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Newspaper Whig and Tribune (Jackson, Tenn.) 1870-1877

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About Whig and Tribune (Jackson, Tenn.) 1870-1877

The Jackson Whig and Tribune’s roots can be traced back to the West Tennessee Whig, a weekly established by Colonel William Ward Gates in 1842. The paper was suspended during the Civil War but was revived by Gates and James T. McCutchen in September 1865.

In 1870, the West Tennessee Whig merged with the Weekly Jackson Tribune to form the Whig and Tribune. The new title was published every Saturday by W.W. Gates & Co., and edited by Gates, Don Cameron, and Dew M. Wisdom (all Confederate Army veterans). Robert Gates (the nephew of W.W. Gates) served as local editor.

The Whig and Tribune carried foreign, domestic, and local news, market reports, and several poems in each issue. Many advertisements promoted goods and services from larger cities across the region, such as Memphis, Louisville, and Cincinnati.

Prior to the Civil War, Jackson had developed as a junction for several early railroads. However, the lines were destroyed during the war, and in the early 1870s, the Whig and Tribune campaigned to route the Memphis-Knoxville railroad through the town. A rivalry developed between the Whig and Tribune and the nearby Bolivar Bulletin when each newspaper fought strongly for the line to be routed through its town. On November 4, 1871, the Whig and Tribune carried two separate pieces on the same page in response to an earlier article in the Bolivar Bulletin: “We intend to build the road from Memphis, by way of Jackson, and as before, we do not regard the Bolivar route as at all in our way, or as in any manner conflicting with ours. […] We trust the editor of the Bulletin will bathe his head in ice water, take a drink of water straight and get a good night’s sleep.

In February 1873, W.W. Gates sold his interest in the paper to Wisdom and John T. Hicks who published under the name D.M. Wisdom & Co. Gates remained on board as part of the editorial team until September 1874 when financial difficulties prompted him to leave Jackson.

By the mid-1870s, the use of illustrations in newspapers had become increasingly widespread. In 1875, the Whig and Tribune commissioned “a series of portraits and [biographical] sketches of the lives of men who occupy, or deserve to occupy, a prominent place in the annals of Madison county and West Tennessee. […] We seek if possible to give to all men, who have lived useful, honorable, or otherwise very remarkable lives in our midst, a conspicuous place in our picture gallery. The first portrait–Dr. William E. Butler, “who may properly be considered as the founder of Jackson”–appeared on March 20. Former Whig and Tribune publisher/editor, W.W. Gates, was featured later in the series. The portraits spanned two columns at the top of the front page and were engraved by Charles Reilly of Louisville, from a photograph by McClintock & Conger of Jackson.

In June 1877, the Whig and Tribune merged with the Jackson Sun to form the Tribune and Sun. At that time, the Sun was owned and edited by former Whig and Tribune local editor, Robert Gates. Ownership and editorial control of the new paper was divided amongst the staff of both papers, D.M. Wisdom from the Whig and Tribune, and Benjamin A. Enloe and Gates of the Sun. The paper underwent several name changes during the remaining years of the 19th century before it reverted to the Jackson Sun in the 1910s. It is still published daily under the same name.

Provided By: University of Tennessee

About this Newspaper


  • Whig and Tribune (Jackson, Tenn.) 1870-1877

Dates of Publication

  • 1870-1877

Created / Published

  • Jackson, Tenn. : W.W. Gates & Co.


  • -  Jackson (Tenn.)--Newspapers
  • -  Madison County (Tenn.)--Newspapers
  • -  Tennessee--Jackson
  • -  Tennessee--Madison County
  • -  United States--Tennessee--Madison--Jackson


  • Newspapers


  • -  Weekly
  • -  Began in 1870; ceased with June 23, 1877 issue.
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • -  Description based on: Vol. 27, no. 39 (July 29, 1871).
  • -  Jackson sun (Jackson, Tenn. : Weekly) (DLC)sn 86053420 (OCoLC)13646422
  • -  Tribune and sun (DLC)sn 97065515 (OCoLC)38058667


  • volumes ; 77 cm

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn85033435

OCLC Number

  • 11984955

ISSN Number

  • 2328-0980

Preceding Titles

Succeeding Titles

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Rights & Access

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Cite This Item

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

Chicago citation style:

Whig and Tribune Jackson, Tenn. -1877. (Jackson, TN), Jan. 1 1870.

APA citation style:

(1870, January 1) Whig and Tribune Jackson, Tenn. -1877. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Whig and Tribune Jackson, Tenn. -1877. (Jackson, TN) 1 Jan. 1870. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,