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Publication Name:

Alton Spectator

Years in print:

1832- 1839


O.M. Adams & Edward Breath, two enterprising young men of Alton, started a newspaper at Upper Alton called the Alton Spectator. The first number made its appearance January 21st, 1832. The firm of Adams & Breath was dissolved April 20th of the same year. On the 20th of October, 1832, the office of the Spectator was removed from Upper Alton to Alton City. Mr. Breath continued the publication until September 20th, 1834, when he sold the press and material to J.T. Hudson, who continued [as] Editor and publisher until June 20th, 1836, when W.A. Beatty bedcame Editor and publisher, and held control until November 25th of the same year, after which D. Ward published eight numbers. On the 10th of February, 1837, the office passed into the hands of William Hessin, who on the 17th of October of the same year sold a half interest to Seth T. Sawyer. The latter continued with the paper but a short time. Mr. Hessin remained sole proprietor until December, 1838, when he sold the Spectator office to J. Clark Virgin, and soon after, its publication was suspended...
The Spectator was originally a five column folio; subsequently was enlarged to a seven column, same form. From an old copy we gather much of its history and that of Alton. Its columns were well filled with home advertisements, from which we judge that in its first years it was a paying investment. Its editorial columns were taken up with discussions of the banking system of the country, which then seemed to be the leading question. In politics it advocated the principles of the Whig party.

(From The History of Madison County, Illinois by W.R. Brink & Co., 1882).

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