A Brief History of the Newspaper
The first newspaper in America was published in 1769 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was the first widely published newspaper in the entire country, with a total circulation of more than one million copies a week. It is one of the first papers published on printing presses, and the earliest surviving copy is a rare first edition. Today, this first edition is on display at the New York Historical Society in New York City.
The Evening Journal or the New Orleans Times was started in 1819 as the first New Orleans daily newspaper. It served as the personal newspaper of the French commander in chief, Napoleon Bonaparte. Unlike the Evening Journal, which was designed for the use of the general public, the New Orleans Times was designed for the exclusive use of the politicians, royalty and people in high places. It was initially established as the personal newspaper of General Louis Major, then the French Prime Minister. The editor, Gabriel Couscous, made sure that only those who had some stake in the events in the city were allowed to participate in the editorial process of the newspaper.
After the death of Napoleon, the Grand Duke of Spanish Spain, the Spanish government handed power over the printing, editorial and advertising parts of the newspaper to a new company, the New Orleans News Messenger. This paper was redesigned to reflect the new editorial guidelines, which consisted of one column for each political subdivision, and one column for a sports story. Its first owner was printer and dealer extraordinaire Aaron Montgomery Ward, who added new sections on labor, religion, education, literature, finance and local news. When Ward died in 1847, his brother, George Montgomery took over management and the newspaper gradually became a sister publication to the New Orleans Times Messenger. It later became the National News.