Indianapolis Journal

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The Indianapolis Journal was a newspaper published in Indiana during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The paper published daily editions every evening except on Sundays when it published a morning edition. The paper was established in the 1823 as a pro-Whig newspaper. M.B. Martindale purchased the paper in the 1850s and was an early supporter of the Republican Party. During the American Civil War the paper's editor was the brother-in-law of Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton, and published columns and propaganda on behalf of Morton. The Democrat and southern sympathetic Indianapolis Sentinel saw a decline in its daily readership due to interference and shutdowns enforced by Morton.[1]

In 1880 Martindale sold the paper to John C. New, a banker, attorney, and leading figure in the local Republican Party in the Indianapolis area. New's leadership helped the paper excel, dramatically increasing its readership. Other rival papers, including the Indianapolis Mirror went out of business leaving the Journal as the only daily newspaper in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.[2]

The paper featured regular columns from famous writers and figures including James Whitcomb Riley, Benjamin Harrison, and Eugene V. Debs. The poem Little Orphant Annie, by Riley, was first published in the paper in 1885.[2] During most of its history, it carried eight 31x45 inch pages and at its peak had a circulation of 11,000.

The paper commonly supported Republican candidates for office, and published editorials supporting Republicans positions. During the late nineteenth century competition from the Indianapolis Star began a decline in the Journal's readership. The Star eventually took a majority readership in the region and the Journal eventually closed because of financial difficulties in 1904.


  1. ^ Klement, Frank L. (1984). Dark lanterns: secret political societies, conspiracies, and treason trials in the Civil War. LSU Press. p. 232. ISBN 0-8071-1567-3. 
  2. ^ a b Van Allen, Elizabeth J. (1999). James Whitcomb Riley: a life. Indiana University Press. p. 162. ISBN 0-253-33591-4.