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Thomas S. Graham 

© Copyright by 
Thomas S. Graham 






|: From 1869 until 1897 Charles H. Jones was, with few inter- 


| ruptions, editing one or more periodical publications. Between 

I 1868 and 1907 he wrote or edited more than a dozen books and many 


I- magazine articles. In addition to this he carried on a wide cor- 

fc ' ■ 

§ respondence with personal friends, relatives, and political or 

§ ■'■ 

I business associates. As a result the present-day researcher is 


I . confronted with a formidable amount of published and unpublished 


I information relating to his life and career. 


I I am indebted': to many individuals and institutions for 

S- ■• ' : "■•■,'■■ ■:■.■ : 

s. .- 

I their help in locating and making available these materials. I 


I also owe a debt of thanks to the people who gave advice and encour- 

f > ■ 

*$'■ ' 

U- agement in the preparation of this study. Mrs. Carl G. Freeman, 

Bat Cave, North Carolina, granddaughter of Charles H. Jones, 

graciously permitted me to use the Charles H. Jones Papers which 
are in her possession. Mr. Richard A. Martin of Jacksonville 
made available Xerox copies of most of the material in the Jones 
Papers and helped to initiate this project. Professor Julian 
Rammelkamp of Albion College pointed out several sources relat- 
ing to Jones' career in Missouri journalism and offered many 
suggestions relating to interpretation. 

I wish to thank Miss Elizabeth Alexander and the staff of 
the P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, as well as the staff 


of the University of Florida Research Library, for their assistance. 
Mr. Sherman L. Butler, Interlibrary Loan Librarian, provided inval- 
uable aid in locating and securing numerous rare published items 
and a large number of microfilmed newspapers. I would also like 
to thank the staffs of the following libraries: Haydon Burns 
Library, Jacksonville; Florida State Library, Tallahassee; Joint 

jjjjiv ■• Universities Library, Nashville; Chicago Public Library; Washing- 

H' ; 
U ton University Library, St. Louis; Missouri Historical Society 

Library, St. Louis; and St.- Louis Public Library. Copies of the 
St. Louis Mirror were made available by the Carol McDonald 
Gardner Rare Book Room, St. Louis Public Library. 

I am grateful to the members of my graduate committee, 
Professors Samuel Proctor, E. A. Hammond, Lyle N. McAlister, Ancil 
N. Payne, Claude C. Sturgill, and Manning J. Dauer for their sug- 
gestions and evaluations. My committee chairman Samuel Proctor 
is due particular thanks for his counsel and criticism and for his 
judicious editing of the manuscript. 

1; . 

*£ : 















NOTES TO CHAPTER V • • • 17 5 












Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the 
Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial 
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy 



Thomas S. Graham 

June, 1973 

Chairman: Dr. Samuel Proctor 
Major Department: History 

The present study is an examination of the life and career 

of Charles H. Jones. Born in Talbotton, Georgia, before the 

Civil War, Jones went to New York after the end of that conflict 

in 1865. He became a contributor to several popular magazines, 

editor of the Eclectic and co-editor of Appleton's Journal , and 

a writer and editor for D. Appleton Company and Henry Holt. He 

came to Florida in 1881 and established the Jacksonville Florida 

Daily Times , merging it with the Jacksonville Daily Florida Union 

in 1883 to form the Jacksonville Florida Times -Union . He was 

active in state and national politics and also took part in the 

formation of the National Editorial Association and the American 

Newspaper Publishers Association. In 1887 he became part-owner 

and editor of the St. Louis Republic . He left the Republic in 

1893, becoming editor of the New York World , and then, from 1895 

to 1897, the editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch . During this 

time he remained active in politics, both on the state and national 

levels. He drafted the Democratic platforms of 1892, 1896, and 

1900. He was a correspondent of both Grover Cleveland and William 
Jennings Bryan. 

This study is based on the publications written or edited 
by Jones, other contemporary publications, and considerable 
manuscript material, including the Charles H. Jones papers. 

This study examines Jones' involvement in the intellect- 
ual, social, political, and business questions of the second half 
of the 19th century. It is particularly concerned with newspaper 
history, partisan politics, and major political issues. 




The town of Talbotton lies northeast of Columbus in the 
clay hills of Georgia. In antebellum days it was a small but 
bright and prosperous community of well kept homes surrounded 
by vegetable and flower gardens. Being the county seat and the 
only town in the area it was a center of social life and 
education. It was there that Charles Henry Jones was born on 
March 7, 1848. His mother Susan Eleanor Jones was the daughter 
of Stephen Greene, a cousin of General Nathanael Greene, of 
Revolutionary War fame, and a cotton buyer in Savannah for a 
New England mill. Charles's father was George Washington Jones, 
son of a Delaware farmer, who was a dentist and part-time 
physician for a health resort at nearby Warm Springs. George W. 
Jones was a dark and laconic man, aloof from his children and 
rigid in his ideas about family order. He had come to Savannah 
where he met and married his wife. Later he moved to Albany, 
where his first son James was born. In 1884 the family moved 

to Talbotton where a daughter Mary was born, followed by Charles, 


a daughter Sidonia, and another son George. 

Susan Jones was a serious, diminutive woman of such poor 
health that she was confined to her home for many years of 
Charles Jones's childhood. She was intelligent and cultivated. 

and was very active in the local Episcopal church. Of her 
Jones would later write: "She was in many respects the most 
remarkable woman I have known, and she was so much to me that 
it is hard for me to analyze or discriminate. She trained my 
mind and moulded my character. To her more than to all other 
human beings, more than to all other influences combined, I am 
indebted for what I am, for what I have been, and for what I 
have done in the world." J 

According to Jones's account of his education, he learned 
to point out the twenty-six letters of the alphabet in his 
father's prayer book before he could speak, and by the age of 
four he was studying geography, arithmetic, grammar, and 
history. Part of his lessons involved recitation of long 
passages memorized verbatim from the text of school books. His 
mother demanded that he master these lessons with perfection, 
seldom offering encouragement or praise. At an age when most 
children are just beginning to learn to read, he had a tutor, 
first for Latin and then Greek. At the age of eleven he was 
enrolled as a day student at Collingsworth Institute, a 
boarding school for boys located in Talbotton. Because of the 
thorough education that he had received at home the teachers 
at Collingsworth set up a special course for him and one other 
advanced student. Despite the demands of his studies, Jones 
used his spare time to read every book that he could borrow. 
Sir Walter Scott was the popular southern poet and novelist of 
that day, but Jones also read Goldsmith, Bunyan, Defoe, and any 
book of history or biography that he could lay his hands on. 

"Drum and trumpet" histories were his favorite. An effort was 
made to enroll him at the University of Georgia at age thirteen, 
Jones recalled, but he was refused because of his youth. 

The austere educational regime imposed by his mother, 
combined with the absence of fatherly affection, had, as Jones 
later realized, "a lasting influence upon my character, affect- 
ing my conduct, my attitude towards others, even my views of 
life. . . . One result of this attitude of both my parents has 
been that during all my life it has been difficult for me to 
give expression to my feelings in the customary ways. A reserve, 
a reticence, a habit of self-repression has always held me back, 
even when I was conscious of it and tried to overcome it."-' 
Whether from his family life or from the praise he gained 
because of his early precociousness, Jones developed other 
lasting traits of character. The "instinct of competition," 
the drive to excel at every undertaking was apparent in him 
from his youth. Combined with this striving for success was 
a desire that it be rewarded with recognition, and even in 
childhood "gratification of vanity" became a primary motivating 
force. Competition for success and thirst for praise were to 
be the theme of his life. 

Among Jones's classmates at Collingsworth were Isidore, 
Nathan, and Oscar Straus, the sons of Lazarus Straus, a German 
Jew who had recently immigrated to the United States after the 
Revolution of 1848. Mr. Straus, who ran a dry goods store, was 
a respected man in the community despite his religion and foreign 
ways. The Straus family moved North after the Civil War 

where they became wealthy in the china importing business and 
then acquired part ownership of Macy Company in New York. 
Oscar and Isidore Straus became active in politics, the former 
being made a member of Theodore Roosevelt's cabinet and minister 
to Turkey, and the latter becoming a Congressman from New York. 

Both were friends of President Cleveland. Oscar Straus re- 


mained a friend of Jones during their adult lives." 

Although George Jones owned only one slave, slavery was 
a prominent feature of life in Talbotton, and to young Charles 
it seemed part of the natural order of things. He grew up near 
a town where the evils of slavery were perhaps less conspicuous, 
but visited large plantations and would later recall that the 
slaves seemed the happiest laborers he ever knew. As he remem- 
bered it, "the fields and plantation quarters of the old South 
were melodious and cheerful with song and banter and careless 
laughter. And the house servants, in particular, were treated 
with a geniality, even with a familiarity, that is now unknown 
in the South or elsewhere."^ One incident, however, witnessed 
as an eight-year-old, convinced him that slavery was somehow 
wrong. Having been sent to the town square one day on an 
errand, he chanced upon a slave auction being held on the court 
house steps. There a slave woman and her child were separated 
and sold apart. The anguish of the woman was terrifying to him, 
although at the time he did not realize the full implications 
of what he had seen. As he grew to manhood he became convinced 
that slavery was a curse on slave and master alike. In later 

years, Jones "came to the assured conviction that the Civil War 
between the South and the North would have been worth all it 
cost in money and wealth, in human life and in human anguish, 

if it had accomplished nothing more than the overthrow of that 

blighting institution. 

With the coming of the Civil War, life in Talbotton changed. 
Although there was never real hunger there, some items such as 
salt and coffee became scarce, and the town lost its prosperous 
appearance. 11 Nearly all the town's able-bodied men, including 
Jones's older brother James, enlisted in the Confederate forces. 
Charles, only thirteen when the war broke out, remained behind. 
According to family tradition, he once ran away to the war, was 

returned home or was brought back by his father, and then en- 

listed or re-enlisted during the last months of the conflict. 

Later references made by Jones seem to confirm this story. His 
first enlistment may have come in late 1863 or early 1864, in 
time for him to see action in the Battle of Atlanta. 13 He was 
home some time in 1864 and described himself as then "a soldier 
who had been through the nerve-wracking scenes enacted on 
battlefields." 14 In the fall of 1864 he rejoined the army and 
was with Hardee's troops when they evacuated Savannah, escaping 
across pontoon bridges on the Savannah River in the face of 
Sherman's army. 15 As an old man he would recall to his grand- 
daughter the depths to which the troops were brought during the 
closing days of the war. At one time he said they were reduced 
to eating vermin and chewing shoeleather, and when by chance, 
he encountered his brother James in the field, he begged two 

slices of bread from him, although James was hardly better off 
than himself. 16 At the war's end Jones was in Columbus, Georgia, 
where he was paroled by federal officers in July, 1865. "Seeing 
that the South was strewn with the wreckage of war and would 
for a long time offer no career to its young men," Jones departed 
for the North in August to join his older sister Mary, who was 
living with her husband in New York. 17 

When Jones arrived in New York he was a slender, delicate 
looking young man, seventeen years of age and only five feet 
six inches tall. 18 He had a gaunt, hollow -cheeked look, but a 
firm mouth and chin. 19 He accepted "a very lowly position" 
with a dry goods store on Broadway, but worked his way into a 
respectable clerking position within a year. However, he "had 
no intentions of remaining in the dry goods business," and, 
having saved some money, he embarked on a career as a "literary 
gentleman." 20 

In the winter of 1866-1867 he sent his first article to 
ex-Confederate General D. H. Hill's magazine Land We Love , and, 
much to his surprise , he received an acceptance notice and a 
check. 21 Land We Love (later to be called Southern Magazine) 
carried stories of the recent war, agricultural articles, poetry, 

literary reviews and travel accounts — all aimed at a southern 

audience and bearing the stamp of southern views. Following 

the custom of the day, many of the articles were unsigned, so 

it is impossible to identify Jones's first modest literary 

attempt . 

The first article which can definitely be attributed to 
Jones appeared in Land We Love in the issue of October, 1868. 
It was a description of Chicago, apparently written from an 
eyewitness account. His comments were largely favorable. The 
industriousness of the people impressed him; the stock yards 
and their ancillary facilities seemed a remarkable little city 

in themselves, but he decried the lack of an opera house and 

the public taste which would demand one. In a companion 

article, published in December, 1868, Jones looked at America's 
second great interior city, St. Louis. He praised the appealing 
southern atmosphere of the city, with its fine churches, great 
hotels, and elegant library. St. Louis appeared to move at a 
more leisurely pace than its northern neighbor. Its Roman 
Catholic heritage he found to be a hinderance, but the river- 
front merchants displayed an abundance of energy. 24 Looking 
into the future, Jones predicted that the current world-wide 
trend toward urbanization would raise up great metropolises through- 
out the vast expanses of the United States . He predicted that 
either Chicago or St. Louis, the two major interior trade 
centers, would become the nation's great city, and Jones 
believed that it would be St. Louis: "We see her the seat of 

Empire, and of Civilization on this continent — the imperial 

metropolis of the West — the great grain emporium of the world." 

This vision of St. Louis's future would gain nationwide publicity 

in 1881 with the publication of L. U. Reavis's St. Louis the 

Future Great City of the World; and Its Impending Triumph . 

Soon Jones was writing regularly for several popular 
magazines. As he would later admit, most of his writing "was 
of the 'pot-boiling' kind, for I had to live by my pen." 2 ** 
His second article appeared in Putnam's Monthly Magazine , one 
of the lively new periodicals carrying lighter reading matter 
and using the latest illustrative techniques. Putnam ' s could 
not pay top rates for its material, nor did it strive for the 
highest standards of literary merit. Another magazine to which 
he contributed was Round Table , a general interest magazine 
edited by Charles G. Halpine and Henry Sedley which competed 
with Nation . No signed articles by Jones appear in Round Table , 
and it is likely that his contributions were in the form of 
book reviews or items from the magazine's numerous correspondents, 
Literary criticism was the magazine's speciality, which it did 
with dash and in a censorious style. ' 

In 1868 Jones began to write book reviews for the 
Eclectic Magazine , an old and respected journal which was 
doing a thriving business in the post-war years. The Eclectic 
procured its articles by clipping them from British magazines, 
an accepted and legal practice in the absence of international 
copyright laws. It published short stories, religious essays, 
biographical sketches, articles on popular science, and travel 
accounts to suit the tastes of middle class readers — mostly 
women. ^° In addition to feature articles, the Eclectic carried 
several departments on art, science, and "varieties," which 
were also edited by the scissors and glue pot method. About 

the only areas for original writing were the literary notices, 
comments in the "By the Editor" section, and the explanations 
of the excellent frontispiece engravings. The quality of the 
writing in the departments was very low, and even the book 
notices were often purloined from other magazines. 

The editor of the Eclectic was Walter Hilliard Bidwell, 
a Yale-educated Congregational pastor who had turned to editing 
religious journals when his voice failed. He had purchased 
the Eclectic in 1846 and had edited it himself until the closing 
months of the Civil War when failing health forced him to spend 
much of his time traveling or resting. When he eventually 
withdrew completely from editorial work on the Eclectic during 
1868, Jones assumed editorial control. Although Bidwell 's 
name would remain on the magazine's title page until his death 

in 1881, he spent most of his time living with relatives in 

Ohio or in travels around the world. Jones changed the 

character of the Eclectic only in one respect: he upgraded the 

"Literary Notices" department, writing the reviews himself in 

the, same caustic tone used by Round Table . 

The publisher of the Eclectic was Edward R. Pelton, a 

young man eight years Jones ' s senior who had worked for Bidwell 

since before the war, and had become Bidwell' s partner and 

publisher in 1868. The Eclectic was published at 108 Fulton 

Street until 1875 when its offices were moved to 25 Bond Street. 

Pelton also published books, specializing in works on medicine, 

and Jones did some editing for him. 




In the early 1870' s Jones became co-editor of Appleton' s 
Journal , a publication of D. Appleton Company noted for its 
excellent art work. The magazine had begun as a weekly with a 
scientific slant, but had evolved into a general literary 
journal. It was not a popular success and was slowly dying. 

In 1876 it would become a monthly, later it would lose its fine 

illustrations, and finally it would expire in 1881. Its 

editor was Oliver Bell Bunce, a pleasant man with a talent for 
writing witty, sophisticated pieces for the magazine's "Table 
Talk" section. Bunce would die a young man, but Jones continued 
a regular correspondence with his widow for the rest of his 
life. He recognized Bunce as one of the few individuals who 
had ever helped him. 32 A ppleton' s Journal had an editorial 
viewpoint similar to that of the Eclectic . It was coldly 
Spencerian on social questions, in favor of reforms to make 
government more honest, and hostile to Reconstruction programs 
in the South. 

By 1871 Jones had developed into a handsome, confident- 
looking gentleman, and had begun to cultivate a pair of long, 
whispy sideburns which would ultimately develop into a full 
beard. 33 In February he married Eliza Cowperwaite of 
Philadelphia, a woman two years his senior, who had been raised 
by her uncle Andrew M. Erstwick, owner of the estate which had 
once belonged to naturalist John Bartram. She bore the 
couple's first child, a daughter who was named Dora, in November. 
Fourteen months later Eliza gave birth to a son who was given 
his father's name, but the child lived little more than a year, 

dying late in the winter of 1874. 


Jones's literary efforts were by no means confined to his 
magazines. He was a contributor to Appleton's Cyclopaedia [six] 
and an editor of Appleton's numerous travel guides, specializing 
in southern resorts. The first book bearing his name was the 
1873 edition of Appleton's Handbook of American Travel. Southern 
Tour . The following year he edited and abridged a book en- 
titled Recent_ J A£t_and_Sociejt^ for Henry Holt and Company. This 
was followed by Vers de Societe , a collection of light poetry 
published in an elegant gift style by Holt, and Africa , an 
edited compilation of travel accounts. He also did an abridge- 
ment of the debates of Congress and edited a version of 
Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson for Holt. Jones contributed 
three biographies — Gladstone, Dickens, and Macaulay — to 
Appleton's New Handy Volume Series , all of which were published 
in 1880. None of these books were of great literary merit, but 
they demonstrate Jones's tremendous capacity for work. There 
was almost certainly a great deal more writing of this sort 
done by Jones, but exact titles cannot be authenticated. Jones 
was well aware that most of his writing was ephemeral. He once 
wrote a friend, commenting on a particularly bad book done by 
a reputable writer: "I can imagine a man doing such work under 
spur of necessity and consequently without blame — with ample 
excuse, in fact, for the public condemns the professional 
literary man to frequent pot-boiling, and he must bow to his 
fate." In a subsequent letter he added, "I am sorry for any 
one who has to do hack literary work under compulsion of 


Jones's appetite for work was perhaps his greatest asset, 
but it was also a weakness for it led to chronic health prob- 
lems due to nervousness and fatigue. In the spring of 1876 
when he was writing both during the day and in the evening he 
suffered what he described as a "nervous collapse" or an "acute 
brain attack" which prostrated him for three days. He seems 
to have regarded such illnesses as part of the price of living 
the literary life, for he doused himself with patent medicine 
and whiskey and resumed work. He confided to a friend that had 
suffered similar attacks for the past four years, and speculated 
that they were inevitable. "I should not be surprised if they 
become periodical, in a sense, until the candle has flickered 
out." 38 

Probably the best treatment for his constitution was his 
annual summer vacation at Middlebury, Vermont, in the Green 
Mountains overlooking Lake Champlain. There he and his wife 
occupied their time in hiking, attending parties, and "petty 
competitions of croquet." 39 Among his companions was Julian W. 
Abernethy, a thin, curly haired college student who would 
shortly receive a doctorate from Yale and assume a life as a 
professor of English. 40 Abernethy became one of Jones's 
closest friends for the remainder of his life. 

Some idea of Jones's views on the social questions which 
would later play a part in his career as a newspaper editor can 
be seen in the reviews he wrote for the Eclectic . Politics had 
little attraction for Jones at the time, and he devoted little 


space in the Eclectic on reviews of political books. E. R. 
Pelton, his publisher, later testified that Jones was "strictly 
a literary man" during his years in New York. Jones shared 
a feeling common among intellectuals that politics was a 
sordid affair, and he echoed Peter Cooper's advice that good 
people ought to "overthrow the despotism of parties and 
politicians. "^2 Yet reason and reform in politics seemed a 
remote possibility to Jones because the general public appeared 
impervious to reason on the subject of politics.^ 3 Later when 
Jones was very much involved in politics he claimed, no doubt 
truthfully, that he had always maintained sympathy with the 
Democratic party. He did admit to voting for the Republican 
candidate Grant in 1868 out of a feeling that a military man 
would be magnanimpus to the South, and he declared that in 
local elections he was one of the "young scratchers" who 
opposed Tammany's methods. ^ The most Jones ever claimed for 
his political action in New York was that he had been an early 
advocate of civil service reform and a worker for Samuel Tilden 
in the election of 1876. ^ 5 

The most popular philosophical and social writer of the 
day was Herbert Spencer, of whom Jones was at first an 
enthusiastic proponent, although he later toned down his 
enthusiasm without abandoning Spencerian habits of thought. 
His early attraction to Spencer was based on the belief that 
Spencer was dealing in pure "fact."^ He retreated some from 
his position in the face of criticism leveled at Spencer, yet 


defended Spencer's system as "one of the grandest scientific 
generalizations of our times." 47 Jones thought that the 
application of Darwinian analogies to the social condition of 
mankind was realistic, and he even considered the inheritance of 
political institutions a possibility. 48 He saw man as a 
creature motivated by passion; the mass of mankind being 
"constitutionally superior to reason." 49 He sometimes expressed 
the view that "this boasted modern civilization is indeed but 
a thin veneer covering a barbarism the more frightful and de- 
basing because of its contrast with the surrounding aspects of 
civilized life." 50 In such a world liberty, equality, and 
fraternity were impossible, and probably not desirable. 51 

The Eclectic had little sympathy with the efforts of 
reformers or trade unions to ameliorate the condition of the 
masses, indeed Jones was not sure that efforts to reduce the 
gap between the rich and the poor were worthwhile, even if 
possible. Differences between classes were natural, thus any 
reform aimed at social equality was bound to be "spurious and 
artificial." The laws governing labor and capital precluded 
any substantial altering of the relative positions of capitalist 
and worker, and efforts by unions to overthrow these laws had 
done much harm, indeed, they were a "menace to society." 53 
Jones advised workers to inform themselves of the realities of 
economics and "end their suicidal and hopeless batterings with 
social laws." 54 Industry, economy, and education were the 
working man's best hope for self -improvement. Employers ought 


to be enlightened and aware of the moral obligations inherent 
in their positions, yet Jones feared that generosity could not 
realistically be expected. 5 i n any case, charity ought to be 
a consideration separate from business. 5 ** 

As his youthful infatuation with Spencer began to wane, 
Jones modified his view of the human situation, becoming more 
concerned with the problems of the working classes. He main- 
tained his Spencerian concept of society, but tempered it with 
a gradualist, evolutionary allowance for change. He speculated 
that the discontent of the masses under capitalism would pro- 
duce a tension which would force a modification of the social 
order, and repression would simply make the final change more 
explosive. His hope was that capital and labor could find 
shared interests on which to found a new stability. 57 

On economic questions Jones followed the line of laissez 
faire orthodoxy set down by William Graham Sumner. This included 
low taxes, complete freedom of contract, hostility to labor 


unions, and also low tariffs. This last tenant of economic 
liberalism had particular appeal to Jones. He argued that the 
protective system which had been adopted during the war should 
be abandoned and would be abandoned when the agricultural 
populace of the nation was correctly informed on the issue. 59 
On the currency question, the Eclectic held that circulation of 
money was guided by natural laws, and that these laws could not 
be overriden by efforts at creating fiat money. Paper money 
was not real money, and gold coin was preferable to silver. 60 


As a Southerner, Jones was of the opinion that the primary 
problem facing the government and people was that of reuniting 
a nation divided by the Civil War. He lamented in 1868 that' 
the election was an occasion for stirring up the embers of 
sectional "passions and animosities" which should be allowed 
to die and would subside but for what he felt was their crass 
exploitation by politicians. 6 ! Horace Greely, the Democratic 
candidate that year, received his praise for advocating 
universal amnesty for former Confederates. 62 Greeley's pro- 
gram was in line with Jones's belief that the South ought to 
be left alone to settle its own problems in its own way. While 
the abolition of slavery was a good and necessary thing, 
approved by both North and South, relations between the Negro 
and his former master were something to be resolved without 
outside interference. One of Jones's northern friends dubbed 
him "an unreconstructed rebel" for holding such views. 

