The Welsh in Tennessee Newspapers

March 1st is St David’s Day – the national day of Wales. To celebrate, here’s a Wales/Tennessee connection …

I attended a talk recently at the East Tennessee Historical Society here in Knoxville: The Welsh of Tennessee by Eirug Davies. In his talk (and book) Mr Davies mentioned an eisteddfod that had taken place in Chattanooga in the 1890s, and he showed some newspaper articles. Given my interest in all things Welsh (being “Cardiff born and Cardiff bred”) and newspapers, I did a little sleuthing to see what else there might be in the newspapers about this event.

The articles below are from the Chattanooga Times. The event was well advertised and, according to the following reports, was an outstanding success. Check back on Friday for more Wales/USA/newspaper connections.

Click on the images to enlarge.

October 27 and 30, 1891:

Chattanooga Eisteddofd   Chattanooga Eisteddfod 1891

From October 25 and 30, 1891:

Chattanooga Eisteddfod 1891       Chattanooga eisteddfod 1891

The McMinn County Manifesto, 1868

While researching for the Athens Post essay for Chronicling America, I came across this little treasure in UT Libraries’ Special Collections. The handwritten piece bears the title, “The McMinn Manifesto,” but this might be a little misleading. It is an article written in long-hand by William G. “Parson” Brownlow for publication in his newspaper, Brownlow‘s Knoxville Whig, June 17, 1868, col.5-6. The note–which is signed “Editor”–includes instructions to the printer to insert the “proceedings entire” at the end of the piece. The “proceedings entire” were a reprint of “A call for a public meeting of the citizens of McMinn County” from the Athens Post, October 3, 1862, col.2. The meeting’s resolutions (Athens Post, October 10, 1862, col.1), in which the citizens of McMinn County were urged to pledge their loyalty to the Confederacy, were also printed in Brownlow’s piece.

Brownlow’s article appears to be a rewrite of a very similar article (of his) published in his Knoxville Tri-weekly Whig and Rebel Ventilator, July 26, 1864, col.3. Brownlow, a staunch supporter of the Union, used his newspaper to denounce the Confederacy and its supporters. His combative reaction to the Athens Post’s articles is typical of his out-spoken editorial style. Brownlow’s 1868 rewrite of his earlier article may have been prompted by his recent visit to Athens, Tenn. The purpose of that visit was to rally support for Ulysses S. Grant’s presidential campaign. He mentions Grant and Colfax at the end of this piece.

McMinn County Manifesto

The article as it appeared in Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig, June 17, 1868: McMinn County Manifesto in newspaper

New titles for TNDP Phase II

The Advisory Group has selected the newspapers for the next phase of the Tennessee Newspaper Digitization Project. We’ll be continuing some of the titles from Phase I, others are new to the project. The focus is around the Gilded Age, so dates range from 1870s-1900. Here’s the list:

Bolivar Bulletin; Camden Chronicle; Clarksville Chronicle/Tobacco Leaf-Chronicle; Columbia Herald; Johnson City Comet; Knoxville Daily Chronicle; Lawrence Democrat; Maryville Times; Memphis Daily Appeal; Milan Exchange; Morristown Gazette; [Nashville] American; Nashville Globe; Pulaski Citizen; Rugbeian; Sequachee Valley News; Savannah Courier; Southern Standard [McMinnville]; Winchester Home Journal

A Chattanooga paper will also be included. We’re waiting to hear about the availability of negatives before we can make the final decision on which one. Watch this space!

Here’s a map of Phase I’s geographical coverage. Page count totals are about equal for the three Grand Divisions.

TNDP phase one map


Two interesting graphs from Rowell’s US Newspaper Directory (1894) showing state population/number of newspapers, and the area of each state.

Population and newspapers 1890State size 1894

More on Rowell’s soon …