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Sawyer, John Y.

Died: 1836-03-08 Vandalia, Illinois

Flourished: Edwardsville, Illinois

Sawyer was an early settler of Madison County, Illinois, arriving before 1820. He settled in Edwardsville. In 1819, voters elected him clerk of the Board of Trustees, and in 1820, he won election to the board. From 1822 to 1824, he was judge of the Probate Court. In November 1830, Sawyer established the Western Ploughboy, a semi-monthly agricultural newspaper. Sawyer edited and published the Western Ploughboy for a year, when he established the Illinois Advocate with John Angevine. Sawyer and Angevine edited and published the Advocate until 1832, when Angevine retired, and Sawyer entered into a partnership with William Peach. Sawyer merged the Western Ploughboy and the Advocate, and in December 1832, moved the newspaper to Vandalia. On December 11, the Illinois General Assembly elected him public printer. In January 1835, the General Assembly re-elected him public printer. Sawyer continued to edit and publish the Illinois Advocate and serve as public printer until his death, when William Walters purchased the Advocate and continued publishing it as the Illinois State Register and Illinois Advocate. Walters also assumed the public printing duties under a contract with Seth Sawyer, John's brother, for the benefit of John's widow.

Franklin W. Scott, "Newspapers and Periodicals of Illinois, 1814-1879" (PhD diss., University of Illinois, 1910), 167, 322, 341, 342; Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 1st sess., 293-94; History of Madison County, Illinois (Edwardsville, IL: W. R. Brink, 1882), 166, 204, 333; Illinois House Journal. 1833. 8th G. A., 1st sess., 78-79.