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Country: United States
City: Tallulah, Madison Parish, La.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 200
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 810
Earliest Date: 15 March 1884
Latest Date: 12 May 1888
The Madison Times was a weekly, four-page Democratic newspaper published in Tallulah, Louisiana, from 1884 to 1889. Located in extreme northeastern Louisiana, Tallulah is the seat of Madison Parish. In the nineteenth century, the area was at the heart of the "Cotton Kingdom" The Civil War and the abolition of slavery devastated the local economy, and by 1870, the population of Madison Parish, which had had one of the largest prewar black populations in the state, had dropped by 40 percent. The 1880s saw a near-total recovery, due in part to the development of railroads. However, according to Biographical & Historical Memoirs of Louisiana (1892), "Madison Parish has no town of any importance. Tallulah, the parish seat, is the largest, having a population of 225." Vicksburg, Mississippi, 20 miles to the east of Tallulah, was the region's commercial center.
The Times's founder was Roger Chew Weightman, a grandson of an early Washington, D.C., bookseller, printer, and mayor of the same name, and brother of Richard Coxe Weightman, briefly a reporter for the New Orleans Times-Democrat and for many years connected with the Washington Post. The Times was established as a factional newspaper in support of Bourbon Democratic governor Samuel D. McEnery and other members of the New Orleans "Ring," particularly U.S. Senator James B. Eustis. Weightman's initial enthusiasm for President Grover Cleveland later became lukewarm, in part because Cleveland ignored calls (outlined in the Democratic Party platform) for the improvement of the Mississippi River, an issue of importance to Louisiana. Other key topics discussed include the 1884 New Orleans World's Fair (also known as the World Cotton Centennial), immigration to the South, and the debate over gold versus silver coinage. The paper is rich in advertisements for businesses both in Madison Parish and nearby Vicksburg. In-depth news from Washington, D. C., was printed in columns titled "Washington Waifs "and "Capitol Cullings." Also available was practical advice on subjects such as farming and housekeeping.
At the time of the paper's founding, it was powerful enough to drive another local newspaper, the Delta Madison Journal, temporarily out of business. However, in 1888, having backed the losing candidate in a local election, the Times lost its public printing contract. It was purchased by Jeff B. Snyder of the Madison Item and consolidated with the revived Madison Journal in Tallulah.
Provided by: Louisiana State University; Baton Rouge, LA