Blair & Rives

City: Washington

State: District of Columbia

Blair & Rives was a printing partnership between Francis P. Blair, Sr., and John C. Rives. Their association began in 1832 when Rives went to work as a clerk and office manager for Blair, publisher of the The Globe, the official newspaper of Andrew Jackson's administration. In December 1833, Blair and Rives launched the Congressional Globe. In 1834, they became full partners in the Globe and the Congressional Globe. From 1830 to 1845, the Globe was the house organ of the Democratic Party, and Congressional Globe became a dependable, nonpartisan record of debate in Congress. The Globe's power waned, however, during John Tyler's presidency, and the last issue appeared on April 30, 1845. In 1845, the partners sold The Globe to the proprietors of the Washington Union, the newly-established organ of the James K. Polk's administration. Blair & Rives focused their attention on the Congressional Globe, and in 1846, they received a contract to become the exclusive publisher of the congressional debates. In 1849, however, Blair and Rives parted ways over political differences. Rives objected to Blair's foray into Free-Soil politics, and Blair's anti-slavery views made it difficult for the Congressional Globe to retain the bi-partisan support it needed. Blair sold his interest in the Congressional Globe to Rives, who continued its publication until his death.

Olive Hoogenboom, "Rives, John Cook," American National Biography, ed. by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 18:571-72; Elbert B. Smith, "Blair, Francis Preston," American National Biography, 2:910-11; Frederic Hudson, Journalism in the United States, From 1690 to 1872 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1873), 255.