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Publication Name:

Anzeiger des Westens

Years in print:

1835- 1912?


[Henry] Boernstein’s Anzeiger des Westens for a time towered above the half-dozen German newspapers in St. Louis, thanks to editors like Charles Bernays and Carl Daenzer. But in 1857, Daenzer founded the Westliche Post, and it soon provided opposition for the older paper. The Anzeiger suspended publication when Boernstein and many of its employees went to war, but Daenzer revived it in 1864…
(From Catfish and Crystal by Ernest Kirschten. Published 1960).

(“Gazette of the West”). Merged with Westliche Post in 1898.

This popular and influential journal was established October 20th, 1835. It is the oldest German newspaper in the city of St. Louis, but had to content itself with a small issue of only 500 copies the first year of its existence. The energy and talent of Henry Boernstein, to whom it owes its creation, soon made its merit apparent, and its circulation rapidly increased. Now it has a daily issue of 6,219 and a weekly one of 5,747. Editors, Henry Boernstein and Charles L. Bernays.
(From Edwards’ Great West…and A Complete History of St. Louis by Richard Edwards and Dr. M. Hopewell, 1860).

In 1835 the first Anzeiger des Westens appeared in St. Louis. The editor was William Weber, a German student, whose sympathies with republicanism and whose efforts to get into the Polish revolution of 1830 made him an exile after he had suffered imprisonment at Leipsic. Weber's first employment in St. Louis was librarian of the collection of books which became the Mercantile Library. The German press of St. Louis was not for Germans only. Weber denounced so vigorously the burning of the negro murderer at Seventh and Locust streets that the mob went to the Anzeiger office and threatened to wreck it. The Anzeiger consistently fought Knownothingism from the beginning until that misconceived poliitical movement collapsed in 1855. It opposed slavery. As early as 1846 the Anzeiger appeared as a daily. Among its regular contributors were Engelmann, the scientist; and Frederick Muench, the patriot. Many years before the Civil war, editorials and other articles in German newspaper of St. Louis were translated and given wide circulation in the American papers of the United States.
Henry Boernstein succeeded Weber as editor. He had received a university education in Germany, had served the Austrian army five years...and had been a European correspondent of leading papers...Where Weber had been aggressive, Boernstein introduced the sensational...Boernstein cleared considerable money with the Anzeiger for several years, but he was too erratic to wear well...After Boernstein went to [serve in the Civil] war, the Anzeiger suspended. It suffered from the reaction that comes to the paper which, depending too much on the sensational, suddenly loses that character. After five or six months a new Anzeiger des Westens was issued with Carl Daenzer as editor and manager...He was the opposite of Boernstein, a better newspaper man than he was enduring. He was possessed of a great store of information, he was thoughtful.
(From St. Louis, the Fourth City by Walter Barlow Stevens, 1911).

On the 31st of October, 1835, appeared the first number of the Anzeiger des Westens. Charles Bimpage, a Mecklenburger, who had been managing an intelligence and commission house in St. Louis, was the founder; and associated with him as published was B.J. Von Festen, who, however, withdrew in less than a month. Bimpage was a cultivated man, but seemed unsuited for journalism. This paper was not generally acceptable , and he soon retired...
On the 22d of February, 1836, William Weber became editor...He [had come] to St. Louis, where he became librarian of the collection of books which was the nucleus of the Mercantile Library.
The Anzeiger assumed new life under his management. Owing to his denunciation of the burning of a negro, his office was threatened by a mob, but was not attacked. A year or so after taking editorial charge of the Anzeiger, he became proprietor of the paper...
Meanwhile the Tribune had been established, and being a daily, became a formidable rival of the Anzeiger...The difficulties attending the publication continued.
Under Weber's management the paper was known throughout the land as scarcely second to any of the German-American press. 
Weber's successor was Henry Boernstein, (who) gave the paper a strong "free-soil" bias and in 1854-56 declared himself unequivocally in favor of "free soil" and the Republican party. Meanwhile he had become owner of the paper, and was making it pay handsomely. In addition to his journalistic labors he conducted a theater, a hotel, and a brewery, together with several saloons.
Mr. Boernstein's influence with his countrymen at one time was very great, and when the war broke out he did much to consolidate the German sentiment of St. Louis in favor of the Union. The Anzeiger more than once narrowly escaped being mobbed...
The war seriously deranged the prosperity of the Anzeiger, and in February, 1863, its publication was suspended.
(From the History of St. Louis City and County by John Thomas Scharf, 1883). 

The first newspaper printed in German to appear in St. Louis was the Anzeiger des Westens. It was begun on November 1, 1835 as a weekly journal, edited by Christian Bimpage. The title translated  was the Western German Advertiser. The first issue was greeted as follows: "It is remarkably neat in its execution...The editor is, we believe, a gentleman of intelligence and liberal views. He has it in his power to render essential service to that class of our citizens for whom this journal is especially intended, and while it is conducted in this spirit, we hope it may receive liberal patronage" (Missouri Republican, Nov. 2, 1835)
Bimpage was not able to make a real success of his paper and relinquished it to William Weber in February, 1836.
It would be more fitting to begin the history of the Anzeiger des Westens under Weber, for throughout the many years that he controlled it the paper was ranked as scarcely second to any of the German-American press...Before assuming control of the Anzeiger, he became librarian of what was later the Mercantile Library. He engaged actively in St. Louis politics, being a staunch Abolition-Democrat.Not long after assuming the editorship of the paper he became its proprietor, a position he held until 1847. From 1847 until 1850 he remained with the establishment as editor only; at that time he withdrew to become Justice of the Peace...Among the contributors to his journal were such well-known St. Louisans as Dr. Engelmann, Frederick Muench and Gustav Koerner.
Until 1842 the paper was issued as a weekly; at that time it became a tri-weekly and continued as such until 1847 when it became a daily.
In October, 1842 Wilhelm Palm became assistant editor; in 1844 Arthur Olshausen secured an interest in the paper, and three years later, when Weber retired, became proprietor. Henry Boernstein was offered the editorship of the journal upon the withdrawal of Weber in 1850, and under his talent and energy the circulation of the paper rapidly increased.
Although the Anzeiger des Westens was a Democratic paper, it never became a party organ, for its chief quality was complete independence.
(From Early St. Louis Newspapers, 1808-1850, a Washington University dissertation by Dorothy Grace Brown, 1931).

The Anzeiger des Westens is the oldest of the German-American newspapers published in St. Louis. It is one of the ablest and most scholarly newspapers published in the German language in America. Mr. Carl Daenzer has been for many years proprietor as well as chief editor of the paper.
The Anzeiger may always be relied upon for an open avowal of the convictions and sentiments of its editor. While it generally supports the principles of the Democratic party, it can not be classed as a party organ. Its utterances are always independent and manly.
(From A Tour of St. Louis; or, the Inside Life of a Great City by J.A. Dacus and James W. Buel, 1878).

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