Columbus Ohio Statesman

Daily Ohio Statesman (Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio) 1855-1870 [LCCN: sn84028645]
Digital Edition: January 2, 1861 – January 30, 1869

The Daily Ohio Statesman, a Democratic paper printed in Columbus, the seat of Franklin County, Ohio, in 1855-70, originated with the consolidation of the Ohio Monitor and the Western Hemisphere in 1837. The Monitorwas the first Democratic paper printed in Columbus and was initially established by David Smith and Ezra Griswold in 1816, the same year that Columbus became the capital of Ohio. In 1835, the Monitor, which had been purchased by Jacob Medary, was consolidated with the Western Hemisphere which had begun publication in 1833 by John Gilbert & Company. On July 5, 1837, the name of the Hemisphere was changed to the Ohio Statesman. Owned by brothers Jacob and Samuel Medary, the Statesman appeared first as a weekly paper, except during the sessions of the legislature, when it was published twice a week. Eventually, the paper would be published as the Tri-Weekly Ohio Statesman, and it continued in this way until August 11, 1847, when the first number of the Daily Ohio Statesman was issued. The Statesman became the Democratic voice of Columbus and focused on state and national political news. The politically charged paper made clear its opposition to the Union during the Civil War and often kept its readers informed with partisan reports on politics and economics. Its main competitor was the Republican Daily Ohio State Journal.

In the years that followed, the Statesman would pass through the hands of several different owners. Samuel S. Cox became the sole editor and proprietor on January 2, 1854, and quickly announced the sale of the paper on May 23, 1854, to the proprietors of the Daily Ohio State Democrat, under the name of the Franklin Printing Company. The Statesman and Democrat were consolidated to form the Daily Ohio Statesman and Democrat. The editors of the Democrat, Horace S. Knapp and Charles B. Flood, became the editors of the consolidated paper. But on February 10, 1855, the paper was transferred to Samuel Medary, who, for the third time, became its sole proprietor and editor. At this time, “Democrat” was dropped from the title, and the paper took its original name of Ohio Statesman. Medary left the paper in 1857 and in 1861 established the Columbus Crisis, a highly controversial and widely read Copperhead newspaper. Medary was later indicted for conspiracy against the government in 1864, but died before he could be tried.

After changing hands several more times, the Statesman was sold on April 1, 1872 to Dodd & Linton publishers, who changed it from a morning to an evening paper. Not long after, an announcement appeared, signed “Statesman Company, by J. P. Linton, manager,” declaring that the Daily Ohio Statesman had been merged with the Daily Dispatch, an evening paper, known for being non-partisan in politics. The Statesman Company continued to publish the Weekly Ohio Statesman and also the Sunday Statesman. In the years that followed, the Statesman would change owners and names several more times. On August 3, 1911, the paper, published by Joseph H. Harper and now titled the Columbus News, finally ceased publication.

Additional issues of the Statesman have been digitized and made available via Ohio MemoryFebruary 1, 1869 – July 20, 1872.

Researched and written by Kaylie Vermillion