EDUCATION is the great civilizer, and printing its greatest auxiliary. Were it not for the aid furnished by
the press the great mass of people would still be groping in the darkness of the middle ages, and knowledge would'
still remain confined within the limits of the cloister. It is surprising, when searching our libraries, to discover
how little has been written of the "Art preservative of all Arts," and the educator of all educators.
While printing has been the chronicler of all arts, professions and learning, it has recorded so little of its
own history as to leave even the story of its first invention and application wrapped in mystery and doubt. The
first regular newspaper published was called The Certain News of this Present Week. It was issued in London, England,
in 1622. In 1682 advertisements first appeared in a paper called the Mercurius Politicus. In 1787 the first American
daily journal, the Independent Gazette, made its appearance in New York. From the old Ramage press, which Faust
and Franklin used, capable of producing only a hundred impressions per hour, we have now the ponderous machine
which turns out one thousand printed, pasted and folded papers per minute.
In glancing over the pages of history we discover the gradual development in the arts and sciences. We notice that
they go hand in hand one discovery points to another, one improvement in the arts leads to others continually,
and the results of the last few centuries show that observations of no apparent use led to the most important discoveries
and developments. The falling of an apple led Newton to unfold the theory of gravitation and its relation to the
solar system; the discovery of the polarity of the loadstone led to the construction of the mariner's compass;
the observation of the muscular contraction of a frog led to the numerous applications of galvanic electricity;
the observation of the expansive force of steam led to the construction and application of the steam engine; the
observation of the influence of light on the chloride of silver led to the art of photography; the observation
of the com munication of sound by the connected rails of a railroad led to the invention of the telephone; the
impressions cut in the smooth bark of the beech tree led to the art of printing the art which transmits to posterity
a record of all that is valuable to the world.
Thus is progress discernible in every successive generation of man. Gradually has he advanced from a state of rude
barbarism and total ignorance to a degree of perfection which gives him almost absolute dominion over all elements,
and in the pride of glorious and enlightened manhood he can exclaim with Cowper:
"I am monarch of all I survey,
My right there is none to dispute;
From the center all 'round to the sea
I am lord of the fowl and the brute."
So long as mind shall occupy its seat, so long will progress be the watchword of man, and onward and upward will
be his march to an endless and limitless ascent, where all the hidden and occult secrets of creation will unfold
their mysteries to his comprehension and crown him master of them all.
The printing office has well been called the "Poor Boy's College," and has proven a better school to
many; has graduated more intellect and turned it into useful, practical channels, awakened more active, devoted
thought, than any alma mater on the earth. Many a dunce has passed through the universities with no tangible proof
of fitness other than his insensible piece of parchment, himself more sheepish, if possible, than his "sheep
skin." There is something in the very atmosphere of a printing office calculated to awaken the mind to activity
and inspire a thirst for knowledge. Franklin, Stanhope, Beranger, Thiers, Greeley, Taylor, and a host of other
names, illustrious in the world of letters and science, have been gems in the diadem of typography, and owe their
success to the influence of an apprenticeship in a newspaper office.
The newspaper has become one of the chief indexes of the intelligence, civilization and progress of the community
in which it is published, and its files are the footprints of the advancement and refinement of the period of its
publication; and the printing office is now deemed as essential as the school house or church. It has taken the
place of the rostrum and the professor's chair, and become the great teacher. No party, organization, enterprise
or calling is considered perfect without its "organ" the newspaper.
The St. Albans Adviser, Rufus Allen, editor and proprietor, was established at St. Albans in 1807, and was
published for about one year, when it died for lack of support.
The Champlain Reporter was the name of the next journalistic venture. It was issued from the office of Ambrose
Willard in 1809, on the corner of Fairfield and Main streets, St. Albans. It was a sheet that measured 24 by 19
inches It was edited by Abner Morton, a lawyer of eminence and ability. The paper advocated the claims of the Federal
party. In 1811 it was discontinued for want of patronage.
The Repository was the third newspaper venture. Colonel Jeduthan Spooner in October, 1821, commenced the
publication of the Repertory in Burlington and continued its publication until May, 1823, when the office was moved
to St. Albans and the name of the paper changed to The Repository. It became one of the leading papers of the state
and was continued until April 26, 1836. It took strong grounds against the anti Masonic movement, lost its support
and was obliged to suspend.
The Franklin Journal was started as an anti Masonic paper at St. Albans, May I, 1833, under the editorial
management of Samuel N. Sweet, who was succeeded by Joseph H. Brainerd, who continued its publication until December
7, 1837, when the paper passed into the hands of Enoch B. Whiting.
