Public Ledger

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The early issues of the Public Ledger contained mainly reprints from the foreign press, advertisements, shipping and fishing news, poetry and letters from local contributors. Court proceedings and legislative proceedings added when these bodies were established. There was little domestic news, the feeling being that "the leading incidents of the past year ... as they relate to the local circumstances of this colony ... are neither numerous nor important" (Jan. 2, 1827).

Henry Winton, the co-founder and editor, supported "introducing a local legislature into this country" (June 10, 1828) but felt religion should not be a factor in selecting members to the House of Assembly. (Jan. 13, 1832). When Representative Government was granted to the Colony in July of that year, Winton immediately expressed his opposition to the Liberal Party, his first targets being William Carson and John Kent. "Mr. Kent merged from behind the bar of a tap-house in some obscure part of Ireland but a few years ago and ... has since been vegetating among us in a somewhat subordinate situation in life" (Nov. 13, 1832).

Although Winton, a Protestant, had supported the granting of equal rights to Catholics in England in 1829, he became virulently anti-Catholic. He condemned Catholic interference in elections, particularly singling out Bishop Fleming, and denigrated Catholic candidates for the House of Assembly and the elections in which they were successful: "In the district of Ferryland gross violence and intimidation were used in favour of an old fool named Winser, lately perverted to the Roman Faith." (Nov. 30, 1852). Understandably, "Fleming forbade his congregation to read the Ledger, and ordered a boycott of Catholic merchants who subscribed to it."(47) In May 1835, Winton was attacked and disfigured by a group of ruffians near Harbour Grace.

Winton's main rival was former employee R. J. Parsons, who left the Ledger to found the Liberal Patriot. Winton said of the prospectus for that paper, "It is not too much to say that falsehood, invective and a spirit of the most insolent dictation mainly characterize the whole of his production." (Jan. 11, 1833). Winton opposed Responsible Government, a cause which was championed by Parsons. In 1854, when Parsons and Philip Little traveled to England to petition the Colonial Secretary for Responsible Government, Winton referred to them as "the comical delegation" (Feb. 10, 1854).

Winton died in 1855 and his son Henry ran the paper until his own death in 1866. Henry Winton was also Conservative but not as openly anti-Catholic. The Shea family's paper, The Newfoundlander, was now the Ledger's foe and remained so until the Shea-Carter coalition in 1865. Adam Scott was editor for nine years after the younger Winton's death. He became a great admirer of Shea and a strong supporter of Confederation, an issue which dominated the paper's editorials until it was finally defeated in 1869. The Ledger blamed the Catholics for the defeat of the measure. The paper came out in support of the railway in 1867. The Ledger opposed the Bennett administration and condemned the Catholics for interfering with the 1873 vote on the Permissive Bill, which would have restricted the licensing of liquor establishments. Scott was dismissed from his duties as editor in late 1874 when he began to disagree with the Carter administration, whom the proprietors still supported, over the issue of integrated education and the telegraph monopoly.

F. W. Bowden took control of the Ledger in 1875 and continued the Ledger's previous policy. He cautiously supported the construction of the railway in 1881. In 1882, the Ledger seems to have lost its government patronage to the Evening Mercury. In the election of that year, the Ledger supported neither party, being disillusioned with Whiteway's plans to form a coalition with the old Roman Catholic Liberals including Little, Kent, and Parsons, yet unable to see the fledgling People's Party as a viable opposition. The Ledger probably folded at the end of that year.

Title Varies:
Public Ledger and Newfoundland General Advertiser, Dec. 19, 1820-July 13, 1860.
Public Ledger, July 17, 1860-May 2, 1862.
Public Ledger and Newfoundland General Advertiser, May 6, 1862-Dec. 20, 1867.
Public Ledger and Newfoundland Daily Advertiser, Jan. 2-Dec. 29, 1868.
Public Ledger and Newfoundland General Advertiser, Jan. 5, 1869-May 30, 1874.
Public Ledger, Feb. 3, 1875-Aug. 26, 1879.
Daily Ledger, Aug. 28, 1879-Feb. 7, 1880.
Public Ledger, Feb. 13, 1880-Dec. 26, 1882.

Information:
Place of publication: St. John's.
Began publication: 1820.(46)
Earliest issue located:Dec. 19, 1820 (v. 1, no. 52).
Latest issue located: Dec. 26, 1882.

