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New York Herald

City: New York

State: New York

The New York Herald was a mass-distribution daily newspaper based in New York City. Capitalizing on a technological revolution that allowed the publication of cheap newspapers for a mass audience, James Gordon Bennett, Sr. launched the Herald in 1835, publishing the first issue on May 6, 1835. Unlike other newspapers of the day, Bennett was determined that the Herald would be nonpartisan and independent of politicians. He achieved this by expanding the range of the news it covered, by presenting the news more rapidly and in more appealing fashion, by capitalizing on advertising revenue, by operating the paper on sound business principles, and by making the Herald and himself a subject of news by attacking other newspaper editors. The Herald's sensational style and salacious content proved phenomenally popular, and within the first year, it had attracted a daily circulation of 10,080. Interest in the Herald was so pronounced that Bennett launched a weekly edition in 1836 and an evening edition in 1837, and by 1839, it boasted an aggregate circulation of 20,000. Circulation continued to increase, reaching a daily regular circulation of 60,000 by 1860, making the Herald the largest selling newspaper in the United States. Papers in other cities copied Bennett's model, and the Herald became the most emulated newspaper in the United States. Although nominally nonpartisan, the Herald's editorial pages leaned toward the Democratic Party and Anglophobia, reflecting Bennett's own views on domestic and foreign policy. The Herald supported the Union in the Civil War, but followed the Democrats in being critical of President Abraham Lincoln and his management of the war.

Douglas Fermer, James Gordon Bennett and the New York Herald: A Study of Editorial Opinion in the Civil War Era, 1854-1867 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986), 18, 19, 20, 199-296; James L. Crouthamel, Bennett's New York Herald and the Rise of the Popular Press (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1989), 19, 53-54, 56-91, 112-37, accessed June 3, 2021, https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv64h7cg.1.