Jones's most complete and unified statement of his 
assessment of the sectional problem appeared in his extended 
review of Albion W. Tourgee's, A Fool's Errand, published in 
1880 as an article in Appleton's Journal . Jones condemned the 
book because he felt it was designed to revive sectional 
animosities which were once real because they were based on 
actual differences, accentuated by war, but which were no 
longer real. A Fool's Errand , he felt, exaggerated the South 's 
hostility to "Northern" ideas, yet a person so closed-mindedly 
self-righteous in his beliefs as the book's protagnoist ought 


to expect violent opposition. Problems of society are complex, 
he argued, and no simple answers are sufficient for them; 
therefore toleration of divergent opinions is necessary. If 
the North had a more tolerant attitude at present, it had not 
always been so and was so now only because Northern society 
contained no "offensive" group comparable to the Negro. A far 
better basis for forming opinion on the question could be 
gained from James S. Pike's The Prostrate State , a book which 
Jones had given an extensive review in the Eclectic years before. 
The unchangeable fact was, as Jones saw it, that the Negro 
could rule in the South only by force of numbers, for wealth, 
intelligence, and political experience were on the side of the 
whites. Such books as A Fool's Errand could do little good, 
and would perpetuate passions that could only hinder settlement 
of "the most difficult and baffling problem that American 
statesmen have to face." 65 

In 1880 Jones and Abernethy began collaboration on a 
"gazetteer" of some sort which would incorporate the latest 
census returns. This project dragged on for months and 
developed into a much larger project than originally anticipated, 
a development which distressed Jones since his contract with 
the publisher did not compensate him for the extra work. A 
book on George Eliot which Jones was working on at the same 
time came to an "ignominious end" in February, 1881, when Jones 
discovered that Roberts Brothers publishers of Boston, seven 
years earlier, had copyrighted and published much of the 


material he wished to use. Jones sold the "biographical memoir" 

to Roberts Brothers, who incorporated it into a new edition of 

the book which was published in 1882. Such things led Jones 

to curse the problems of life as a "Grub Street" writer. He 
wrote Abernethy, "I shall yet flee away to the remotist wilder- 
ness of the West in order to escape these books, magazines, 
and newspapers . 

The pressures of the literary work were not the only 
discomforting aspect of life in New York. The weather during 
the winter of 1880-1881 was very bad, and, in Jones's words, 
"To go out of doors was literally to risk one's skin." Both 
he and his wife were experiencing poor health. "I have been 
in the habit of saying that I liked the Northern winters 
better than the summers," Jones wrote in February, "but I shall 
be cautious hereafter about expressing such an opinion. "'^ 

His spirits rose in the spring as he undertook a book on 
which he would retain the copyright and which would be of 
genuine worth, unlike the sort of work in which he had been 
employed. The book was to be "an 'inside view' of the country's 
history," and would deal with the great men and ideas which had 
guided the nation. He wrote Abernethy telling him of his delight 
in having full control over the book, but adding that he was 
staggered by the "appalling amount of labor" which lay before 
him. '3 Despite his enthusiasm for it, the book was never 
completed, although Jones kept it in mind for the rest of his 
life and still planned to write it at the time of his death. 


Charles H. Jones, "Autobiography" (unpublished 
autobiographical fragment, Charles H. Jones Papers). The Jones 
Papers — letters, notebooks, photographs, manuscript drafts of 
party platforms, and newspaper clippings — are owned by Jones's 
granddaughter Mrs. Carl G. Freeman, Bat Cave, North Carolina. 
Xerox copies are in the P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, 
University of Florida, Gainesville. The collection will herein- 
after be referred to as JP; those things not in the Yonge 
Library will be noted "original." 

2 Rowland H. Rerick, Memoirs of Florida , 2 vols. (Atlanta, 
1902), II, 578. 


Jones , 

"Autobiography," 12. 

4 Ibid., 

45-59 . 

5 Ibid., 


6 Ibid., 


7 Ibid., 


8 Ibid . , 25; Oscar S. Straus, Under Four Administrations 
(Boston, 1922), 4. 

Jones, "Autobiography," 40. 

10 Ibid . , 42. 

•^Straus, Four Administrations , 15. 

12 Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , December 27, 1964; 
clipping, Springfield Sunday Union and Republican , November 17, 
1929; interview with Mrs. Carl G. Freeman, Bat Cave, North 
Carolina, September 17, 1972. 

13 Jones, "Autobiography," 56; Jacksonville Florida Times - 
Union , February 9, 1888. 

14 Jones, "Autobiography," 38. 

15 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , November 29, 1881; 
Charles H. Jones, "Sketch of Life — 1895" (unpublished autobiographical 
note), JP, 



NOTES TO CHAPTER I (continued) 

1 e. 

Interview with Mrs. Carl G. Freeman. 

17 Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , July 2 , 1886 ; Jones , 
"Sketch of Life." 


Charles H. Jones, passport, number 26498, issued 

February 18, 1907, original, JP. 

19 Charles H. Jones, photograph, ca. 1886, original, JP. 

20 Jones, "Sketch of Life." 

ZJ -Ibid . 

22 Frank Luther Mott, A History of American Magazines , 
1865-1885 , 5 vols. (Cambridge, 1938), III, 46. 

23 [Charles H. Jones], "Chicago," Land We Love , V (October, 
1868), 469-476. 

24 Charles H. Jones, "St. Louis, Missouri," Ibid ., VI 
(December, 1868), 126-134. 

25 Ibid. , 132. 

26 Jones, "Sketch of Life." 

27 Ibid. ; Mott, American Magazines , III, 319. 

2 ^Mott, American Magazines , III, 256. 

29 "Walter Hilliard Bidwell" (obit.), Eclectic , XXXIV 
(November, 1881), 720. 

30 "Edward Richmond Pelton" (obit.), Eclectic Magazine and 
Monthly Edition of the Living Age , series 3, I ( January- June , 
1899), bound in front of volume. 

31 Samuel C. Chew, ed., Fruit Among the Leaves (New York, 
1950), 23-24; Mott, American Magazines , III, 90, 417-420. 

32 Jones to Julian W. Abernethy, May 26, 1889; Jones to 
Dora Jones, November 1, 1908, original, JP - 

33 Charles H. Jones, photograph, 1871, original, JP. 

3 ^Entry for Eliza Cowperwaite, "Geneological Record," JP, 

35 Ibid. 

36 Jones to Abernethy, December 9, 1878, JP. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER I (continued) 

37 Ibid. , December 30, 1878, JP. 

38 Ibid., October 20, 1876; February 18, 1877, JP. 

39 Ibid_. , December 9, 1878, JP. 

40 Julian W. Abernethy (1853-1923) was a native of 
Burlington, Vermont. He was professor of literature at Adelphi 
Academy and principal of Berkeley Institute in Brooklyn. His 
extensive library and collection of American first editions 
was given to Middlebury College, Vermont, on his death. New 
* York Times , July 4, 1923. 

^Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , November 10, 1887. 

^ Eclectic , XVII (May, 1873), 635. 

43 Eclectic , X (September, 1869), 369. 

44 Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , July 22, August 2, 1884. 

45 Ibid. , December 15, 1885; August 21, 1887. 

46 Eclectic, XIX (June, 1874), 758. 

47 Ibid. , XXII (July, 1875), 121. 

, XVII (February, 1873), 248. 

, VIII (November, 1868), 1415. 

, XVII (March, 1873), 372. 

, XVIII (July, 1873), 121. 

, XIII (May, 1871), 633. 

, XXI (March, 1875), 378. 

, XVII (May, 1873), 634. 

, XXIV (December, 1876), 763; XIII (May, 1871), 633. 

, XXVI (November, 1877), 637. 

, XXXI (June, 1880), 763; XXXIV (July, 1881), 138. 

, X (December, 1869), 759. 

, XXVI (October, 1877), 509. 

, XXIII (January, 1876), 121; XXIII (February, 














Ibid . 

55 Ibid . 

5 6lbid. 

57 Ibid. 

58 Ibid. 




1876), 249. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER I (continued) 

61 Ibid. , VIII (November, 1868), 1413. 

62 Ibid., XI (April, 1870), 497. 

Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , August 21, 1887. 

6 4 Eclectic , XIX (February, 1874), 247. 

"Charles h. Jones, "Sectional Fiction," Appleton's 
Journal , IX (December, 1880), 564. * 

66 Jones to Abernethy, April 6, 1881, JP. 

6 7 Ibid . , February 7, 1881; Wit and Wisdom of George Eliot 
with a Biographical Memoir (Boston, 1882) . 

68 Jones to Abernethy, April 6, 1881, JP. 

69 Ibid. , December 6, 1880, JP. 

70 Ibid., February 7, 1881. -JP. 

71 Ibid ., November 24, December 6, 1880, JP. 

72 Ibid., February 7, 1881, JP. 

73 Ib_id., March 14, 25, April 6, 1881, JP. 


Sometime in the winter of 1880-1881 Appleton received a 
manuscript of a travel book on Florida from George M. Barbour, 
a Chicago newspaperman who had been living in that state for 
the past year. The manuscript was turned over to Jones, who 
wrote a letter to Reverend Mr. T. W. Moore of Fruit Cove, 
Florida, inquiring about some points in Barbour's work. Moore 
had written a book Treatise and Handbook on Orange Culture in 
Florida which had been published by Pelton. In his reply to 
Jones, Moore objected to some things Barbour had said, and 
Jones decided to go to Florida to see for himself and gather 
more material to supplement Barbour's document for publication 
as a full-scale book by Appleton. 

On May 25, 1881, Jones wrote Abernethy telling him of his 
pending journey to Florida. Primarily it would be a business 
trip, but he hoped to enjoy a restful sea voyage to and from 
Florida, recouperating from his editorial labors in New York. 
The prospect of a mid-summer visit in the semi-tropics, 
however, seemed much less pleasant. Collecting materials for 
the Barbour book would be the immediate purpose of the visit, 
but Jones appended a cryptic message to his letter: "I have a 

special object in mind when I say to you, save every dollar 

you can." 



Jones may have been considering purchase of a newspaper 
in Florida at the time, but he also wanted his friend to join 
him in a venture in citrus growing. During the summer, he, 
Abernethy, and another northern friend combined to buy some 
acreage in Orange County from John G. Sinclair, a New Hampshire 

immigrant who did business in real estate and had plans for 


establishing a plant for processing starch from cassava. 

Perhaps Jones was influenced in his decision to enter the field 
of citrus growing by the claims of "fabulous" profits to be 
made in oranges with only a modicum of effort, as described in 
Moore's Treatise .^ Reality proved somewhat different than 
Moore had pictured it, and Jones's investment never resulted 
in any citrus production, although he continued to hold the 
land until 1884. 5 

Jones arrived in Jacksonville, Florida, during the first 

week in June. He met Moore and traveled with him looking at 

the state and gathering materials for the Barbour book. But 

he also talked to several individuals in Jacksonville about the 
possibility of purchasing the Daily Florida Union , a journal 
which had been established during the Civil War and was now 
edited by Hugh B. McCallum, a man slowly dying of consumption. 
Barbour had initiated negotiations for purchase of the paper 
earlier, and had suggested that Jones resume conversations with 
McCallum. 7 Jones talked to the Union 's editor about the pro- 
posal, and, according to Jones, it was agreed that McCallum 
would discuss the matter with friends and set a price. When 


Jones ventured that if the price were too high he would prefer 
to start a new paper rather than purchase the Union , McCallum 
took the statement as a threat and vowed that he would fight 


to defend the Union field. 

Jones returned to New York at the end of the month, 
without having reached a decision on purchase of the paper, 
but he was interested in going forward with plans to take it. 
"When you come down, bring every dollar you can scrape together," 
he wrote Abernethy, promising to explain everything when they 
met in New York. 9 He also wrote his brother George, who he 
hoped would join him in Florida, and received an encouraging 
reply. Early in September he returned to Florida, after 
being delayed at sea by storms off the Carolina coasts. Back 
in Jacksonville Jones made some discoveries that convinced him 
that he did not want the Union regardless of its sale price. 11 
A check of the county clerk's office by Barbour revealed that 
the Union was heavily mortgaged, so Barbour was sent to tell 
McCallum that if he and Jones entered the field it would be 
with a new publication. ^ Jones made an appointment to see 
Assistant Commissioner of Immigration Samuel Fairbanks, and 
in his office, Jones, Fairbanks, and former Republican Governor 
Harrison Reed, who lived near Jacksonville, discussed the 
possibilities of beginning a new paper. Reed's description of 
the fractured state of Florida's Republican party convinced 
Jones that a Republican paper could not survive, but an 

independent-Democratic paper might attract support from both 



Returning to New York early in October, Jones hurried 
preparations for establishing a second Jacksonville daily 
newspaper. He ordered a press and materials for the paper 
from New York firms , had Barbour make preparations in 
Jacksonville, and arranged to rent his New York home during 
his absence. ^ In spite of the confusion, Jones invited 
Abernethy to visit him in New York and congratulated him on 
securing a position on the faculty of Adelphi Academy. 
Abernethy' s coming to Adelphi was a great achievement, Jones 
felt, "I wish the wisdom of my own step were as little open 
to doubt." 15 Leaving his wife in New York and admonishing 
Abernethy to call on her, Jones departed again for Florida. 
November storms made the passage rough and kept him constantly 
seasick during most of the voyage. 

Work on setting up the newspaper's plant and offices had 
hardly begun when Jones arrived in Jacksonville, where he 
immediately busied himself "evolving order out of the wildest 
confusion." 1 ' Despite the disorder, Jones found his enterprise 

warmly encouraged by local people, and his attitude became 

more confident. Delays caused by oversights in ordering of 

materials or in their shipment set back the date for publication 

at least a week and increased his anxiety. Not enough type had 

been ordered , galley racks were ordered but not received, and an 

essential part of the press could not be located. The delay cost 

about $200, Jones estimated, but he confided to Abernethy that 

the ultimate success of the paper was as sure as anything could 

be.W During the final push to get out the first edition, Jones 


remained in the newspaper offices almost all the time, 

emerging only briefly to eat and sleep. 

The newspaper's offices were located above Hughes' [ sic . ] 

Drug Store on Bay Street at the Ocean Street intersection. 

Jones provided himself with a handsomely furnished office that 

impressed one resident Florida newspaperman as "the neatest 

and best-appointed private sanctum in the South." The 

paper would be printed on a hand powered Campbell press 

designed for country newspapers. Jones and Barbour were 

named in the prospectus as the paper's proprietors — Jones 

providing the literary talent and Barbour the experience of 

ten years' work with western newspapers. Jones would be editor 

with responsibility for handling the Associated Press dispatches, 

and Barbour would edit state and local news. 22 Fred W. Hoyt, 

a local man with experience on several Jacksonville and 

Fernandina newspapers, was managing editor. ■ The paper was 

to be published daily, except Monday, an omission necessitated 

by Jacksonville's ordinance against working on the sabbath. 

The subscription rate of $10.00 per year, "strictly in advance," 

was the same as the Union's. * 

The first edition of the Florida Daily Times appeared on 

November 29, 1881. It had four pages of eight columns each, 

with only two front page columns devoted to advertisements. 

The telegraphic dispatches which appeared on the front page 

were short, and most dealt with crime, violence, or natural 

disasters. About half the paper's space was given over to 


advertisements, suggesting that patronage was not a problem, 
although some questioned whether Jacksonville could support two 
daily newspapers. Many of the local "news" stories were 
covert advertisements designed to promote Florida, a hotel, a 

steamship line, or a store. The Times claimed that it had more 

advertisements than it could publish. Most telegraphic dis- 
patches were short to save wire charges. Longer stories 
usually concerned some matter of lasting importance since they 
had to be sent by mail.. The Guiteau trial was providing this 
sort of material at the time. Moore's Orange Culture , Barbour's 
Florida for Tourists, Invalids and Settlers , and several of 
Pelton's medical books were advertised prominently. The over- 
all tone of the paper was light, full of "chit-chat," with a 
flippant attitude toward politics and politicians. Editorials 
dominated the second page — still the core of the newspaper — and 
the expected "Farm, Garden, Household" column shared page three 
with seven columns of advertisements. 

After a week of publication Jones could write Abernethy 
that the success of the paper, despite some expected difficulties, 
was "unequivocal." The Times ' s new type and uncluttered format 
made it, Jones declared, "the neatest paper south of Philadelphia." 
Moreover, the paper was inundated with demands for advertising 
space to an extent that amazed Jones. " Abernethy wrote to 
give the paper his approval, and Jones replied that it was 
improving with every issue, while circulation was steadily 
expanding. The success of the paper was beyond doubt, he 


averred, but with success went the responsibility for getting 

out the paper on schedule every day without relent. "The 

curse of Sisyphus is upon me," lamented Jones. 

One of the first things Jones had done on arriving in 
Florida was to write Abernethy asking him to arrange with a 
friend at the Springfield (Massachusetts) Republican for an 
exchange . Jones thought the Republican would want the Times 
for news of Florida, and he believed that it was the one paper 
he must have. 29 His ambition was to model his paper after the 
Republican , making it known for quality and editorial content, 
even though small in circulation and located in a remote corner 
of the republic. 30 Jones watched for quotations from his 
paper in the northern press and brought such notices to the 
attention of the Times 's readers. 31 In his first editorial, 
Jones outlined a policy of independent journalism which sup- 
posedly would guide the policy of the paper. The Times would 
be independent of political parties, not out of a spirit of 
hostility, but in order to remain free of any obligations 
except those owed its general readership. Thus members of both 
parties could freely patronize the newspaper. 32 After a year of 
publication, Jones would write that many people were "watching 
with interest the experiment of publishing an outspoken, fear- 
less, and independent newspaper" in a section of the country 

where, he said, the press had seldom dared stand on principle. 

In the first issue of the Times Jones went on to say that, 

contrary to the prevailing attitude, editorial comment was not 


the primary function of a newspaper. Increasingly it was the 
trend for newspapers to subordinate comment on the news to 
printing of the news itself. At the same time, the concept of 
news was changing to include more than just politics: any 
area of human endeavor was the proper sphere of the journalist. 
The sciences, literature, and art should receive attention, 
and it should all be done in a style which would entertain as 
well as enlighten the reader. ^ Jones tried to practice the 
philosophy he proclaimed. He induced Oliver Bell Bunce to do 
a series of light essays on New York society for the Sunday 
Times during the 1881-1882 season. On Sunday the usual 
political editorials were supplanted by long essays on authors 
or some aspect of literature. Jones also attempted to turn 
the farm and garden column into a real vehicle for dispensing 
information of use to agriculturalists in Florida's unique 
climate. He solicited contributions from experts in various 
departments of agriculture, and opened the column with a 
series of articles by T. W. Moore. 

Tariff reform and civil service reform constituted the 
focal point of the Times ' s editorial stance on national politics, 
and Jones continued to argue, as he had with the Eclectic , that 
sectionalism and the emotional questions remaining from the 
Civil War era were no longer real issues; they were sham issues 
employed by politicians to avoid coming to grips with living 
problems. 35 The Times endorsed a tariff for revenue only, 
arguing that the surplus was dangerous, taxes were too high, 
government spending was too extravagant, and high prices 


caused by the tariff actually retarded industrialization in the 
South. 3*> During the fall election campaign of 1882 the Times 
ran a series of essays designed to educate the public on the 
fundamentals of the tariff question. In taking a low tariff 
stance the Times was hewing closer to traditional Democratic 
lines than were the New South protectionists, such as Henry 
Grady of the Atlanta Constitution . Civil service reform, 
Jones argued, should be of particular interest to the South 
since it was there that the worst abuses of the patronage 
system had occurred. 37 From the start, the Times endorsed 
Pendleton's proposal for a merit system. 3° 

In local affairs, the Times crusaded to make the city of 
Jacksonville more attractive, and therefore more pleasing to 
resort vacationers who expected plush surroundings. Some 
changes, the Times suggested, could be made easily enough by 
the people themselves. They could stop emptying their slop 
buckets in the gutters, clean up the rubbish on the streets, 
and sweep their sidewalks and keep them in good repair. 
Another more challenging undertaking would be the construction 
of shell roads along the riverfront so that winter guests 
could enjoy the view and the fresh air. But the improvement 
that Jones probably wished to see most was the paving of Bay 
Street. Running parallel to the river one block inland, Bay 
Street was the heart of the town's business district. Its 
surface was a mixture of sand, sawdust, and horse manure, and 
after every heavy rain it became a foul smelling series of mud 


flats and ponds perfectly meriting its name. Jones pledged the 
Times ' s support to any project for paving the street and 
volunteered twenty-five dollars toward the enterprise. J * 

Before the end of 1881 the Times was claiming that it had 
enough paid circulation to run at a profit, even though no 
systematic canvass of the state had yet been made. By 
January, 1882, it was claimed that issues of the Times were 
being published in volumes matching the largest ever produced 
in Florida, and on March 17, 1882, the Times published an out- 
sized edition featuring a front page interview with Governor 
William D. Bloxham taken from the New Orleans Times-Democrat . 
The Times claimed that 5,000 copies of this edition were 

printed, and that the press had run from midnight until two 

o'clock the next afternoon in getting it out. By this txme 

Jones declared that the Times had as large a circulation as 

any newspaper in Florida, that it had no debts, and that it 

was making money at a rate which had enabled him to regain 

one-quarter of his original investment. That the Times was 

making money is virtually certain, and it also seems likely 

that it was debt free. No records have been found detailing 

the finances of the paper, but Jones later claimed that he had 

financed the newspaper himself, using $16,000 saved from his 

literary work. 43 It appears unlikely that Abernethy or anyone 

else had an interest in the newspaper. 

