The free press. (Cartersville, Ga.) 1878-1883



The free press.

Place of Publication:

Cartersville, Ga.

Geographic coverage:

  • Cartersville, Bartow county


C.H.C. Willingham

Dates of publication:



  • Began in July 1878; ceased in 1883?




  • English


  • Bartow County (Ga.)--Newspapers.
  • Cartersville (Ga.)--Newspapers.
  • Georgia--Bartow County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01214862
  • Georgia--Cartersville.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01216881


  • Also on microfilm: Athens, Ga. : University of Georgia Libraries.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 6 (Aug. 22, 1878).





The free press. August 22, 1878


Charles Hardman Clark (C. H. C.) Willingham published the first issue of the Free Press on July 18, 1878 in Cartersville, Georgia. Before moving to Cartersville, Willingham already had a long career as a newspaperman, which included notable stints at the Athens Watchman, LaGrange Reporter, Atlanta Daily Sun, and Rome Courier. Willingham originally came to Cartersville in 1875 to publish the Cartersville Express, but his outspoken opposition to conservative Bourbon Democrats motivated local politicians to suppress his paper. The Free Press, which Willingham established using his own funds, circulated every Thursday at a subscription rate of two dollars and identified as an “independent Democratic journal.” This political alignment largely manifested in fierce support for Dr. William Felton, a reform-minded Democrat from Georgia’s seventh district. Willingham was assisted by his son Cornelius until 1880 when he joined the Savannah Morning News office. While C. H. C. Willingham’s fiery writing put him at odds with many North Georgia newspapers, perhaps his greatest rival was his former employer, the Rome Courier. The Free Press and Rome Courier frequently criticized one another with the Courier stating it felt “compelled to look upon the Free Press as a paper opposing Democracy” (May 31, 1879), and the Free Press calling the Courier’s “editorial breath” intolerable (June 21, 1879). On December 30, 1884, C. H. C. Willingham succumbed to pneumonia and was the third oldest editor in Georgia at the time of his death. His sons, Alex and Jesse Willingham, attempted to continue the Free Press following their father’s passing, but the paper eventually ceased publication in early 1885.