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Country: United States
City: Ebensburg, Pa.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 251
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 1,016
Earliest Date: 1 September 1859
Latest Date: 16 February 1865
Cambria County lies in the Alleghenies, a rugged section of the Appalachian mountain range. The county was formed on March 26, 1804; the name is a variant of an ancient name of Wales (Cumbria), reflecting the region’s longtime Welsh presence. Ebensburg, in Cambria’s geographical center, became the county seat. Welsh roots here dated to 1796 when colonists arrived from Philadelphia led by Congregational Minister Rees Lloyd, who named the settlement after his late son, Eben. Situated in a rich bituminous coal region, Ebensburg thrived on mining and small industries, and prospered in the late 1800s as a summer mountain resort for wealthy visitors including Andrew Carnegie and the Vanderbilts.
The Alleghenian was started on August 25, 1859, by George W.N. Bolsinger and James Todd Hutchinson, who saw a need for a Republican newspaper at the county seat. The four-page publication appeared on Thursdays. In common with its contemporaries, the Alleghenian published an unexceptional assortment of literary efforts, local advertising, and news items from other papers, but its dynamic editorials still make good reading. These Civil War-era essays illustrate how national political issues such as slavery and states’ rights, and even federal laws such as the draft, were received and interpreted in grassroots rural Pennsylvania.
Rallying the Republican vote in the October 25, 1860, edition, Hutchinson decried Cambria’s Democrats as being “willing that the South shall take her own time wherein to become convinced of its immense superiority to the wretched system [of slavery], inherited from pagan barbarism, to which she so insanely clings.” A few months later (January 10, 1861), Hutchinson editorialized that, “South Carolina and her sister states seem determined to plunge the country in civil war,” and noted “the Pittsburg (sic) Gazette’s advice to every Northern man to arm himself at once. ‘If you have a gun, get it ready for use; if you do not own one, get one as soon as possible.’ “
Abraham Andrews Barker, co-publisher, asked on January 1, 1865, “Do the citizens of Ebensburg intend making an effort to fulfill their quota under the impending draft? The question of whether we shall or shall not make the attempt must be decided and it might as well be decided now as later.”
The transition was seamless between the Alleghenian and the Ebensburg Alleghenian in June 1865; indeed, the former name continued to appear inside the paper despite the new name on page one. Publisher Hutchinson and editor Barker remained, though Barker departed in October 1866, pleading private business to attend to. Barker also had public business to handle, as the district’s representative in Congress from March 1865 to March 1867. He was not nominated for re-election in 1866, and put the newspaper up for sale. It was not immediately sold and publication was suspended until January 24, 1867, when it resumed with brothers James Todd Hutchinson as editor and William E. Hutchinson as publisher. William died in December and James Hutchinson ran the paper on his own until joined by Edmund James in August 1868. The latter stayed for a year, then Hutchinson was alone until the Ebensburg Alleghenian ceased in August 1871.
Provided by: Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA