The Democratic Standard published its first number on July 4, 1837, at Georgetown, the seat of Brown County , located just north of the Ohio River in rural southwest Ohio. The paper supported Democratic interests and had a number of publishers during its short run, including Amos Derrough and Francis Allen. In 1840, after a seven-month hiatus in publication, David P. Palmer became editor and publisher, with future Union Army officer August Valentine Kautz serving as his typesetter until 1844. The paper’s motto read “Devoted to the Support of the Constitution and Laws—the Diffusion of General Intelligence—and the Reform of All Political Abuses.”
In a prospectus, written on August 1, 1840, but published in his inaugural issue on August 6, 1840, Palmer stated that the paper would “be devoted to the dissemination of correct political information, to advocating the cause of equality of rights, and to the exposition of the deception and designs of federalism.” The Standard was particularly concerned about the financial operations of the government. In addition to printing political material, such as speeches, legislative updates and editorials, it also provided “general news and miscellaneous information.” The Standard included international news, local court notices, business advertisements, and works of literature such as stories and poems.
On February 25, 1845, Palmer printed his valedictory, announcing the sale of the newspaper to William Tomlinson. He stated, “During our connection with the Standard, we have advocated those principles and measures which we sincerely believe to be in accordance with the spirit of our republican institutions, and with the designs of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the framers of the Constitution, and the best calculated to secure the greatest good to the greatest number, without injustice to any.” Tomlinson published the paper until 1847 and again in 1849. In 1850, the Standard merged with the Democrat and Journal to form the short-lived Democratic Union, which ceased publication in 1854. Starting the next year, Democrats were served by the Brown County Democrat, though the Democratic Standard did experience a brief revival from 1858 to 1859.
Researched and written by Jenni Salamon