The Franklin Messenger, Enoch B. Whiting, editor and proprietor, St. Albans, made its first appearance December
14, 1837, and continued under the proprietorship of Mr. Whiting and editorial management successively of Wilbur
P. Davis, J. McLellan, William H. Whiting, Henry C. Parsons, Almont Barnes and Albert Clarke, until August I, 1870.
In 1861 Mr. Whiting started a daily paper called the Telegram, which was afterwards changed to the St. Albans Daily
Messenger, the name of the weekly being changed at the same time to its present name. August 1,1870, it came into
the possession of Albert Clarke and J. Dorsey Taylor, by purchase, who also purchased the Vermont Transcript and
consolidated it with the Messenger. Mr. Clarke became sole proprietor in 1894, by the death of Mr. Taylor. In September,
1880, Mr. Clarke sold the paper, S. B. Pettengill becoming nominal proprietor, and the latter also obtained the
St. Albans Advertiser and consolidated the two, since which time it has been known as the Messenger and Advertiser.
In May, 1882, S. B. Pettengill retired and was succeeded by D. W. Dixon as chief editor. In March, 1885, Dixon
retired and was succeeded by the present editor in chief, Warren Gibbs. In 1837 the proprietor promised "to
make it a welcome messenger to every fireside circle where religion, morality, useful knowledge and general information
are respected," and he and his successors have kept the promise. The Messenger and Advertiser of today stands
at the head of Vermont journalism.
The Franklin Republican, of Sheldon, appeared in 1837, J. W. Tuttle, editor and proprietor. It was a creditable
sheet and edited with ability. It was continued until 1839, when it ceased.
The North American, of Swanton, made its first appearance April 10, 1838, under the management of H. P.
Thomas. It was edited by sympathizers with the so called "Patriot war" of Canada, until the close of
the Canadian rebellion, when it passed into the hands of J. B. Ryan, who continued its publication until August
The Vermont Republican was started at St. Albans, July 16, 1839, by C. G. Eldridge, who was succeeded by
D. A. Danforth, who continued its publication until April, 1846.
The Loco-Foco, at Swanton, made its appearance August 15, 1839. It was a small political sheet and survived
but a few weeks.
The Swanton Herald was established at Swanton in 1852 by Ripley & Chamberlin, and published by them
until the spring of 1853, when it passed into the hands of Rev. A. J. Samson, who continued its publication until
The Democrat was started at St. Albans, by Myron F. Wilson, in August, 1852. In 1853 it passed into the
hands of Darwin Mott, who continued its publication until 1855. In August, 1858, it was revived by Myron F. Wilson
and George Church, who continued its publication until the fall of 1861, when Church enlisted in the army and the
paper was discontinued.
The Franklin County Herald appeared November 5, 1853, at Swanton, under the management of the Drury Brothers,
Lucius H. Drury being editor. The paper was discontinued in 1855
The Vermont Tribune was established at St. Albans by Samson & Somerby, January 5, 1854. After a few
months the paper passed into the hands of Z. K. Pangborn. After a struggle of about one year the paper was discontinued.
The American Journal, at Swanton, was established by an association of citizens, under the management of
H. N. Drury, with Revs. William A. Miller and A. J. Samson as editors, March to, 1855. March 14, 1856, Messrs.
Miller & Samson withdrew and H. N. Drury became manager, with Albert Sowles as editor. The paper was discontinued
March 27, 1859.
The Swanton Journal, issued at Swanton Falls, appeared May 15, 1857, under the management of H. N. Drury,
with Albert Sowles as editor. It was discontinued November 6, 1857.
The Synchronist, by John Sawyer, Br., editor and publisher, appeared at Swanton, September, 1859, as a bi
weekly, and afterwards as a weekly. It was a spicy, well edited sheet, but for want of patronage suspended publication
after one year.
The Franklin County Herald and Swanton Advertiser was issued at Swanton Falls, March 7, 1862, by J. Ketchum
Averill, editor and proprietor. The paper was continued six months at Swanton, when a change of base was made to
St. Albans, but before a paper was issued from the St. Albans office Mr. Averili gave up his venture and enlisted
in the Seventh N. Y. Volunteers.
The Vermont Transcript was established at St. Albans, in March, 1864, Henry A. Cutler was its publisher,
and George F. Houghton its editor until May 20, 1866, when Wilbur P. Davis became its editor and owner. In May,
1868, Mr. Davis commenced the publication of The Daily Transcript. In 1868 C. H. Baker and J. H. Montehore became
editors and proprietors. In 1870 the paper was sold to Clarke & Taylor, who merged it with the Daily and Weekly
Messenger. The paper had gained a large circulation, and was one of the leading papers of the state; as the price
paid for it attested. It was sold for $5,000.
