The daily new era. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1865-1869
Place of Publication:
- Atlanta, Fulton county
Dates of publication:
- Began in 1865; ceased in 1869.
- Atlanta (Ga.)--Newspapers.
- Fulton County (Ga.)--Newspapers.
- Georgia--Fulton County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01211153
- Also on microfilm from University of Georgia Libraries (Athens), and the Library of Congress, Photoduplication Service.
- Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 59 (Sept. 23, 1865).
The daily new era. August 13, 1865
John S. Prather and H. T. Phillips established the Daily New Era in Atlanta, Georgia in July 1865. The paper’s first editor was Georgia Republican William Scruggs, but Samuel Bard acquired the New Era in October 1866. Bard, a former Confederate captain and Louisiana Democrat, gave the New Era a Democratic character by defending Andrew Johnson’s resistance to harsher Reconstruction plans and editorializing against ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. Bard’s tone, however, dramatically shifted after the success of Republicans in the mid-term elections of 1866. On February 26, 1867, he published a letter from Joseph E. Brown that advised Georgians to accept the military reconstruction acts; Bard’s opinion was that resistance to the acts would further slow Georgia’s economic recovery. Bard was a hesitant Republican journalist and the kept New Era’s politics decidedly more conservative compared to its Republican counterpart in Augusta, Georgia. In the summer of 1867, T. P. Robb, a Union army veteran and postmaster in Savannah, bought interest in the New Era in an effort to move the paper towards a more overtly Republican newspaper. Bard earned state and federal printing patronage by the end of 1867, in part due to Robb’s influence at the New Era. This drew the ire of other prominent Georgia Republican journalists like William Scruggs of the Opinion, who noted Bard’s very recent alignment with the Republican Party. By the time of Bard’s appointment as state printer on August 6, 1868, the New Era was one of two Republican papers in Atlanta with only five Republican sheets in the entire state. By 1869, Jason Clark Swayze’s American Union and Bard’s Daily New Era were the only remaining Republican papers in Georgia. Swayze was a much less abashed Republican than Bard and the two papers frequently sparred with one another. Samuel Bard, despite his status as state printer, criticized Governor Rufus Bullock over the topic of federal military intervention in Georgia. In response to Bard’s increasing criticism, Bullock removed state-owned railroad advertisements from the pages of the New Era. Bullock could not remove Bard as state printer, so, despite losing crucial advertising revenue, Bard was able to sustain the New Era through 1869. Bard left the paper in late 1869 after President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him as territorial governor of Idaho. In January of 1870, Hannibal I. Kimball and John Rice, both Bullock supporters, gathered money to purchase the New Era, but were not themselves owners of the publication. The new owners of the publication were never made public. Former New Era editor William Scruggs of the now defunct Opinion was appointed as editor of the newspaper. The paper’s criticism of Governor Bullock ceased and Scruggs used the New Era to voice support for the governor. By the 1870s, the New Era was supporting itself almost entirely on federal and state patronage. When mounting political and public challenges pressured Governor Bullock to resign office in October of 1871, the New Era lost one of its few remaining government allies. The New Era ceased printing in 1872 after the state Legislature appointed a new, Democratic, state printer and the newspaper could no longer financially sustain itself.