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Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive

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  • Coverage Dates: 1808-1920
  • Audience: General, student, research

The Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive provides online access to eleven newspaper titles published in Milledgeville from 1808 to 1920. Consisting of over 49,000 newspaper pages, the archive provides historical images that are both full-text searchable and can be browsed by date. Because Milledgeville served as the state capital from 1804 to 1868, during the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods in the state's history, the site will provide researchers with particular historical insight into Georgia politics during the nineteenth century.

The city of Milledgeville was established in 1803, specifically to serve as the new centrally located capital of the state. It was named after the then current Georgia Governor, John Milledge. Newspaper publication in Milledgeville quickly accompanied the arrival of the state government and the city's earliest settlers. A. McMillan published Milledgeville's first newspaper, The Milledgeville Intelligencer, in 1808. The following year, the Georgia Journal began publication and became the city's most successful paper over the next decade before moving to Macon in 1847, eventually merging with the Macon Telegraph in 1869. Seaton Grantland and Richard Orme, both of whom had previously worked on the Georgia Journal, began printing the Southern Recorder in February of 1820. The paper leaned politically toward the state's rights doctrine and became an extremely successful publication in the state capital. Not to be outdone, Tomlinson Fort, a prominent Milledgeville physician and future mayor of the city, established the Federal Union in 1830, and steered its politics in the direction of unionism over state's rights. These two prominent papers would compete politically and commercially for readers in Milledgeville for the next forty years. In 1872, following Milledgeville's loss of capital status to Atlanta, the owner of the Southern Recorder sold the paper to his competitor, the Federal Union. The two newly merged papers became known as the Union and Recorder, eventually adopting the paper's contemporary name, the Union Recorder, in 1886. The Union Recorder continued to prosper during the remainder of the twentieth century, and today serves as the primary news organ for the city of Milledgeville.

The Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia as part of the Georgia HomePLACE initiative. The project is supported with federal LSTA funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

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