Mrs. Jones and Dora arrived in Florida just in time for 

the festivities of the winter season and were delighted by the 


receptions and parties which highlighted Jacksonville's 
brightest time of the year. Jones wrote Abernethy that 
Mrs. Jones had proven to be "quite a belle." 44 However, her 
life in Jacksonville would be quiet by comparison to that of 
her husband. She seems to have involved herself with work in 
the Episcopal Church and to have enjoyed an unobtrusive 
association with a wide circle of friends. 45 She and Dora 
were frequently out of the city during the summers vacationing 
in the North. 46 

Having passed the crisis of establishment, Jones set out 
to boom the Times as the state's coming newspaper. Every day 
there were reports of the paper's increasing success: the 
Times was sold out early at the hotels, newspapers in other 
states were clamoring for exchanges with the Times, extra news- 
print had to be purchased because of the unexpected demand. 
The public was reminded that the Times was not a local paper, 
but a journal for all the state. A morning train carried the 
Times to subscribers in Fernandina. Efforts were made to 
secure regular correspondents in all sections of the state, 
and canvassers were sent out to seek advertisements and sub- 
scribers. Barbour went to South Florida in December and to 
Middle Florida in January; others went up the St. Johns calling 
at all the port stops. 49 Of course, there was the problem 
common to all newspapers of the solicitor who absconded with 
subscription money. 50 Jones even announced the opening of a 
New York office of the Times . It was at 25 Bond Street, 


Pelton's address, and whether or not the Times got many 
subscriptions there, the mere fact of a New York office looked 
impressive. 51 Another means of attracting subscribers was the 
offer of a free copy of Florida for Tourists, Invalids, and 
Settlers to those who agreed to take the paper for a half year 
or more. 

The Times' s relations with the Union were, at least on 
the surface, friendly. On the advice of former Governor Reed, 
Jones had written a letter to McCallum when he returned to 
Florida, attempting to promote good will. McCallum wrote a 
cold reply, but Jones went to the Union office and met with 
McCallum and the staff. 53 A brief feud broke out in December 
when the Union published a complaint that Barbour had spread 
a rumor in South Florida that the owners of the Times held a 
mortgage on the Union which they intended to foreclose and 
that Jones, as agent for the Associated Press, had obtained a 
monopoly of the dispatches , sharing them with the Union only 
out of kindness. Jones denied any part in spreading sjich 

rumors, and Barbour published a denial under his name, but he 

still maintained that the Union was, in fact, mortgaged. 

When the Union took issue with his denial, Barbour repeated 
that he had not tried to spread misconceptions about the AP 
dispatches, and he declared that within the past few days he 
had been shown another mortgage covering nearly everything 
owned by the Union . Jones closed the incident with a plea 
for professional comity among editors; equating newspaper 
disputes with cock fighting — amusing to the public but uselessly 
destructive. 5 ** 


On February 10 Jones made the unexpected announcement 
that Barbour had ceased to be an "employee" of the Times , and 
that, contrary to popular impression, he had never owned any 
interest in the newspaper. Jones said that Barbour had 
promised to finance the paper jointly with him, but had failed 
to do so. Meanwhile he had borrowed money to pay for everything 
from car fare to his laundry bills. On January 9 Jones had 
made a new contract with Barbour under which he was supposed 
to collect subscriptions and advertisements, but instead he 
had worked "treacherously and insidiously" against the interests 
of the paper. ^ Later Jones would charge that Barbour had 
allied himself to the Union and was telling potential patrons 
of the Times that the paper was secretly Republican in sympathy. 58 
The day after the announcement of Barbour's severance from the 
Times, Jones revealed that he had done much of the writing of 
Florida for Tourists, Invalids, and Settlers , hoping to nullify 
the benefit Barbour gained from his reputation as the book's 
author. ° 

On the day that Jones announced Barbour's departure, the 
Times office was visited by Samuel VI. Small, a writer for the 
Atlanta Constitution who was in Jacksonville looking for a 
cottage where he and his invalid wife might spend the winter. 
At the time, McCallum of the Union was confined to his home by 
illness, while business manager Harrison Clark and chief editorial 
writer John Temple Graves ran the daily affairs of the news- 
paper. 61 About the beginning of March, Small became a proprietor 

__ j_ l 2_ fc a-.---'!-.^- ..k^^^^^^^^a^^^^agi^gig^^ ^^^^sa^g^^i^a^^^as^^giia^^^^^^E^E 


of the Union , but within a month he had gone over to the Times, 
purchasing an interest of that paper. Jones wrote a long 
announcement of Small's coming to the Times , and changed the 
paper's listed ownership to "Jones and Small." Behind the 
scenes an effort was being made to merge the two papers , but 
the nature of that effort was soon to become a matter of 
controversy. The Union charged that Jones and Small had been 
working together in a conspiracy to ease McCallum out of con- 
trol of the Union and to merge the two papers. As evidence, 
a letter from Jones to Small was produced in which Jones wrote 
about the conditions of a merger and the policy to be followed 


until merger. McCallum was not mentioned in the letter. 

Jones told a different story. He said that shortly after 
the beginning of the Times he had been approached by McCallum' s 
friends with proposals for a merger, but no progress had been 
made at the time. Small's appearance on the scene revived 
interest in a merger. Jones had begun negotiations with Small 
while Small was with the Union , and he wrote Abernethy on 

March 5 announcing plans for a "grand combination," but en- 

joining him to keep quiet for the moment. After the dispute 

broke into the open, Jones claimed that Small and friends of 

McCallum had told him that Small, backed by others, controlled 

the Union . As it turned out, this was not true. For his part, 

Small denied the charges of collusion with Jones and explained 

that he had re-sold his interest in the Union to McCallum. 5 


Small remained at the Times , becoming night editor when 

Charles A. Choate resigned to return to his farm near 

Tallahassee. However, Jones soon found that Small was not the 

asset to the paper he had expected. "Small, on whom I counted 
so confidently, turned out to be the most consummate scoundrel 
that it was ever my lot to be brought in contact with," Jones 
wrote Abernethy. "He was drunk four fifths I sic] of the time 
(never really sober) , a spendthrift, a gambler, and a bully. 
In his drunken wrath one night when we were alone in the office 
he drew a revolver on me to enforce a claim which [he] pretended 
to have." On April 12, 1882, Small's name was taken down from 
the masthead, and four days later Jones announced that he had re- 
acquired Small's interest in the paper. On the previous day a 
suit which Small had brought against Jones was withdrawn from 
circuit court. ° Jones told Abernethy that he had paid Small 
"blackmail to the tune of $250" in order to be rid of him. The 
strain of running the newspaper and fighting a lawsuit with 
Small had proven too much for him. "He had counted upon this 
with devilish malignity," Jones explained. fi 9 

Whether Jones had, in fact, attempted to use Small to 
gain control of the Union cannot be determined from existing 
evidence. However, there seems to be little doubt that Small 
was the rascal that Jones had described. John Varnum, who was 
city editor of the Times during the dispute, would later 
characterize Small as a "little fraud." Small returned to 
Georgia where he failed in a newspaper venture of his own. He 
was then "converted" by revivalist Sam Jones and spent the 

ggg asasaisaaEiaaflasags^^ 


following years as a traveling evangelist, often appearing 
with Sam Jones, before returning to his first vocation as a 
writer for the Atlanta Constitution. Jones maintained that 

both he and McCallum had been taken in by Small, and he pro- 
fessed to be deeply hurt by the Union 's attempt to cast him as 
a sneak. "Not being of that temperment that enables a man to 
remain calm and complacent under calumny and vituperation," 
Jones declared, "I resolved deliberately at the time of that 
first attempt to make the Union [ sic ] sorry for it and all sub- 
sequent attempts."' 1 

After the Small affair Jones considered returning North. 
Directing the affairs of a daily newspaper was a great strain 
even under normal conditions. In February he had written 
Abernethy, "I am on the treadmill all the time, and though 
there is a wonderful fascination about it, I am about worn 

out. "'2 By April he felt that he was verging on physical 

collapse. Jones decided to sell the Times if he could find 

a buyer, and sent his attorney to see McCallum and other 

potential purchasers. McCallum declined to buy at Jones's 

price, and may not have had the money to do so anyway. No 

other purchaser being available, Jones, perhaps encouraged by 

the support he received when word leaked out that he was 

planning to leave, decided to keep his paper. ^ 

Part of Jones's problem from the start had been his 

failure to secure competent, steady staff members. 5 Hoyt and 

Choate had done good work in establishing the paper, but now 


both had left the Times . Jones set about reorganizing his 
staff. His brother George and his city editor John Varnum, 
who had both been with the paper from its inception, were 
brought into partnership with him by selling them a little 
less than half interest. 76 Varnum had come to Florida during 
Reconstruction when his father was a general in command of 
federal troops stationed at Pensacola. He had tried orange 
growing, was once a deputy United States marshall, and had 
come to Jacksonville to practice law with Edward M. Cheney, 
a former owner of the Union . 77 After the establishment of 
Jones, Varnum and Company, Jones was still one man short 
because of Small's ouster. This difficulty was resolved in 
June when Judge A. 0. Wright of Pensacola was made city editor. 
Varnum moved up to the position of managing editor with 
general supervisory duties. When John Ransom, the paper's 
Washington correspondent, came into the office as news editor 
in December, the Times organization was complete and relatively 
stable. 7 9 

During the spring and summer Jones quarreled with the 
Union and the city council over the method of awarding the 
contract for printing city tax lists. He charged that the 
chairman of the printing committee had given the contract to 
his rival even though his own paper had sent in a bid only 
one-tenth that of the Union . 80 The Times blasted this as 
"collusion, back-stairs methods, and betrayal of public 
interests." 81 At first the council decided to ignore the 


action of the chairman of the printing committee and awarded 
the contract to Jones. Having secured the city printing, Jones 
proclaimed the Times "Official Paper of the City," but promised 
that all profits from the contract above printing costs would 
be donated to the public library to show that he had been 
motivated only by a sense of fair play.^2 Jones also asked 
for competitive bidding on all future contracts. -* On May 17 
the Union , which had printed the tax lists under authorization 
of the printing committee chairman, presented a bill to the 

council for $451.34, and the Times requested $46.66 for the 

same work. When the council voted to pay the Union and took 

no stand regarding bidding on future contracts, managing editor 

Varnum ridiculed the decision and city attorney John Hartridge's 

argument supported the decision. 

This sort of personal attack was an invitation to 
retaliation, and Varnum was warned that he would be assaulted. 
On July 1, as he was returning to the Times office from dinner, 
he was confronted by Hartridge in front of a Bay Street store 
and was hit in the face. After a scuffle Hartridge called off 
the fight, proclaiming to the crowd which had gathered that he 
had whipped his defamer. The next day the Times ran a blow-by- 
blow account of the episode and editorially decried the fact 
that such ruffianism was tolerated by the law. Writing 
privately to Abernethy, Jones said that Hartridge was one of 
the "turbulent young bloods" who had been running the town. 
Jones claimed that the assault on Varnum was intended to 

ffis ^gBaafesaasiiflSffla^^ 


intimidate the Times , but, he wrote, they "didn't scare worth 
a cent and served him up next morning in a style that probably 
made his hair stand on end." Jones believed that Hartridge and 
his friends were "cured" for the time being, but he confessed 
that he seldom went on the streets without fear of being 
assaulted. 87 Hartridge was found guilty in the mayor's court 
of disorderly conduct and was fined $5.00. 88 The question of 
city printing was resolved in October, when the Times outbid 
the Union for the contract, and, once again, Jones titled his 
journal the "Official Paper of the City." 89 

The city election passed quietly in the spring of 1882. 
The Times did not give direct endorsement to either slate of 
candidates, but it was clearly biased toward the predominantly 
Democratic "Conservative" ticket. The "Citizens" slate was 
backed by the Republicans, who the Times characterized as 

largely propertyless Negroes. The Republican convention was 

ridiculed in a long story, complete with Negro dialect. 7 " 

Morris A. Dzialynski, the "Conservative" candidate for mayor, 

defeated former Mayor J. Ramsey Dey. The Times considered this 

a victory for sound, businesslike government, but expressed 

doubts about the quality of the board of aldermen elected since 

they represented the class of party workers to which Hartridge 


In April the steamboat City of Sanford burned on the 

St. Johns above Jacksonville. Jones sent an artist to sketch 

the wreckage, then scoured Jacksonville trying to find an 

engraver who could produce a woodcut. The crude, small result 

^ ^a^a^awaaaiigaEa^^^ 


of this effort, the Times 's first attempt at an original 
illustration, was run on the front page with a story of the 
accident. A second, larger illustration, probably done by a 
Savannah engraver, carried several days later, was hardly 
better. The Times was forced to admit that the engravings had 
been badly handled, but it congratulated itself on what it 
called one of the most lively feats of journalism ever 
attempted in Florida. 92 However, the attempt was not repeated. 
Illustrations, other than cuts running with advertisements, 
were scarce in the Times , although occasionally some small, 
high quality portraits would accompany a feature story on an 
author or other notable. 93 Illustrations were equally rare 
in the Union , but it did gain notice in January, 1882, by 
running several front page pictures of various personalities 

• -, 94 
involved in the Guiteau trial. 

The Times strengthened its reputation for controversial 
editorializing by its handling of an incident which occurred 
in May. A passenger on the Fernandina and Jacksonville Rail- 
road was hit in the head and seriously injured following an 
argument with a railroad employee named Bailey Smith. The 
Times not only denounced the crime, but criticized Mayor 
Dzialynski for signing Smith's bail bond and suggested that 
city officials were trying to hush-up the matter in order to 
protect the town's reputation. 95 When two friends of Smith 
came to Jacksonville in the avowed intent of punishing Jones 
and Varnum, the Times declared that it would not be intimidated. 


The question at issue, it maintained, was whether the tone of 

the Jacksonville community would be set by the Baily Smith 

types and the "bloods" or by the town's better citizens. 

One day it was rumored that the Times offices would be attacked 
that night, and some police were sent to patrol Bay Street in 
the vicinity of the office, while others watched Jones and 
Vamum's homes. Jones left the Times offices at two in the 
morning accompanied by the chief of police, and the night 
passed without incident . Jones later wrote Abernethy that the 
town had been "in a tempest of excitement. . . . They have 
never had a paper before that would speak out fearlessly upon 
such matters, and you would be amazed at the excitement it 
aroused. If the violence had been attempted there would un- 
questionably have been a lynching." 97 Jones felt that he had 
won the support of the community's leading citizens in the 


As the summer "dull season" set in, Jones wrote a 
retrospective letter to Abernethy enumerating the successes of 
the past six months. The paper had been established on a 
sound footing and had successfully passed through the trauma 
of getting started. He felt that the Times had the support of 
the "best citizens" and it was having an uplifting effect on 
the moral climate of the community. He was pleased to see 
his editorials were quoted in the northern press as frequently 
as any other southern editor. And finally, there was no longer 
a possibility of losing money in the venture, and he could 


leave at any time without loss. His original outlay had been 
covered by profits and by the sale of a substantial interest 
to Varnum and his brother. He expected that the paper would 
lose money by continuing publication during the summer, but 
he anticipated that the next winter season would bring a clear 
profit of $5,000? 8 It is possible that the summer season did 
not turn out as badly as Jones had expected, for a month after 
his letter to Abernethy he claimed that circulation had 

declined only slightly and wrote that plans were underway to 

buy a new press and begin publication of a weekly. 

On August 24 Jones embarked on the steamer Western Texas 

for a trip to New York which he had been planning since April. 

Pressures of work and the Small affair forced him to postpone 

the trip, however, and shorten it from the two months he 

originally contemplated to two weeks. Although he hoped 

to visit with Abernethy while in New York, the main purpose 

of the trip would be to purchase material for a weekly edition 

of the Times which he hoped to start in September. While 

in the North he would also arrange for better news service and 

secure more "specials" for the coming season. 

;.7rj«iMm>fWr"»" J "-" a ^" -««»™»-»-<n»i 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , July 3, 1887. 

2 Jones to Abemethy, May 25, June 3, 1881, JP. 

3 .Tacksonville Florida Daily Times , November 29, 1881. 

4 T. W. Moore, Treatise and Handbook on Orange-Culture in 
Florida (Jacksonville, 1877; rev. ed., New York, 1881), 11. 

5 Jones to Abemethy, February 14, 1884, JP. 

6 .Tarksonville Florida Times-Union , July 3, 1887. 

7 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , October 20, 1882. 

8 Ibid. 

9 Jones to Abemethy, June 29, 1881, JP. 
lQ lbid ., September 3, 1881, JP. 

I 1 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , October 20, 1882. 
12 Ibid ., December 28, 1881. 
13 Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , August 2, 1884. 

14 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , October 20, 1882; Jones 
to Abemethy, October 8, 1881, JP. 

15 Jones to Abemethy, October 15, 1881, JP. 

16 Ibid., November 20, 1881, JP. 

17 Ibid., November 7, 1881, JP. 

18 Ibid . 

19 Ibid., November 20, 1881, JP. 

20 Ibid., December 4, 1881, JP. 




NOTES TO CHAPTER II (continued) 

2l Tallahassee Weekly Floridian , January 10, 1882. 

22 Jacksonville Florida JDaily Times, November 29, 1881. 

23 Ibid. , January 14, 1882. 

24 Ibid ., November 29, 1881. 

25 Savannah Morning News , December 2, 1881. 

26 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , November 29, 1881. 

27 Jones to Abernethy, December 4, 1881i J p - 

28 Ibid. , December 11, 1881, JP. 

Jones to Abernethy, November 7, 1881, JP. 
30 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , October 22, 1882. 
3 1 Ibid . 

32 Ibid ., November 29, 1881. 
3 3lbid ., October 22, 1882. 
34 ibid ., November 29, 1881. 
35 ib id ., December 12, 1881; June 27, 1882. 
36 ibid ., December 12, 1881; June 27, November 23, 1882. 
37ibid., November 23, 1882. 
3 8 Ibid ., December 20, 1881. 

39ibid. , December 4, 1881; January 4, February 12, 
September 3, 1882. 

40 Ibid . , December 29, 1881. 

4l Ibid., January 27, March 18, 1882. 

42 Ibid. , March 16, 1882. 

43 Jones, "Sketch of Life." 

44 Jones to Abernethy, February 11, 1882, JP. 

45 St. Louis Republic , December 15, 1888. 

46 Jones to Abernethy, June 4, 1882, JP. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER II (continued) 

^'Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , January 22, 1882, 

4 8 Fernandina Express , March 25, 1882. 

* J Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , January 17, 1882. 

50 Ibid., March 23, 1882. 

51 Ibid. , January 1, 1882. 

52 Ibid. , January 25, 1882. 

53 Ibid. , October 20, 1882. 

54 Ibid. , December 28, 1881. 

55 Ibid. , December 30, 1881. 

56 Ibid. , January 1, 1882. 

57 Ibid. , February 10, March 29, 1882. 

58 Ibid ., March 29, 1882; Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , 
August. 2, 1884. 

' Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , February 11, 1882; 

Thomas S. Graham, "Who Wrote 'Barbour's Florida '?" Florida 

Historical Quarterly , LI (April, 1973), forthcoming. 

Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , February 11, 1882. 

61 Tallahassee Weekly Floridian , January 10, 1882. 

62 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , March 2, 16, 1882. 

6 3 Ibid ., March 29, 31, 1882; Jacksonville Florida Journal , 
July 28, 1884. 


64 Jones to Abernethy, March 5, 1882. 

65 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , March 31, April 2, 

66 Ibid., April 4, 1882. 

67 Jones to Abernethy, April 30, 1882, JP. 
68 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , April 12, 16, 1882. 
69 Jones to Abernethy, April 30, 1882 j J p « 


NOTES TO CHAPTER II (continued) 

70 Jacksonville News-Herald , October 12, 1887. 

Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , October 20, 1882. 

7 Jones to Abernethy, February 11, 1882, JP. 

73 Ibid. , April 30, 1882, JP. 

7 ^ Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , October 20, 1882; 
Jones to Abernethy, June 4, 1882, JP. 

75 Jones to Abernethy, December 11, 1881, JP. 

76 Ibid ., April 30, 1882, JP. 

Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , December 27, 1964. 


Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , June 7 , 1882 . 

79 lb id ., November 28, December 2, 1882. 

8 Ibid ., February 5, 1882. 

81 Ibid., February 8, 1882. 

82 ibid . , February 9, 1882. 

8 3 Ibid ., March 22, May 17, 19, 1882. 

8 4 Ibid . , March 18, 1882. 


Ibid ., June 6, 21, 22, 1882. 

86 Ibid ., July 2, 1882. 

87 Jones to Abernethy, July 10, 1882, JP. 
88 Jacksonvllle Florida Daily Times , July 6 , 1882 . 


Ibid . , October 10, 1882, 

90 Ibid ., March 30, 1882. 



91 Ibid ., March 31, April 1, 5, 1882. 

92 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , April 25, 30, May 3, 

Ibid ., February 19, 1882. 

Tallahassee Weekly Floridian , February 7, 1882. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER II (continued) 

95 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , May 27, 28, 1882. 

96 Ibid ., May 30, 1882. 

97 Jones to Abernethy, June 4, 1882, JP. 


99 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , July 2, 1882. 

100 Jones to Abernethy, April 30, June 4, August 8, 1882, JP; 
Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , August 25, 1882. 

101 The Weekly Florida Times began publication in October, 
1882. It sold for $1.00 per year and carried articles assembled 
from the daily editions. It also contained special articles of 
interest to farmers, since the weekly's readership was primarily 
rural . 

102 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times, August 10, 1882. 



On the day after Jones sailed for New York, two convicted 
Negro murderers Charles Savage and Howard James were taken. off 
a train in the Middle Florida town of Madison, east of 
Tallahassee, and shot to death by a party of white men. The 
Times , under Varnum' s direction, condemned the crime, as did 

virtually all the state's newspapers, but it went further and 

demanded that the lynchers be brought to justice. Varnum 

published an interview with several blacks who had come to 

Jacksonville after the murders and claimed to have seen the 

men who committed the crime. The story named names and gave 

explicit details. Although the paper later accepted the denials 

of those mentioned, Varnum continued to demand that a real 

effort be made to bring the lynchers to trial. Jones sent a 

signed editorial from New York saying that "indignation" 

meetings and condemnatory editorials were pointless unless the 

law was enforced, and he warned that settlers and northern 

capital would be frightened away from the state if it became 

established that the public tolerated such acts.^ Governor 

Bloxham was requested to provide protection for witnesses 

appearing at the trial. When witnesses to the lynchings 

testified at a hearing that they saw only "strangers" in town 



on the day of the murders, the Times remarked sarcastically: 
"It seems that 'strangers' are such an attraction for the 
people of Madison that not even a little disturbance like the 

shooting down of a couple of prisoners can divert for one 

moment the fixed concentration with which they are regarded." 

While the remainder of the state press was willing to 
condemn the lynching, it reserved its harshest criticism for 
the Times . The Tallahassee Floridian declared that the Times 
had outdone even the worst Radical organs by trying to blacken 
the character of a whole region for the crime of a few. The 
Tallahassee Land of Flowers accused the Times of attempting to 
divert settlers away from Middle Florida to the benefit of East 
Florida. 8 The PensaCola Commerical said that Jones had no 
sympathy for white people and that he was motivated by "pure, 
selfish, grasping greed, allied with inborn hate and animosity 
to the Southern people, developed under the hypocritical pre- 
tence of obedience to law and love of peace and good order." 9 
The Times ' s answer to its critics was that if getting down to 
particulars and trying to bring criminals to justice made 
enemies for the paper among some people, it made friends among 

others — and it sold newspapers. 

