Gallaher's independent. (Quitman, Ga.) 1874-1875
Place of Publication:
- Quitman, Brooks county
Dates of publication:
- Vol. 1, no. 39 (Jan. 31, 1874)-v. 3, no. 16 (Aug. 20, 1875).
Gallaher's independent. January 31, 1874
Major J. C. Gallaher published the first issue of the Independent on May 10, 1873, in Quitman, Georgia. Local demand existed for the establishment of a new newspaper out of frustration towards the Quitman Banner’s perceived conciliation to radical reconstruction, Gallaher received several requests to establish a paper in the town. The Independent was fiercely anti-reconstruction and its southern rights editorials quickly became popular in Quitman. Gallaher’s criticism of the Banner, combined with the Independent’s rising popularity, led the Banner’s owner to relinquish ownership and move to Florida. James E. Knight and Walter A. Allen assisted Gallaher as printers of the Independent. Along with mechanical work, Allen also helped Gallaher at the editorial helm. The paper was not particularly focused on news, but instead dedicated most of its sheet space to anti-reconstruction rhetoric. Visually, the paper stood apart from other south Georgia newspapers by displaying caricatures made by wood-cuts. The images, much like the paper’s editorial tone, were often racially charged and anti-Radical Republican. In January 1874, Gallaher slightly altered the masthead of the newspaper to read Gallaher’s Independent. In October of that year, the Independent’s aggressive tone became less popular following the murder of Captain James H. Hunter. Hunter was a popular local Democrat who was stabbed, according to surrounding south Georgia newspapers, while defending an African American man who claimed he was going to vote for a Democrat. Local newspapers carried the news of Hunter’s death, and the subsequent trial, for the remainder of the year. The event caused a reduced demand for newspapers with an extreme political tone, and Gallaher’s Independent was less frequently circulated, as a result. In a farewell editorial in the Independent’s last issue on August 20, 1875, Gallaher announced he sold the Independent’s printing plant to T. A. Hall and H. M. McIntosh. Hall and McIntosh used that newspaper plant to print the Quitman Reporter which continues publication today as the Quitman Free-Press.