Top of page

Newspaper Elizabeth Daily Monitor (Elizabeth, N.J.) 1868-1880

View All Front Pages

About Elizabeth Daily Monitor (Elizabeth, N.J.) 1868-1880

The Elizabeth Daily Monitor was started on September 23, 1868 as a daily Independent Republican newspaper by James Madison Drake and Foster M. Cushing who were editors and publishers. Drake and Foster dissolved their partnership in January of 1869, and J. Madison Drake continued as sole editor and proprietor.

By 1868 Elizabeth had a population of approximately 20,000, largely because of Irish and German immigration. Railroads and manufacturing were transforming Elizabeth into an industrial hub, and in 1873, the Singer Sewing Machine Factory opened and built a workforce of over six thousand, at the time the largest in the world.

J. Madison Drake was from a newspaper publishing family as his father owned the New-Jersey Journal where Drake learned the printing trade. At 15, Drake began working at the Daily True American, and before he was 20, he was editor and publisher of the Mercer Standard, a literary paper. He started several short-lived newspapers prior to the start of the Civil War. After serving in the Civil War and receiving medals for bravery, he returned to private life in Elizabeth and began publication of the Elizabeth Daily Monitor in 1868.

In their inaugural issue, Drake and Cushing let the public know that they intended their paper to be focused on local news and that they would publish the full proceedings of the city council, the courts and public meetings and that every matter of local interest would be published daily. In order to maintain an elevated, high-toned position, they would not publish matters of a personal nature. Rapidly urbanizing the Elizabeth Daily Monitor was one of three daily newspapers being published in Elizabeth along with the Elizabeth Daily Journal and the Elizabeth Daily Herald.

While initially the Daily Monitor fulfilled its promise of quality local and state news coverage, its four pages and seven columns soon became dominated by advertisements. In April of 1869, the Daily Monitor replaced most of its front page with what it termed “The Elizabeth Directory,” columns of mostly classified advertisements. In a column on April 1, Drake asks subscribers to “bear with us in all our shortcomings” as “we have never been troubled by a large amount of ‘capital.'”

Financial troubles continued to plague Drake. The Wall Street crash of September 1873 led to a tightening of credit, and in October of 1873, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle announced that Drake had been briefly arrested during a visit to New York on complaint of Henry Linenmeyer & Co., paper dealers who charged that he had defrauded them of $3,000. He had purchased paper on which to print the Elizabeth Daily Monitor stating that he owned a large amount of property in Elizabeth. It was later found that the property was held in his wife’s name.

Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, Drake was a Civil War hero as well as a prolific author and publisher. He published the Elizabeth Daily Monitor until 1881.

Provided By: Rutgers University Libraries

About this Newspaper


  • Elizabeth Daily Monitor (Elizabeth, N.J.) 1868-1880

Dates of Publication

  • 1868-1880

Created / Published

  • Elizabeth, N.J. : J. Madison Drake, 1868-


  • -  Elizabeth (N.J.)--Newspapers
  • -  New Jersey--Elizabeth
  • -  United States--New Jersey--Union--Elizabeth


  • Newspapers


  • -  Daily
  • -  Vol. 1, no. 1 (Sept. 23, 1868)-
  • -  Ceased in 1880? Cf. Wright, W.C. and Stellhorn, P.A. Direct. of N.J. newspapers.
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.


  • volumes ; 69 cm

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn83032217

OCLC Number

  • 10217589

ISSN Number

  • 2835-2173

Additional Metadata Formats


Rights & Access

The Library of Congress believes that the newspapers in Chronicling America are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions. Newspapers published in the United States more than 95 years ago are in the public domain in their entirety. Any newspapers in Chronicling America that were published less than 95 years ago are also believed to be in the public domain, but may contain some copyrighted third party materials. Researchers using newspapers published less than 95 years ago should be alert for modern content (for example, registered and renewed for copyright and published with notice) that may be copyrighted. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.

The NEH awardee responsible for producing each digital object is presented in the Chronicling America page display, below the page image – e.g. Image produced by the Library of Congress. For more information on current NDNP awardees, see

For more information on Library of Congress policies and disclaimers regarding rights and reproductions, see

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Elizabeth Daily Monitor Elizabeth, N.J. -1880. (Elizabeth, NJ), Jan. 1 1868.

APA citation style:

(1868, January 1) Elizabeth Daily Monitor Elizabeth, N.J. -1880. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Elizabeth Daily Monitor Elizabeth, N.J. -1880. (Elizabeth, NJ) 1 Jan. 1868. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,