Le Protected anadienne was what its name implied, a French paper. It was commenced at St. Albans in 1869,
by Rev. Z. Druon. Mr. Druon was succeeded by A. Mousette, with Fred Houde as editor. In 1872 it was sold and removed
to Worcester, Mass.
The St. Albans Transcript was established August 1, 1870, by J. H. Montefiore and A. N. Merchant. In November
of the same year A. N. Merchant became sole proprietor, with J. P. Stapleton as editor. Its publication was continued
The Franklin Journal, A. N. Merchant, editor and proprietor, was commenced in Swanton. After about one year
the press on which it was printed was removed to St. Albans, and the publication continued about three years, the
last year under the proprietorship of C. S. Kinsley, of Burlington.
The Vermont Temperance Advocate was issued at St. Albans, by Clark & Taylor, in 1871, with W. H. H.
McAllister as editor. It was established as the brgan of the Good Templar of the state. It suspended after a year's
The St. Albans Advertiser was established in 1873, as a morning daily and weekly paper, by a stock company.
A. J. Samson was its first business manager, and Lucius Bigelow its first editor. Hiram S. Harts, A. P. Cross and
J. F. McGowan followed one after the other as business managers, Stephen E. Royce, Edward S. Sears and S. B. Pettengill
acting as editors. The morning edition was discontinued after about two years, and the daily issued at noon; then
at 5 P. M. Once or twice the daily was discontinued and a semi weekly edition substituted. When the daily was finally
reestablished the weekly was discontinued. After thousands of dollars had been sunk in the enterprise it was consolidated
with the Messenger in September, 1880.
The Swanton Courier, T. M. Tobin, editor and proprietor, was commenced at Swanton, March To, 1877, and is
still continued with enough patronage to make it a paying venture.
The Fairfax Advertiser, bi weekly, was commenced at Fairfax, in 1879, by F. H. Sanborn. It was a small sheet
and existed a little over one year.
The Enosburgh Reporter was established at Enosburgh, as a Weekly, in 1879 by W. S. Roberts. It was discontinued
The St. Albans Herald was established at St. Albans by Eastman & Mombleau, in November, 1881. It was
a spicy, aggressive little weekly that made things lively for mock reformers and "rule or ruin maniacs."
It was sold by copy only, and often as many as 2,000 found ready sale each publication day. It was consolidated
with the St. Albans Home Journal May 1, 1882.
The St. Albans Home Journal was established by Charles H. Hibbard, October 1, 1881, and issued weekly by
him until June, 1882, when it was purchased by J. H. Montefiore, and consolidated with the Vermont Record.
The Vermont Record was issued June 29, 1882; J. H. Montefiore, editor and proprietor. It was a neat, twenty
eight column weekly. After a prosperous career of six months Mr. H. M. Mott, of Champlain, N. Y., became the proprietor
and editor by purchase. The paper continued under Mr. Mott's management about four weeks, when it suspended.
The Vermont Sentry was established at Swanton, February 2, 1882, by Fletcher Tarble, and was managed by
Charles R. Jamason until that gentleman became editor and proprietor. The press and material of the office was
moved to St. Albans, and the paper issued by Mr. Jamason until November, 1887, when the office was purchased by
a syndicate of gentlemen, who issued the paper under the editorial management of Hiram P. Dee until the following
February, when F. C. Smith became editor. Mr. Smith held the position until March 15, 1890, when he was succeeded
by Hiram P. Dee as editor.
The Vermont Farmers' Advocate was established by George P. Beard, editor and proprietor, March 1, 1891.
The Sentry plant was purchased, and the first number of the Advocate issued March 5, 1891. It aims specially to
advance the interests of farmers by advocating the farmer's cause, and discussing the living issues of the times.
It has secured the confidence of the leaders of the farmers' movement, and is the only farmers' paper at present
published in the state.
The Frontier Sentinel was established at Richford, in 1866, by M. F. Wilson. The paper soon passed into
the hands of J. B. Bowditch, who edited the paper for a period of about eight years with marked ability, when he
retired from its control. The paper passed through several hands until 1878, when it was discontinued.
The Richford Gazette was established at Richford in 1878; M. J. Maloney, editor and publisher. It is an
aggressive, wide awake sheet, established on a firm, paying basis.
The Green Mountain Journal made its first appearance October 15, 1878; Charles L. Reed, editor and proprietor.
In 1881 the name of the paper was changed to the Richford Journal, under which name it is now published.
History of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties Vermont
Edited by: Lewis Cass Aldrich
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y.
Franklin County, VT
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium