it was bought by Israel Sackett, and the name was changed to The Schenectady and Saratoga Standard. Elias G. Palmer became proprietor in 1833, and gave it the name of The Ballston Spa Republican. It supported the administrations of Jackson and Van Buren until the latter part of the year 1839, when it was discontinued.
7. The Ballston Democrat was started in 1845 by Newell Hine. The name indicates its politics, and it gave its best support to James K. Polk for President. In 1848, Thomas G. Young, Esq., son of Hon. Samuel Young, of Ballston, became proprietor and editor, and so continued until 1853, when he sold to Seymour Chase, Esq., who consolidated it with
8. The Northern Mirror, which he established in 1850, - and first named it the Gem of the North. After the union the title was The Ballston Democrat and Mirror.
9. In November, 1856, Mr. Chase purchased The Ballston Spa American, an organ of the "Know Nothings,'' which was first issued in the early part of the year 1855, by Joseph S. Brown.
Upon this consolidation the name chosen was The Ballston Atlas, in politics following the Albany Atlas, which supported the Free-Soil wing of the Democratic party under the lead of Martin Van Buren. In 1860 it supported the nomination of Stephen A. Douglas for the presidency, and subsequently ranked itself among the organs of the Democratic party.
Abraham A. Keyser became proprietor January 1, 1861, and in April following sold to Ephraim W. Reynolds, now one of the publishers of the Auburn Daily News. In 1864, Mr. Reynolds sold to Daniel Shepherd, who moved the office to Saratoga Springs, and continued the weekly issues under the name of the Saratoga County Democrat for a few months, when he suspended the publication.
In December, 1865, it was revived by Sanford H. Curtis and Enos R. Mann, of Ballston Spa, at which place it was issued under the original name, The Ballston Democrat. Mr. Curtis was a good practical printer; Mr. Mann an easy, clever writer, now connected with the Albany Argus as reporter and correspondent. John M. Waterbury became proprietor in 1866, and changed the name to The Ballston Register. He sold in 1868 to his brother, William S. Waterbury, who restored the original name under which he still continues its publication, The Ballston Democrat, which was enlarged in 1877 to an eight-column page. It has supported the administrations of Polk, Pierce, and Buchanan, and opposed those of Taylor, Lincoln, Grant, and Hayes. For this historical chain, I am mainly indebted to E. R. Mann, Esq.
10. In January, 1853, The Temperance Helper was established by the Carson League, a county temperance organization, and issued by a committee of publication, with Prof. J. McCoy, of the Ballston Law School, as editor. It was printed at the Journal office about one year, after which time the publishing committee opened a new printing-office, in which was set up the first cylinder press ever used in the county. In 1855 the establishment was sold to Potter & Judson, and removed to Saratoga Springs. In 1856 they made it a political paper, and gave it the name of The Saratogian, which it still bears.
REV. H. L. GROSE.
The publishers of this work are under obligation to Rev. H. L. Grose for the above full and accurate history of the press of Ballston. His own active career as a journalist and pastor may properly be added to this sketch.
Mr. Grose's connection with journalism began in his native town in Montgomery county in 1832. His first paper was The Fort Plain Gazette, neutral in politics. In 1834 the name was changed to Fort Plain Republican. Politically, it favored the nomination of Martin Van Buren for the presidency. In 1835 the paper was sold to C.W. Gill, the politics remaining the same. In 1836, Mr. Grose was connected with the Owego Advertiser, of which the present Owego Times is the regular successor. Some years before this Mr. Grose had completed a course of study in medicine, but never gave himself wholly to that profession. From 1837 to 1840 he studied for the ministry, and in December, 1840, was ordained to that work in the Baptist denomination. He then served as a pastor for twenty years, during a portion of which time he also practiced medicine.
In 1860 he bought the Ballston Journal. In 1863, though still retaining the Journal, he bought a half-interest in the Schenectady Daily Star. This he sold to W.D. Davis in 1864. From 1868 to 1874 he served again as a pastor in Vermont; keeping, however, his interest in the Journal. In 1874 he was appointed school commissioner in place of Hon. Neil Gilmour, resigned. In November following he was elected to the same office. This long and varied service has left him still a vigorous and successful worker in whatever field of labor he may engage.
II. - THE PRESS OF SARATOGA SPRINGS.
The establishing of newspapers was not so early by several years at Saratoga Springs as at Ballston. It is stated that an effort was made in 1802, and a weekly paper published for a short time by Mathew Lyon. Inquiries among old residents, however, develop nothing but the tradition, as there seems to be no record of the enterprise, nor any copies of the paper preserved.
