The lineage of the Missouri Republican can be traced back to Missouri's first newspaper, the Missouri Gazette, established in 1808 by Joseph Charless. The paper inititally sided with Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Democratic-Republicans in their battles with Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists. In 1820, Charless retired, and sold the paper to James C. Cummins. Two years later, Cummins sold the journal to Edward Charless. Charless engaged Josiah Spaulding as editor, changed the name to the Missouri Republican, and published its first number under that appellation on March 20, 1822. Charless became sole proprietor in 1826 upon the retirement of Spaulding. In 1828, Nathaniel Paschall joined Charless in publishing the newspaper. In 1837, A. B. Chambers, Oliver Harris, and George Knapp, a former apprentice, purchased the paper from Charless & Paschall. The paper now began to espouse the Whig Party doctrines of Henry Clay. In 1840, Harris left the partnership, and Chambers and Knapp continued to publish the paper as Chambers & Knapp. In 1844, Nathaniel Paschall returned to the paper, taking on the position of associate editor, with Chambers as editor-in-chief. Upon Chambers's death in 1854, Paschall became chief editor. In 1855, Knapp purchased the interests of Chambers and Harris. Bringing his brother John Knapp and Paschall into a partnership, Knapp established Knapp & Company, which continued to publish the paper through the Civil War. Upon the dissolution of the Whig Party, Paschall gave support to the Democratic Party, and the Republican endorsed James Buchanan for president in 1856. During the Civil War, Knapp remained a Unionist, and he organized the Missouri Republican Guards, made up of Republican employees, and served as captain of the company.
J. Thomas Scharf, History of Saint Louis City and County (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1883), 1:902-16.