When Jones returned from his trip North, the fall 

Congressional campaign was underway. Jones had hastened back 

because he did not wish to leave the helm of the Times during 

its first election. As an independent newspaper its course 

would need careful charting. "We shall probably decide the 

election," he told Abernethy, "but, on the other hand, any 


blundering would wreck our enterprise, which has now become too 
valuable to imperil," Jones's caution was justified, for 
within weeks the Times would become a controversial point of 
the campaign. Democratic partisans began to charge that Jones's 
ostensibly independent newspaper was secretly the organ of the 
Republican party and its candidate Horatio Bisbee. 

The truth of this charge cannot be determined. Varnum 
would later declare that Bisbee paid Jones "one thousand dollars, 
lump amount" to promote his candidacy. 12 But when Varnum made 
the charge he had become a business competitor of Jones, and 
thus his testimony is suspect. Clearly the Times gave more 
space to Bisbee than to J. J. Finley, the Democratic nominee, 
and it carried Republican advertisements on its editorial page 
in a style that could easily have been taken as an endorsement, 
while it ran few Democratic advertisements. But the absence of 
Democratic material can be explained, and was explained by Jones 
at the time, by the reluctance of Democrats to patronize the 
Times . The Union and other Democratic newspapers made a con- 
certed effort to discourage Democratic patronage of the Times . 
The Gainesville Bee's remark was typical: "An open enemy — an 
avowed Republican journal may be respected, but a secret enemy 
is to be dreaded and despised. The sooner the State press 
forces the' Times 'off the fence' the better for the Democracy; 
or, if this can not be done, then let Democrats withdraw their 

support from it, and let it seek it from a more congenial source — 

the Republican party." 


Whether by design or not, the Times ' s course worked to 
promote Bisbee. In August Jones published a letter by 
Alexander St. Clair-Abrams, founder of the town of Taveres and 
a South Florida political leader, in which he charged that he 
and other young men in the Democratic party had been thwarted 
at the district Democratic convention by the "ring" control of 
former Governor George F. Drew and his friends. St. Clair- 
Abrams vowed to fight the "Drew ring" in future political 
contests. While giving publicity to this division in the 
Democratic ranks, the Times reported the Republican state con- 
vention with fairness contrasting sharply with its biased 
reporting of the local Republican convention during the spring 
municipal election. However, the Times did attack Bisbee for 
his high tariff views and on some other issues, and it did not 
make any major criticism of Finley. 

The election itself did not arouse great excitement. In 
fact, the general public seemed indifferent to the contest. 
Later some Democrats were to blame the apathy of white voters 
for Finley' s defeat, since it was assumed that the Negores would 
vote in every election, either because their votes were purchased 
or because they had a .special devotion to exercising their newly 
won rights. The Times was inclined to agree that apathy had 
played a part in the Democratic defeat, and said that the 
Democratic press had lulled the voters into a false sense of 
security by emphasizing Finley' s supposed large majority in the 
1880 race. But Jones was more willing to second St. Clair-Abrams' s 


explanation that many young Democrats had declined to support 
the campaign. ' 

The sweeping Democratic victories on the national level 
were labeled "revolutionary." The election of Grover Cleveland 
as governor of New York was of particular note, said the Times , 
for it meant that he would be elected President in 1884. Thus 
on November 9, 1882, Jones staked his claim to being the first 
editor in the United States to endorse Cleveland for the 

The Times had apparently prospered during the election, 
and made the boast afterwards that its edition carrying the 
returns was the largest single issue ever sold by any Florida 
newspaper. The Union , however, was nearing collapse. During 
the campaign McCallum had sent John Temple Graves and other 
agents around with General Finley to attend his rallies and 
solicit subscriptions. The Times noted this practice and sug- 
gested that perhaps the Union had slipped so far that it must 

beg for charity as the party organ. By the middle of October 

Jones was charging that the Union could not pay the wages of 

its employees and that it was selling its editorial columns to 

the Florida Central and Western Railroad in order to raise 

money. Such charges were common in a time when newspapers 

were expected to collapse frequently. In this case they were 

certainly based on truth. The Union had been in financial 

trouble for a long while, and competition from the Times was 

pushing it to bankruptcy. In April the owners of the Union had 

reorganized and incorporated as the Union Printing Company, 


purchasing new type and equipment to upgrade the paper, but to 
no avail. 22 In December Jones wrote to Abernethy asking him for 
an advance payment on Jones's Brooklyn home, which Abernethy was 
purchasing, explaining that he was trying to put his hands on as 
much money as possible since all signs pointed to the imminent 
collapse of the Union, and he wanted to be in a position to 
step in when the crash came. Three weeks later he informed 
Abernethy that the Union 's demise had been "postponed." 

The contest between the two Jacksonville dailies was not 
always confined to the printed page. The issue of the Times 
which appeared on the streets on the morning of October 17 con- 
tained a small item reporting that W. W. Douglass of the Union 
staff had stopped a Times press boy and tried to get information 
regarding the Times 's circulation. 2 ^ Douglass read the story 
that morning, determined that he had been insulted, and set off 
to find Jones. He did not encounter him until that evening when 
they met outside a Bay Street restaurant. Douglass attempted to 
strike Jones with a cane, but tripped or was knocked to the 
ground as Jones retreated into the street. After a few blows 
were exchanged the men were separated by the crowd which had 
spilled out of the restaurant to witness the fight. Jones pro- 
ceeded to Varnum's house where he washed up, and then he went to 
the Times office to write a description of the fight and editorial 
condemning street violence. When Mayor Dzialynski fined 
Douglass only $10.00 in his court, Jones criticized the leniency 
of the punishment. ' 

Jones's efforts to reform Jacksonville society encompassed 
a broader front than denunciation of rowdyism and unsafe sidewalks. 


He wished to see the intellectual life of the community en- 
riched, and he wanted to make Jacksonville's residents see their 
town as more than just a riverboat station. When some suggested 
that the proposed new city hall be built at the lowest possible 
cost, Jones dissented, declaring that the most imposing structure 
possible should be erected in order to set a high standard for 
the rest of the community. 28 The Times also supported an improved 
public library, and Jones promised to try to get books for it 
from northern publishers. 29 Metropolitan Hall, Jacksonville's 
"wretched excuse for a theatre" drew nothing but scorn from the 
Times. It was an upper story room whose walls were plastered 
with advertisements, where the audience sat on wooden benches. 
Jones declared that a more plush and comfortable facility would 
be needed to please tourists and to attract something better than 
the banjo pickers and migrant troupes that now visited Metropolitan 
Hall. An ardent threatre goer himself, Jones applauded when plans 

were announced for leasing another local hall and converting it 

into a threatre to be called the Opera House. 

Two days before Christmas the staff of the Times surprised 

Jones in his office with the gift of a table lamp. He made a 

little speech thanking his men and praising their spirit; then 

cigars and mutual congratulations were passed around as the next 

day's edition was set up. 31 The new season was bringing 

unprecedented prosperity to the Times, and within a month Jones 

was claiming that his paper had a larger circulation than that 

of any paper ever published in the state of Florida. If 

there was any doubt of this claim, it vanished on January 28 

when a brief editorial in the Times recorded the fact that Jones, 


Varnum and Company had bought the Union and all its property. 
The sale had taken place in the parlor of McCallum's home the 
day before. 33 There was no triumphant boasting, just a matter- 
of-fact statement that the two papers would be merged, and a 
new paper, the Florida Times -Union , would be published in the 
old Union offices at 56-1/2 West Bay Street. 34 That same day 
Jones penned a letter to Abernethy informing him of the con- 
solidation: "If I can hold the field against all competitors 
for a year or two I shall have one of the most valuable news- 
paper properties in the South. As it is we have won a great 
victory." 3 ^ He added that this turn of events had removed his 
last thoughts of returning to Brooklyn. Two days later he 
requested that Abernethy make as large a payment on his house 
as possible since he would need all the money he could get for 
some time to come. 3 " During the next two weeks Jones did little 
else but labor on newspaper business. One of his most important 
accomplishments was the securing of an exclusive franchise for 
the Associated Press dispatches in East Florida. No other 
newspaper in the region could obtain the dispatches without the 
consent of the Times-Union , thus giving its owners a security 
which would justify outlays of large sums of money in improving 
the paper which might not have been profitable in a competitive 
situation. 3 ' 

The first issue of the Florida Times-Union appeared on 
February 4. Its circulation was less than the combined 
circulation of the Times and the Union since some subscribers 


had taken both, but the paper's readership was three times that 
of the previous year. 

The new paper was printed on the Union's water-driven 
press, and the Times 's Campbell press was moved into the job 
office. Since the Union 's old press was hardly capable of 
handling the paper's increased volume, plans were made for 
procuring a new press from the Hoe Company of New York. 38 
Many of the Union 's employees were hired by the new paper, 
including M. R. Bowden who joined Varnum in the city department . 39 
John Temple Graves did not join the staff for nearly two weeks 
and then worked only briefly as a canvasser before leaving to 
co-edit the Florida Herald , an evening paper begun by the 
Ashmead Brothers. In the fall Graves and Harrison Clark, the 
paper's business manager, would purchase the Herald . Although 
the Herald would become the political enemy of the Times-Union , 
it did not seriously rival it as a newspaper. ° 

With the consolidation of the papers, Jones thought it an 
appropriate time to answer those who had been pressing the paper 
to define its political position. He declared his belief that 
a newspaper was a business, like any other commerical enterprise, 
and should not be the organ of any political party. Newspaper 
editors should speak for themselves — not for party leaders. The 
editor should work with party leaders, not for them. Jones 
declared that the paper had no "backers," and was free to chart 
its own course. In politics, the paper would support government 
by the people of property, education, and sobriety. Since the 

r^,--..-^^w^^.^i^~.^^.JV,.-^>w^o..^,:^^~;.»^^.r-..j^* m .».^ „ i > 


Republican party in the South was largely the party of what he 
termed the ignorant, propertyless, and irresponsible, the Times- 
Union would be on the side of Democracy most of the time. In 
local elections it would ignore political lines and stand for 
fair play, equality under the law, and the promotion of educa- 
tion for all citizens. On national issues the Times -Union 
would stand for civil service reform, a tariff for revenue only, 
lower taxes, economy in government, honest government, and aid 
to education based on need. 

During the first weeks of the Times-Union ' s existence 
Jones wrote several essays on his philosophy of journalism. 
He felt that the idea of a newspaper as a purveyor of "news" 
was gaining ground on the traditional view that newspapers 
should be vehicles of opinion for editors and political parties. 
The public's curiosity about the world around them was a sound 
basis for a newspaper enterprise, he felt, and party politics 
was not. The editorial page should reflect the honest convictions 
of the editor, and if this evoked the hostility of some, it would 
at least be worthy of respect.^ 2 

As the spring municipal election approached the Times-Union 
began to give a great deal of attention to the incumbent 
administration's seeming lack of interest in enforcing the 
Sunday law or the laws against gambling. On March 3, 1883, 
Jones ran an illustrated front page feature on a gang of bunko 
artists operating in Jacksonville, apparently without police 
intervention. Three days later the paper carried a story 


describing the excursion of a reporter around town on Sunday 
afternoon, detailing the bars he entered and the men he saw 
there. As a gesture of obedience to the Sunday law the front 
doors of the saloons were closed, but access by side doors was 
easy and the traffic in and out obvious to policemen walking 
their beats. 44 The Times-Union had paid little attention to 
the question since the last municipal election, but now resur- 
rected it as the leading issue of the city campaign. 

The agitation of the Sunday ordinance question was 
evidently a means of preparing the ground for Jones's candidate 
for mayor, John Q. Burbridge, who he said would unite the better 
class of both parties and bring honest government to the town. 
He warned that if respectable people wanted to have a better 
government they would have to work for it by attending the ward 
primaries where delegates to the convention would be selected 
and the real decision made. But as he had feared, the profes- 
sional politicians and their allies in the saloon and gambling 
businesses controlled the primaries and elected their men to 
the convention. Despite the Times-Union 's warning that they 
would be held accountable if they did not nominate decent 

candidates, the Democrats nominated William M. Dancy for mayor 

and a slate of party regulars for the remaining offxces. 

Thereupon Jones announced that the Times-Union would support a 

"citizens" ticket if any group of prominent men would place a 

slate of good men in the race. On the next day Jones took 

the initiative and named his own "Citizens Ticket," composed 


of men selected from both the Democratic and Republican slates. 
Patrick E. McMurray, the Republican nominee for mayor, headed 

the "Citizens" list, with the only other Republicans being the 

candidate for treasurer and a black man for assessor. 

The Times-Union campaigned hard for its slate, calling 

Dancy the candidate of the gamblers and the rum dealers, and 

before the campaign was over the paper had been sued twice. 

James F. Rownsend, the Democratic nominee for treasurer, asked 

for $5,000 damages for a story which suggested that he had 

broken federal liquor laws. Manuel C. Jordan, a defeated 

aspirant for the Republican nomination for mayor, brought 

suit for $10,000 based on a story which alleged that he had 

tried to purchase the nomination. When the entire Democratic 

slate was elected, the Times-Union charged that the Democrats 

had bought black voters "like swine." Although he had failed 

to accomplish any goal he had set during the campaign, Jones 

still attempted to claim a victory because Dancy had made a 

promise of dubious value to enforce the Sunday law. 

A week after the city election Jacksonville was 

confronted by a much more serious problem than municipal 

politics. A Negro laborer from New Orleans brought small pox 

into the town, and it had spread into the black community. 

The threat of epidemic diseases to communities in the nineteenth 

century was a very real and present danger, and the Times-Union 

had made it a point to remind its readers that constant 

vigilance be maintained to keep the town clean and healthful. 


Now Jones was faced with the problem of deciding whether to 
publish news that the disease was already within the city. If 
the Times-Union publicized the fact that the disease was in 
Jacksonville it would mean the immediate exodus of vacationers 
lingering in the city, quarantining by the rest of the state, 
and possible reprisals against the Times-Union for bringing 
these calamities to pass. Jones hesitated and did not publish 
the Jacksonville Board of Health's first report, but he did 
print a short story on the last page of the Times -Union saying 

that several Negroes had contracted something which might be 

small pox, and they had been removed from the city. After 

waiting two days he printed the Board of Health's report; at 

the same time criticizing the "senseless panic" which had 

overtaken tourist and citizen alike when rumors of the disease's 

presence spread around town. He argued that there were no 

grounds for serious apprehension and that a rail center such 

as Jacksonville could expect to have small outbreaks from time 

to time. Cities such as New York and Atlanta were never free 

from such diseases, yet life there continued regardless. 

The Times-Union continued this low key approach to the problem 

during the early days of the epidemic, advising vaccination of 

children and the quarantining of homes where the disease was 

present. 55 As Jones had forseen, the publishing of the small 

pox report sent the tourists away weeks earlier than their 

usual departure date, and towns on Jacksonville's communication 

paths erected quarantines against the city. Jones declared 


this not necessary; that the epidemic was under control and 
would be stamped out within two or three weeks. "The 
spectacle of the entire State gone wild with panic over a few 
cases of small-pox, paralyzing trade and checking the tide of 
immigration, is one of the most extraordinary manifestations 
of human folly that it has ever been our fortune to witness," 
editorialized the Times-Union . 5 ' 

As the epidemic went into its third week the paper's 
tone became more critical, and it began to take the epidemic 
more seriously. Jones criticized the Board of Health for con- 
structing a poorly-built pest house for Negroes on low ground 
where almost half the patients succumbed to the disease. This 
treatment was contrasted to that afforded wealthy whites or 
any white who could get a "prominent citizen" to intercede in 
his behalf. Such kindness was not only unfair discrimination, 
it tended to permit the disease to spread. 58 This advice 
caused some whites to accuse Jones of attempting to stir up 
"race and caste prejudice," but Jones declared that that was 
just what he was trying to prevent. 59 By May 3, the Times - 
Union reported that no new cases of small pox had been reported 
for six days, and it advised that normal business be resumed 
while the Board of Health watched over the convalescing. 60 
With that pronouncement, the Times-Union ceased to mention the 
epidemic . 

Although the epidemic was no longer alluded to in the 
newspapers, this did not mean it had abated. The town's 


leaders had decided to keep quiet about the small pox, hoping 
that business would pick up as the panic subsided and that the 
disease could be controlled in the meantime. Jones agreed to 
cooperate with this new departure, and there was no mention of 
the small pox for most of the month of May. Finally, however, 
as the epidemic persisted and spread among the white population, 
Jones decided to speak out. When word of his plan got around, 
several leading citizens admonished and threatened him not to do 
it. Ultimately Varnum (in Jones's absence), Mayor Dancy, and 
Burbridge sat down to discuss a program of positive action. 
On May 23 and 24 the Times-Union broke the news of the continuing 
epidemic, and at the same time declared that Jacksonville 
could rid itself of the disease in two months with concerted 
effort. Recommendations included a new hospital for all white 
patients, an improved black hospital, the supervised burning of 
contaminated buildings, and the compulsory vaccination of the 

i i 61 

town's entire populace. 

Quarantines which had been lifted were reimposed as 
quickly as the railroads carried copies of the Times-Union to 
neighboring towns. 62 Having raised the alarm and promoted con- 
structive action to end the epidemic, the Times -Union now 
returned to the theme that there was no reason for panic and 
that the quarantines against Jacksonville were unnecessary. 
Still, new cases were reported daily, and the arrival of 
Dr. Bosso with his patent small pox cure was a sure sign that 
word of the epidemic had spread far and wide. 64 Dr. Bosso 


placed full-page advertisements in the Times -Union and 
attracted people in droves who visited his office to buy 
"protection" in the form of "Dr. Bosso's Blessing to Mankind." 
Dr. Bosso would meet a swift demise two months later in 
Pensacola, reportedly from yellow fever, although he treated 
himself with his own medicine and insisted down to the end 
that he was not infected. In Jacksonville the disease was 
brought under control toward the end of June. 

The experience had been instructive for Jones. He had 
been warned that his course in publicizing the epidemic might 
ruin his newspaper, but, instead, his efforts promoted public 
good without detrimental effects to the Times-Union . Also, 
the haphazard, sometimes vindictive way in which the quaran- 
tines against Jacksonville had been imposed convinced Jones 

that Florida needed a state board of health, and he began to 

lobby for its creation. 

Meanwhile Jones had become involved in a project to 

construct a ship canal across the Florida peninsula. The idea 

dated back to the days of Spanish Florida, but immediate 

interest stemmed from a request made by United States Senator 

Charles W. Jones in December, 1881, that the War Department 

assemble all information gathered by previous canal planners. ' 

At the time, the project was endorsed by the Times as practical 

and desirable. 68 A year later in December, 1882, the Florida 

Ship Canal Company was organized in New York. The Times noted 

its impressive list of directors, but commented that it would 


believe in the canal when it saw work underway. 69 Tangible 
evidence of the company's activity appeared shortly in the 
form of two lobbyists who came to Jacksonville and Tallahassee 
to promote the venture. They were asking the state for a one 
mile right of way from the Atlantic to the Gulf and 6,000,000 
acres of Internal Improvement Fund land to encourage investors 
to put up the estimated $40 to $60 million needed to construct 
the canal. 7" The latter request was criticized as another 
"land grab," but Jones defended the idea on the grounds that 
the Internal Improvement Fund had been established for just 
such purposes and that no land would be granted unless the 
canal were completed. 

In January a bill to charter a trans-Florida ship canal 
went before the legislature, and a rival bill was introduced 
by a barge canal company backed by George F. Drew, J. J. Finley, 
and George F. Fairbanks, editor of the Fernandina Mirror . The 
Times-Union suggested that it was time for the state to act on 
the canal before all internal improvement lands had been given 
away and no means of attracting capital remained.' 2 The canal 
bill had no easy course in the legislature. When it emerged 
there was no provision for a grant of Internal Improvement Fund 
lands, and the company was required to pay for its right of 
way land. ^ 3 Even in this scaled-down form the Times-Union 
urged its advancement, saying that the canal should be under- 
taken while northern capitalists were still interested. 7 ^ 


In May the canal company was reorganized. Former 
Tennessee Governor John C. Brown remained president, Ben Butler, 
Senator William Mahone of Virginia, and State Senator Austin S. 
Mann of Hernando County, Florida, were made directors. 5 At 
a board meeting amonth later Mann and Jones were named as a 
Florida executive committee to promote the canal, Jones 
becoming a director at the same time. 7° By the summer engineers 
were at work surveying possible routes for the canal and were 
making confident predictions of initiating construction in 
September. Jones declared that the venture was not a specu- 
lative bubble and that while there were problems to be overcome 
in construction of the canal they were much less formidable 

than those faced in Suez. 


During the summer Jones, who attended the June meeting 
of the directors in Washington, traveled around the Southeast 
promoting the canal. In an interview given to the New Orleans 
Times-Democrat , he predicted that the Florida canal would divert 
the flow of Midwestern agricultural produce from New York and 
make New Orleans the chief market for European grain exports. 
To those who doubted that the canal could be built he painted 
the picture of giant dredges scooping out limestone rock with 
ease. 78 i n July Charles P. Stone, chief engineer of the 
company and an observer of the Suez Canal's construction while 
in the service of the Khedive of Egypt, arrived in Jacksonville 

and after a brief visit pronounced the project feasible and 

possible of construction at a reasonable cost. Jones went to 


New York for the next meeting of the board of directors where 
Stone presented a report outlining plans for a 137.5 mile 
canal which would be built at a cost of $46,000,000. The 
highest elevation to be traversed would be 143 feet — somewhat 
less than had been anticipated. According to Jones's dispatch 
to the Times -Union , the only difficulty remaining was the 


determination of means for financing the project. Fairbanks' s 
Fernandina Mirror said that such talk was overly optimistic, 
but Jones attributed Fairbanks 's criticism to his interest in 
a barge canal. 

On December 1, 1883, Jones, Mann, Choate, and A. W. Jones 
of Virginia were granted a charter by the state for the Florida 
Ship and Transit Canal Company. The company was authorized to 
construct a canal and to sell $40,000,000 worth of stock. * 
Jones left for New York to confer with the directors later that 
month. He sent back promising reports of impending sales of 

stock, but in a private letter to Abernethy he suggested that 

all was not well with the venture. Jones remained in the 

North until the directors met in New York on January 9, 1884, 

and, although it is not known what transpired there, when he 

returned to Florida he dropped all connection with the canal 

project and did not mention the canal again in the Times -Union 

except to disassociate himself from it.°^ The canal company 

continued to exist for some years more, but no attempt was 

made to begin construction of a canal. 

In the fall of 1883 the question of the Sunday law 

returned to the forefront, although the Times-Union had noted 


earlier that Mayor Dancy was not enforcing Sunday closings. 

