Illinois State Journal

City: Springfield

County: Sangamon County

State: IL

In the summer of 1831, Josiah Francis arrived in Springfield, Illinois, issued a prospectus and solicited subscriptions for the Sangamo Journal. His brother Simeon Francis joined him later, and the brothers issued the first edition of the newspaper on November 10, 1831. They edited the paper until 1835, when Josiah withdrew from the business. Simeon remained the editor for the next twenty years, and brothers Allen Francis and J. Newton Francis each joined the newspaper as partners and printers. The Journal became an important organ for the Illinois Whig Party and a strong supporter of Abraham Lincoln. As well, Abraham Lincoln was a frequent contributor to the paper. In 1847, the newspaper changed its name to the Illinois Journal. In July 1855, Simeon Francis and Allen Francis, the surviving brothers in the business, sold the newspaper to Bailhache & Baker, and it became known as the Illinois State Journal. Under the editorship of Edward L. Baker, the newspaper supported Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and was an organ of the Republican Party.

John C. Power, ed. History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: E. A. Wilson, 1876), 314-15; Sangamon Journal, 10 November 1831; Sangamo Journal, 4 April 1835, 1:1; 29 April 1837, 1:7; 9 September 1847, 1:1; Illinois Daily Journal, 10 July 1855, 3:1; Illinois State Journal, 8 August 1855, 1:1; Paul M. Angle, “Here I Have Lived”: A History of Lincoln’s Springfield, 1821-1865 (Springfield, IL: Abraham Lincoln Association, 1935), 65.