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Newspaper Knoxville Whig and Chronicle (Knoxville, Tenn.) 1875-1882 Whig and chronicle / Knoxville weekly Whig and chronicle

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About Knoxville Whig and Chronicle (Knoxville, Tenn.) 1875-1882

Knox Countian, William Rule began in journalism in 1860 as a “printer’s devil” on Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig. When Confederate forces shut down Parson William G. Brownlow’s paper in 1861, Rule enlisted in the Union Army and by the time he mustered out in 1865 had become a first lieutenant. After the war “Captain” Rule joined the editorial staff at the revived Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig, leaving in 1869 after Brownlow became a United States Senator and the paper switched political allegiance to support the Democratic Party. Although the majority of voters in Knox County and East Tennessee were Republicans, the city of Knoxville had no Republican paper. On April 6, 1870, Rule and his associate, Henry C. Tarwater, inaugurated the Knoxville Weekly Chronicle. A daily edition –the Knoxville Daily Chronicle –followed a month later. The paper was published from the pre-war offices of Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig on Gay Street. In October 1870, Tarwater sold his share of the paper to editorial employee, August J. Ricks. Then in 1875 Ricks sold his share in the paper to Brownlow as he returned to Knoxville after his senatorial term in Washington. Even in failing health and physically unable to write, Brownlow held the title of editor-in-chief. The name of the weekly edition was changed to the Knoxville Whig and Chronicle, acknowledging Brownlow’s continuing prominence.

During these early days of the Knoxville Daily Chronicle, Rule gave a start to a young boy who would later become the publisher of the New York Times. At age 11, Adolph Ochs was a newsboy for the Chronicle. At age 12 he became an office boy and then went on to learn the printing trade as a “printer’s devil.” Under Rule’s guidance, Ochs became a reporter in his late teens and later purchased the Chattanooga Times and in 1896, the New York Times

After Brownlow’s death in 1877, his share of the Chronicle was sold to long-time employee Rudolph A. Brown, with Rule continuing as editor until November 1882. Earlier that year, Rule had denounced the editors of the rival Knoxville Daily Tribune as “cowardly puppies.” Tribune editor James W. Wallace challenged Rule in the street and demanded a retraction; Rule responded by breaking his cane over Wallace’s head. Wallace drew his pistol and fired, but the shots missed.

In late 1882, the Knoxville Daily Chronicle was sold to a stock company, and Henry R. Gibson was named editor. An attorney and politician, Gibson had founded the Knoxville Republican in 1879. Upon purchasing the Knoxville Chronicle, he merged the two papers to create the Republican Chronicle. In 1886, after several changes of editor, the paper went into receivership and was sold at a public sale in Nashville to one of its creditors. Shortly thereafter the Republican Chronicle was sold again to William Rule and Samuel Marfield who were then publishers of the Knoxville Journal. The two papers merged, but “Chronicle” was dropped from the title. William Rule continued to serve as editor until his death in 1928, aged 89. He was described by Time magazine as “the oldest active editor in the U.S.”

Provided By: University of Tennessee

About this Newspaper


  • Knoxville Whig and Chronicle (Knoxville, Tenn.) 1875-1882

Other Title

  • Whig and chronicle
  • Knoxville weekly Whig and chronicle

Dates of Publication

  • 1875-1882

Created / Published

  • Knoxville, Tenn. : Whig and Chronicle Co., 1875-1882.


  • -  Knoxville (Tenn.)--Newspapers
  • -  Knox County (Tenn.)--Newspapers
  • -  Tennessee--Knox County
  • -  Tennessee--Knoxville
  • -  United States--Tennessee--Knox--Knoxville


  • Newspapers


  • -  Weekly
  • -  Vol. 36, no. 49 (Mar. 3, 1875)-v.44, no. 37 (Dec. 6, 1882).
  • -  Editors: William Gannaway Brownlow, 1875-<1877>; Wm. Rule, <1877>-1882.
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • -  Merged with: Republican (Knoxville, Tenn.), to form: Republican chronicle (Knoxville, Tenn.).
  • -  Republican (Knoxville, Tenn.) (DLC)sn 86071027 (OCoLC)13032840
  • -  Republican chronicle (Knoxville, Tenn.) (DLC)sn 86071012 (OCoLC)13020281


  • volumes : illustrations (chiefly advertisements) ; 56 cm

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn85042534

OCLC Number

  • 12633764

ISSN Number

  • 2166-5974

Succeeding Titles

Additional Metadata Formats


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:

Knoxville Whig and Chronicle Knoxville, Tenn. -1882. (Knoxville, TN), Jan. 1 1875.

APA citation style:

(1875, January 1) Knoxville Whig and Chronicle Knoxville, Tenn. -1882. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Knoxville Whig and Chronicle Knoxville, Tenn. -1882. (Knoxville, TN) 1 Jan. 1875. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,