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Morning Courier



The Courier.
The Courier started out as a politically neutral paper, "devoted to commercial, agricultural and literary subjects; and local and foreign news." It vowed to be a "faithful and impartial chronicler of events ... without adapting that line of conduct which has been heretofore so profitably pursued by certain journals in keeping society in Newfoundland in a continual state of turbulence and political frenzy ..." (Oct. 21, 1844). When S. J. Daniel retired due to ill health, Joseph Woods became proprietor and James Seaton became editor. Although both were Wesleyans, they were later to become bitter rivals. Conservative at this time, the Courier opposed the Patriot and supported Responsible Government, assuring Henry Winton of the Public Ledger, "Responsible Government so far from being the revolutionary system which he dreads, is the most harmless thing imaginable and possesses no novelty whatever except the name" (Feb. 19, 1848). Seaton resigned at the beginning of 1849 to go to the Times and later started his own rival newspaper, the Express. It is possible that Philip F. Little was editor for the remainder of 1849, although he later denied it.(8)

After Seaton left, the Courier became a Liberal paper, supporting Responsible Government and the Kent Administration. Although opposed to the Hoyles government which followed, the paper applauded his appointment as Chief Justice in 1865 and approved of Carter and coalition government. "We regard amalgamation, or coalition, as the system best suited to the wants and peculiarities in this colony" (Apr. 15, 1865). In about 1866, the paper began to express great admiration for C. F. Bennett and, with the Chronicle, became known as one of Bennett's newspapers.

Initially favoring Confederation, the Courier became increasingly antagonistic to the idea and its supporters after 1869. The paper opposed the second Carter administration and the construction of the railway, expressing concern about the engineering difficulties and the tax burden and accurately prophesied: "If we are year after year to go on increasing our liabilities at the rate indicated by the proposers of the Railway Subsidy, the end will be either Colonial bankruptcy or Confederation" (Mar. 18, 1876).


The title varies for the Courier :
Morning Courier and General Advertiser, Oct. 21, 1844- May 5, 1847;
Morning Courier, May 8, 1847-Feb. 16, 1853;
Courier, Feb. 19, 1853-Dec. 28, 1878.

First issue: Oct. 21, 1844. Last issue located: Dec. 28, 1878.


Frequency varies:
Three times a week, Oct. 21, 1844-Oct. 3, 1845.
Semiweekly, Oct. 8, 1845-Feb. 1848.
Three times a week, Apr. 1848-June 2, 1849.
Semiweekly, June 6, 1849-
Weekly (irregular), 1875-Dec. 28, 1878.

Editors:
Stephen John Daniel, Oct. 21, 1844-May 9, 1846 – neutral, non-political newspaper;
James Seaton, May 13, 1846-Jan. 2, 1849 – pro-Conservative Party;
Philip F. Little (it is assumed), 1849 – pro-Liberal Party;
Mr. ? Morris, 1850-1851 – pro-Liberal Party ; Joseph Woods, 1852- until ? – pro-Liberal Party

From Suzanne Ellison’s Historical Directory of Newfoundland and Labrador Newspapers http://www.library.mun.ca/cns/nlnews/



If you have a Newfoundland / Labrador question please contact the Centre for Newfoundland Studies at cnsqeii@mun.ca

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