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Country: United States
City: Lancaster, Pa.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 2,974
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 12,453
Earliest Date: 1 January 1880
Latest Date: 1 August 1890
Founded in 1864, the Lancaster Daily Intelligencer had become by the 1880s the leading daily in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and a crusading opposition publication in a city beset with growing pains. It was already one of the oldest continuous newspapers in the state and nation, and by this time it had transformed itself from primarily a political organ into a conduit for local information and an advocate for clean politics and civic reform.
The Intelligencer circulated throughout the county, but its coverage focused mainly on Lancaster city, which had recently grown from a market community for the local farm district into an industrial center. Lancaster’s population increased from about 26,000 in 1880 to 31,000 in 1890. Telephone service arrived in 1880 and electric power in 1886. These changes are chronicled in the newspaper’s pages, as are the problems with civic corruption, immigration, women’s issues, public education, and race relations. The Intelligencer substantially increased its publishing apparatus un 1874, and its eight-column pages were filled with local news items from the tragic to the eccentric, along with advertisements chronicling the history of businesses like that of F. S. Woolworth, who opened his first five-and-dime store in Lancaster in 1879.
The paper’s roots ran back to the Lancaster Journal of 1794, and it already was a veteran institution, associated with the careers of such Civil War-era luminaries as John W. Forney (who edited it), President James Buchanan (an ally), and Thaddeus Stevens (who sued it). As the paper of the Democratic opposition in a Republican-ruled district, the Intelligencer remained fiercely partisan but focused increasingly on local issues. A county history, published in 1883, described the Intelligencer as “having years ago taken and consistently maintained a position in favor of the limitation of corporate powers and privileges, against free passes, for municipal reform, and against all forms of political corruption.” During the course of the 1880s, publisher and lawyer Andrew Jackson Steinman was involved in a landmark free speech case (ex parte Steinman) when he was disbarred after printing an allegation of political favoritism in a county court case.
The newspaper continued publication as the Lancaster Intelligencer-News Journal and then as the (Lancaster) Intelligencer Journal until 2009 when it merged with the Lancaster New Era. The combined Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era is still owned and published by Steinman’s descendants.
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