All the cartoons and much of the commentary on this website appeared in newspapers and journals during 1896. These journals had widely varying circulations and influence, a fact you should keep in mind when viewing them. Some newspapers received funds from the political parties; as a result, those that supported the well-funded Republicans tended to be more financially stable and influential than those with Democratic or, especially, Populist leanings. You will notice that the color cartoons on this site--from expensive-to-print journals such as the previously Democratic Puck, which published a few pages in color, are all anti-Bryan.

Some journals advertised themselves as "independent"--though almost all endorsed one candidate or another by the end of the campaign. Such journalism was a new, unfamiliar idea in the U.S., since political parties and newspapers had been mutually dependent during most of the nineteenth century. The 1896 campaign clearly showed the tensions between the passions of an important national election and the desires of some journalists for new, "objective" reporting standards.

Newspapers often reflected the local concerns of their constituents, from sheep ranching in California to Caribbean affairs in New Orleans. For more information on two of the country's most powerful newspapermen--who were engaged in a bitter circulation war in 1896--see the background page on Pulitzer and Hearst.

Little is known about many of the cartoonists whose work appears on this site. Some are anonymous. Historian Jim Zwick has compiled a great deal of information on the Web about the history of U.S. political cartoons in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. By far the most famous cartoonist of 1896 was Homer Davenport (described in this link, from Zwick's site, in a 1912 obituary from the magazine Review of Reviews). Davenport's cartoons appeared in the New York Journal, and he became increasingly famous in subsequent campaigns for his caricatures of Mark Hanna and the trusts. The influence of Davenport is evident in many silver Democratic cartoons on this site--some of which acknowledge this with a scribbled note, and many of which portray Hanna, as Davenport did, in a checked business suit with a motif of dollar signs (for example, September 12) .

Circulation figures on this page are derived from N.W. Ayer & Son, The American Newspaper Annual (New York, 1897) and should be treated with caution. Some newspapers reported their "average" circulation for the year, though readership rose sharply between the summer doldrums and the fall election season. Ayer published his annual listing to help businessmen locate likely markets for their products and to identify journals that served those markets through purchased advertising. Thus, managers and editors had reason to inflate their circulation figures, or at least to offer the highest possible estimate.

L'Abeille de Nouvelle Orleans (The Bee), New Orleans, Louisiana
Democratic, founded 1827
Bee Publishing Co.
Weekday mornings, circ 12,800
Saturdays, circ 10,000

American Nonconformist and Kansas Industrial Liberator, Winfield, Kansas
Populist, founded 1879
C. Vincent, editor and publisher
Weekly (Thursdays), circ 30,000

The Arena, Boston, Mass.
Literary, founded 1889
Arena Publishing Co.
Monthly, circ 35,000

Arkansas Gazette, Little Rock
Democratic, founded 1819
J. N. Smithe, editor; Gazette Publishing Co.
Mornings except Mondays, circ 5,100
Sundays, circ 7,000

Atlanta Constitution, Georgia
Democratic, founded 1868
Constitution Publishing Co.
Mornings, circ 17,500
Sundays, circ 7,000

Birmingham State Herald, Alabama
Democratic, founded 1887
AGE-Herald Publishing Co.
Mornings except Mondays, circ 5,000
Sundays, circ 7,500

Boston Globe, Massachusetts
Independent, founded 1877
Globe Newspaper Co.
Mornings, 188,247
Sundays, circ 257,453

Charleston News & Courier, South Carolina
Democratic, founded 1803
News & Courier Co.
Mornings, circ 8,000
Sundays, circ 7,500

Chicago Record, Illinois
Independent, founded 1866
Victor F. Lawson, editor and publisher
Weekly (Saturdays), circ 6,660

Chicago Times, Illinois
Independent, founded 1854
Chicago Herald Co.
Mornings, circ 70,000
Sundays, circ 110,000

Chicago Tribune, Illinois
Republican, founded 1846
Mornings, circ 110,000
Sundays, circ 175,000

Cleveland Gazette (Colored), Ohio
Republican, founded 1883
H. C. Smith, editor and publisher
Weekly (Saturdays), circ 5,000

The Coming Nation, Cave Mills, Tenn.
Political Reform, founded 1894
Ruskin Cooperative Association, editors and publishers
Weekly (Saturdays); no advertising accepted; no circulation information

The Critic, New York, N.Y.
Literary, founded 1856
J. B. and J. L. Gilder, editors
Weekly (Saturdays), circ 5,500

Denver News, Colorado
No information available

Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah
Mormon, founded 1867
Deseret News Publishing Co.
Mornings, circ 4,400

Emporia Gazette, Kansas
Republican, founded 1890
W. A. White, editor and publisher
Weekly (Thursdays), circ 1,400

Harper's Weekly, New York, N.Y.
Literary, founded 1856
Harper & Bros.
Weekly (Saturdays), circ 80,000

Idaho Statesman, Boise
Republican, founded 1864
Statesman Printing Co.
Mornings, circ 1,452

Inter Ocean, Chicago, Illinois
Republican, founded 1872
Mornings, circ 75,000

Judge, New York, N.Y.
Humorous (Republican), founded 1881
Weekly (Saturdays), circ 85,000

Labor Advocate, Birmingham, Alabama

Leslie's Weekly, New York, N.Y.
Literary, founded 1852
John Y. Foster, editor; Arkell Weekly Co.
Weekly (Tuesdays), circ 65,000

