It Wasn't Easy For Charless

One ever-present problem was the frequent scarcity of news because of the irregularity and non-appearance of the mail from the East. At such times the editor was compelled to search for material to fill the columns of the Gazette. Another was the question of money and the pressing need of subscribers who would be willing to offer more than merely their names to the subscription list of the Gazette. The columns of the paper frequently bore notices such as this:

"The editor begs leave to inform those subscribers to the Gazette who are in arrears almost two years that he is made of flesh and blood, that Cameleon like he does not live on air, but endeavors to subsist like other folks, for this indulgence he is indebted to those who subscribed with an intention of keeping the ribs of the press oiled, and wished him to keep up that antique custom, eating and drinking." (Missouri Gazette 4/19/1810)

(Excerpted from Early St. Louis Newspapers, 1808-1950, by Dorothy Grace Brown 6/1931).