The Atlanta Georgian. (Atlanta, GA.) 1906-1907
Place of Publication:
- Atlanta, Fulton county
Dates of publication:
- Vol. 1, no. 1 (Apr. 25, 1906)-v. 1, no. 243 (Feb. 1, 1907).
- Atlanta (Ga.)--Newspapers.
- Fulton County (Ga.)--Newspapers.
- Georgia--Fulton County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01211153
- Merged with: Atlanta evening news, to form: Atlanta Georgian and news.
- Published in several editions.
The Atlanta Georgian. June 1, 1906
Frederick Loring Seely and John Temple Graves conspicuously launched the Atlanta Georgian with a special 36-page issue on April 25, 1906. With an initial 17,000 subscribers, the Georgian became Atlanta's third-largest daily broadsheet and an evening competitor to The Atlanta Journal. Weeks before the Georgian's first issue, large advertisements appeared in newspapers across Georgia emphasizing the paper's independence and its privately leased telegram wire; using the penny-press business model, the Georgian stressed its access to the most up-to-date information. As a famous New South orator, politician, and writer, Graves' name accompanied each advertisement in bold lettering beneath the soon-to-be paper's name. Former Atlanta Journal and Atlanta News employees, made up the Georgian's staff, including Charles J. Bayne, another noteworthy Southern writer. The newspaper's early political content advocated for prohibition, criticized Georgia's convict-lease system, and pushed for child labor laws. Graves, also a notable segregationist and defender of lynch law, expressed these beliefs in widely circulated editorials.
Throughout the 1906 gubernatorial campaigns, the Georgian supported segregationist and reform Democrat Hoke Smith; the paper's Democratic politics continued for the rest of its 33-year run. Additionally, the sheet contributed to growing racial tensions in the city, and circulated unsubstantiated claims of alleged assaults on white women, supposedly perpetuated by Black men. These headlines culminated in the September 22, 1906, Atlanta Race Riot, which lasted three days and drew international attention to the city. Over three days, the violence resulted in the death of at least twenty-five Black residents. Thriving on controversy, the Georgian later published sensational, and often unconfirmed, front-page stories related to the infamous Leo Frank Case.
The Georgian became the Atlanta Georgian and News in February 1907 after it absorbed the recently bankrupt Atlanta News, and this officially made the Georgian the leading sensationalist and society paper in the city. In October 1907, Graves accepted an editor position with William Randolph Hearst's New York American, but the Georgian continued to feature Graves as a special contributor. By 1908, Edwin Camp and Lucian Lamar Knight managed the paper's editorial department.
In February 1912, Hearst extended his chain of newspapers with a $360,000 purchase of the Atlanta Georgian and News. Graves resumed editorial control of the Atlanta Georgian, which gradually introduced multiple daily editions, syndicated two-column back-page editorials, and eye-catching banner headlines; all identifying characteristics of a Hearst newspaper. Hearst's Atlanta Sunday American first published from the Georgian plant on April 6, 1913. During this period, the paper employed Mildred Seydell, one of the first women newspaper journalists in Georgia, as managing editor of its "society" page.
When World War I began in August 1914, the Georgian boasted daily circulation rates exceeding 51,000. Its eight, or more, editions published every piece of war news it obtained, regardless of the source. After 33 years as one of Atlanta's most notorious newspapers, the Georgian published its last issue on December 16, 1939. Former U.S. congressperson, Ohio governor, and presidential candidate, James M. Cox purchased both the Atlanta Georgian and Atlanta Journal, but he ceased publication of the Georgian.