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Newspapers: 1800s

Printers typesetting lead.

California's Daily Newspapers

By 1830, the number of newspapers published in the U.S. was 715.

Typographic Composing New Machine. 1800s.

By 1853, in San Francisco there were 12 daily newspapers, of which 8 were morning, 3 evening and one German morning paper. There were 2 tri-weeklies, both in French.

Six weeklies included three religious publications. One was commercial, one French, one a Sunday paper. Of the two monthly publications, one was agricultural and one literary.

By 1854, papers were printed in English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese.

By July 1854, daily papers began to disappear, to be replaced by the Pioneer, a monthly magazine, a Chinese journal, and one or two weekly newspapers.

In addition to those noted below, dozens of other newspapers throughout the state were published, making it through one or two editions at most.

Publication Location Dates/Notes
Amador Ledger Amador, Jackson County 1855 - 1857 Volcano Weekly Ledger, published by Thomas A. Springer
October 1857: Weekly Ledger (Amador Weekly Ledger)
1911 Volcano Publishers: R. Webb and F. S. Briggs
1875: Amador Ledger.
Alta California (Weekly) San Francisco 1849: On January 4, 1849, The Star and Californian was dropped, and the Alta California, a weekly, was published by the same parties. (Changed to a daily paper in 1850.)
American Sentinel Oakland January 1886 - December 1889.
California Eagle Los Angeles 1879 - 1964. Publisher: John Hames Neimore. African-American newspaper. When The California Eagle shut down its presses, it was one of the oldest black-owned and operated papers in the United States established as The California Owl in 1879, to ease black settlers' transition to the West. Charlotta Bass left South Carolina in the late 1800s; when she reached Los Angeles, she sold subscriptions for the Eagle. After Neimore s death Bass bought the newspaper and became editor, renaming it the California Eagle. In 1914 she married Joseph Blackburn Bass, who was the newspaper s editor until his death in 1934.
California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences San Francisco January 1854 - January 1880
California Farmer, Miner and Oil Reporter Los Angeles 1892 - 1893
California Journal und Sonntags Gast San Francisco 1872 - 1879 (?). Publishers: Wentzel, Huefner, Golley & Co. Weekly. Language: German.
California Star San Francisco 1847 - 1848. Weekly. Published in San Francisco (then known as Yerba Buena). Samuel Brannan was also noted as publisher in January 1847 and the paper was to be published in Spanish and English. On November 18, 1848, The Californian was brought by the California Star. The new paper was titled The Star and Californian.
The Californian Monterey Compositors Handbook. Thomas Ford. August 1846 - 1848. Commodore R. F. Stockton originated the publication. Walter Colton and Robert Semple became owners/editors. It was the first newspaper in English published in California. Portions of the newspaper were also printed in Spanish. In May 1847, Semple was the sole publisher. On November 18, 1848, The Californian was brought by the California Star. The new paper was titled The Star and Californian. On January 4, 1849, The Star and Californian was dropped, and the Alta California, a weekly, was published by the same parties.
The Californian
The Daily Californian)
Bakersfield 1891 - 1907 Descendent of Kern County's first newspaper, The Weekly Courier, August 18, 1866, in the mining town of Havilah, California., then the the center of the 1864 gold rush. The newspaper's name was later changed to The Havilah Weekly Courier. In 1872, the newspaper became The Kern County Weekly Courier in Bakersfield. In 1876, the Courier merged with another Bakersfield newspaper, The Southern Californian, to form The Kern County Californian. The newspaper's name was changed to The Daily Californian in 1891 with the advent of daily publication. In 1897, the Kern County superintendent of schools, Alfred Harrell, purchased the newspaper and changed the name to The Bakersfield Californian.
The Chico Daily Courant Chico 1865 - 1868
Chinese Daily News Sacramento 1857. Publisher/editor/translator: Hung Tai. Daily except Sunday. Published in Chinese and English.
Christian Advocate San Francisco 1853. Weekly.
Chung Sai Yat Po San Francisco 1900 - 1904. Chinese language newspaper
Courier San Francisco 1850 - 1851. Also called the California Courier and Daily California Courier. Publishers: James M. Crane and Francis W. Rice
Daily Alta California
(Weekly Alta California)
San Francisco 1849 - 1891. On January 4, 1849, The Star and Californian was dropped, and the Weekly Alta California, was published by the same parties. The Alta changed to a daily paper in 1850.
