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Country: United States
City: Brattleboro, Vt.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 3,217
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 19,032
Earliest Date: 22 January 1836
Latest Date: 22 December 1922
Publishers George W. Nichols and William E. Ryther established the weekly Vermont Phoenix in Brattleboro, Vermont, in 1834. They sold the paper to Gardener C. Hall and John C. Holbrook in 1836, but a few weeks later, Ryther bought it back and operated it until 1847, when Obadiah H. Platt joined him as a partner. From the 1830s through the early 1850s, articles and editorials in the four-page paper supported the Whig Party’s positions on national and state political debates. In 1851, Platt acquired full interest in the Phoenixand announced plans to print editions from three locations, but on January 8, 1852, a rival paper crowed, “The Vermont Phoenix is defunct.”
Dr. Charles Cummings brought the Vermont Phoenix back to life on February 3, 1855. The revived Phoenix was guided by the principles of Vermont’s new Republican Party, a tradition that continued into the 20th century. In 1857, the Phoenix absorbed the Vermont Republican, a rival paper operated by Obadiah Platt. When Cummings went to war in 1862, Charles S. Prouty and Addison Brown continued the Phoenix as publisher and editor. After Cummings died in 1864, the two men purchased the paper. As the only Brattleboro paper during the Civil War, the Phoenix covered local war efforts such as Smith General Hospital, which treated 4,000 soldiers, and Camp Holbrook, where many Vermont recruits began their military service.
A third partner, Daniel B. Stedman, joined Prouty and Brown in 1868. Brown retired in 1871, and when Prouty left the paper in 1873, Olin L. French joined Stedman as owner, publisher, and editor. Announcing their partnership, French and Stedman asserted that a country paper like the Phoenix should advocate local interests and record local events. For 15 years, the Phoenix and the Vermont Record, later called the Vermont Record and Farmer, competed for Republican readers, but because the Windham County market was not large enough to support them both, the financially stable Phoenix acquired the more precarious Record and Farmer in May 1880. In 1888 Stedman left the Phoenix, and French continued as owner and publisher until 1910. He was assisted by Walter Hubbard, who was the local editor from 1888-1895, the managing editor from 1895 to 1910, and the proprietor, publisher and editor from 1910 to1912. Under French and Hubbard, the Phoenix expanded to a 10-page weekly that included mostly news and announcements from towns throughout southwestern Vermont and several towns in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. They experimented unsuccessfully with a daily paper in 1898.
For many decades, the Phoenix competed with the Reformer, a Brattleboro weekly aligned with the Democratic Party. The competition ended in 1913, when the Brattleboro Printing Co acquired the Phoenix and the Brattleboro Reformer. The new company started the Brattleboro Daily Reformer and continued the Phoenix as a companion weekly until 1955. The paper was called the Brattleboro Daily Reformer and Vermont Phoenix from 1955 to 1973, when it became the Brattleboro Reformer.
Provided by: University of Vermont