Presenter Information

Adam Griffith

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Room 271

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Press, War, Identity

Abstract

As the Civil War raged across the South and the Trans Mississippi region, Washington Territory newspapers found themselves having to walk a political tight rope. While most of the population supported the North, politicians and civic leaders had to always remember that many of the early settlers had come from the upper South. While these people did not approve of slavery, neither did they did they appear to glory in the destruction of their home states. For this reason, newspapers at the time watched developments over slavery and the war, but wanted to emphasize uniting ideas of internal improvements like the establishment of a territorial capital, construction of a university, and the transcontinental railroad over the bloody details of the war. This presentation will examine several press reports printed in Washington Territory during the war, where they were placed in the paper and what information they contained. In this way I will theorize that while newspaper editors hesitated to display news of the war on the front pages, it was because they viewed the conflict as the sadly divided present and wanted to focus instead on an identity of a united future in Washington Territory.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Herman, Daniel

Additional Mentoring Department

History

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May 15th, 8:30 AM May 15th, 8:50 AM

Territorial Identity: How Newspapers Covered the Civil War in Washington Territory 1861-1865

SURC Room 271

As the Civil War raged across the South and the Trans Mississippi region, Washington Territory newspapers found themselves having to walk a political tight rope. While most of the population supported the North, politicians and civic leaders had to always remember that many of the early settlers had come from the upper South. While these people did not approve of slavery, neither did they did they appear to glory in the destruction of their home states. For this reason, newspapers at the time watched developments over slavery and the war, but wanted to emphasize uniting ideas of internal improvements like the establishment of a territorial capital, construction of a university, and the transcontinental railroad over the bloody details of the war. This presentation will examine several press reports printed in Washington Territory during the war, where they were placed in the paper and what information they contained. In this way I will theorize that while newspaper editors hesitated to display news of the war on the front pages, it was because they viewed the conflict as the sadly divided present and wanted to focus instead on an identity of a united future in Washington Territory.