Daily Globe
(The Globe)
San Francisco 1856 - 1858. Publisher: Simonton & Co.
The Democratic Press San Francisco 1863; 1865 changed to Daily Examiner; 1880 changed to The Examiner by William Randolph Hearst.
Der Wecker San Francisco 1876 - 1878. Publishers: H. Brandt, G. Schumann, E. Steinle. Language: German.
Dos Republicas Los Angeles 1892-1898
Eco del Pacifico   1857
El Clamor Publico Los Angeles 1855 - 1859. The first Spanish-language newspaper in California after the American occupation. The initially moderate paper evolved into an activist tabloid and espoused strong political views generally in support of the Mexicanos. It was distributed as far north as San Francisco.
Elevator San Francisco 1865 - 1898. "A Weekly Journal of Progress." African American paper. Editor, P. A. Bell.
Emanu-el San Francisco Established 1895. Fridays. Jewish. Twenty pages 9x11. Subscription $2. A. W. Voorsanger, Editor and Publisher. Office: 508 Montgomery Street.
Evening Picauyne San Francisco August 3, 1850. Evening Paper. Dr. J. H. Gihon
The Examiner San Francisco Began as (The) Democratic Press in 1863; 1865 changed to Daily Examiner; 1880 changed to The Examiner by William Randolph Hearst. In 1880, mining engineer and entrepreneur George Hearst bought the Examiner. Seven years later, after being elected to the U.S. Senate, he gave it to his son, William Randolph Hearst, who was then 23 years old. The elder Hearst was said to have received the failing paper as partial payment of a poker debt.
Fresno Morning Republican Fresno 1887 - 1921
Fresno Republican Weekly Fresno 1876-1899
The Gold Hills San Francisco April 29, 1854 first publication. 4 pages. Printed in Chinese characters. (Gold Hills was the Chinese name for San Francisco.)
The Golden Era San Francisco 1859 - 1871. Mark Twain wrote articles.
Grass Valley Daily Union Grass Valley 1865 - 1877; 1879 - 1884. Eventually became "The Union."
Jiu jin shan tang ren xin wen zhi San Franciso 1874 - 1875. Chinese/English. Publisher Bogardus & Gordon. Weekly. Also called "San Francisco China News." Chinese and English.
The Journal of Commerce Sacramento 1850. Started as a daily journal by Washington Bartlett
Joven Los Angeles September 18, 1877 - April 12, 1878
The Kaleidoscope San Bernardino 1891 - 1894. Weekly
The Kern County Californian Bakersfield 1880 - 1892
La Gazette Republicaine   September 12, 1850. Octavian Hoogs
Le Californien   1850. French newspaper
Livermore Herald Alameda County 1877 - 1899. In 1897, H. F. Ellis was Editor; S. E. Wright, Business Manager. Published Saturday. $2.00 per year subscription.
Los Angeles Herald Los Angeles 1873 - 1910
Los Angeles Star Los Angeles 1852 - 1864. Bilingual Spanish-English newspaper.
Los Angeles Times Los Angeles 1881
Marin Journal    
Mariposa Gazette    
Marysville Daily Herald Yuba County 1850. Published Tuesday and Friday mornings. Editor, R. H. Taylor. 
(See Weekly Herald below.)
The Miners' Advocate Coloma 1852 - 1855
Mining and Scientific Press   May 24, 1860. George H. Winslow & Co., then J. Silversmith who sold half-interest to C. W. M. Smith (Ewer & Smith). In October 1862, Warren B. Ewer became editor and proprietor. December 1863, Alfred T. Dewey changed it to 16-pages.
Monitor Mejicano Los Angeles 1895 - 1898
The Morning Call San Francisco 1878 - 1895
The Oriental San Francisco Tung-ngai san-luk. Published by Whitton, Towne & Co.
Pacific Appeal   1862 - 1880. African-American newspaper
The Pacific News   August 27, 1849 - 1851. Tri-weekly. Published by Falkner and Leland
Pacific Rural Press San Francisco 1871- 1922. Published Saturdays. Agriculture and horticulture. 16 pages, 11x16. Established 1870. Dewey Publishing Co. 330 Market Street.
Pacific Skandinav San Francisco Est. 1888. Published Fridays, Norwegian-Danish. four pages 18x24. Subscription $2. Michael Salomon, Editor, Salomon & Olsen Publishing Co.
Palo Alto Live Oak Palo Alto October 1896 - 1903
The Pictorial Union Sacramento April 1852 - 1856. J. Anthony & Co., Publisher (Also published as a steamer edition)
The Pioneer San Francisco 1854 - 1855. Monthly Journal/magazine. Publishers: LeCount and Strong. Noted as "first California magazine." 
The Old Pioneer Press
Placer Times Sacramento 1849 - 1850. (Placer Times and Transcript), Sacramento. 1849. Weekly. Converted into a daily and moved to San Francisco for publication. First published on June 28, 1852 under the management of Fitch, Pickering & Lawrence. (The name seems to have been changed to the Times and Transcript.)
Press and Horticulturist Riverside July 1878 - December 1905
Public Balance San Francisco December 8, 1850. "Daily Public Balance" on January 20, 1851 (last issue). Benjamin R. Bucklew and Eugene Casserly. (Might have been just Balance.) Daily except Sunday. English and French.