It is stated in the "New York Gazetteer" that the Saratoga Gazette was published here in 1810; but no account seems to be obtainable of either the paper or the publisher.
In 1809, as shown in the account of the Ballston Press, Samuel R. Brown came from Ballston to Saratoga Springs and established the Saratoga Patriot. Two years later he removed the paper to Albany. There was then an interval of seven years, during which there seems to have been no paper published here.
The Saratoga Whig, alluded to in the account of the Sentinel, was started in 1839 by Huling & Watts. In 1840 it passed into the hands of G.W. Spooner, and afterwards to E. G. Huling. In 1851 it was changed to the Saratoga County Press. A daily edition, started in 1844, was published in 1855 as the Saratoga Daily News. Huling & Morehouse were the publishers.
A few other publishing enterprises of brief duration may be noticed.
The Old Letter was issued at Saratoga Springs in 1849, by A.H. Allen.
The Advent Review and Sabbath Helper was published semi-monthly in 1850, by James White.
The Temperance Helper, started at Ballston Spa in January, 1850, was soon after removed to Saratoga Springs.
THE SARATOGA SENTINEL.
The Saratoga Sentinel, the only pioneer paper that has survived the changes in this now world-renowned watering-place of Saratoga Springs, was first issued in 1819, by Gideon Mason Davison, a practical printer, a native of Vermont. He continued the publication, assisted in later years by his sons, until 1842, when he transferred the subscription-list and good-will to Wilbur & Palmer, continuing his book-printing office himself. Wilbur & Palmer, after a few years, sold the paper to Castle & Paul, and they sold the same to Cowen & Butler. It was finally merged in the Saratoga Republican (established in 1844 by John A. Corey). In 1853 Thomas G. Young purchased the Saratoga Republican, and Allen Corey continued the publication of the Sentinel. In 1859 the Republican and Sentinel were again united, the paper taking the joint title of Republican and Sentinel for a time, but the old title of The Saratoga Sentinel was soon adopted again as the sole name, and so continued by Mr. Young. In February, 1872, the firm of Huling & Co. became tho proprietors; Edmund J. Huling, who commenced his newspaper career in the office of the newly-established Saratoga Whig in March, 1839, becoming the editor and business manager, bringing his experience of over thirty-two years in connection with the press of Saratoga Springs to the conduct of the paper. The Sentinel was Bucktail and Democratic in politics when under the control of Mr. Davison, supporting Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren as candidates for President in 1824, 1828, 1832, 1836, and 1840. It was continued as a straight Democratic paper until 1848, when it supported Mr. Van Buren as the Free-Soil candidate for President. In after-years it became again Democratic, supporting Franklin Pierce in 1852, Mr. Buchanan in 1856, John C. Breckinridge in 1860, and the regular Democratic candidates following up to 1872. It took liberal ground in 1872, supporting Mr. Greeley for President before and after his adoption by the Democratic national convention. Its distinctive features since 1872 have been great care in the collection of local news relating to the county and vicinity, and independent criticisms of passing events.
EDMUND J. HULING.
Edmund James Huling, one of the proprietors and the manager of The Saratoga Sentinel, was born in the town of Milton, Saratoga Co., Dec. 18, 1820. He was the only son of Beekman Huling and his wife, Maria Smith. He is a direct descendant from Captain Alexander Huling: who was a prominent citizen of North Kingstown, R. I., who died there in 1725, after having filled various prominent positions in his town. His grandson (John), a son of his younger son, born in 1731, emigrated to Dutchess Co., N. Y., with a younger brother, Walton, and there a son, John, was born in 1762, who married Charity Eighmy for a second wife. Beekman Huling, father of E.J. Huling, was the fifth child and second son of the aforesaid John Huling and Charity Eighmy, and was born in the town of Beekman, Dutchess Co., Nov. 20, 1794. John Huling moved to Saratoga County with his family about the year 1800, settling first in the town of Malta, and a few years afterwards he removed to the north part of the town of Milton. about half a mile north of where the present stone church stands, on the farm on which E.J. Huling was born and resided until March 29, 1831. On that day Beckman Huling and family removed to Saratoga Springs, and there E.J. Huling has resided ever since. He attended the common schools there, also select schools taught by E.H. Jenny (.afterwards an editorial writer on the New York Tribune) until Feb. 1, 1835, when he became a clerk in the store of Rockwell Putnam, remaining in that place for three years. In February and March, 1838, after leaving the store of Mr. Putnam, he attended a select school kept by Alanson Smith. In the season following he was a clerk in the Union Hall, then kept by Washington Putnam and Asher S. Taylor. In the winter following he taught a district school for two months in the town of Milton. In February, 1839, James C. Watts, assisted by Rockwell Putnam, Beekman Huling, Peter V. Wiggins, James R. Wescott, and other prominent citizens, established The Saratoga Whig newspaper, the second paper established in Saratoga Springs.
