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Kennaday, James

Born: 1811-09-14 New York

Died: 1852-12-28 Vandalia, Illinois

Flourished: Vandalia, Illinois

James Kennaday was a newspaper editor, publisher, and proprietor in Vandalia, Illinois. Kennaday first became involved in the newspaper business when he purchased the Vandalia Free Press and Illinois Whig sometime between 1839 and 1841. Kennaday discontinued publication of the Free Press and Illinois Whig in 1841, and in June 1842, he established the Freeman, which opposed the candidacy of Thomas Ford for Illinois governor. After Ford's victory, Kennaday revived the Free Press, becoming its publisher and editor. Kennaday was an avid supporter of the Whig Party, and under this editorial leadership, the Free Press became a strong advocate of Henry Clay and Whig policies. In 1850, Kennaday established the Fayette Yeoman and Railroad Journal, a nonpartisan journal that leaned toward the Whigs and showed nominal support for Zachary Taylor and his administration. This paper was short-lived, and Kennaday replaced it with the Age of Steam and Fire, which he operated until his death.

History of Fayette County, Illinois (Philadelphia: Brink, McDonough, 1878), 40; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Fayette County, ed. by Robert W. Ross and John J. Bullington (Chicago: Munsell, 1910), 2:698, 699; Edmund J. James, ed., A Bibliography of Newspapers Published in Illinois Prior to 1860 , vol. 1 of Publications of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield, IL: Phillips Bros., 1899), 69; Franklin William Scott, Newspapers and Periodicals of Illinois, 1814-1879, vol. 6 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1910), 342, 343; Gravestone, Old State Cemetery, Vandalia, IL.