|Date(s):||September 27, 1854|
|Course:||“Rise And Fall of the Slave South,” University of Virginia|
In the nineteenth century, politicians and political parties owned the newspapers, and
utilized them for their own personal agendas. Newspapers played an important role in the
advertisement and propaganda leading up to an election, no matter its size. Politicians were
scared of the newspapers and what they could do to their chances of election, if the opposing
party ran the paper.
Henry A. Wise, a Virginian politician, once made a remark about the brutality of the
industry, and its effects on the public opinion. The Hinds County Gazette, from Jackson,
Mississippi, retorted that a newspaper, properly conducted, is a blessing to an intelligent people,
and to be feared only by demagogues, tyrants, and villains. It is unclear why the people of
Mississippi would be interested in Wise, but the Gazette makes its intentions clear. The stage is
set for the future, if someone more local attacks the paper, they would automatically be
associated with Wise, and therefore slander himself in doing so.
Jeffrey Pasley goes into much greater detail as to the role in which the press played in
politics in the nineteenth century. Pasley makes it clear that antebellum newspapers were less
than objective, and cannot be relied on for a level view on history, but rather give an insight into
the political landscape of that area in respect to the political party of the paper's founder or
president. The Gazette gives a candid view of the political orientation of the area of Jackson,
Mississippi in the mid-nineteenth century, as well as the ulterior motives for it existence.