In 1797, Christian Panoply: Containing an Apology for the Bible in a Series of Letters Addressed to Thomas Paine, a 332-page book by R. Watson, D.D., F.R.S. was printed in Shepherdstown.
Mrs. Anna (Newport) Royall who lived in Monroe and Kanawha counties was one of the first women newspaper editors in America.
The Potomac Guardian and Berkeley Advertiser was the first newspaper published in the state, in 1790, in Shepherdstown, in what is now Jefferson county. It was published by Nathaniel Willis.
It was joined in 1797 by The Impartial Observer, and in 1808 by the first agricultural journal published west of the Blue Ridge, The Farmer's Repository. A half- dozen or more other newspapers soon followed.
In 1799, Nathaniel Willis moved to Martinsburg (Berkeley county) and began the Martinsburg Gazette. In 1803, the Monongalia Gazette and Morgantown Advertiser became the first newspaper west of the Alleghenies. Like the Guardian, it too was joined by others over the next 20 years.
Wheeling joined the publications in 1807 with the Repository , and Clarksburg's Bystander first appeared in 1810. Charleston got its first newspaper in 1820, the Spectator.
In 1830, William Harper established the Hampshire and Hardy Intelligencer which became the South Branch Intelligencer and published until 1896, when it merged with The Hampshire Review. The combined paper continues to publish today.
In the 1850s, a wide array of newspapers sprouted, many espousing anti-slave sentiments. Among these were the Wheeling Intelligencer, the Kanawha Republican and the Wellsburg Herald.
As of 1990, West Virginia is home to over 100 newspapers.
To access the historic newspapers which are no longer in publication, consult first Newspapers in Microform, 1948- 1972 a Library of Congress publication which should be in your public library's Interlibrary Loan Office. Many of these microforms are also available via the LDS Family History Centers.
For additional information on those newspapers which continue to publish, consult the most recent edition Gale Directory of Publications & Broadcast Media, also at your public library. (This publication used to be the Ayers' Directory.) The West Virginia Press Association may have additional information if you are unable to locate this book.
The above information is extracted and condensed from several
sources, including West Virginia: Stories and Biographies
by Charles Henry Ambler (c1942, 1954 edition).
c1997, Cheryl H. Singhal
To simplify my life, the NAME column is only the "call" name. The official name of the paper may well include the name of the town or the county or the state.
The column for WVU is a guide to WVU's known holdings. It may
Remember, newspapers were ephemera -- only a few people kept for any reason more than a couple weeks worth of issues in their home. The press offices often burnt, destroying their "morgue". Some have suggested that WVU's collection is partly due to homesick students receiving their hometown newspaper and giving it to the University Library when they finished. Whatever the reasons, PLEASE do not assume that microcopies of the earliest newspapers exist. Many of the newspapers not held by WVU are held by the WVa. State Archives. They do not, however, circulate their holdings.
Please consult one of the books mentioned earlier or have your Interlibrary Loan Office contact WVU's ILL office for more details.The table is arranged alphabetically by COUNTY.
|Cabell C. H.||Cabell||Co. Press||1869||N|
|White Sulphur Springs||Greenbrier||Sentinel||1910||Y|
|Harper's Ferry||Jefferson||Free Press||1821||N|
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