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Publication Details

The national Republican.

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

Source: Chronicling America [US Library of Congress]

Country: United States

State: District of Columbia

City: Washington City [D.C.]

Issues of this title available in Elephind: 1,174

Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 4,750

Earliest Date: 2 April 1866

Latest Date: 13 January 1870


The National Republican and the Daily National Republican

When it began publication on November 26, 1860, the National Republican was the only Republican newspaper in Washington, D.C.  Its primary goals were to support Abraham Lincoln and the Republican candidates who followed him, to educate the public about the Republican platform, and to record the proceedings of Congress.  As a result, its pages were rich with details about the goings-on in the nation’s capital as well as nationwide political news related to the party.

Also known as the Daily National Republican  the newspaper represented the Republican philosophy of its publishers, William J. Murtaugh, Louis Clephane, Martin Beull, and William Blanchard, who established it as a daily in a city with four other daily newspapers.  In its early years, considerable space was devoted to Civil War coverage.  In addition, it featured articles on President Lincoln, including numerous excerpts from his speeches and interviews. The National Republican served as a mouthpiece for the then fledging Republican Party.  Although writers and publishers denied that they were a party organ, an early prospectus of the paper stated that it was created in part to “advocate and defend the principles of the Republican Party, and endeavor to disabuse the public mind of groundless prejudices which have been engendered against it, by the false accusations of its enemies.”  The publishers notably took a strong stance against Bourbon Democrats---highly conservative members of the Democratic Party and supported the administration of embattled President Andrew Johnson.

Notable events in the paper’s history included the shooting death of Antonio M. Soteldo, a clerk on the Senate’s Committee on Railroads, and a fire that ruined the newspaper building.  On February 9, 1882, Soteldo visited the newspaper’s headquarters to complain to Clarence M. Barton, the news editor at the time, about what he perceived as negative coverage.  Gunfire was apparently exchanged, wounding Barton and killing Soteldo.  Then on July 16, 1885, a fire at the newspaper’s headquarters at Tenth and D Street, N.W., destroyed both the facilities and the printing press.  The fire also caused significant damage to facilities of the Washington Daily Post, the Washington Critic, and the Sunday Gazette   housed in the same building.  The National Republican and the Washington Daily Post temporarily took advantage of the Evening Star’s  offer to share its facilities, publishing editions even before the fire was extinguished.  Due primarily to its financial difficulties after a company under the ownership of Elias W. Fox took control of the newspaper in 1885, the National Republican ceased publication in June 1888.

At its inception, the National Republican sold for six cents per week for subscribers within the city and $3.50 per year for mail subscribers.  The paper appeared daily, excluding Sundays, until February 1888, when it began to publish a Sunday edition. Although the size of the daily edition varied throughout its history, it generally ran between four and eight pages, depending on the addition of a supplement.

Provided by: Library of Congress, Washington, DC