Editor:
Henry David Winton, Jan. 2, 1827-July 1855.
Henry Winton (Jr.), July 24, 1855-Mar. 1866.
Adam Scott, 1866-1874.

Errata Not Published:
1827 Apr 17
1829 Feb 3, 6, 10, Mar 10
1852 Jan 2, 6
1854 Dec 1, 1854
1855 Jan 9, 12, Jun 1, Oct 23
1858 Feb 16
1859 Oct 14
1860 Mar 16, 30
1864 Dec 27
1865 Jul 28, Dec 26
1866 Jan 2, Apr 3, Aug 1
1867 Jul 16, Jul 19, Nov 15, Nov 26, Nov 29
1868 Mar 27, Apr 10, May 24
1869 Jan 7, Jan 14, Mar 9, Mar 20, Mar 27

Missing Dates:
1827 Aug 14, Sep 25, Oct 12,16
1826 Jan 25, Feb 19, Apr 1, 11, 15, Jun 13, 20, Jul 1, 4, 8, 11
1829 Jan 30, Apr 24, Aug 11, Sep 8, 11, Oct 23, 27
1830 Jan 5, 8, 23, Mar 5, 16, Apr 13, Jun 15, 29, Jul 6, 20, Sep 14, Dec 17, 24, 28, 31
1831 Jan 4, 7, Mar 22, Apr 1, May 3, Aug 12, 19, Oct 4
1832 Jan 20, 27, 31, Feb 28, Jun 22, 29, Aug 21
1833 Feb 19, Mar 12, 15, 22, Apr 30, Aug 2, Sep 13, Dec 6, 13
1834 Nov 7, Dec 2, 16, 30
1835 Jan 2, 6, 13, 20, 27, Feb 3,6, 17, 20, Mar 10, 20
1836 Jan 8, 29, Nov 18
1837 Aug 25, Dec 1
1845 Jan 10, 17
1852 Apr 6, May 25, Jun 29, Aug 3, Aug 20, Sep 24, Oct 1, 19, Nov 26, Dec 21
1858 May 28
1860 Feb 3, 7, 17, Jun 8, Jun 15, Aug 3, Aug 17, Sep 18, Sep 25, Oct 30
1861 May 3
1862 Mar 25, Jul 22, Jul 29
1863 Apr 14, Sep 18
1865 Jan 24, Apr 25, May 16, May 23, Aug 8
1866 Mar 9, Dec 28
1867 Sep 17, Oct 22, Nov 8, Dec 24
1868 Feb 5, Jun 11
1869 Jan 28, Mar 13

1833 Jul 12 to Nov 15, the newspaper is published only once a week during the absence of the editor
1846 and 1848 were not microfilmed because it was not available at the time and apparently is still not available. (Jan 1987)

Minimun Pages:
1827 Jan 30, Apr 14, Nov 9, only three pages
1827 Apr 20, Apr 24, Jul 27, only two pages
1827 Apr 17, 20, 24, Only one sheet because of paper shortage
1828 Apr 8, Sep 5, Sep 16, only two pages
1829 Apr 10, only two pages
1830 Jan 1, Nov 5, only two pages
1833 Jan 1, only two pages, Jan 25, only three pages
1834 Jan 10, May 16, Oct 21, 28
1835 Jun 23, only three pages
1847 Jul 27, only three pages
1849 Mar 9, only one page
1850 Jan 4, only two pages
1851 Sep 12, only three pages
1852 Aug 6, 24, Sep 3, only two pages
1854 Apr 14, only three pages
1857 Dec 25, only two pages
1859 Mar 8, only two pages, Jul 1, only three pages
1860 Jan 3, 6, Aug 7, only two pages
1861 Apr 16, Apr 19, Apr 23, Apr 26, Apr 30, only two pages
1865 Apr 7, Jul 11, only two pages
1868 Feb 15, only two pages
1869 Feb 16, only two pages


Misc Notes:
1868 Jan 3, publishing changes to Monday to Saturday publication
1868 Feb 15 to Apr 20, paper changes to two pages because of shortage of paper
1868 stops publishing on Mondays on Nov 9, 1868
1869 goes back to publishing Tuesday and Thursday and some Saturdays

Issues by Month

1827: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1828: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1829: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1830: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1831: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1832: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1833: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1834: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1835: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1836: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1837: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1838: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1839: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1840: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1841: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1842: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1843: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1844: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1845: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1846: Jan
1847: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1848:
1849: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1850: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1851: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1852: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1853: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1854: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1855: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1856: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1857: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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