In the following month, March, on the closing of his school, E.J. Huling entered the office of The Whig, his father having become a partner with Mr. Watts therein. He learned the business as a practical printer, and began writing for the paper, so that he took the charge of its columns the following winter, which Mr. Watts spent in New York in the editorial charge of Horace Greeley's New Yorker, while Mr. Greeley acted as legislative reporter of The Albany Evening Journal, and correspondent of the Saratoga Whig. In the spring following the Whig was sold to George W. Spooner, of Brooklyn, E.J. Huling occasionally acting as assistant thereafter, and also Saratoga correspondent of the New York Tribune and New York Express, while assisting his father in his book-store. In February, 1842, E.J. Huling purchased the drug-store of Henry Y. Allen, and in the following month of March he married Anna R. Spooner, sister of George W. Spooner, of The Whig, and third daughter of Alden Spooner, of Brooklyn, who established The Long Island Star, and was a prominent editor for many years. Mr. Huling's inclinations for the newspaper business, which led him to keep up his connections with The Whig and other papers, finally led to his selling out his drug-store in February, 1851, and he at once started a job-printing office. In September he started a weekly paper, which, in the November following, was merged in The Saratoga Whig, of which he became sole proprietor. He continued The Whig (changing the name, in 1855, to The Saratoga County Press) until January, 1863, when he sold it to Potter & Judson, and it was merged in The Saratogian, upon which paper he took a position during the summer following. In September, 1863, he edited the Newark, New Jersey, Daily Mercury for a few weeks, spending the winter following, however, in Saratoga Springs. In June, 1864, he was appointed acting assistant paymaster in the United States Navy, and ordered to service in the Mississippi squadron, under Admiral Porter. He served until the close of the war on the steamer "Huntress," cruising from the mouth of the Ohio river to Memphis. Returning home in August, 1865, he made up his accounts, and was honorably discharged in November following. In June, 1866, he took the local editorship of The Saratogian, which he held until Oct. 1, 1870. In 1871 he was elected a coroner of the county, and the following February, 1872, became one of the proprietors and manager of The Saratoga Sentinel, a position which he has held ever since.
THE DAILY AND WEEKLY SARATOGIAN.
The Weekly Saratogian is the parent of the Daily Saratogian, the former having attained the respectable age of twenty-seven years in January, 1878, the Daily Saratogian completing its ninth year in June, 1878. The Weekly Saratogian was the product of The Temperance Helper, a weekly paper about the size of the present Daily Saratogian, advocating as a specialty the temperance cause, and published for one dollar per year by B.F. Judson & Co. The Helper was started in February, 1855, with B.F. Judson & Co. as proprietors. On the 3d of January, 1858, the change of name was announced, and the name of M.E. Willing appears as the editor. At that time the prohibitory law was the uppermost theme in State polities, both The Helper and The Saratogian sustaining it, and energetically opposing its repeal. The leading article in the first number of The Saratogian concludes with these words, referring to the possible repeal of this law: "Let no rude hand tear from the statute-book this great charter of protection to a bruised and bleeding community." The same number contains a report of a debate before the Young Men's Association on the all-engrossing topic, Shall the prohibitory law be repealed? Hon. James B. McKean, then county judge, since chief justice of the Supreme Court of Utah, opposed the repeal, Mr. C.S. Lester, since county judge, taking the affirmative. The Saratogian records the triumph of the temperance people by stating that only five votes were cast in favor of the affirmative. The name of Mr. Willing appears connected with the paper but a few months, Waldo M. Potter, who had been interested in the paper, contributing most of the editorials, and doing most of the editorial work. Mr. Potter was at this time studying law, which pursuit he subsequently relinquished to become a business partner with Mr. Judson, and the editor of the paper for a long term of years.