Redondo Beach Compass Redondo Beach 1890 - 1893. Publisher: Redondo Beach Publishing Co. Weekly.
Riverside Daily Press Riverside 1886 - 1949
Riverside Independent Press Riverside March 1891 - December 1911
Sacramento Daily Record Union Sacramento 1875 - 1891. Also named Daily Union and Sacramento Sunday Union. Publisher Sacramento Publishing Co. In January 1852, the publisher C. L. Hansiker & Co. sold the paper to E. G. Jefferis & Co. Following the losses suffered in the Sacramento fire on November 12, 1852 (from which only a small printing press and some type survived), the paper was sold in May 1853 to James Anthony & Co. It printed the journal of Mark Twain's 1866 voyage to the Sandwich Islands.
Sacramento Transcript Sacramento 1850 1851. Published every morning except Sunday by Fitch, Weld & Co. G. Kenyon Fitch, G. C. Weld, F. C. Ewer, H. S. Warren, Theodore Russell.
Sacramento Weekly Union Sacramento October 1851 - April 1853
San Diego Union San Diego Mach 1871 - December 1983
San Francisco Call San Francisco December 1, 1856: Daily Morning Call. 
1890 - 1913. Call-Chronicle-Examiner April 1906. Publisher Charles M. Shortridge. Among the original owners of the Call were James Joseph Ayers, Charles F. Jobson, and Llewellyn Zublin. Peter B. Forster soon joined the group, and, by May 1866, he became the paper's publisher of record. In 1869, George K. Fitch, Loring Pickering, and James W. Simonton, owners of the rival San Francisco Bulletin, purchased the Call and ran it for over two decades. Mark Twain was Nevada correspondent in 1863 and reporter upon moving to San Francisco 1864. 
San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco 1869 -1969. Publisher deYoung Thieriot family. 
Daily beginning September 9, 1872. 
San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle 1965-1999
San Francisco Daily Herald San Francisco June 1, 1850. In July 1852, the Herald was printed on coarse brown paper, "such as is commonly used for envelopes and for wrapping packages. Day by day, the old broad sheets were becoming narrower and coarser, while they assumed every color of the rainbow."
San Francisco Examiner San Francisco See "The Examiner" above.
San Francisco Vindicator San Francisco 1887 - 1889. Publisher: G. W. Dennis, Jr. & Co. Subjects: African Americans.
San Luis Obispo Tribune San Luis Obispo 1869 - 1884
San Joaquin Republican Stockton 1854 - 1873. Publisher: Mansfield, Patrick & Co.
Saucelito Herald Sausalito 1870. Thomas P. Woodward, editor and proprietor
Sausalito News Sausalito 1885 - 1922
Searchlight Redding January 1899 - December 1923
(Weekly Star; San Francisco Star)
San Francisco Est. 1884 - 1921. James H. Barry. Editor and Publisher. An 1895 article referred to it as as "San Francisco Star." Published Saturdays. Independent. 16 pages, 9x12. Subscription $1.50. Office: 429 Montgomery Street. Circulation: 1894-1895, publisher asserts not less than 6,000. Actual average for 1895: 9,851. 
(Barry also published books for himself and others on religion, naval history, mining, political commentary.)
The Star and Californian   On November 18, 1848, The Californian was brought by the California Star. The new paper was titled The Star and Californian. On January 4, 1849, The Star and Californian was dropped, and the Alta California, a weekly, was published by the same parties.
Star of Empire San Francisco September 17, 1856 - November 12, 1856., Publisher: C. A. Washburn. German/English weekly. Republican campaign paper, supporting John C. Fremont; intended to be issued in eight numbers. Masthead on page 4: Deutsche Republikaner.
Sun San Diego July 1881 - January 1884
Tulare County Record Visalia 1859
Visalia Weekly Delta Visalia 1859 - 1861
Voz de Chile y de las Republicas Americanas San Francisco 1867 - 1868
Walnut Creek Independent Walnut Creek 1882
Watts Star Review Los Angeles 1875 - ?. Publisher: S. Alexander. Topics: African Americans.
Wave San Francisco Est. 1886, The Wave Publishing Co. Saturdays. Illustrated, 16 page, 10x14. Subscription $3. 24 Montgomery Street. Circulation 1894: 13,285.
Weekly Alta California San Francisco Refer to Alta California
Weekly California Express Marysville November 1857 - October 1859
Weekly Herald Marysville 1850? Also "Marysville Herald". Publisher: L. W. Ransom; Publisher 1856: Louis R. Lull. "Devoted to politics, literature, and general intelligence."
Weekly Rescue Sacramento February 1864 - September 1877
Western Outlook San Francisco Est. 1894. Saturdays. Negro. Four pages 18x24. Subscription $2.50. Jos. S. Francis and J. L. Derrick, Editors and Publishers. 425 Montgomery Street.
Wide West San Francisco 1854 - 1858

