Lancaster Gazette series

Lancaster Gazette (Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio) 1846-1852 [LCCN: sn87070038]
Digital Edition: July 2, 1847 – April 22, 1852
Weekly Lancaster Gazette (Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio) 1852-1855 [LCCN: sn88078726]
Digital Edition: May 6, 1852 – February 8, 1855
American Lancaster Gazette (Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio) 1855-1860 [LCCN: sn85026105]
Digital Edition: February 15, 1855 – March 29, 1860
Gazette and Democrat (Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio) 1860-1860 [LCCN: sn88078725]
Digital Edition: April 5, 1860 – November 8, 1860
Weekly Lancaster Gazette (Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio) 1860-1863 [LCCN: sn88078724]
Digital Edition: November 15, 1860 – June 11, 1863
Lancaster Gazette (Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio) 1863-1886 [LCCN: sn84024207]
Digital Edition: June 18, 1863 – June 30, 1870

The Lancaster Gazette was established by George Sanderson and Benjamin Oswald on April 4, 1826, in Lancaster, the seat of Fairfield County, Ohio. It was the organ of the Whig Party and competed directly with the Democratic Ohio Eagle, which was the county’s first paper, having published its first issue in 1807. Fairfield County was predominantly Democratic, and despite its minority political affiliation, and the number of changes in ownership, editorship, and name that the Gazette would experience over the next century, the weekly publication gradually increased in both size and popularity. Eventually, it achieved circulation numbers that surpassed all but a few of Ohio’s county papers.

In 1852, under the leadership of George Weaver, the paper became known as the Weekly Lancaster Gazette. The Gazette supported the Know-Nothing or American Party for a short time starting in 1855, changing its name to the American Lancaster Gazette. The new masthead incorporated a portrait of President George Washington and included one of his quotes as a motto: “Place None but Americans on Guard.” After the 1856 Republican National Convention, the paper began to support the Republican Party. In 1859, Robert M. Clarke and John M. Sutphen took over the paper and a new motto appeared across the masthead: “When the Press Compromises Truth, it Ceases to be the Guardian of Liberty.” Their salutatory address stated that “With whatever force we may muster, we shall engage the Democratic party—strike at its corruptions—lay bear (sic) its errors and expose its utter destitution of principle.” The Gazette was opposed the extension of slavery but did not advocate for racial equality.

In 1860, Dr. Hervey Scott purchased the Gazette and another paper by the name of the American Democrat, merging them to form the Gazette and Democrat. Its motto was “The Union of the States—One Country—One Destiny.” He soon sold the paper back to Clarke and Sutphen, who were joined by William H. Kooken. They changed the name of the publication to the Weekly Lancaster Gazette. By 1863, Clarke’s interest had been purchased by A.P. Miller and the paper dropped “weekly” from its title to become the Lancaster Gazette once again. During the Civil War, the Gazette was the “uncompromising advocate of the Union” and supported all efforts by the national government to suppress the rebellion. Many of its pages were devoted to state and national political news, but the Gazette also printed poetry and items of local interest, including marriage and death announcements, court bulletins, agricultural information, business news, and advertisements. In 1936, the Lancaster Gazette merged with the Lancaster Daily Eagle to form the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette which still serves Lancaster and Fairfield County today.

Researched and written by Jenni Salamon