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Newspaper The Representative (St. Paul, Minn.) 1893-1901

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About The Representative (St. Paul, Minn.) 1893-1901

Ignatius Donnelly came to Minnesota hoping to make a fortune in real-estate, a dream killed by the banking “Panic” of 1857. Donnelly quickly moved into politics, becoming lieutenant governor of the state under Alexander Ramsey and then a United States congressman and a Minnesota state legislator. A born reformer, Donnelly’s public life centered on the left-leaning third parties and farm movements of the 19th century. He fought for legislation to curtail the worst excesses of the monopolies he viewed as harmful to workers and farmers. Over his life, Donnelly stood for office 17 times, withdrawing twice, winning six elections and suffering nine defeats.

Donnelly used newspapers to promote his ideas and his agenda and to increase his influence. His belief, as stated in his first issue of the Representative, was that “In our present advanced civilization no large association of men can exist without a newspaper… No great reform can live without newspapers.”

On July 16, 1874 the first issue of the weekly Anti-Monopolist was published in St. Paul, Minnesota, after Donnelly tried and failed to get the state’s leading Democratic papers to explain clearly the progressive Anti-Monopoly party position. Indicative of Donnelly’s style, the motto of the new paper was “Speak to the Children of Israel, that They Go Forward.” A review of the Anti-Monopolist by another newspaper, the Litchfield News Ledger captured the flavor of Donnelly’s paper, stating that it was “as unlike other journals as Donnelly is unlike other men” and “… is as dangerous a plaything as a porcupine. It is always erudite, humorous, sarcastic and generally logical.” The newspaper spent its first months pushing the Grange (Patrons of Husbandry) to drop its opposition political activity. The Anti-Monopolist ran for four and one-half years until financial problems forced its closing with the December 12, 1878 issue.

Donnelly’s other major newspaper was the Representative, which published its first weekly issue in St. Paul on April 19, 1893; publication moved to Minneapolis in May 1894. This newspaper represented Donnelly’s views as president of the State Farmer’s Alliance and functioned as a mouthpiece of the left-wing agrarian Populist (or People’s) Party. A notice on the front page of the inaugural issue stated that Donnelly would not have time to write more than one or two columns per week, and “[h]e will have nothing to do with the rest of the newspaper which will be under the charge of editor, A. L. Stoughton; nor will he be responsible for the utterances and opinions of anybody but himself.” Donnelly took over as editor-in-chief in February 1895. The Representative advocated for all the legislative efforts of the People’s Party, including government ownership of the railroads. Ironically, the paper took advertising for sale of railroad lands and was accused by Donnelly’s enemies of being in the pocket of railroad tycoon James J. Hill. Donnelly died January 1, 1901; the Representative continued publication through November 28, 1901, though it was suspended between June 21, 1901 and September 19, 1901.

Provided By: Minnesota Historical Society; Saint Paul, MN

About this Newspaper


  • The Representative (St. Paul, Minn.) 1893-1901

Dates of Publication

  • 1893-1901

Created / Published

  • St. Paul, Minn. : A.L. Stoughton, 1893-


  • -  Saint Paul (Minn.)--Newspapers
  • -  Ramsey County (Minn.)--Newspapers
  • -  Minneapolis (Minn.)--Newspapers
  • -  Hennepin County (Minn.)--Newspapers
  • -  Minnesota--Ramsey County
  • -  Minnesota--Minneapolis
  • -  Minnesota--Hennepin County
  • -  Minnesota--Saint Paul
  • -  United States--Minnesota--Ramsey--Saint Paul
  • -  United States--Minnesota--Hennepin--Minneapolis


  • Newspapers


  • -  Weekly
  • -  Vol. 1, no. 1 (Apr. 19, 1893)-
  • -  Ceased with issue for Nov. 28, 1901?
  • -  Published at: Minneapolis, Minn., May 2, 1894-
  • -  Publication suspended with issue for June 21, 1901; resumed publication with issue for: Sept. 19, 1901.
  • -  Available on microfilm from the Minnesota Historical Society.
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.


  • volumes

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn90059591

OCLC Number

  • 1764902

ISSN Number

  • 2694-5665

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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:

The Representative St. Paul, Minn. -1901. (Saint Paul, MN), Jan. 1 1893.

APA citation style:

(1893, January 1) The Representative St. Paul, Minn. -1901. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

The Representative St. Paul, Minn. -1901. (Saint Paul, MN) 1 Jan. 1893. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,