The North American

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The North American
Type Daily newspaper
Founded March 26, 1839
Language English
Ceased publication May 1925
Headquarters Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

The North American was an American newspaper published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1839, though it could claim a lineage back to 1771, and published until 1925, when it was purchased by the owner of the rival Public Ledger.

History[edit]

Morton McMichael, publisher of the North American from 1847 to 1879
100 block of North Broad Street in Philadelphia, featuring an advertisement for The North American

The North American, a daily newspaper in Philadelphia, was first published on March 26, 1839, by S.C. Brace and T.R. Newbold.[1] At the end of the year, the paper absorbed Zachariah Poulson's Poulson's American Daily Advertiser, the direct descendant of John Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet, the country's first successful daily paper,[2] and on January 1, 1840, publishing under a new name: The North American and Daily Advertiser.[3] Later that year, the paper was acquired by C.G. Childs and J. Reese Fry, along with the Commercial Herald.

In October 1845, the paper was acquired by George R. Graham, well known as the publisher of Graham's Magazine, and Alexander Cummings, who went on to found the New York World.[4][5] The "Daily Advertiser" suffix was also dropped.[6]

Cummings soon departed over political differences, and Morton McMichael joined Graham as publisher in January 1847. At that point, it was an influential Whig newspaper. In July of that year, writer and playwright Robert Montgomery Bird was brought in as a one-third owner, and the paper was merged with the United States Gazette, another Whig paper in town. The paper was redubbed as the North American and United States Gazette.[5][7][8]

Graham left the paper in 1848, and McMichael and Bird became the driving forces in making the paper a journalistic and financial success. After Bird died in 1854, McMichael continued as the sole owner until his death in 1879. The paper was a staunch supporter of Abraham Lincoln, as it developed to become a supporter of the Republican party.[9]

The "United States Gazette" suffix was dropped from the paper's name in 1876. McMichael's two sons assumed control of the paper in his final years,[10][11][12] his son Clayton assuming chief editorial duties.[13]

In 1899, the paper was acquired by Thomas B. Wanamaker, son of John Wanamaker.[14][15][16][17][18] In 1925, Cyrus Curtis, owner of the Public Ledger, acquired the North American from Thomas B. Wanamaker's estate as part of his bid to grow the Ledger by shutting down some of its competitors.[19][20][21] The Ledger adopted the official title Public Ledger and North American (with the latter in small font, of course), until late 1927.

References[edit]

  1. ^ About The North American, Chronicling America (Library of Congress), Retrieved February 21, 2012 (entry for first iteration of the North American)
  2. ^ Scharf, J. Thomas and Wescott, Thompson. History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884, Volume 3, p. 1966-68 (1884)
  3. ^ About The North American and daily advertiser, Chronicling America (Library of Congress), Retrieved February 21, 2012 (entry for The North American and Daily Advertiser)
  4. ^ Hudson, Frederic. Journalism in the United States from 1690 to 1872, pp. 183-84 (1873)
  5. ^ a b The life and dramatic works of Robert Montgomery Bird, pp.133-38 (1919)
  6. ^ About The North American. (Philadelphia, Pa.) 1845-1847, Chronicling America (Library of Congress), Retrieved February 21, 2012 (entry for the North American from 1845-47)
  7. ^ About North American and United States gazette. (Philadelphia, Pa.) 1847-1876, Chronicling America (Library of Congress), Retrieved February 21, 2012
  8. ^ George R. Graham. Philadelphia Publisher, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (Vol. 75, No. 3, July 1951)
  9. ^ Robinson, Elwyn B. The North American: Advocate of Protection, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (Vol. 64, No. 3, July 1940, pp. 345-55)
  10. ^ Bloom, Robert L. Morton McMichael's North American, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (Vol. 77, No. 2, April 1953)
  11. ^ (7 January 1879). Death of Morton McMichael, The New York Times
  12. ^ Baltzell, E. Digby. Philadelphia Gentlemen: The Making of a National Upper Class, p. 138-39 (1958)
  13. ^ (18 April 1906). Clayton McMichael Dead: Ex-Postmaster of Philadelphia Formerly Owned The North American, The New York Times
  14. ^ (12 May 1900). WANAMAKER CHARGES ATTEMPTED BLACKMAIL, The New York Times
  15. ^ Backbone vs. Wishbone, Pearson's Magazine (US) (July 1911)
  16. ^ (3 March 1908). Dies in Paris Hotel: Thomas B. Wanamaker Suddenly Passes Away, Fredericksburg Daily Star
  17. ^ (27 November 1932). Van Valkenburg, Journalist, Dead, The New York Times
  18. ^ (26 January 1899). Philadelphia North American Sold, The New York Times
  19. ^ Hepp, John Henry. The middle-class city: transforming space and time in Philadelphia, 1876-1926 (2003)
  20. ^ (14 May 1925). REPORTS CURTIS BUYER OF NORTH AMERICAN; Philadelphia Expects Ledger Owner to Acquire Rival and End Publication, The New York Times
  21. ^ (15 May 1925). The North American Sold, The New York Times

See also[edit]

North American Building