Johannes Gutenberg
Inventor of the Printing Press

(Signature Lives: Renaissance Era)
Fran Rees

A History Of California Newspapers, 1846-1858History of California Newspapers.
Edward Cleveland Kemble (1828-1886).
Kemble was born in Troy, N.Y. His father was a state Senator and editor of the "Troy Budget". At 18 years of age, E.C. Kemble traveled to California with Samuel Brannan, a New York newspaper publisher, in the ship "Brooklyn". He arrived in California July 31, 1846 and took charge of the first printing office established in San Francisco (Yerba Buena at the time). Kemble edited and printed San Francisco's first newpaper, the California Star (owned by Samuel Brannan). He bought Brannan out later and merged with another newspaper to establish the Alta California. Kemble's connection with the Alta California ceased in 1854. Kemble, as a volunteer and sergeant of Co. K of Fremont, participated in battle during the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846. In 1855, Kemble organized a "Committee of Pacific Coast Emigration", composed chiefly of California merchants and shippers resident in New York, and which was the pioneer movement for organizing emigration to the Far West. Kemble was Seretary of the Committee and published a paper in New York called "The Californian". In 1856, he edited the "Chronicle"- the first Republican paper printed in San Francisco. In the spring of 1857 Kemble joined the Sacramento Union as Associate Editor.

The Annals of San Francisco
Frank Soule, John H. Gihon, James Nisbet
Written by three journalists who were witnesses to and participants in the extraordinary events they describe, The Annals of San Francisco, originally published in 1855, is both an essential record for historians and a delightful narrative for general readers. Over 100 historical engravings are included. An invaluable work for anyone interested in San Francisco's history whether you live in the City or are just passing through.

Printing Presses.
Printing Presses: History and Development from the Fifteenth Century to Modern Times Printing Presses.
James Moran
A complete and detailed work of presses.

A History of the Book in America
Volume 2: An Extensive Republic
Print, Culture, and Society in the New Nation, 1790-1840

Robert A. Gross, Mary Kelley.
Contributors (many leading scholars on their subject) look at every facet - human and machine - of producing the written word. Gross and Kelley provide lucid, helpful overviews in their introductions to the book as a whole and to its six sections. A rich and comprehensive analysis of how the written word helped shape antebellum America.

The Invention of News: How the World Came to Know About Itself The Invention of News.
Andrew Pettegree
“If you have ever wondered how this noisy, self-important carousel got going, Pettegree's book will tell you.” — Jeremy Paxman, The Guardian

Communities of Journalism.
Communities of Journalism
A History of American Newspapers and Their Readers (History of Communication)

David Paul Nord
Nord reviews how newspapers have intersected with religion, politics, reform, and urban life over nearly three centuries in a wide-ranging presentation that shows journalism to be a vital component of community. From the religion-infused towns of colonial America to the rapidly expanding urban metropolises of the late nineteenth century, Nord explores the cultural work of the press and how ordinary readers use journalism to form community attachments and engage in civic life.

The Golden Gazette News from 1848 to 1857, California.The Golden Gazette:
News from the Newspapers of 1848-1857

Dudley T. Ross
"The Golden Gazette" turns out to be a fabulous collection of news stories for anyone curious about the quirky and sometimes frightening episodes of San Francisco's early days: hangings (including women), fires, fleeing criminals, notes on theatrical stars, ship wrecks, ads for things like "Oriental Tooth Wash," wheat crops shipping out of Martinez and Benicia, sheep prices, etc. His selection will please anyone wandering and exploring California.

A History of the Black Press
(Moorland-Spingarn Series)
History of the Black Press.
Armistead S. Pride, Clint C. Wilson
A study of the seminal role that the Black press has played in recording American history, in interpreting that history for a predominantly Black audience, and in serving as Black American's voice.

The History of the Gold Discoveries of the Northern Mines of California's Mother Lode Gold Belt As Told By Newspapers and Miners 1848-1875Newspapers and Miners.
Lewis J. Swindle
A chronological history of the gold rush and gold discoveries from 1848 through 1875, as viewed and reported by the newspapers and miners, on what was called the Northern Mines area of California's Mother Lode Gold Belt.

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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