Los Angeles Times, California
Independent Republican, founded 1881
Times-Mirror Co.
Mornings, circ 18,388
Sundays, circ 23,500

Louisville Courier-Journal, Kentucky
Democratic, founded 1868
Louisville Courier-Journal Co.
Mornings, circ 22,000
Sundays, circ 30,000

National Bimetallist, Denver, Colorado
No information available

National Reflector (Colored), Wichita, Kansas
Republican, founded 1895
G. Wesley White, editor and publisher
Weekly (Saturdays)
No circulation information available

Nevada State Journal, Reno
Silver Party, founded 1872
E. D. Kelley and William Webster, editors and publishers
Mornings, circ 1,200
Saturdays, circ 700

New Road, Denver, Colorado
Independent Silver, founded 1884
Herbert George, editor; Road Publishing Co.
Weekly (Sundays), circ 7460

New York Advertiser, New York
No information available

New York Journal, New York
Democratic, founded 1882
W. R. Hearst, publisher
Daily; no circulation information available

New York Times, New York
Democratic, founded 1851
New York Times Publishing Co.
Mornings, 75,000
Sundays, 80,000

New York Tribune, New York
Republican, founded 1841
Whitelaw Reid, editor; Tribune Publishing Co.
Mornings, 60,000
Sundays, 100,000

New York World, New York
Democratic, founded 1860
Press Publishing Co.
Mornings, circ 370,000
Sundays, circ 568,000

Overland Monthly, San Francisco, California
Literary, founded 1868
Rousevelle Wildman, editor; Overland Monthly Publishing Co.
Monthly, circ 10,000

People's Advocate, Columbiana, Alabama
Silver Democratic
Weekly (Thursdays)

People's Party Paper, Atlanta, Georgia
Populist, founded 1891
Our Publishing Co.
Weekly (Fridays), circ 14,000

Poughkeepsie Eagle, New York
Republican, founded 1828
Platt & Platt, editors and publishers
Mornings except Sundays, circ 2,900

Public Opinion, New York, N.Y.
Eclectic, founded 1886
Public Opinion Co.
Weekly (Thursdays), circ 18,740

Puck, New York, N.Y.
Humorous (Democratic), founded 1877
Keppler & Schwarzmann, publishers
Weekly (Wednesdays), circ 89,700

Raleigh News and Observer, North Carolina
Democratic, founded 1872
News & Observer Publishing Co.
Mornings, circ 3,600
Weekly edition (Thursdays), circ 14,000

The Ram's Horn
See detailed circulation information on The Ohio State University Ram's Horn site

The Representative, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Populist, founded 1893
Ignatius Donnelley, editor
Representative Publishing Co.
Weekly (Wednesdays), circ 7,000

Review of Reviews, New York, N.Y.
Literary, founded 1890
Albert Shaw, editor; Review of Reviews Co.
Monthly, circ 90,833

Rock Springs Miner, Wyoming
Republican, founded 1881
Robert Smith, editor and publisher
Weekly (Thursdays), circ 750

Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colorado
Independent, founded 1859
Thomas M. Patterson, editor; RMN Printing Co.
Mornings, circ 25,189
Sundays, circ 32,159

St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Missouri
Republican, founded 1852
Globe Printing Co.
Mornings, circ 69,835
Sundays, circ 78,463

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri
Independent, founded 1851
Charles H. Jones, editor; Pulitzer Publishing Co.
Evenings except Sundays, circ 78,289
Sundays, circ 83,642

St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minnesota
Republican, founded 1854
J. A Wheelock, editor; Pioneer Press Co.
Mornings, circ 25,775
Weekly edition (Thursdays), circ 28,300

Salt Lake Tribune, Utah
Independent Republican, founded 1868
C. C. Goodwin, editor; Tribune Publishing Co.
Mornings, circ 8,196
Sundays, circ 11,869

Salt Lake Utahnian, Utah
Free Silver, founded 1896
P. Donan, editor; Utahnian Publishing Co.
Weekly (Saturdays); no circulation information

San Francisco Examiner, California
Independent, founded 1865
W. R. Hearst, editor and publisher
Mornings, circ 75,930
Sundays, circ 88,498

Scientific American, New York, N.Y.
Science and Mechanics, founded 1845
Munn & Co.
Weekly (Saturdays), circ 47,500

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Washington
Post-Intelligencer Company
Mornings, circ 12,000
Sundays, circ 14,000

Sound Money, Massillon, Ohio
Populist, founded 1895
Jacob S. Coxey, publisher
Weekly (Thursdays); no circulation information available

Union Signal, Chicago, Illinois
Temperance, founded 1871
Frances E. Willard, editor
Woman's Temperance Publishing Assoc.
Weekly (Thursdays), circ 87,486

The Verdict
No information available

Woman's Journal, Boston, Mass.
Woman Suffrage, founded 1869
Henry B. and Alice Stone Blackwell, editors and publishers
Weekly (Saturdays), circ 4,500

Women's Exponent, Salt Lake City, Utah
Mormon, founded 1882
Emmeline B. Wells, editor and publisher
Semi-Monthly, circ 700

Woman's Tribune, Washington, D.C.
Woman Suffrage, founded 1883
Clara Bewick Colby, editor and publisher
Weekly (Saturdays), circ 4,000


© 2000, Rebecca Edwards, Vassar College