On a Sunday morning late in October George W. Jones received 

word in newspaper headquarters that the police were shutting down 

the news stands. He left the office and walked down Bay Street 

to see for himself. He then visited Bettelini's restaurant 

and Togin's saloon to have a few beers and verify that the 

drinking establishments were not closed down. At the mayor's 

court next morning it was revealed that not all the saloons 

had remained unmolested. Several bar keepers were convicted 

of violating the law and were fined, along with news stand 

owners William H. Ashmead and Telfair Stockton. 87 The mayor's 

conversion to strict enforcement of the Sunday law was explained 

by the Times-Union as an attempt to make the law so unpalatable 

to the public that it would be repealed altogether. It was 

pointed out that Dancy had been one of those who, a year 

previously, had tried to "amend" the Sunday law to make it 

more comprehensive, and it had been alleged then that his 

ulterior motive was total repeal. When the mayor continued 

to enforce the law rigidly against all Sunday enterprises, the 
Times-Union threw its support behind a move by Burbridge to 
modify the law so as to direct it explicitly against the liquor 
dealers. Burbridge 's proposal was voted down in the council 
by a vote of two to five. 89 Meanwhile, the question of 
temperance, liquor license laws, and related subjects became 
a major item of attention in the Times-Union , and Jones pre- 
dicted that the question would increaseingly force itself on 
the public's consciousness and into polxtics. 

;i^gBia»a^i£*aaaaEaafla3aiiigaai^^ «j~nnaw>?,t^[.»*ar , -' . a^-^ . ^fag^ . ^a«T^ . T g^ 


In October Jones announced that the weekly edition of 
the newspaper, the Weekly Florida Times , had become the most 
widely circulated newspaper in the state during its first year 
of existence. ^ Jones also was proud of the fact that it had 
subscribers in most of the states; arid territories of the 
country. Since its readers were largely rural agrarians, 
there was more emphasis on farm and garden topics in the Weekly 
Florida Times than in the Times-Union . J. G. Knapp was the 
major contributor of articles on topics of special interest to 
Florida farmers. 92 In August George W. Jones had been sent to 
the Southern Exposition at Louisville to open a booth at the 
Florida exhibit and distribute some 50,000 special editions of 
the Weekly Florida Times , an effort which benefited both Florida 
and the newspaper. ■* 

The Times-Union itself had continued to prosper. After the 
merger of the papers it had become apparent that the Times-Union 
was outgrowing its plant facilities and in April it was announced 

that a contract had been signed with Hoe Company of New York 

for a $6,000 press capable of printing 3,500 copies per hour.^ 

In May Jones and his head pressman went to New York to inspect 

the press and to arrange for increased telegraphic news and 

correspondence from northern cities. In that same month the 

last of the kerosene lamps were taken out of the Times-Union 

building and were replaced with gas lamps. The new Hoe 

press, which arrived early in August, turned out a four-page, 

seven- column paper, which by winter had been enlarged to eight 

columns on week days and nine columns on Sunday, making room 


for more Associated Press material and other "specials." The 
faster press also facilitated the publication of late evening 
telegraphic dispatches. During the season the paper featured 
local society notes by a Mrs. Ingram, a decided innovation in 
a male profession. By the end of 1883 Jones was claiming a 
circulation twice that of the old Union or Times and five 
times that of any other Florida daily. Jones wrote 
Abernethy: "The men and the staff seem to be working together 
harmoniously, and business is booming to a degree far beyond 


our most sanguine expectations." 

The success of the Times-Union was not an unmixed 
blessing for it meant that Jones's responsibilities grew 
apace. In an effort to mitigate the stress of his habitual 
dawn-to-midnight routine, Jones reorganized the staff of the 
paper. John Ransom was made chief of staff with general 
supervisory duties and responsibility for some editorial 

writing. Howard Littlefield was given control of state and 

telegraphic news, while Bowden and Wright handled local news." 

John Varnum sold his share of the paper to Jones and his 

brother, and became secretary of the Jacksonville Board of 

« j 10 ° 

In an effort to improve his health and that of his wife, 

Jones purchased a horse and buggy and made it a habit to take 

time off from newspaper work for a daily drive around the town 

and riverside. 101 To save trips between the office and his 

home, Jones had them connected by telephone. All this did 


not mean that Jones's life became more tranquil. If anything, 
the reverse was true. Perhaps the most significant development 
in his affairs was his increasing involvement in the politics 
of the city and state, which, he complained, was becoming a 
burden itself. 103 



Edward C. Williamson, "Black Belt Political Crisis: 
The Savage-James Lynching, 1882," Florida Historical Quarterly , 
XLV (April, 1967), 402-409. 


Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , August 26, 1882. 

Ibid ., August 28, September 1, 1882. 

4 Ibid. , September 8, 1882. 
Ibid . , September 13, 1882. 
Ibid., September 14, 1882. 

Tallahassee Weekly Floridian , September 26, 1882. 

Tallahassee Land of Flowers , October 7, 1882. 


Pensacola Commercial , September 15, 22, 26, 1882. 

Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , September 17, 1882. 
11 Jones to Abernethy, July 23, 1882, JP. 

Jacksonville Morning News , June 6, July 14, 1886. 


Gainesville Weekly Bee , June 30, 1882. 


Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , August 13, 1882. 

L5 Ibid. , August 24, 1882. 

Ibid .. September 29, October 25, 1882. 


Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , November 28, 1882; 
Jacksonville Florida Times -Union, November 21, 23, 1883. 





Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , November 9, 1882. 

19 IMd. 


Ibid ., September 22, 1882. 


Ibid ., October 15, 1882. 


Tallahassee Weekly Floridian , May 2, 1882. 


Jones to Abernethy, December 10, 1882, JP. 


Ibid . , December 29,1882, JP. 

25 Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , October 17, 1882. 


Ibid ., October 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 1882. 


Ibid ., October 21, 1882. 

28 Ibid., November 26, 1882. 


Ibid . , February 12, December 7, 1882. 


Ibid ., December 12, 14, 15, 19, 1882. 

31 Ibid. , December 24, 1882. 


Ibid ., January 21, 1883. 


Ibid., January 31, 1882. 


Ibid., January 28, 1883. 


Jones to Abernethy, January 28, 1883, JP. 

36 Ibid. , January 30, 1883, JP. 




Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , February 14, 1883. 


Ibid ., February 4, 1883. 


Ibid ., February 4, 14, 1883. 

James Esgate, Jacksonville The Metropolis of Florida 
(Boston, 1885), 48; Tallahassee Weekly Floridian , October 23, 1883, 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , February 4, 1883. 


Ibid., February 16, 1883. 


Ibid ., March 3, 1883. 


Ibid ., March 6, 1883. 


Ibid., March 9, 11, 14, 1883. 


Ibid ., March 16, 1883. 


Ibid ., March 17, 1883. 


Ibid ., March 18, 1883. 


Ibid ., March 24, 1885. 


Ibid., March 27, 1883. 


Ibid ., April 2, 1883. 


Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , April 20, September 

20, 1882. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , April 6, June 1, 1883. 




Ibid ., April 8, 1883. 

Ibid ., April 12, 13, 1883. 


Ibid ., April 20, 1883. 

Ibid., April 22, 1883. 


Ibid ., April 24, 25, 1883. 

Ibid . 


Ibid., May 3, 1883. 


Ibid ., May 23, 24, 1883. 

62 Ibid. , May 25, 26, 1883. 


Ibid., May 25, 26, June 17, 1883. 


Ibid .. June 11, 1883. 


Ibid ., June 11, 14, 17, September 7, 1883. 

Ibid., June 28, July 17, 1883; for another account of 
the epidemic see Webster Merritt, A Century of Medicine in Jack- 
sonville and Duval County (Gainesville, 1949), 131-146. 


Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , December 11, 1881, Jan- 
uary 3, 1882. 


Ibid ., July 12, 1882. 


Ibid ., December 27, 1882. 

7 °Ibid. , January 12, 1883. 


Ibid ., January 14, 1883; Pensacola Commercial , January 
26, 1883. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , January 19, 1883. 


Acts and Resolutions Adopted by the Legislature of Florida 

at its Twelfth Session, 1883 (Tallahassee, 1883), 93-100. 
74 Ibid. , February 20, 1883. 

Ibid ., May 10, 1883. 


Ibid . , June 9, 1883. 

Ibid ., June 15, 1883. 


Ibid ., June 23, 1883. 


Ibid ., July 22, 1883. 


Ibid., August 21, 1883. 


Fernandina Florida Mirror , September 29, 1883; Jackson- 
ville Florida Times -Union , October 11, 1883. 


Tallahassee Weekly Florid ian , December 11, 1883. 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , December 11, 1883, Jones 

to Abernethy, December 29, 1883, JP. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , September 4, 1884. 

85 Ibid. , May 20, 1883. 

86 Ibid. , October 23,1883. 



Ibid . 


Ibid .; Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , May 2, 1882. 


Ibid ., November 21, 1883. 


Ibid . , October 13, 1883. 

91 Ibid. , October 24, 1883. 


Ibid., May 12, 1883. 


Ibid., August 17, 1883. 


Ibid ., February 24, April 8, 1883. 


Ibid ., May 20, 1883. 


Ibid .. May 18, 1883. 


Ibid., November 4, 1883. 


Jones to Abernethy, December 29, 1883, JP. 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , April 16, 1884. 


Ibid ., March 21, 1884. 


Jones to Abernethy, May 24, 1884, JP. 


Ibid . 


Ibid., February 24, 1884. 



In 1884 the Times-Union was unusually restrained in its 
comments on the city elections. Mayor Dancy and the entire 
Democratic slate, with one exception, were elected to office, 
and the Times-Union had only the mildest criticism to make of 
"the boys." The reason, as Jones was candid to admit, was 
that local elections influenced state and national elections, 
and that the Times-Union did not wish to hurt the Democratic 
party's chances by creating internal dissension. Dancy was 
given credit for having the best interests of the town at 
heart, and it was even admitted that the Sunday law as it was 
presently written was impossible to enforce rationally. The 
Republicans had placed themselves behind a reform "citizens" 
ticket, which Jones called a sham, but he declared that if a 

real reform slate were ever brought forward he would "set the 

St. Johns River afire" in support of it. 

In spite of Jones's renewed avowals that the Times -Union 
was not abandoning enlightened independence for crass parti- 
sanship, it was becoming, at least for a time, more and more 
a Democratic party organ and less the champion of controversial 
causes. 3 But Jones had no intention of becoming merely the 



servant of Democratic party leaders; he aspired to leadership 
himself. Jones had great faith in the power of the press to 
control public opinion and thus influence the behavior of 
politicians. He observed that Charles E. Dyke, recently re- 
tired editor of the Tallahassee Floridan, had never sought or 
held public office but had often exerted more power than the 
men who did. With Dyke's retirement, Jones predicted, the 
Floridian would become just another newspaper. As editor of 
the state's largest newspaper, Jones was in a position to 
replace Dyke as the leading politician-editor of the state. 
Before the 1884 election campaign was over, stories had begun 
to circulate that party leaders objected to Jones's political 
activity and resented his arrogant, know-it-all attitude about 

,. . 5 
state politics. 

The theme of party unity was not original to the Times- 
Union in 1884, for the state Democracy was threatened by a 
strong "Independent" movement. The movement had originated 
among dissident elements in the Democratic party— disappointed 
office seekers, ambitious young men, discontented cracker 
farmers— but it had increasingly become a fusionist effort by 
which the Republican party hoped to regain its lost power in 
the state. When Jones came to Florida and established an 
"independent" newspaper, some thought that he was in sympathy 
with the movement, but Jones took care to explain that although 
the Times was independent it was not in sympathy with the 
"small body of office-seeking malcontents" calling themselves 
Independents. 7 Later Jones came to look more favorably on the 


Independents, who were most active in Madison County. If these 
men were not simply "sorehead office seekers," Jones wrote, 
and really did stand for fair elections and social progress, 


then they ought to be encouraged. It was only when efforts 
were made to fuse Independents and Republicans that the Times 


condemned the movement. 

After the fall elections in 1882, J. Willis Menard, 
Negro editor of the Key West News , wrote Republican national 
chairman William E. Chandler saying that if the party wanted 
to carry Florida in 1884 it must place men in the federal 

offices who would work with the state's Negroes. He added 

that all the black leaders favored the Independent movement. 

When Menard went to Washington in March, 1883, to argue for a 

Republican-Independent fusion, the Times-Union said that the 

movement must be resisted because the Republicans would dominate 

such a coalition and, if successful, would return Florida to 

government by the lower classes. Jones admitted that if the 

Independents could swing enough Democratic voters over to the 

fusion ticket the Independents could win with the help of the 

Republicans. 11 The only hitch to the plan, Jones explained, 

was that white Republicans holding federal offices would 

resist the efforts of the blacks to undercut their leadership. 

This would mean a split in the Republican ranks and the failure 

of Independentism. 12 Jones began at once to help make this 

forecast a reality by publishing a letter from Republican state 

executive committee chairman Edward M. Cheney denouncing the 

proposed alliance with the Independents. 


The Negro revolt against the leadership of the white 
Republican office-holders began to take concrete shape at a 
meeting called by Menard in Gainesville on February 5, 1884, 
where it was decided to enlist black support for the 
Independents. 14 When the Republican convention meeting at 
Fernandina renominated Bisbee for Congress, Florida's black 
Reconduction Congressman Josiah T. Walls bolted the convention 
and had his own name placed in nomination. The T imes-Union 
printed Walls's accusation that Bisbee had packed the conven- 
tion, and treated Walls's candidacy favorably since it was 
expected that he had no chance of winning and would take votes 
away from Bisbee. 15 In general, however, the Times-Union 

decried the attempt of the blacks to take control of the 

" 16 
Republican party away from "respectable white Republicans. 

The movement was described as a grab for spoils rather than 

as a genuine party reform. This demand for more offices for 

blacks meant, declared the Times-Union , "negro rule; and that 

will never again be submitted to in any Southern State. 

The Independents were accused of inciting race hatred and of 

spreading stories that the Democrats intended to take away 

Negro rights. 18 The Times-Union said that neither charge was 

true: The Democratic party was the "best and truest friend" 

of the Negro and was pledged to protect Negro rights, but 

whites, Democrats and Republicans alike, would not vote to 

place blacks in positions of power again. 

The restlessness of the Negroes under the leadership of 
the federal office-holders had been noted by former Governor 
Harrison Reed, who proposed to Henry S. Sanford, former American 
diplomat who had become a major Florida developer, that they 
prevent the impending desertion of the blacks to the Independents 
by offering themselves as leaders. As a step in displacing the 
leadership of the "ring," Reed proposed that he, Sanford, and 
several railroad men combine to establish a Republican newspaper 
themselves. 20 Sanford did not agree to join this venture immedi- 
ately, but Reed proceeded with his plans, fearful that Bisbee 

and the "ring" would establish a newspaper themselves. It was 

decided that S. A. Adams's Palatka Journal would be purchased 
and moved to Jacksonville. Adams felt that the newspaper could 
become asuccess in Jacksonville since business and railroad 
support was assured and because local merchants were unhappy 
with the supposedly high rates they were forced to pay for 
advertising in the Times-Union due to its monopoly of the 
Jacksonville field. 22 By April Sanford had been induced to 
join the venture. He saw the Times-Union 's monopoly of the 
Associated Press dispatches as a problem, but felt that if 
rights to the dispatches could not be purchased from Jones at 
a reasonable price, the paper could begin as a bi-weekly with 
a "breezy" format to attract readers. He would have preferred 
someone other than Reed as editor, but felt he would be 
adequate. Sanford went to Henry Plant and other railroad men 
who promised their advertising patronage. The only holdouts 
among Republicans were the "ring" office-holders, but Sanford 
felt they would be forced to join or be left behind. The paper 
was to be "racy, newsey, & aggressive against the democrats, and 

.v..:-; •■:^;;^: 


with the promotion of the material interests of Florida, through 
protection, at the fore." An understanding would be reached 
with the Independents, and the Republicans would back their 
ticket in the state. 

Sanford and Reed's Florida Journal began publication 
in Jacksonville on May 26, appearing twice weekly on Mondays 
and Thursdays. It had not secured the Associated Press dis- 
patches and was plagued with a shortage of advertising patrons. 
Part of its problems stemmed from the poor reputation 
Republican newspapers had acquired over the years, many people 
refusing to subscribe for fear that it would fold as soon as 
the election campaign was over. The hostility of the 
Jacksonville "ring" also hurt the paper, and Adams complained 
that Bisbee and his friends were steering friendly merchants 
away from the newspaper. 25 Because the Journal endorsed the 
Independent movement the "ring" was doing its best to kill the 
paper. 26 However, the Times -Union 's grasp on the Jacksonville 
field was probably as great a handicap as any of the other 
difficulties. The Journal aimed criticisms at Jones with 

regularity, sarcastically referring to him as "the great 

Florida journalist" and noting his airs of superiority. 

Jones could afford to overlook most of this criticism as the 

chattering of an insignificant Radical organ, but the continued 

personal abuse finally led him to blast the Journal as "the 

most venemous, vindictive, and defamatory sheet that is issued 

in the United States to-day," but this criticism was too harsh. 


?j ^jSjSS^S)iat«aK<i*fiaaa ^m»^^^ 


While the Republicans were backing the Independents in 
1884, there was also a substantial defection of white Democratic 
voters as well. The accusation that Independents were dis- 
appointed office seekers had some substance, for under the 
constitution of 1868 few local offices were elective. The 
idea of giving the governor power to appoint county officials 
had originated as a Republican device to prevent the election 
of Democrats and also to keep major state offices in the hands 
of whites, but when state government returned to the hands of 
the Democrats, it worked to prevent the election of Republicans 
However, many local Democrats, particularly in counties out- 
side the black belt where there was no threat of blacks' being 
elected, resented the centralization of power in Tallahassee. 
Benjamin Harrison of Palatka wrote the Times-Union saying that 

"young Democrats" felt the system was a failure and wanted a 

constitutional revision to permit county elections. 

George Troup Maxwell, a Democrat- turned-Independent, wrote 
that Independentism had its origins in 1879 when Governor 

Bloxham refused to call a constitutional convention even after 


the Democratic caucus had endorsed the idea. Charles Fildes, 

editor of the Gainesville Weekly Bee and a convert to Indepen- 
dentism, admitted that he and other South Floridians felt that 
they had been denied positions in state government because of 
favoritism for black belt, "Tallahassee Ring," men. There 
were indications that farmers and working men resented the 
Bloxham administration's seeming preference for wealthy 



investors and corporations. In June farmer elements withdrew 

from a precinct caucus in Putnam County, vowing their intention 


of holding a caucus of their own. Toward the close of the 

campaign the Times-Union declared that a forged letter was 
being circulated over the name of the Democratic nominee 
saying that blacks and "poor whites" should be kept away from 
the polls. It also published an apology from the Democratic 

nominee to the Jacksonville Workingmen's Association for his 

failure to make an address before them during the campaign. 

The Independents held their convention at Live Oak on 
June 18, with about a hundred white and Negro delegates in 
attendance, watched by a curious crowd of Democrats and local 
blacks. They adopted a platform denouncing the Democratic 
party's alleged favoritism toward railroads, corporations, and 
large land holders. The platform denounced Governor Bloxham's 
sale of 4,000,000 acres of land to Philadelphia businessman 
Hamilton Disston and land grants to the railroads. The Inde- 
pendents called for a free ballot and a full count, a railroad 
commission, the convening of a constitutional convention, local 
option liquor laws, and an end of give-aways to big land 
speculators. Frank Pope, a young lawyer of Madison County, was 

nominated for governor and Jonathan C. Greeley of Jacksonville, 

a Republican, for lieutenant governor. The Times-Union com- 
mented editorially that it did not think the alliance between 

Pope and the Republicans would succeed, and the movement would 

therefore come to nothing. However, contrary to Jones's 

T ^^mm$mmzgmimm^M^@^M®mmmm^mmm£g&m^m$^^^^^mm®m^^g^^^ 


expectations, the Republican convention did throw the weight 
of the party behind the Independent candidates, although Pope 
and Greely were "endorsed" rather than nominated outright . 
This may have been a tactic to lessen the stigma of "Radical" 

support which could be expected to scare away potential defectors 

from the Democratic ranks. 

The Democrats faced the task of preserving party unity 

under pressure from the Independents aimed at fracturing white 

solidarity. The incumbent governor, William D. Bloxham, had 

several solid achievements to his credit and would have been 

the natural choice for renomination except that he was the 

focus of Independent charges of "ring rule" and pro-corporation 

favoritism. Moreover, he had announced that he would not be 

a candidate due to grief over the recent death of his daughter. 

When Bloxham made his withdrawal announcement, Jones questioned 

whether this might not be a passing sentiment, and Bloxham' s 

name remained among those mentioned for the position, but it is 


probable that he sincerely did not want a second term. A 

professor from the Lake City agricultural college who visited 

Bloxham in the summer of 1884 described Bloxham as "broken down," 

stricken with grief, and determined to retire from politics. 

The Times-Union declared that Bloxham 1 s retirement from the 

field was in the best interest of the party since some of the 

controversial actions of his administration had earned him 

many enemies, and the party needed a candidate who would not 

alienate any segment of the public. 



By April the men being mentioned most often for the 
nomination by the Times-Union were Bloxham, Drew, and Mann. 
Bloxham still maintained that he was not a candidate, but his 
friends believed that he would accept the nomination if it 
were offered him, and he sometimes encouraged this idea. 
Drew was seen by the Times-Union as a good candidate and a 
man who could attract the votes of Northern immigrants and 
Independents because of his identification with the progressive 
wing of the party. Mann, a personal acquaintance of Jones, 

was the candidate of South Florida. In May Drew openly 

declared his candidacy. 

During June rumors of a Bloxham-Drew feud began to 
circulate. At the Putnam County convention it was stated by 
some that Drew would not support Bloxham if he were the nominee 
of the party, but this was denied at the time by Drew s friends. 
To investigate these rumors a Times-Union reporter was sent to 
interview Drew on June 10. The result was a bombshell: Drew 
declared flatly that he would not support Bloxham because 
Bloxham had taken the nomination away from him in 1880 after 
having promised not to enter the contest. Drew stated that 
this year Bloxham was playing the same game by publicly dis- 
avowing interest in the nomination while permitting his friends 
to seek it on his behalf. Bloxham sent a denial of the story 
to the Times-Union and repeated his declaration that he would 
not be a candidate. 


Privately Bloxham wrote Jones that he feared the Drew 
interview would create "bitter feelings" and hurt the party's 
chances in the election. Bloxham told Jones that he was 
anxious to see a new man nominated, but he was reluctant to 
make a final disavowal of his candidacy unless Drew would do 

... . 48 

Dyke, one of the leaders in securing Bloxham' s nomination 
in 1880, gave an interview to the Tallahassee Floridian 
saying that he had worked for Bloxham' s nomination in 1880 

without Bloxham' s knowledge and that Drew could not have 

secured renomination in 1880 in any event. 

The immediate reaction to the interview was that Drew 
had knocked both himself and Bloxham out of the race, and that 
the party should take advantage of the situation to nominate a 
third man. 50 Some thought that Jones had maneuvered Drew and 
Bloxham into a situation where they would kill each other off, 
but this theory is flawed by the fact that Jones was returning 
from the Republican national convention in Chicago when the 
interview was made. 

