The Argonaut was a literary journal based in San Francisco, California that ran from 1877 to 1956, founded and published originally by Frank M. Pixley. The name comes from the local term for gold prospectors, argonaut. The magazine was known for containing strong political Americanism combined with art and literature. Many 19th-century writers such as Ambrose Bierce, Yda Addis, and Gertrude Atherton appeared regularly in its pages. It was considered one of the most important publications in California, and it had a great deal of political influence.
As a staunch Republican, Pixley used The Argonaut to support Leland Stanford and other owners of the Central Pacific Railroad. Pixley, who served as The Argonaut's editor and publisher, had been California's state treasurer when Stanford was governor. The journal was founded as a counterweight to Denis Kearney, an Irish-born labor leader who represented many of the Irish immigrants who worked for the railroad. Pixley, who wanted someday to become governor of California himself, was said to have handed out gold coins to sway voters.
^Ar"go*naut\, n. One of those who went to California in search of gold shortly after it was discovered there in 1848. [U. S.] --Bret Harte. The "Argonauts of '49" were a strong, self-reliant, generous body of men. --D. S. Jordan.