The Weekly Arizonian (1859)
The Tubac Weekly Arizonian sprang to life on March 3, 1859, as a Republican newspaper owned by the Santa Rita Silver Mining Company, published by William Wrightson, and edited by Edward E. Cross. Following a political quarrel and subsequent "bloodless" duel between Cross and territorial delegate to Congress nominee Sylvester Mowry, S. J. Jones and Company bought the Arizonian. Cross quit as editor, and the paper moved to Tucson, where it appeared as a Democratic periodical on August 4, 1859, with J. Howard Wells as editor.
The Weekly Arizonian suspended publication on June 14, 1860, but reappeared on February 9, 1861, under the editorship of Thompson M. Turner, a young attorney from Ohio, and with Charles L. Strong as publisher. According to Estelle Lutrell's Newspapers and Periodicals of Arizona, 1859-1911, Turner claimed that the paper would not take political sides and promised that he would "commit himself to no party or creed, that politics will be avoided except in the best interests of Arizona." Turner, however, never had the opportunity to prove his independence. A few months later, the September 9, 1861 issue of the Sacramento Daily Union [LCCN: sn82014928] reported that Turner had been brutally murdered by a traveling companion near Las Vegas, New Mexico. The September 2 issue of the Arizonian is purportedly the last edited by Turner.
Businessman Sidney R. DeLong and Territorial Governor Richard McCormick revived the Arizonian as a Republican paper in the fall of 1867. Its run was sporadic and the newspaper lasted only over a year when it was taken over in 1868 by Pierson W. Dooner and renamed The Weekly Arizonian. According to William H. Lyon in Those Old Yellow Dog Days: Frontier Journalism in Arizona, 1859-1912, Dooner, like Turner before him, "condemned partisanship and opposed the formation of political parties."
Despite his claims of non-partisanship, Dooner openly aligned himself with McCormick, who since had become Arizona's Republican delegate to Congress. The pair had a falling out when Dooner suddenly switched parties in the fall of 1869 and publicly supported McCormick's Democratic opponent in the upcoming election. As a result, McCormick removed the printing press, which he had purchased and allowed Dooner to use at no charge, from the Arizonian's office. Luckily, the old Mowry press that DeLong had retired during his reign as editor was still in the shop. With the help of twelve men, Dooner got it up and running. From then on, he used the Arizonian to denounce McCormick and his followers. Dooner also attempted to further the Democratic cause by experimenting with editorial techniques that were new to the Arizona frontier, including larger fonts, display type, and illustrations. Despite these fervent efforts, McCormick won the race for Congress in April 1871, after which Dooner left for California, ending the life of the Arizonian.Dates of Publication1859Frequency of PublicationWeeklyPlace of PublicationTubac, ArizonaLanguageEnglishPermissions and ReuseThe contents of the Arizona Digital Newspaper Program (ADNP) are available to the public by our partners for using in research, teaching, and private study. Please note that U.S. Copyright and intellectual property laws apply to the digital resources made available through this site.