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Louisville Journal

City: Louisville

County: Jefferson

State: Kentucky

The Louisville Journal was the brainchild of George D. Prentice, the former editor of the Connecticut Mirror and New England Weekly Review, who moved to Kentucky in 1830 to write The Biography of Henry Clay (1831). He stayed and founded the Journal to promote Clay's candidacy for president in 1832. Prentice published the first issue of the Journal on November 24, 1830. Under Prentice's editorship, the paper became an immediate sensation, enjoyed by farmers, laborers, and mechanics throughout the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys. In 1832, the Journal absorbed The Focus on Politics, Commerce and Literature, another early Louisville newspaper. The Journal became the organ of Clay and the Whig Party in Kentucky. In addition to supporting Whigs politics, Prentice endorsed public education, municipal reform, and the social and commercial development of Louisville. Following the demise of the Whig Party, Prentice and the Journal supported the American Party. Prentice's militant anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant rhetoric was blamed for the "Bloody Monday" riots that took place in August 1855. In the 1860 presidential election, the Journal endorsed John Bell and the Constitutional Union Party. Once the Civil War commenced, Prentice and the Journal urged Kentucky to remain neutral. Prentice supported the Union, but could not embrace the Republican Party, so the Journal endorsed George B. McClellan for president in 1864.

Betty Carolyn Congleton, "Prentice, George Dennison," American National Biography, ed. by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 17:828-29; John E. Kleber, ed., The Kentucky Encyclopedia (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1992), 582-83.