The Democratic state convention was held in Pensacola, 
the home town of Edward A. Perry, and its selection was viewed 
as an indication of Perry's strength in the race for the 
nomination. 52 Jones was among those who advocated the selection 

of Pensacola earlier, probably because he had decided that 

Perry was the man to support for the nomination. Jones had 

not been elected as a delegate to the convention, but a 


Jacksonville delegate gave Jones authorization to attend as 
his alternate. Jones went to Pensacola, a "straggling and 
sleepy-looking" town, with forbodings of disaster because of 
the Drew-Bloxham embroilment, but this threat evaporated when 

both Bloxham and Drew refused to allow their names to be entered 

in the contest. 

During the convention Jones telegraphed back to the Times- 
Union that Bloxham had written a letter in behalf of Perry, 
and, despite an "authorized" denial in the Tallahassee 
Floridian , Bloxham was supporting Perry. During the early 
balloting Perry, Comptroller W. D. Barnes, and Samuel Pasco of 
Monticello divided the convention's votes fairly evenly. Pasco, 
the chairman of the state executive committee, had a Harvard 
education and may have been suspect in the eyes of black belt 
conservatives. When Barnes withdrew after three ballots, Perry 
was nominated. A week later Bloxham wrote Perry that the 
story of the endorsement letter had been devised to drive 
Drew's friends to Pasco. He admitted that he had favored him 
or Barnes for the nomination, but Bloxham suggested that Perry 
try to stop press reports that he was responsible for the con- 
vention's decision. Jones was almost certainly aware of 
the circumstances behind Perry's nomination, but he supported 

him vigorously during the campaign, denying that he was the 

candidate of Bloxham, the "ring," the railroads, or the rich. 

At the convention Jones had been a member of the committee 

on resolutions and the sub-committee on the platform. He read 

the final draft of the platform to the convention, defending 


its low tariff plank against Alexander St. Clare-Abrams , 
Charles Dougherty, and other advocates of protection. After 
a heated floor fight the tariff plank was altered to suit 
the high-tariff men. 59 The proposal to call a constitutional 
convention was welcomed by delegates outside the black belt 
and was accepted by the black belt as representative of the 
overwhelming sentiment of the party. Anti-ring spokesmen felt 
the platform was too complimentary of the Bloxham administration, 
but were satisfied by the endorsement of a new constitutional 
convention which presumably would end the centralization of 

power in Tallahassee. 

The platform also contained an endorsement of 
Grover Cleveland for the Democratic nomination. Later Jones 
and Mann were to claim that they and the "progressive element- 
maneuvered the convention into an instruction for Cleveland 
over the opposition of the old-line Democrats, who backed 
Thomas F. Bayard as a southern man. 61 It is probable that 
Jones and Mann led the move to endorse Cleveland, but several 
newspapers representative of conservative Democrats had come 

out for Cleveland before the convention, indicating that 

62 _ 
Cleveland had supporters in both wings of the party. Jones, 

despite his 1882 endorsement of Cleveland for the presidency, 

was a late arrival on the New York governor's bandwagon. He 

had favored Tilden's nomination until the summer of 1884 

when it was apparent that Tilden could not make the race due 

to a paralytic stroke, and it was not until June that the 

Times-Union decided that Cleveland should be the nominee. 


The convention of the Second Congressional District to 
nominate a candidate for Congress convened in Palatka a week 
after the Pensacola convention. While a summer thunderstorm 
drenched the town, the delegates labored through fourteen 
indecisive ballots, and then recessed for dinner. During the 
adjournment prior to the evening session Charles Fildes 
attempted to assault Jones in a local hotel lobby. Fildes, 
editor of the Gainesville Bee and brother-in-law of Frank Pope, 
had been elected as a delegate, but had since come out with an 
endorsement of the Independent movement. Jones had raised 
the question in the Times-Union whether Fildes should be 
allowed to sit in the Democratic convention. During the night 
session Fildes, having declared that he was armed and would 
fight to speak, entered the hall and attempted to address the 
convention. He was shouted down and evicted from the premises 
by the sergeants at arms. When the excitement of the 
incident died down, the delegates proceeded to nominate 
Charles Dougherty, an orange grower and member of the state 
legislature from Volusia County. 

Jones received the nomination of Dougherty, who had 
fought him on the tariff plank a week earlier, with little 
enthusiasm, but declared that he was the party's choice and 
must be supported. 65 Jones was not the only one dissatisfied 
with Dougherty's nomination, and opposition to him within the 
ranks threatened his chances of election. While Jones said 
his nomination was secured by good organization, others 


attributed it toward politics or wire pulling by the 
"Tallahassee Ring." 66 Despite his early antipathy toward the 
Democratic nominee, Jones worked hard for his election, 
appearing at Dougherty rallies and lending him the support of 
his columns. 67 As time passed, Dougherty appeared to be gaining 

strength and proving wrong those who felt he would be an easy 

. , 68 
mark for Bisbee. 

Although Jones was in the thick of state politics, he 
was, if anything, more interested in the Presidential race. 
In June he had gone to the Republican convention in Chicago 
and had been invited on the floor as a guest of the national 
committee. He talked to Whitelaw Reid, the politician-editor 
of the New York Tribune , who accurately predicted that Blaine 
would receive the nomination. Jones noted the enthusiasm for 
Blaine among the delegates, but said his nomination would 
lead to Democratic victory in November because reform Republicans 

would not vote for Blaine. 

A month later Jones again went to Chicago as a spectator 
at the Democratic convention. Earlier he had expected to go 
as a Florida delegate, and his name was entered as a candidate 
for a spot on the delegation at the Pensacola convention, but 
it had been removed on the request of some Middle Florida 
delegates. 70 His first reaction at the convention was one 
of disappointment, for it appeared that the New York Democrats 
were so divided between the Cleveland men and the Tammany men 
that there was no hope of carrying the state in the fall. 


His spirits revived as it became apparent that Cleveland would 
have little difficulty in securing the nomination. He spent 
a good deal of time observing the labors of the platform com- 
mittee, and expressed admiration at its adroit handling of 
sensitive issues. He was particularly interested in the 
tariff plank, since he had predicted that the low tariff stance 
which had been rejected at Pensacola would be adopted by the 
national convention. However, the plank adopted at Chicago 
was equivocal and not squarely low tariff. 71 Jones left Chicago 
with a train load of Georgia delegates who sang and cheered 

on their journey and congratulated Jones for the Florida 

delegation's solid support for Cleveland. 

Early in August Jones received a letter from Cleveland 

complimenting his labors for the party and expressing the hope 

"that the work will be so well done, and the result so decisive, 

that there will be no temptation to our opponents to attempt 

to steal the State." 73 This reference by the Democratic nominee 

illustrated the lingering fear that the Republicans would 

attempt to repeat their "steal" of 1876 in which Florida's 

electoral votes had been decisive. Cleveland possibly invited 

Jones to visit him for a conference and asked him to act as 

his campaign representative in the state. Late in September 

Jones traveled North to see Senator Arthur Gorman, Cleveland's 

secretary Daniel Lamont, and other Democratic leaders, and he 

was among the steady stream of callers who spoke with Cleveland 

in his executive office in Albany on September 23. Cleveland 


assured Jones of his confidence in victory, but Jones found 
him uninterested in talking about the campaign. Jones described 
him as "rather above the medium height, stout, but not too 
stout for symmetry. He has a fine, clear grey eye which meets 
you with a look of candor and friendliness; and his whole 
appearance is that of a man who is robust and hearty in mind 
as well as body." 

During the remainder of the campaign Jones worked 
dilligently for the election of Cleveland, devoting, perhaps, 
more attention in the Times-Union to national politics than 
to the state races. After the election, Mann wrote Cleveland 
saying that Jones "did more work in the Campaign for the 
national ticket than any other man in the state." Mann was 
possibly writing in the hope of sharing with Jones in the 
fruits of success, but his assessment of Jones's work may 
well be accurate. 

The Times-Union treated the national contest as a battle 
between right and unrighteousness: "the question at issue is 
moral rather than political." Blaine and his supporters 
represented the worst in American society and character: 
"Surrounding and supporting him, running his campaign and 
placing him under obligations for services rendered, is the 

most nefarious gang of political freebooters ever brought 

together in any age or country." The Times-Union gave 

credence to every slanderous story about Blaine concocted 

during the campaign. Cleveland, on the other hand, was 


pictured as the personification of the country's moral 
conscience. 79 The only "political" issue which intruded into 
the discussion of the candidates was the tariff. Florida 
citrus growers feared that duties on Mediterranean and 
Caribbean citrus would be lowered by a Democratic administration, 
but Jones argued that only taxes on necessities of life would 
be lowered and that the duties on citrus, a luxury, would be 


The campaign, national and state, was extremely emotional, 
and as it drew to a close the Times -Union assumed a tone of 
extreme partisanship. Almost daily the people were reminded 
of the horrors of Reconstruction, workers were advised to burn 
the mills of employers who attempted to coerce employees to 
vote Republican, and warning was given that "thousands" of 
Georgia Negroes would attempt to enter the state to vote 
fraudulently. 82 Because it was thought that these out-of- 
state Negroes would be permitted to vote by "swearing in" 
their votes at the polls, the Times-Union declared that only 
properly registered voters should be permitted to vote. This 
stance aroused the ire of Republicans who said that it was a 
device to permit registration officials to arbitrarily dis- 
franchise Negro voters. 83 The Times-Union ran a daily tabu- 
lation of registered white and Negro voters in Duval County 
and urged whites to register so that the Negro majority in the 
county could be reduced. 84 By election day Jones was satisfied 
that a white majority would be polled in the state 


and district if frauds were prevented. He advised Democrats 

to behave peacefully and obey the laws. 

The Times-Union building was a center of activity in the 

hours and days after the polls closed. On the evening of 

election day a lime-light stereopticon was set up in the 

business office window to project returns on a screen affixed 

to a building across the street. Crowds of excited whites 

and Negroes milled in the street below waiting for the latest 

returns to come in on the wire, cheered pictures of their 

favorite candidates, and read advertisements by local merchants. 

Citizens from around the state who could not wait for the 

mails to bring the results telegraphed Jones to get the latest 

news. Sales of the paper reportedly soared above the 5,000 

mark for days after the election. 

Returns from the state brought news of victory, but the 
closeness of the gubernatorial race brought sobering realiza- 
tion of how serious the Independent movement had been and 
demolished the Times-Union 's confident prediction that Perry 

would carry the state by 8,000 votes. The margin was only 

half that. The Democrats did, nonetheless, sweep the election. 

Dougherty won the Congressional race in the second district by 

a larger margin than expected. 

The early news of the national election seemed "almost 

too good to be true": after a lapse of a quarter century, a 

Democrat seemed to have won the White House. The day after 

the election the Times-Union proclaimed Cleveland's victory 


was almost assured, but on Thursday the picture seemed less 
certain, as the Associated Press doctored its dispatches to 
suppress news of Cleveland's win in the state of New York. 
Finally even the die-hard Associated Press was forced to 
admit Republican defeat, and when conclusive dispatches came 
in over the wires to Jacksonville Thursday night bells were 
rung and a cannon fired in the darkness to celebrate the 

victory. Friday morning's paper proclaimed: "Cleveland's 

Election is Beyond Doubt." 

After the rigors of the campaign and the elation of 

victory had passed, Jones was despondent. "I feel sluggish 

and apathetic and inclined to question whether the game was 

so fascinating or important as to justify burning the candle 

at both ends," he confided to Abernethy. "The truth is the 

magnitude of the business and the responsibilities of my 

political position become more fettering every day. I feel 

sometimes as if I were in a vortex from which there is no 

escape." He continued: 

Yet the work was of a character that might well 
enlist the ardor and zeal of every thinking man. 
Here at the South, in any State in which the result 
is in doubt, a campaign such as we have just passed 
through is in the strictest sense of the word a 
battle for civilization. The contest in the 
National arena was equally a struggle for the 
maintenance of republican institutions in their 
purity. I have felt all along that much more 
hung upon the result than the mere question as to 
the supremacy of the Republican or the Democratic 
party. The Independents sounded the true key-note 
of the campaign — the issue was moral rather than 
political. The nomination of Blaine was a challenge 


to the moral sentiment of the country, and if 
he had won success through the corrupt and 
corrupting agencies upon which he ostentatiously 
placed his reliance I verily believe that the 
country would have entered upon a course that could 
not have been arrested without a resort to some- 
thing like revolution. ... 

For myself personally the campaign has wrought 
results that would open up large possibilities if 
I were an ambitious man. I am now recognized both 
inside and outside the State as the head of the 
Democratic party in the state, and as having con- 
tributed most to the brilliant victory we have 
won all along the line. The homage and gratitude 
offered me is somewhat overpowering, but it does 
not elate me in the least. I accept it as 
vindication of my past course, but it does not 
tempt me to reach out for more. I have no taste 
for politics. . . . 

Jones's success in politics, although probably less 
important than he seemed to have thought, was paralleled by 
the growth of the Times-Union . During the previous season 
it had expanded in size, and illustrations, most of prominent 
men, began to appear more regularly, usually in the Sunday 
issues. The news content of the paper was improving as well. 
Jones had been dissatisfied with the Associated Press's emphasis 
on stories of crime, violence, and calamity, and had turned to 
items of more substance. Probably this evolution was 
facilitated by the increased volume of telegraphic news being 

received by the paper, which enabled him to use some dispatches 

in full and condense the sensational trivia to one-liners. 

The Times had received 3,000 words per day at its inception; 

this was increased to 8,000 words per day in the spring of 

1884, and by fall it was taking 10,500 words daily. Part of 

this increase was due to lower telegraphic rates . As a 


promoter and member of the Southern Press Association, Jones 

worked with the other southern Associated Press agents to get 

more and better wire service for the southern states. As in 

the past, the most difficult problem was organizing a system of 

correspondents in Florida towns to report local news, but even 

here the Times-Union continued to make progress, important 

state news now being sent by wire rather than through the 

., 95 


In September the Times-Union leased the spacious three 
story McConihe building at the corner of Bay and Laura. The 
business offices, editorial rooms, job printing room and mail 
room were on the second floor, and the composing room and 
book bindery were on the third floor. The Times-Union 's six 
presses, powered by water from the city works, were located in 
a corrugated iron shed behind the building connected to the 
composing room by an elevator. A new set of smaller type was 
purchased which enabled the paper to carry one-sixth more news 
without increasing its overall size. A circulation four times 
that of the Times -Union after consolidation was claimed, and 
the Weekly Times ' s circulation was set at 5,520. And already 
Jones was preparing for more innovations for the future. The 
previous May he had purchased a corner lot at Pine (now Main) 
and Adams as the future site for a permanent Times -Union 

Jones's interest in journalism extended beyond the 
purvey of his own newspaper; he also undertook a leadership 
role in the organization of a national press association. 



In February, 1885, a group of editors from around the nation 
gathered at the New Orleans Industrial and Cotton Centennial 
to organize the International Editorial Association (shortly 
to become the National Editorial Association) . There were per- 
haps one-hundred editors presentat the seminal meeting, including 
a large delegation from Florida. The Florida Press Association 

had held its annual convention at the fair a short time earlier, 

electing Jones president of the state organization.* Jones 

was elected vice-president of the newly created national press 

association, and Benjamin B. Herbert, the originator of the 

idea, was chosen president. Herbert, an editor in Red Wing, 

Minnesota, had sent out a circular in December, 1884, asking that 


newspapermen assemble at the New Orleans exposition. The pur- 
pose of the organization was to unite editors and publishers 
across the country so that they might better cope with the prob- 
lems arising from the increasing complexity of the newspaper 
industry. The National Editorial Association became and remains 
today the leading association of rural and small newspapers in 
the United States. 

Jones was also a leader in the Southern Press Association, 
an organization composed of the Associated Press agents in the 
Southeast, and he managed to have its 1885 meeting scheduled for 
Jacksonville. 100 During the convention, which was held in the 
Everett Hotel in April, it was decided to organize the association 
as a corporation under Georgia law. Jones became one of the 
original incorporators and was made a member of the executive 
committee. After a discussion of problems relating to wire 


service news, the visiting journalists went on an afternoon 
excursion to the St. Johns bar for some snapper fishing and 
returned for a evening banquet. During the succeeding 

months Jones was often in New York for meetings of the 

executive board of the Associated Press. 

The opening of the winter season in Jacksonville brought 

an influx of visitors. Along with the wealthy and the invalid 

came a following of gamblers who set up their establishments 

off Bay Street to entertain the vacationers. The gambling, 

while illegal, was carried on more-or-less openly without 

interference from local authorities. In January, 1885, the 

Times-Union began a crusade against these "gambling dens," 

printing maps of their location and calling on the police to 

shut them down. Mayor Dancy saw the Times-Union 's timely 

concern with the city's morals as an effort to discredit his 

administration and hinder his chances for re-election, but 

Jones, while admitting that Dancy' s failure to enforce the law 

would hurt his election prospects, denied that this had been his 

motive in printing the stories. ^ Despite Jones's denial, he 

very likely did have the coming city election in view. "The 

election will be of exceptional importance," he declared, 

"because it must be obvious to all that a sort of crisis has 

been reached in the affairs of the city. For some years past the 

administration of government has been so lax and inefficient 

and of late has become so definitely bad that almost the entire 

body of respectable citizens is in a state of revolt against 


it. . . . Shall the present state of things continue and grow 
worse: or shall a new deal be made in the interest of reform?" 

Since it was not an election year, Jones was prepared to 
make a fight with the city Democratic organization, regardless 
of the turmoil it would create within the party. The 
candidate advanced to head the reform movement was Alderman 
Marshall C. Rice, a man tainted by his past association with 
city government. Prodded by the Times-Union 's leadership, 
many older, politically inactive citizens turned out for the 
ward primaries to elect delegates to the city convention. 
Jones ran for a place as a delegate in his home ward and was 
badly beaten, but enough pro-Rice delegates were elected to 
win the nomination for him. The rest of the Democratic 

ticket was composed of party regulars, a situation that Jones 

and the reformers were obliged to accept. The Republicans 

and some Democrats put up a "Citizens" ticket headed by 

Charles B. Smith, but Rice and most of the regular Democrats 

swept to victory in an election that was marked by the 

customary vote buying. Jones was well aware that the "reform" 

effort had been feeble, but for once at least, he declared, the 

weight of citizens outside the party ring had been felt. 

The new administration, as it turned out, was little changed 

from the old, but to his credit, Jones continued to hammer at 

the gambling issue into the summer when the election was long 

,. HO 



With the return of a Democrat to the White House, the 
distribution of federal offices became a matter for consideration 
by Florida Democrats. Having been a leader in the campaign, it 
was expected that Jones would wield considerable influence with 
the incoming administration. 111 However, he seems to have made 
little attempt to influence distribution of patronage during 
the first few months after the election. In December, 1884, 
he did sign a petition — along with Bloxham, Perry, Pasco and 
a few others — recommending Senator Charles W. Jones for 
Attorney General, but Jones admitted to signing only one other 
petition and declared that he had declined to endorse a dozen 
other men for various offices. 112 Jones felt that Cleveland's 
refusal to make a clean sweep of Republican office-holders 
was a good policy, and he defended it against the outcry of 
loyal party men who had waited years for a chance to enjoy the 
spoils of office. 113 However, Jones was not indifferent to 
events in Washington. In the spring he declined an invitation 
by Abernethy to accompany him on a vacation to Europe, saying 

that he could not risk leaving the paper unattended or departing 

the country before the federal offices were disposed of. 

The one federal position that Jones was seriously concerned 

about was the postmastership of Jacksonville. As a publisher, 

he was dependent on the post office for receipt of information 

and movement of his newspaper editions. When petitions began to 

circulate making recommendations for the post, Jones became 

concerned and denounced the petitions as a device to create a 


false picture of public sentiment. 5 Party regular N. A. Hull, 
a man of whom Jones strongly disapproved, was being put up for 
the position with the backing of United States Senator 
Wilkinson Call. Jones's opposition to Hull's appointment 
prompted him to send a long letter to President Cleveland, the 
major portion of which concerned the political situation in 
Florida as he interpreted it: 

Under date of August 4th last I received a 
letter from you expressing your friendly apprecia- 
tion of the work I was doing in the campaign. That 
letter is my excuse for writing now. I have not 
written before, nor sought a personal interview, 
because I knew that during the opening weeks of the 
Administration your attention would necessarily be 
fully occupied by large questions of State. 

I will reassure you by saying at once that I am 
not after any office either for myself, or for any 
relative, friend, or henchman. I am a Civil Service 
Reformer in the most literal sense of the term, and 
not only profess it but conform my practice to it. 
I write simply to ask that when you reach Florida 
appointments you will consider one or two points 
which I will now briefly submit. 

In Florida as in other Southern States — but more 
markedly in Florida than in the rest, because of the 
large infusion of Northern immigration — there is a 
division and a struggle between the "old timers" 
and the "new comers." This division is not political; 
nearly all the whites are Democrats, no matter where 
they came from. It is the last retreat of sectional 
feeling. The "old timers" to rule, and are arrogant, 
proscriptive, reactionary, and unprogressive. They are 
willing to share the prosperity caused by the infusion 
of new blood and outside capital, but there is a 
tacit understanding among them that no "new comer" 
shall have any political place or preferment, and on 
this they stand together as one man. 

Here in Florida this element was opposed to your 
nomination (Senator Bayard was their favorite chiefly 
because he was a Southern man) , and resented our success 
in having Florida's delegates instructed for you. 
They would have defeated it, indeed, had we not out- 
maneuvered them at the Convention. Yet as soon as 


victory crowned our efforts, they at once prepared 
to appropriate the spoils, and to-day they have 
their men named for every Federal office in the 
State and for everything that can be "claimed" 
in the Departments at Washington. And they have 
this great advantage, that our Senators and 
Representatives are of their way of thinking — 
are their creatures in fact- — and will in substan- 
tially every instance endorse and recommend their 

I need hardly say that in some instances these 
selections are grotesquely unfit. For example, 
the post-office here at Jacksonville is by far 
the most important in the State, and should be 
administered on strictly business principles. 
Yet the man who will be most strongly urged 
upon you for appointment, is (to put it very 
mildly) utterly disqualified for the position. 

I respectfully ask that when the question of 
filling this office is reached I may be heard, 
for I have much more at stake in the proper 
administration of the post-office here than all 
the politicians in the State. 

I have written with a considerable degree of 
frankness, but it would be a mistake to infer that 
I am a partisan of either faction. I train with 
neither, and use the influence of my paper to 
harmonize both. I have a solemn conviction, 
however, that the use of the appointing power by 
a Democratic Federal Executive is a matter of 
serious import for the South, especially if it 
be used without a clear knowledge of the forces 
at work. 1° 

Three days before Jones sent his letter to Cleveland, 
Mann mailed a letter to the President so similar to Jones ' s 
in wording and content as to suggest that Jones and Mann, 
formerly partners in the Florida canal scheme, had combined 
to influence patronage decisions, although there is only the 
circumstantial evidence of the two letters to support this 
idea. Mann's letter read: 


You will doubtless remember that I called on you 
in Albany, N. Y. last fall in order to give you my 
views on the political situation in Florida. 

You will perhaps remember what was said on that 
occasion as to the leaders of our party.. I have 
seen no reason to change my opinion. They are 
seldom representative of the people & they come 
from and represent a class who feel that the right 
to rule is regulated by births — 

The great body of our citizens and property owners 
are a recent importation from other states who come 
to Florida to make a home and not to seek an office 
and they do not desire to bring upon themselves and 
family social ostracism by allowing their friends the 
use of their names for position either as delegates 
to conventions or as members of the Legislature which 
gives as a result a delegation in Washington that 
represents the office holding clique and not the party 
or the best interests of the State. 