On the 24th of April, 1856, the name of George W. Demers, then about eighteen years of age, appears as the editor of the paper, although the forcible pen of Waldo M. Potter contributed many of the political articles during the eventful political campaign of that year, the Saratogian ardently and ably sustaining the Republican ticket, with John C. Fremont at its head as candidate for President. During the fall of 1856 its columns were filled with powerful arguments in defense of the then infant party, the words of Fremont, declaring his equal opposition to either the extension of or the interference with slavery, standing at the head of its editorial columns through the period of the campaign. It was also an industrious and zealous exponent of prohibition principles. Mr. Potter's name first appears as the responsible editor in the issue of May 14, 1857, in which number is a vigorous reply, two columns in length, to the assaults of Mr. Bennett, of the New York Herald, on the hotels of Saratoga Spring, and on the village generally.
The first number of the Summer Daily, with the title of the Daily Saratogian, was issued on the 23d of June, 1855, George W. Demers editor. The paper was twenty by twenty-eight inches square, and contained a full list of the arrivals till the close of the season, together with brief abstracts of general news, local items, personal gossip, etc. The Daily was discontinued on the 23d of August, and in the following year it was again published during July and August, Waldo M. Potter being its editor, and B. Frank Judson publisher. From that time to the present a daily paper was issued every summer only, till June, 1869, when the publication of a permanent daily was begun, and has continued uninterruptedly to the present date.
On the 11th of February, 1858, Mr. Potter having then fairly entered upon the practice of the law, formed a copartnership with B.F. Judson, under the firm-name of Potter & Judson. This continued till Sept. 22, 1870, when Mr. Potter disposed of his interest to B.F. Judson, Mr. Potter being succeeded as editor by David F. Ritchie, who had, since June, 1869, been the assistant editor of the paper. Mr. Judson remained the sole proprietor of the paper till July l, 1873, when Mr. Ritchie purchased a half-interest in the office, retaining the position of editor of the daily and weekly editions.
From 1868 to June, 1869, the date of the first issue of the daily, a semi-weekly was published. This ceased with the publication of the daily.
On the 23d of December, 1876, Charles F. Paul purchased Mr. Judson's interest in the establishment, the style of the new firm being Paul & Ritchie, Mr. Ritchie remaining still the editor.
This sketches the proprietary and editorial conduct of the paper during the period of its existence up to the present time. To narrate the history of its life, embodying its treatment of political and social topics, would require space far exceeding that allowed in these pages. Coming into existence as a special champion of temperance principles, as indicated by its original name, the Temperance Helper, it was for about three years a sturdy and formidable advocate of the theory of prohibition, when it espoused with vigor and power the rising fortunes of the Republican party. Mr. Potter, its editor, was a born controversialist, and both with voice and pen did much to build up the political party the principles off which he ardently espoused.
The Saratogian has from the beginning been a Republican journal, and is regarded as the leading exponent of its party in the political district in which it is published. It has always had a wide circulation, especially in the summer season, when it reflects, day after day, the marvelous picture of life in America's great watering-place. Both politically and socially, The Saratogian wields an extended and potent influence, its peculiar location rendering it more cosmopolitan in character than most newspapers of the interior.
DAVID FRANCIS RITCHIE.
editor of the Daily and Weekly Saratogian, was born in Rochester, N.Y., in 1840. He was the son of George Gavin Ritchie, a Baptist preacher. Mr. Ritchie was educated by his father, in various select and public schools, and at the Utica Academy. In 1860 he became the city editor of the Utica Herald, having previously done some writing for various journals, Immediately after the assault on Fort Sumter, April 13, he enlisted as a private in the Utica Citizens' Corps, which, as "A" Company of the Fourteenth New York Volunteers, was sent to Washington in June. In the fall of 1861 he was promoted to be second lieutenant of "A" Company, First New York Light Artillery, rising to the grade of captain, and serving through the entire war. He was brevetted major, lieutenant-colonel, and colonel for faithful services in the field. In July, 1865, he became one of the assistant editors of the Utica Herald; in January, 1866, assumed the management of the Utica Evening Telegraph; and in 1869 came to Saratoga as assistant editor of the Daily Saratogian. In 1870 he became the editor of The Saratogian, Waldo M. Potter having retired, which position he still holds.
The Saratoga Sun was started in September, 1870, by A.S. Pease. It is the leading Democratic journal of the county
ALBERT S. PEASE,
Mr. Pease was born at Poughkeepsie, Dutchess Co., N.Y., and in his youth served a full apprenticeship at the printing business in the office of the Poughkeepsie Telegraph. On becoming of age he became partner with E.B. Rilley in the publication of that paper, and upon Mr. Rilley's death, sole editor and manager for five years.
