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Country: United States
State: District of Columbia
City: Washington, D.C.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 1,229
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 5,132
Earliest Date: 7 May 1885
Latest Date: 3 July 1889
The Washington Critic first appeared on August 31, 1868, and was initially “devoted chiefly to the criticism of theatrical and music performances…” During its 28-year history, the paper expanded the breadth of its interests and coverage, becoming one of the largest circulating newspapers in Washington, D.C., during the 1880s. The Critic experienced a series of title and management changes over the course of its active years, publishing its final issue in 1896.
The first major change occurred in 1872, when it adopted the title the Daily Critic. By this time the paper’s contents had become more diversified, and the number of articles and advertisements had increased. In 1881, the paper acquired a new title, the Evening Critic, to reflect its new status as an evening paper. The publishers, now a co-operation called “The Evening Critic Publishing Company,” increased the price of the paper to two cents, explaining the changes as a necessary reaction to the “growth of the city in population, wealth and business.”
In the decade that followed, circulation more than doubled, growing from 5,000 in 1881 to 13,500 in 1889. In 1885, TheEvening Critic became theWashington Critic, to reflect the paper’s “local habitation.” The Critic remained “essentially a Washington paper—devoted to Washington affairs, freighted with Washington news, an exponent and advocate of Washington interests.”
In 1888 the Critic, along with theWashington Post, was bought by a wealthy investor, and the two papers entered into a short-lived partnership through which theCritic appeared as an evening edition of thePost. From 1889 to 1891, the Critic went through a turbulent period, shifting its management and adopting six different titles. In 1889 alone, theCritic was published under three different consecutive titles: the Capital and Critic, the Evening Capital and Critic, and the Evening Capital.
By 1890, the paper had again come under new management and for the last time adopted the well-worn title, the Washington Critic. In its first edition, the paper promised to provide Washingtonians with concise and objective reporting. The Critic claimed that it was “yoked to no particular interest, to no official set, to no private scheme…[it] will try to give its readers the happenings of the world, in condensed form, from day to day, reserving most of its space for and devoting the major part of its labor to, the affairs of Washington, which, after all, is at once its parent and its protégé, the beginning and end of both its aim and ideas.”
Over the next year, the title of the paper changed twice, first to the Daily Critic and then to the Critic, the later change being “best suited to the scheme we have adopted—that of compactness and condensation in presenting the news.” In 1891, the paper entered its final period appearing as the Critic and Record and publishing its last issue in May 1896.
Provided by: Library of Congress, Washington, DC