It is a curious fact that if the men who are now 
having their claims mounted for the offices had con- 
trolled the last State Convention the Florida 
Delegation which went to Chicago would not have been 
instructed for Cleveland as it was. 

That it was so instructed was due to the earnest 
and skillful efforts of the Times Union and its able 
Editor Col. C. H. Jones who also was Chairman of the 
Committee on platform and Resolutions and with aid 
of the progressive element carried the convention 

You will perhaps recollect the fact that I 
mentioned the Times Union as the first paper in the 
south to name you as a Candidate. 

It is no more than just to Col. C. H. Jones the 
Editor of that paper to say he did more work in the 
Campaign for the national ticket than any other man 
in the state and he is now vigorously supporting 
your policy of reform. In which he voices the senti- 
ment of the masses of our people who are not repre- 
sented at Washington. 

In order that you may understand my position here 
I will say I am a native of Ohio and a cousin of 
Hon. G. L. Converse and have lived in this state 
over eleven years. -^ You will I hope pardon this 
expression of my views. 

Cleveland read Mann's letter, but it is probable that 
Jones's letter did not reach his ha n ds. It was handled by an 
assistant secretary who wrote a perfunctory acknowledgment 


passed the letter on to the Post Office Department. -^ The 
Jacksonville postmastership contest became deadlocked before 
the end of spring, as Senator Call and Congressman Dougherty 
could not agree on a man for the post. Call, in looking through 

the papers on the contest, came across Jones's letter and 

wrote a refutation to Postmaster General Vilas. Meanwhile, 

the Times-Union began a persistant campaign in opposition to 

Call's "meddling" in local appointments. Call replied by 

writing that eventually the correspondence on file with the 

Post Office Department would be published and the cause of the 

Jacksonville post office impasse would be revealed. In 

July or August a copy of the "old timers" letter appeared in 

Florida, and its existance was hinted at by the Jacksonville 

Herald. ^ b v then Jones had left the state to vacation with 

his family in the mountains of North Carolina and Georgia. He 

was aware that the letter was in the hands of his enemies and 

sent an editorial letter to the Times-Union vowing his defiance ■ 

of the "Florida Dynasty," but not referring to the letter 

directly. 123 

The Times-Union was by then set firmly against Call and 

and the pro-Call Herald . Call was castigated as an enemy of 

the Cleveland administration because of his opposition to what 

he termed the "humbug and sham" of civil service reform, and 

Harrison Clark and John Temple Graves of the Herald were 

ridiculed for their attempts to secure federal appointments. 

The Negro Republican Jacksonville News observed: "From recent 


developments, there is no doubt but that the line is clearly 
drawn between the old Florida burbons, as represented by 

Senator Call and the Florida Herald, and the liberal democratic 

element as represented by Senator Jones and the Times-Union." 

That the Democratic party was fragmented in the 1880' s 

is clear. Contemporary observers such as the Jacksonville News 

and Jones himself accepted the idea of a division between 

Bourbons and progressives or conservatives and liberals, and 

historians have also taken this view. The Disston purchase, 

lavish grants of land to the railroads, and other issues which 

pitted the "interests," the "corporations," or the "ring" 

against the "people" caused the party to divide along lines 

which make the liberal-conservative generalization valid. 

However, there were other factors, such as matters of practical 

politics and personality, which complicated the situation. For 

example, Senator Call, son of Whig planter Richard K. Call, 

seemed a Bourbon by birth, yet his battle against railroad 

land grants was rapidly making him the leader of the liberal 

wing of the party. Jones, a philosophical conservative and 

Bloxham supporter, was a reformer in local politics and^ often 

backed liberal programs, but he steadfastly remained an enemy 

of Call — apparently for private reasons. Bloxham and Drew 

held similar views on public policy, but the personal animosity 

between them created perhaps the widest chasm within the party. 

This division of the party would become even more pronounced 

through the Populist decade of the 1890' s into the 20th century 

Progressive era. 

,» ? ^>J,M l lU^ l lWHlJ| ll .llUm^ l JIUJ l iMWaWWJW Ii lUm i|' ^UI » ^ l lt- '> <l^^ i i j i .j ii i^mvu«imjM iw»i utf 


The Jacksonville postmastership dispute was resolved in. 
October, when Harrison Clark was appointed postmaster of Jack- 
sonville on Call's recommendation after Hull's name had been 
withdrawn. Jones was disappointed at the choice, but attempted 

to picture Clark's selection as a compromise decision designed 

to settle a long-standing dispute within the party. When 

Hull was made assistant postmaster, the victory of "the boys" 

was complete. ^° Perhaps as a consolation, Jones was asked 

to name a postal clerk, in the railway mail service, but the 

comparative insignificance of the appointment evoked ridicule 

1 29 
from Jones's enemies. x? 

While Jones was waging his private battle with Call, 
the state of Florida was concerned with framing the new con- 
stitution called for by the resolution adopted in the fall 
elections. The primary objection to the existing constitution 
was its provision that county officials be appointed by the 
governor rather than elected locally. This centralization of 
power in the hands of the governor had become increasingly 
Irksome to Democratic politicians around the state who saw 
their ambitions thwarted by powers in the state capital. Often 
this discontent was expressed in terms of hostility to the 
"Tallahassee Ring." It was one of the foundations of the 
Independent movement, and the threat that disgruntled Democrats 
and Republicans might unite to force a change had persuaded 
the Democratic leadership to endorse the call for constitutional 
revision at the Pensacola convention in 1884. 

■u»r«OT.iitfi-«. a^i»j»a»^iat^iB^jae<^tda^iijja«»^jiai^^ 


When Jones arrived in Florida he had opposed the idea of 
constitutional change, declaring frankly that the unforeseeable 
consequences of a new constitution, particularly the possibility 

of a return to "negro rule" in counties with black majorities, 

outweighed the "vague discontent" motivating the reformers. 

But slowly the Times -Union came around to the side of those 
desiring a new constitution, although it demanded that the 
new document be "hedged in by such restrictions as will pre- 
vent its working evil in certain localities. "^l After the 
decision to call a constitutional convention had been made, 
Jones tried to arouse support for a plan to elect delegates 
at large so that white Democrats from the black belt counties 

1 op 

would be represented. When this idea failed to gain approval, 
he endorsed a plan whereby a joint Democratic-Republican slate 
of delegates would be sent from black belt counties, but the 
elections of convention delegates held in May divided along 
party lines. Although the counties with Negro majorities sent 
Republican delegations, the Democrats had a safe majority in 

1 oo 

the convention. Duval County's most conspicuous member was 

Thomas V. Gibbs, son of Jonathan C. Gibbs, black Secretary of 

State and Commissioner of Education during Reconstruction. 

In the weeks before the convening of the convention 

the Times-Union instituted a daily series of proposals for 

changes in the old constitution. In Jones's view, the major 

problem was reconciling the demand for more elective offices 

with the black belt counties' insistence that they be "protected." 


Jones was willing to permit election of local officials and the 
state cabinet, but did not believe that judges should be 

elected, and he endorsed some form of poll tax as the only 

practical means of "protecting" counties with black majorities. 

Opposing this view were black belt conservatives who opposed 

any change and, on the opposite extreme, the faction led by 

Mann which wanted to "elect everything" and condemned the poll 

tax as oppressive to poor whites as well as blacks. When 

the method of selecting judges was taken up by the convention 

the Times-Union vigorously urged appointment, and after a 

majority of the convention voted to elect circuit judges by 

district, Jones ran a heated editorial charging that the Mann 

faction had made a "bargain" with the Republicans whereby the 

"elect everything" Democrats would get elected judges and the 

Republicans would secure defeat of the poll tax. 

After writing this editorial, Jones went to Tallahassee 
and was admitted to the convention as a guest. While he was 
on the floor, Joseph M. Tolbert of Columbia County introduced 
a resolution condemning the Times-Union editorial as false. 
Mann, despite his differences with Jones on the poll tax, came 
to Jones's defense and introduced a substitute resolution con- 
demning the Jacksonville Herald 's handling of the incident. 

Both resolutions were tabled at the wish of the vast majority 

of the convention. Jones telegraphed a report back to 

Jacksonville admitting that he had been wrong in accusing one 

faction of the Democrats of joining with the Republicans in 


the judiciary voting, but he maintained that factionalism and 
personal ambition among the Democrats were enabling the Republican 
minority to influence the decisions of the convention. He 
predicted that the proposal to elect circuit judges by district 
would defeat the new constitution. The Jacksonville Herald 
reported that Mann and Jones had taken a long carriage drive 
together in Tallahassee and must have decided that their dis- 
agreement should not be permitted to divide them in their 
common hostility to the state's "best families." 

Shortly after the decision in favor of electing circuit 
judges, the Democratic delegates caucused and decided upon a 
compromise judiciary plan which satisfied the Times-Union . 
The governor would continue to fill circuit judgeships, while 
county judges and Supreme Court justices would be elected. The 
remainder of the constitution appeared to be likewise a patch- 
work of compromises: the cabinet and most local officials 
would be elected, but the county commissioners would be 
appointed by the governor. The poll tax was not written into 
the constitution, but the legislature was empowered to enact 
one if it desired. Other changes in the constitution, such 
as the provision for better financing of schools and greater 
autonomy for municipal governments, were viewed as improvements 
by the Times-Union . In all, Jones felt that the improvements 
outweighed the defects, and the Times-Union endorsed 



The adjournment of the constitutional convention coincided 
with the culmination of Jones's fight with Call and the Herald 
over the Jacksonville post office, and the two threads merged into 
a general campaign by the Times -Union against the "Florida 
Dynasty," which, it charged, controlled appointed offices under 
the present system and would oppose the new constitution as an 
attack on their monopoly. The "old timers" letter was passed 
from hand to hand by Jones's enemies, but Jones maintained 
that he had nothing against "old residents" in general, only 
against the "place-holding clique." He defined the "Florida 
Dynasty" as: "The persons who by reason of 'family,' or the 
habit of recognizing their claims to be consulted, have access 
to and a preponderating influence with the appointing power." 

Jones predicted that the new constitution would be ratified 

over the objections of the dynasty — as it was that fall. 

Christmas, 1885, marked another milestone for the Times- 
Union, for it was the last holiday that the staff would take 
from publishing the paper. From that day on the newspaper 
would appear seven days a week, without the former breaks on 
Sundays and holidays. During the year the paper had continued 
its steady expansion in size and circulation, and as early as 
March six-page Sunday editions were being run off. The 
physical plant of the company was increased by the addition of 

a faster press, a steam engine to power all the presses, and a 

folding machine to cut, paste and fold the sheets. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , March 28, April 3, 1884. 

Ibid., April 6, 1884. 

Ibid ., December 30, 1884. 

Ibid ., July 17, 1883. 

Ibid ., September 30, 1884. 


Edward C. Williamson, "Independentism: A Challenge to 

the Florida Democracy of 1884," Florida Historical Quarterly , 
XXVII (October, 1948), 131-156. 

Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , May 30, 1882. 

Ibid ., August 17, 23, November 1882. 

Ibid., August 23, November 11, 1882. 


J. Willis Menard to William E. Chandler, November 27, 
1882, quoted in Peter D. Klingman, Josiah Walls: Florida's 
Black Congressman of Reconstruction (Ph. D. dissertation, Univer- 
sity of Florida, 1972), 201. 

Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , March 30, 1883. 


Ibid ., October 10, 1883. 


Ibid ., November 2, 1883. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER IV (continued) 


Klingman, Josiah Walls , 204. 

Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , September 4, 1884. 


Ibid . , May 3, 1884. 

Ibid ., July 29, 1884. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union, August 2, September 20, 



Ibid., August 14, September 20, 1884. 


Harrison Reed to Henry Sanford, January 30, 1884, San- 
ford Papers, box 136, Henry S. Sanford Memorial Library, Sanford, 
Florida. Microfilm copy, P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, 
University of Florida, Gainesville. 


Reed to Sanford, January 30, 1884, Sanford Papers, box 136. 


S. A. Adams to Sanford, April 22, 1884, Sanford papers, 

box 136. 


Sanford to William Astor, April 25, 1884, Sanford Papers, 

box 136. 


Adams to Sanford, June 12, 19, 1884, Sanford Papers, box 



Ibid . , September 2, 16, 1884, Sanford Papers, box 136. 


Ibid., June 19, 1884, Sanford Papers, box 136. 


Jacksonville Florida Journal , July 22, Akgust 28, 1884. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union, December 10, 1884. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER IV (continued) 


Jerrell H. Shofner, "The Constitution of 1868," Florida 

Historical Quarterly , XLI (April, 1963), 356-374. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , November 6, 1883. 


Ibid., June 24, 1884. 


Gainesville Weekly B6e , January 19, 1884. 


Palatka Daily News , June 6, 1884. 

Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , October 25, 1884. 


Ibid ., June 19, 1884. 


Ibid., June 20, 1884. 


Ibid., July 25, 1884; Klingman, Josiah Walls , 210. 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , November 22, 1883. 


Ibid . , 


Samuel Proctor, ed., "An Educator Looks at Florida in 

1884, a letter of Ashley D. Hurt to his wife," Florida Historical 

Quarterly , XXXI (January, 1953), 212. 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , November 23, 1883; 

February 22, 1884. 


William D. Bloxham to Philip Thompson, May 29, 1884, 

William D. Bloxham Papers, Florida State Library, Tallahassee. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , April 15, 1884. 


Ibid ., May 27, 1884. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER IV (continued) 


Palatka Daily News , June 11, 12, 13, 1884. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , June 11, 1884. 


Ibid . . June 13, 14, 15, 1884. 


Bloxham to Jones, June 14, 1884, Bloxham Papers. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , June 21, 1884. 


Ibid., June 12, 1884; Palatka Daily News , June 13, 1884; 

Tallahassee Land of Flowers , June 21, 1884. 


Jacksonville Florida Journal , June 26, 1884; Pensacola 

Commercial , June 21, 1884. 


Palatka Daily News , May 3, 1884. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , April 29, August 26, 

27, 1885. 


Ibid., June 29, 1884. 


Ibid., June 7, 25, 1884; Pensacola Commercial , June 5, 1884; 

Ruby Leach Carson, "William Dunnington Bloxham, Florida's Two-Term 

Governor" (M. A. thesis, University of Florida, 1945), 245-246. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , June 26, 27, July 2, 

1884; Pensacola Commercial , June 28, July 3, 1884; Jacksonville 

Florida Journal , July 3, 1884. 


Bloxham to E. A. Perry, July 7, 1884, Bloxham Papers. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union . August 5, 1884. 


Ibid ., June 27, 1884. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER IV (continued) 


Pensacola Commercial , July 2, 1884. 


Clipping from Tallahassee Weekly Floridian enclosed in 

Jones to Daniel Lamont, July 18, 1886, Cleveland Papers, Library 

of Congress, Washington, D. C. Microfilm copy, University of 

Florida Library, Gainesville; A. S. Mann to Cleveland, April 

24, 1885, Cleveland Papers. 

Tallahassee Weekly Floridian , June 17, 1884; Ocala Banner , 
April 4, 1885. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , October 16,1883; May 

9, June 11, 1884. 

64 Ibid., July 1, 2, 3, 1884; Pal atka Daily News , July 2, 3, 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , July 3, 1884. 


Pensacola Commercial , May 14, 1884; Jacksonville Florida 

Times -Union, July 15, 1884. 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union, July 16, September 9, 



Ibid., October 22, 1884. 


Ibid .. June 4, 5, 7, 1884. 

Jones to Abernethy, May 24, 1884; Jacksonville Florida 
Times -Union , August 26, 27, 1885. 

Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , July 1, 9, 10, 12, 1884. 


Ibid ., July 13, 1884. 


Quotation from Grover Cleveland to Jones , V, quoted in 

August 4, 1884; Ibid., August 9, 1884. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER IV (continued) 


Jones to Abernethy, August 10, 1884, JP. 


New York Times . September 24, 1884. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , September 27, 1884. 

Mann to Cleveland, April 24, 1885, Cleveland Papers. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , November 4, 1884. 


Ibid . , August 6, 1884. 


Ibid ., August 31, 1884. 


Ibid ., September 26, 1884. 

82 Ibid. , October 24, 29, 1884. 


Ibid ., October 16, 1884. 


Ibid., October 23, 24, 26, 1884. 


Ibid., November 2, 4, 1884. 


Ibid., November 5, 1884. 


Ibid ., November 8, 11, 1884. 


William T. Cash, History of the Democratic Party in 

Florida (Tallahassee, 1936), 76. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , November 5,6, 7, 1884. 


Jones to Abernethy, November 16, 1884, JP. 


Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , November 16, 1882. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER IV (continued) 

9 Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , April 20, October 30, 


Ibid ., June 19, 1884. 

Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , November 16, 1882; 
Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , April 8, 1884. 

95 Jacksonville Florida Times -Union . May 15, October 30, 1884. 


Jacksonville Florida Weekly Times , October 2, 1884; Jack- 
sonville Florida Times -Union , October 30, 1884. 


Ibid . , May 18, 1884. The Times -Union was subsequently 

located there, however. 


Ibid ., February 21, 1885. 


B. B. Herbert, First Decenniutn of the National Editor- 
ial Association of the United States (Chicago, 1896), 50; Edwin 
Emery, History of the American Newspaper Publishers Association 
(Minneapolis, 1950), part 4, p. 1. 

Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , April 3, 10, 13, 1884. 
101 Ibid. , April 2, 3, 1885. 

102 Ibid. , June 2, 11, July 25, 1885. 


Ibid., January 20, 22, 1885. 

Ibid ., February 3, 1885. 


Ibid ., March 15, 1885. 

106 Ibid. , March 15, 1885. 
107 Ibid. , March 15, 27, 1885. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER IV (continued) 


Ibid ., March 20, 24, 25, 26, 29, 1885. 


Ibid ., April 7, 1885. 


Ibid ., April 24, June 17, 1885. 


Ibid., April 30, 1885. 


W. D. Bloxham to Cleveland, December 10, 1884, Cleveland 

Papers . 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , March 15, 18, 22, 1885. 

Jones to Abernethy, May 24, 1885, JP. 

Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , February 26, March 31, 

Jones to Cleveland, April 27, 1885, quoted in Tallahassee 
Weekly Floridian , clipping enclosed in Jones to Daniel Lamont, 
July 18, 1886, Cleveland Papers. 

George L. Converse (1827-1897), member of Congress 

from Ohio. 


Mann to Cleveland, April 24, 1885, Cleveland Papers, 


Octavius L. Pruden to Jones, May 2, 1885, Cleveland 



Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , August 1, 1886. 


Ibid., July 11, 1885. 


Ibid ., August 1, 1886. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER IV (continued) 


Ibid . , August 26, 1885. 


Ibid . , September 9, 13, 24, 1885. 


Jacksonville News , n.d., quoted in Pensacola Commercial , 

October 10, 1885. 

126 ' ■ ■ 

Samuel Proctor, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Florida's 
Fighting Democrat (Gainesville, 1950), 55-60; Wayne Flynt, Duncan 
Upshaw Fletcher, Dixie's Reluctant Progressive (Tallahassee, 1971) 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , August 11, October 7, 

8, 16, 1885. 

128 Ibid. , December 16, 1885. 


Ibid . , December 8, 1885; Palatka Daily News , December 

20, 1885. 


Jacksonville Florida Daily Times , January 1, 1882; 

January 11, 1883. 

131 ,, 

Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , January 1, May 17, 

1884; October 25, 1884. 


Ibid ., February 3, 1885. 


Ibid., February 13, April 21, May 3, 6, 1885. 


Eldridge R. Collins, "The Florida Constitution of 
1885" (M. A. thesis, University of Florida, 1939), 208. 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , July 15, 1885. 


Ibid .; Ocala Banner , May 23, 1885; Edward C. Williamson, 

"The Constitutional Convention of 1885," Florida Historical Quarterly , 

XLI (October, 1962), 121. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER IV (continued) 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , July 18, 1885. 


Journal of the Proceedings of the Constitutional Con- 
vention of the State of Florida (Tallahassee, 1885), 377. 

139 Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , July 21, 1885. An 
examination of the roll call votes on judiciary elections shows 
that no single faction of Democrats voted with the Republicans. 

^Jacksonville Daily Florida Herald , quoted in Oca la 
Banner, August 28, 1885. 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , July 22, 1885. 

142 Ibid. , August 4, 1885. 


Ibid ., August 9, 14, 18, 26, 1885. 


Ibid ., April 26, May 14, November 8, 1885. 


On January 8, 1886, the temperature began to fall in 
Jacksonville, and for the next four days Florida experienced 
the coldest weather in memory ' and, it was speculated, "prob- 
ably the coldest spell of weather known in Florida since 
white men first set foot on it." The Times-Union 's headlines 
announced: "Frost Line Gone to Cuba," and, while boys skated 
on Bay Street 's frozen puddles, efforts were begun to assess 
the damage done to the state's citrus industry. At first the 
worst was feared, and the Times-Union advised that the state 
not try to hide the damage and begin all over again, if 
necessary. Meanshile, stories began to appear in northern 
newspapers to the effect that the freeze had made a desert of 
the citrus belt. Soon it became clear that, while there had 
been severe damage in many areas, there was less destruction 
than many first thought and nothing like the calamity which 
was being reported in the North. Jones assumed a more 
optimistic tone on the question and began trying to nullify 
the poor publicity the freeze had given the state. 

Jones had a plan for combating the poor press received 
by the state due to the cold, and he took his proposal to the 
Florida Press Association which met in Gainesville during the 



second week of February. His suggestion was that he and a 
delegation of Florida editors attend the convention of the 
National Editorial Association and invite a representative 
group of editors from the North to visit the state and inspect 
the frost damage themselves. Jones's plan was one argument 
used to gain support for his re-election as president of the 
association. Jones was not a particularly popular figure with 
the state press. His often controversial stances in the Times- 
Union and his arrogance had aroused the enmity of many, and 
his success had, no doubt, made some jealous. Frank Harris of 
the Ocala Banner noted that the Times-Union had become like a 
whale among the minnows of the state press. One practice 
which rankled with some of the state's editors was Jones's 
request that they publish annually the Times-Union 's 
prospectus in return for exchange rights. To Jones's way of 
thinking this was a fair bargain since he was trading a daily 
for a weekly, but some editors regarded this as blackmail. 
John Temple Graves of the Herald tried to take advantage of 

this antipathy toward the Times-Union to put together an 

"anybody but Jones" movement. At Gainesville, where the 

association met in the new brick court house, there was much 

sidewalk lobbying before the convention. Many of the men 

there were meeting each other for the first time, and Jones 

apparently made a good impression, for he was re-elected with 

only two dissenting votes. He was also delegated to select 

seven association members to go to the National Editorial 


Association convention in Cincinnati. 