He was postmaster of the city of Poughkeepsie during the whole term of President Pierce.
He afterwards sold the Telegraph and entered the State and National Law School of John W. Fowler. He first graduated an attorney, and was also admitted to practice as attorney and counselor-at-law, after examination, by the general term of Supreme Court in Brooklyn.
He bought the Poughkeepsie Daily Press in 1858, and published it until 1863, when he moved the material to Troy, and in July of 1863 issued the first number of the Troy Daily Press. In 1861 he entered the Union army as first lieutenant of Twentieth Regiment N.Y.S.M. (subsequently Eightieth Volunteers), Col. George W. Pratt, commanding. He sold the Troy Daily Press in 1867, and the Troy Weekly Press in 1868.
The material of the Troy Weekly Press came back into his hands, and he moved it to Saratoga Springs, and in August of 1870 issued the first number of The Saratoga Sun, which is still published, - weekly throughout the year, a daily edition being added during the summer season.
III. - THE PRESS OF WATERFORD.
The Waterford Gazette was established about 1801, by Horace L. Wadsworth, and was continued until after the close of the War of 1812.
The Waterford Reporter was published in 1822, by Wm. L. Fish.
The Anti-Masonic Recorder was issued at Waterford in 1830, by J.C. Johnson.
The Waterford Atlas was started December 1, 1832, by Wm. Holland & Co. In 1834 it became the Waterford Atlas, Mechanics' and Manufacturers' Journal. It was soon after discontinued, perhaps unable to bear so long a name.
The Democratic Champion was published in 1840, by H. Wilbur.
The Waterford Sentinel was started May 18, 1850, by Dr. Andrew Hoffman, now of Albany. In 1858 it was sold to J.H. Masten. He sold it to Wm. T. Baker. Baker continued it two or three years until 1870, when it was sold to Haywood & Palmateer. This partnership ended in 1871 by the death of Mr. Haywood. The office was then purchased by S.A. Hathaway. In April, 1872, the Waterford Advertiser was started by R.D. Palmateer, who purchased the interest of the Sentinel in July, 1873, since which time there has been but one paper, the Advertiser, published by R.D. Palmateer.
Dr. Hoffman enlarged the Sentinel twice, and continued it eight years. J.H. Masten, who bought of him, was the publisher of the Cohoes Cataract, and he issued the Sentinel from the same office. Mr. Haywood, spoken of above, had been an early publisher of one of the Waterford papers. Dr. Hoffman went from Waterford to Vermont, and published for a time the Northfield Herald, a Democratic paper, also the Vermont Christian Messenger, a Methodist journal. Then he published the Coxsackie Union for three years, and finally settled in Albany, in the practice of his profession of dentistry.
IV. - THE PRESS OF SCHUYLERVILLE.
The Schuylerville Herald was published at Schuylerville, in 1844, by J.L. Cramer. This was the first attempt to establish a newspaper in the town. It was finally discontinued. In 1848 the Old Saratoga was established by Allen Corey. This was discontinued in 1852. The Battle Ground Herald was published by R.N. Atwell & Co. from Aug. 1, 1853, to July 31, 1857, and discontinued. In December of the same year The Saratoga American was started by J.R. Rockwell. He published this to the fall of 1861, when he enlisted, and became captain of Company K, Seventy-seventh Regiment, and the paper was discontinued. R.N. Atwell continued a job-printing office for several years. Finally other parties established the Schuylerville News, about the year 1867.
In the spring of 1870 this was succeeded by the present Saratoga County Standard, a large and handsome sheet, issued weekly by the Standard Publishing Co.
V. - THE PRESS OF STILLWATER.
The Stillwater Gazette was started at Stillwater village, in 1845, by Isaac A. Pitman, and was published three years.
The Coldwater Battery was also published in 1845, by Isaac A. Pitman. It had only a brief existence.
VI. - THE PRESS OF MECHANICVILLE.
The Hudson River Chronicle was published at Mechanicville from October, 1856, to March, 1868, by Samuel Heron.
The Morning Star was published at Mechanicville, in 1854-55, by C. Smith & Co. It was an experiment continued for only a short time.
VII. - THE PRESS OF CRESCENT.
The Crescent Eagle was published in 1852, by C. Ackerman.
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