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Publication Details

The Cape Girardeau Democrat.

More information about this newspaper title may be available on the source website.

Source: Chronicling America [US Library of Congress]

Country: United States

State: Missouri

City: Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Issues of this title available in Elephind: 509

Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 3,358

Earliest Date: 3 January 1891

Latest Date: 5 January 1901


Cape Girardeau Democrat

The Cape Girardeau Democrat began in 1876 as a weekly newspaper, published every Saturday morning by Benjamin H. Adams. Originally four pages in length, it expanded to eight pages in August 1894. Adams filled the paper with news from the entire Cape Girardeau area which encompasses parts of Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky. A reader can find news from all three states in each issue, plus editorial tidbits on national and global news. 

Despite its title, Adams maintained the Democrat as a Republican-leaning newspaper, but in a July 1898 issue, Adams proclaimed: “We don’t want to have to say anything mean about a Republican but if we have to we will and we will hit hard, too.”  As an editor, Adams was an outspoken man who was not against insulting any person running for office, regardless of party affiliation.

The elections were heavily reported for months in the paper, and Adams inevitably came up against resistance at times. Eventually, the newspaperman seemed to have grown tired of the complaints against his political editorials, and on September 10, 1898, he announced his “neutrality,” declaring that “the Democrat is twenty-two years old and it is its own boss. It will hereafter say what it pleases in politics and vote for the candidates that suits it best.” Despite this announcement, the paper continued to throw most of its support behind Republican politicians. Still, there does appear to have been a movement over time toward a more neutral journalistic stance.

Additionally, under no circumstances did Benjamin Adams feel that a journalist should ever run for office. In 1900, after hearing that a fellow editor in Southeast Missouri was running for political office, Adams wrote that a “newspaper man hurts himself as a newspaper man when he becomes an office seeker.” Adams ceased publication of the Democrat in 1909.

Provided by: State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO