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Newspaper Tennessee Staatszeitung (Nashville, Tenn.) 1866-187? Tennessee staats-zeitung

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About Tennessee Staatszeitung (Nashville, Tenn.) 1866-187?

Like many states across the United States, Tennessee saw an increase in European immigrants in the mid-19th century, many of whom came from German-speaking regions such as Prussia, Switzerland, and Austria. This era saw a boom in German-language newspapers throughout the United States as the newly settled German speakers quickly recognized the strength of newspapers to galvanize their communities and to acquaint newcomers with the customs and laws of their new home.

John Ruhm established the Tennessee Staatszeitung in Nashville in 1866. Ruhm had emigrated from Prussia, and upon arriving in the United States in 1862 he enlisted in the Union Army. After the Civil War, he settled in Tennessee. A staunch Republican who had studied law in his home country, Ruhm took an active interest in politics and was a supporter of Governor William Brownlow and the Radical Republicans. The inaugural issue of the Tennessee Staatszeitung was published on March 17, 1866, with a “Prospectus” in German and English. The only other English content in each issue was information about advertising and subscription rates; otherwise, the majority of the paper was printed in German, using the traditional Fraktur typeface. The prospectus outlined the editor’s plans for the paper: “It shall be our duty to represent the German element in Tennessee in its relative connections, so as to obtain for the same the standpoint which it properly ought to have.” The Staatszeitung stood “on the side of Freedom and Progress in matters concerning the public welfare,” and proposed to act as “the organ of Foreign Immigration to our State.” The paper endeavored to be politically independent. However, an element of bias was revealed when it stated that it intended to be ” a first class paper for education and information, even to those who are our political opponents.”

The Staatszeitung was available daily (except Mondays, then later Saturdays and/or Sundays), and as a weekly edition. The paper was owned by a joint stock company – the Tennessee Staats-Zeitungs Gesellschaft – “whose members belong to the best citizens of the State.” Ruhm served as publisher and editor throughout the paper’s life and was joined by William S. Bailey in 1868. Content ranged from regional and local news in the “Stadt und Staat” column, to national and international news, with a particular focus on news from Germany and Europe. Arts and literature were featured in the Feuilleton section. Ruhm used the Staatszeitung to advocate for causes he believed in, such as developing public schools and promoting immigration to Tennessee, and he was outspoken in his opposition to the temperance movement. The daily edition’s front page was mostly taken up with ads, many of which were for German-owned businesses in Nashville, including breweries and taverns.

The Nashville Demokrat was the Staatszeitung’s main German-language rival. Its editor was Theodor Trauernicht, former business manager of the Staatszeitung. In 1869, the Demokrat’s publishers A.S. Jourdan and Emil Scharfe purchased the Staatszeitung. Although diametrically opposite politically, they promised to uphold the Staatszeitung’s commitment to encouraging German and Swiss immigration to Tennessee. The Demokrat remained in publication for only two more years, and went out of business in 1871.


Provided By: University of Tennessee

About this Newspaper


  • Tennessee Staatszeitung (Nashville, Tenn.) 1866-187?

Other Title

  • Tennessee staats-zeitung

Dates of Publication

  • 1866-187?

Created / Published

  • Nashville, Tenn. : Tennessee Staats-Zeitungs Gesellschaft, 1866-


  • -  Germans--Tennessee--Newspapers
  • -  German Americans--Tennessee--Newspapers
  • -  Nashville (Tenn.)--Newspapers
  • -  Davidson County (Tenn.)--Newspapers
  • -  German Americans
  • -  Germans
  • -  Tennessee
  • -  Tennessee--Davidson County
  • -  Tennessee--Nashville
  • -  United States--Tennessee--Davidson--Nashville


  • Newspapers


  • -  Daily (except Sun.),
  • -  Jahrg. 1, Nr. 1 (17. März 1866)-
  • -  Publishers: Tennessee Staats-Zeitung Gesellschaft, 1866-1867; John Ruhm, 1867-1868; John Ruhm & B.G. Bailey, 1868; John Ruhm, 1868-<1869>.
  • -  Republican. Cf. Rowell, 1869.
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • -  In German; some notices in English.
  • -  Weekly eds.: Wochenblatt der Tennessee staatszeitung; Tennessee staatszeitung (Nashville, Tenn. : Weekly).


  • volumes

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn86053575

OCLC Number

  • 13914989

ISSN Number

  • 2473-3296

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:

Tennessee Staatszeitung Nashville, Tenn. -187?. (Nashville, TN), Jan. 1 1866.

APA citation style:

(1866, January 1) Tennessee Staatszeitung Nashville, Tenn. -187?. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Tennessee Staatszeitung Nashville, Tenn. -187?. (Nashville, TN) 1 Jan. 1866. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,