Jones was jubilant over his victory in Gainesville. He 
wrote Abernethy telling how the plot to "humiliate" him had 
been crushed, and declaring that for the first time since 
coming to Florida the other editors in the state were rallying 
around him. He published a quotation from the formerly 
unfriendly Ocala Item which said: "Mr. Jones made a host of 
friends among the members of the association who had not met 
him before, by his courteous and able discharge of the duties 
of his position." Frank Harris, who had been a persistent 

critic, noted, "He is a splendid officer and wears upon 

acquaintance." A When a delegation of association members 

later visited his home to present him with an inscribed gold- 
headed cane, Jones published a note of thanks to the state 
press and apologized for past differences: 

The least attractive side of journalism is its 
asperities. Under the provocation of attack 
and the stimulus of retort we editors are apt 
to write things which we ourselves forget almost 
as soon as the ink is dry, but which rankle and 
fester in the hearts of him who received the 
feathered dart. I am conscious of having winged 
more of these shafts than I like to recall at 
this moment; but I am also conscious of the 
fact that for my brother journalists of the 
State I have never had, and have not now, any- 
thing but the friendliest feelings of esteem 
and good will. 13 

Jones went to the Cincinnati meeting of the National 
Editorial Association with Mann and several other representatives 
of the state press. During the year since the first meeting 
in New Orleans he had corresponded with Herbert and others in 

.-i. . mnMi > rii™ . T M >r , ^rnr-i«.y^r<tt-TFrntT™v»M^^*r^i^ 


firming-up the organization of the association. * As incumbent 
vice-president, Jones shared platform responsibilities with 
Herbert, and, as at Gainesville, he impressed attending delegates 
with his skill as a presiding officer. Jones won a hotly con- 
tested race for the presidency, and presented Herbert with a 
gold-headed cane at the end of the convention. Mann, in the 
meantime, displayed citrus and orange tree branches which he 
had brought from Florida, and he and Jones invited a delegation 
of editors to visit Florida to see for themselves the effects 
of the highly publicized freeze. Jones had already made 
arrangements with the railroads and hotels in Florida to pay 
expenses for the visiting editors. The N. E. A. excursion 
party left directly from Cincinnati for Florida, where they 
were ushered around the citrus groves in the southern interior. 
The tour concluded with a banquet in Jacksonville. Jones 
congratulated the state on the wide publicity which it would 
gain from the Associated Press's report of the press excursion 
and the editors' own accounts in their papers. 

Jones's success at the Florida Press Association meeting, 
his election as president of the National Editorial Association, 
and his increasing influence in the affairs of the city and 
state were extremely satisfying to him. Jones confided to 
Abernethy that his added commitments as a public figure were 
making serious inroads on his time, but that he seemed 
irresistibly drawn deeper into public life. He summed up 
his feelings in a letter to Abernethy written just before the 
annual city election: 


It does seem as if honors are crowding somewhat 
thick upon me of late — too thick for the time I 
have at command to enjoy or appreciate them. 
They bring me little consolation, except per- 
haps the sense of gratified pride, and present 
themselves rather in the light of additional 
contributions to a burden almost too heavy to 
carry already. . . . The most striking feature 
of recent developments is the extent to which 
my old-time enemies are coming over. . . . 
The truth is becoming more apparent every day 
that I have proved too much for "the boys", 
and my steady growth in influence has intimidated 
them. Nobody knows how or when the smouldering 
volcano may belch forth again, but there are 
many signs that the battle is won, and that I 
am now as safe here as I would be in New York. 
It has been a wonderful experience to look upon, 
and if ambition were not dead within me, I could 
grasp almost anything I want. Meanwhile, it is 
a bitter pill for many of "the boys" to swallow, 
and you may be sure I don't try to sugar-coat it 
for them. 1 ** 

The city election again featured a contest of Jones 
versus the regular Democratic organization. Jones endorsed 
the re-election of Mayor Rice, admitting that his administration 
had not changed the pattern of city government very much, but 
blaming persisting problems on city officials under the mayor. 
Jones tried to organize support to secure Rice's renomination 
in the ward primaries, where the real determination of city 
government was made, but the Times-Union ' s endorsement and 

Jones's caucusing gave the opposition evidence to back their 

claim that Rice was "under the thumb" of the Times -Union . 

The ward primaries were controlled by the regular organization 

and proved a disaster for Rice, eliminating him from the 

running. The Democratic convention nominated William M. Dancy, 


former mayor and experienced city politician, to head a 

"reform" ticket, which, as Jones pointed out, was composed of 

the same men who had regularly held office. Dancy declined the 

nomination as a gesture to restore harmony in the party, and 

it was pressed on Patrick McQuaid, a Board of Trade member 

acceptable to Jones. With the Times-Union 's support, McQuaid 

and the Democrats were again installed in office, although 

Jones regretted the outcome almost immediately when it became 

evident that McQuaid, like Rice before him, would head a city 

administration unsympathetic with his views. 

Preceeding the election a new newspaper, the Jacksonville 

Morning News , began publication in Jacksonville. It was edited 

by John Varnum, and carried the United Press dispatches. This 

was the first direct competition Jones had faced in Jacksonville 

for three years. The Herald had maintained a modest existence 

during this time, partly with the patronage of the city and 

county printing contracts, but the Times -Union had seldom felt 

it necessary to take notice of its intown rival. Now both the 

News and the Herald became involved in a heated newspaper war 

against the Times -Union . Varnum knew something of the Times - 

Union's inside history and kept up a daily stream of personal 

attacks on Jones. The reasons for Varnum's hostility toward 

his former partner are unknown, but they may have arisen simply 

from business competition. Jones hit back at Varnum, reporting 

that the News was in financial trouble and explaining that 

Varnum's personal attacks were a result of his inability to 


write on other subjects. Finally in May Jones filed suit against 
Varnum and the stockholders of the News , asking no money, but 
declaring that he wanted to get Varnum and his friends on the 
witness stand so that the charges made against him might be 
refuted. 22 

During the city election the feud between the Times -Union 
and the other Jacksonville papers became even more heated* 
Jones charged that the News , ostensibly Democratic, was being 
kept alive by Republican financial aid in order that the News 
might create dissention among the Democrats. 3 The Times-Union 
also carried articles purporting to show how small the circu- 
lation of the News was. A letter sent to news dealers in other 
towns showed that few copies of the News were sold outside the 
city, and it was declared that "sources" in a position to know 
placed the News 's circulation at about 600 copies per day. 2 ^ 
Varnum published a "sworn statement" that his circulation had 
never fallen below 1,100 and was growing steadily. 2 ^ The 
Herald's circulation was said to be only one-fifth that of the 
Times-Union . 26 The Times-Union ' s willingness to put claims of 
circulation to a test probably certifies the greater accuracy 
of its claims. 

Since his days as editor of the Eclectic Jones had been 
interested in the "labor question," and as strikes became more 
frequent during the late 1880' s, he began to devote increasing 
attention to economic problems. By in large his ideas had 
changed little. They were generally orthodox and conservative, 


but there was a progressive element to his thinking. He saw 
strikes as both wasteful and futile because capital had the 
resources to defeat labor in a match of force. He believed 
labor organizations were desirable if they remained under the 
leadership of "sensible" men like Terence V. Powderly of the 
Knights of Labor, and employers should be willing to sit down 

to discuss their differences with the representatives of 

organized labor. The danger was that unions would be taken 

over by self-interested agitators who would not listen to 

reason. An editorial of March, 1886, set down this idea 


We wish the wage-earners success in every reasonable 
attempt they make to secure a larger share of the 
joint product of labor and capital. But the lawless- 
ness which says to the employers you must grant our 
demands or we will destroy your property and stop 
your business, and which says to Other workers you 
shall not work whether you want to or not — such law- 
lessness as this not only deserves no sympathy, but 
if not repressed, it will o drag down the social fabric 
in irretrievable anarchy.'' 


Jones's concern with labor problems was not that of a 
disinterested observer, for he had encountered increasing 
difficulties himself with the local members of the typographical 
union. In November, 1885, many of the Times-Union 's employees 
quit after Jones refused to accede to demands that work be done 
under union regulations . Other individuals had become dis- 
satisfied and left in the succeeding months because of wage 

disputes. Finally the union decided to make an issue of the 

demand for higher wages. A union meeting of all Jacksonville 


printers and compositors was held on Sunday, April 4, and after 
some tentative and fruitless contacts with Jones and the pro- 
prietors of the other publishing establishments in the town, 

a strike was called for the following day. 

On Monday night the Times-Union ' s composition room stood 

lighted and empty as nearly all the force joined the strike. 

Having realized the seriousness of the union's threats, Jones 

had taken the precaution of telegraphing earlier for help, and 

he now sent out a series of telegrams confirming that the 

strike was on. Meanwhile, his brother George and some of the 

editorial staff set to work inexpertly setting type for the 

next day's issue. A country editor visiting the city, his son 

and a handful of others in the city came in to help with the 

task. Outside on Bay Street the strikers congregated, talking 

among themselves and attempting to prevent the remainder of 

the staff from going to work. The strikers established their 

own newpaper, the Evening Appeal , to present their cases to 

the public. 

The day following initiation of the strike, a two-page 

edition of the Times-Union appeared in Jacksonville, and for 

the next few days the paper issued small, error-filled 

editions. On Tursday replacement printers and compositors 

began arriving in Jacksonville by train, led by a professional 

strike breaker who had recruited them. The striking workers 

tried to organize a boycott of the Times -Union by local adver- 

tisers, but seem to have failed. The Times-Union 's attitude 


toward its striking employees was at first conciliatory, but 
became more strident as time passed. The strikers attempted to 

break the solid front of the employers by various strategies, 

but found them organized and prepared to wait out the strike. 

By May the strikers stopped publication of their newspaper. 

In June the union paid the train fare for some "rats" ("scabs" 

in contemporary parlance) to get them out of Jacksonville, 

only to find that the publishers were glad to see them go since 

they had proven to be somewhat unsavory characters. This 

final device having failed, the union met on June 14 and 

agreed to divide the remaining strike funds among themselves 

and go their own ways. 

During this time Jones's dispute with Senator Call over 

federal appointments was continuing, both in the pubic press and 

privately in Washington. Jones had seen Cleveland in December, 

1885, when the President asked him to find if J. J. Finley 

would accept the post of receiver at the land office in 

Gainesville. After visiting Finley, Jones reported to 

Cleveland that he would accept the position, and he declared 

that Finley 's appointment would please the great majority of 

Florida Democrats. ' Finley, now an aged war hero, was apparently 

above factional fights in the party since Call had earlier 

recommended him for another federal post.^° Call's first 

recommendation for the receiver's office had been John G. 

Sinclair, the Orange County grove developer from whom Jones 

had bought acreage. Jones charged that "a well known man," 


perhaps Sinclair himself, had told him that Call recommended 
Sinclair in the knowledge that he would not accept, in order 
to refute Jones's charge that newcomers were discriminated 

against by the state's representatives in Congress. Call 

denied the charge, but Jones reasserted the story's truth. 

In March Call sent a letter to Daniel Lamont, Cleveland's 
friend and private secretary, saying that he had received a 
letter from a man in Florida who claimed to have heard Jones 
brag that he "had more influence with President Cleveland 
than any ten men in Florida" and that the President would talk 
to Jones when he would not talk to Call. "I desire this 
statement to be communicated to the President," Call wrote, 
"in order that. . . I may expose the character of this man, 
in the community and state, where he lives; and furthermore in 
order that he may know the character of the man who professes 
to speak for him." Call went on to admit that he had seen 
the "old timers" letter and some other letters from Jones in 
the files and had copied them in order to show leading 
Democrats in Florida how they were being misrepresented to 
the President. Call declared that he felt he was doing his 
duty in copying the letters and was confident that Cleveland 
would not be "a protector of persons engaged in slandering 
and bearing false witness against their fellow-citizens." 

Call was evidently trying to cover himself against! 
possible charges by Jones, which Jones had already hinted at 
in the Times -Union, that Call had abused his Senatorial 


privileges by divulging private correspondence to government 
officials. *• It is doubtful that Jones made the exaggerated 
claims to influence with the administration which Call charged, 
but, on the other hand, Jones was not a man to underestimate 
his own importance, and the Times-Union had tried to create 
the impression that Call was out of favor with the administra- 
tion because of Hull's appointment as assistant postmaster in 
Jacksonville and Call's opposition to civil service reform. ^ 
Lamont wrote a formal reply to Call, saying that Cleveland 
could not be held responsible for Jones's "alleged assertions 
as to his influence," and denying that Call has ever been 
refused admission to see the President, but Lamont did not 
take up the question of the "old timers" letter. ^3 

In the summer the "old timers" letter was brought out 
for use against Jones during the campaign for the Democratic 
Congressional nomination. Jones realized that the letter, 
which had been circulating for almost a year and had been 
alluded to several times in print, was about to be published 
by his enemies. On July 6, he penned a strongly-worded letter 
to the President: 

Under date of April 27th, 1885, I wrote you a 
letter marked "personal and private." It was on 
the general political situation in Florida, 
touched only in one paragraph upon the Jackson- 
ville post office, and was quite obviously a 
private letter, to be read and destroyed, or 
read and filed among private papers as dis- 
tinguished from public archives. 

In spite of this, what purports to be a 
"sworn copy" of this letter is now in the 

"""' _ "'."" ■'JJFFfiZhjgi&v&tngAt '>-•• y-^-Vte: a&^^''iS^ rarai^ ^ 


possession of certain persons here who are for 
slanderous imputations. I am further informed 
that what purport to be copies of this "sworn 
copy" are being distributed through the State 
to be used to my detriment in the pending cam- 
paign. I retained a copy of the letter, made 
at the time, which, with your permission, I will 
publish to refute the falsehoods that are being 
based upon it. I respectfully ask, further, that 
you ascertain if possible and inform me who has 
violated your private correspondence, and how a 
"sworn copy" of a private letter written to you 
could be obtained. 

I enclose you an article which I have written 
for publication in tomorrow's paper. 

I understand, of course, that a private 
citizen, comparatively a stranger, can have no 
private correspondence with the President of the 
United States in the strict sense of the term. 
Yet if it be true that a letter written and 
addressed to you, marked "personal and private" is 
liable to turn up in the shape of "sworn copies" 
in the hands of the writer's political opponents or 
personal enemies, it is time that fact was clearly 
and generally understood. 

My opinion is that some one who has access to 
Executive papers has violated or prostituted the 
privileges of his official position, and I 
respectfully ask that you ascertain who it is 
and kindly let me know. 44 

The enclosure mentioned by Jones was a short editorial 
notice from the Times -Union saying that he had written the 
President to discover who had "stolen" the letter. The 
publication of this "Stolen Letter" editorial on July 7 was 
followed by the immediate printing of the letter in the 
Herald and then in the News and other newspapers in the state, 
In the face of its disclosure Jones assumed a bold front, 
castigating the publishers of the letter as thieves and 
declaring that the charges in the letter were true. He did 
explain that in using the term "old timers" he had not meant 

^M. l /yvrvT'"* !, *w^ 


to include all the established residents of the state but only 
the "Bourbon" element. He also said that southern immigrants 
to the state suffered as much, if not more than northerners, 
from the prejudices of the "old timers." 5 Jones also added 
that since the letter's publication he had been told by many 
people that they approved of what he had said.^ 

The Herald ridiculed the idea that the letter had been 
"stolen:" "The charge is simply foolish and weak, and an 
evidence of frantic helplessness. ... We pointed out at the 
time, that Mr. Cleveland refused to receive a private letter 
from Mr. Jones; that his private Secretary Mr. Lamont, openly 
and freely, in his official capacity, showed the letter to an 
active and prominent politician of this city."^ The News 
published a copy of the letter with the word "we" changed to 
"I" in several places to make it look as if Jones were 
claiming more for himself than he actually had. The News's 
opinion was that this letter was proof of Jones's hatred of 
Southerners. 48 The Weekly Tallahassean exclaimed that the 
letter took not just the cake but "the whole bakery," while 

the Palatka Daily News predicted that the letter had "dug the 

editor's political grave in Florida." The Tallahassee 

Floridian attempted the most reasoned refutation of the letter, 

declaring that northerners held more than their share of offices 

and that Cleveland's nomination in 1884 had not been opposed 

by the "old timers" in the state. 50 

WWJ.3 5 WM.WWJJ'>! 


When Cleveland did not reply to his communication of 
July 6, Jones sent another to Lamont explaining that a story 
was being circulated that Cleveland had given the letter to 
him and "that you amused yourself by showing it around among 
Florida men, one of whom took a copy of it." Jones avowed 
that he did not believe the story to be true, but, "At any 
rate, no citizen of a free Republic is so low that he is not 

entitled to an explanation of such an outrage as the use made 

of this letter involves." This second letter prompted 

Cleveland to draft a reply to Jones. Cleveland had just 

returned from his honeymoon, during which he and his bride 

had been annoyed by the constant prying of newspaper reporters. 

Never very tolerant of the press, Cleveland was outraged by 

this latest episode. His letter of reply to Jones may reflect 

this disgust with newsmen in general as well as his impatience 

with Jones ' s imperious demands : 

I confess to some surprise at the tenor of your 
last letter to me and a later one to Colonel Lamont. 

There are several millions of people in the 
United States who have much more time to write 
letters to the President than he can possibly find 
to reply. 

I have not written, as you requested, an 
explanation of the manner in which something 
claimed to be a letter from you to me but which 
you declare was not a true copy, found its way 
into print, because I knew that I could not 
account for its appearance, and for the further 
reason that I could not exactly see why I should 
become in any way involved in a newspaper war over 
the publication of a letter which you said was not 
a copy of one in my possession. 

Your letter, containing as it did, an allusion to 
the post-office at Jacksonville, was sent to the 


Postoffice Department to be put with other papers 
touching that subject, so that when it was under 
consideration the suggestions made would not be 
overlooked. There it remained until one day the 
Postmaster General came to me with it and said that 
he had been applied to for permission to take a 
copy, but instead of complying he had it brought 
to me. I, of course, at once determined that no 
copy should be taken of it and then and there 
resumed it into my custody and put it away. I 
have not seen it since until today when after a 
hunt of more than an hour I have found it. I 
herewith enclose it to you with the assurance 
that no one but myself has seen it since it came 
into my possession. 

I am surprised that newspaper talk should be 
annoying to you, who ought so well to understand 
the utter and complete recklessness and falsification 
in which they so generally indulge. 

When after one of your interviews with me, kind 
friends put under my eye what perported to be an 
account of some dreadfully foolish things which 
you had said, I did not allow them to disturb me 
at all — feeling perfectly confident that the 
alleged interview was false. 52 

Since Jones had already publicized the fact that he had 
written Cleveland for an explanation, he must have felt obliged 
to print the letter in full so that he could not be accused of 
misrepresenting the reply. When the letter appeared in the 
Times-Union the News labeled it a "stinging" rebuke to Jones's 
impertinance." 53 However, the letter did prove that the News 
and the Herald had not been truthful about the "old timers" 
letter and how it came to public notice. Jones said that 
Cleveland's reply proved that his letter was "stolen" after 
Postmaster General Vilas refused to permit a "prominent states- 
man" to make a copy of it. He believed that the "kind friends" 

who had shown Cleveland the "foolish things" Jones was supposed 

to have said were the friends of this same "prominent statesman." 

"Af'i"*. * TJ— -. • 


On the day that he published Cleveland's letter, Jones 
sent a humble note thanking the President for taking time to 
write a personal letter. After apologizing for having dis- 
tracted him Jones explained, "I would not have troubled you 
about a 'newspaper war,' for to newspaper abuse I am as indif- 
ferent as a man can well be who has been rendered callous by 
it. . . .it was stated and reiterated on the authority of a 
'prominent politician' (generally understood to be Senator Call) 
that the copy was obtained in a way that showed that I per- 
sonally was held in contempt at the White House." Jones 
closed with an expression of "warm admiration" for the President 
and vowed that, although he was constantly misrepresented by 
his enemies, he had never uttered a word against him. 

The "old timers" letter had been brought up as an issue 
because of Jones's active participation in the struggle for the 
Democratic Congressional nomination. The race in the Second 
District had attracted the attention of many Democratic 
challengers to Dougherty because it was evident that the party 
nominee would probably have little difficulty winning the general 
election. William M. Dancy, John Temple Graves, and Albert W. 
Owens were Jacksonville's contenders for the nomination. All 
were regular party men and had their supporters in the 
organization. Jones threw the backing of the Times -Union behind 
Dougherty, saying that Jacksonville would lose his support for 
needed federal projects if Duval sent an anti-Dougherty 
delegation to the district convention in Ocala. The Herald 

iHHi •^v^ : T?'??^7--; ,g ^ 


backed its editor Graves, while the News praised both Dancy 
and Owens and denounced the town's "budding new ring of 
politicians" headed by "Boodle Jones." The Duval County 
ward primaries were indecisive. The Times-Union claimed that 
Dougherty had won the most delegates, but the News declared 
that Ownes and Graves had a solid majority between them and 
called for Graves to resign from the contest in favor of 


Owens. When Graves did drop out of the race, the News said 
that Owens was certain to receive Duval's support unless there 
was fraud at the convention. ° 

The News 's warning against fraud was probably made in the 
knowledge that the pro-Dougherty delegates were being organized 
by Jones, ex-Mayor Rice, John Q. Burbridge, and others. On 
the morning of the county convention the Dougherty delegates 
caucused in the parlor of the Tremont House at the corner of 
Pine and Forsyth to plan strategy, and, it was later charged, 
prepared to bolt should they not be able to control the con- 
vention. The convention convened at noon, July 3, in the circuit 
court room of the Freedman's Bank Building, one of the town's 
most substantial buildings. Events at the convention would 
later become a matter of controversy, but the basic outline of 
the gathering is clear: there was a test vote on the seating 
of contesting pro and anti-Dougherty delegations from a county 
precinct, and, after the vote, the defeated side, feeling that 
it had lost control of the meeting, created a disruption to 
prevent the convention from preceeding. The Dougherty delegates 


picked up the official papers of the convention, adjourned to 
the Tremont House, and there elected a pro-Dougherty delegation 
to the district convention. As this "convention" was adjourning, 
Owens appeared and requested that the delegates return to the 
regular site of the convention and proceed with the selection 
of a Duval delegation. Owens then returned to the Freedman's 
Bank where the rump assembly nominated a pro-Owens delegation 
to the district convention. 

The Times-Union , of course, claimed that Dougherty's men 
had been in the majority at the convention and had acted 
properly in not allowing the Owens delegates to obstruct the 
convention. The News took the opposite view, declaring that 
the Dougherty men bolted when it became clear that Owens would 
receive the backing of the majority in the convention. Both 
sides published detailed ILsts of delegates which purported to 
show that their candidate had majority support, and although 
there is no definite way of knowing the truth, the Owens sup- 
porters seemed to have made the better argument. In any case, 
the Owens faction stoutly defended their case and rebuffed 

the Times-Union ' s proffer of a compromise agreement for the 

sake of party harmony. 

Meanwhile Dougherty had remained in Washington, and, in 

his absence, Jones became a center of attention during the 

remainder °f July as other counties held their conventions. 

Anti-Dougherty newspapers published the "old timers" letter, 

while Jones used the communications network of his newspaper 

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to collect information on late developments and dispatch' pro- 
Dougherty messages to the sites of other county conventions. 
On the eve of the district convention, the News admitted that 
Dougherty commanded a majority of the delegates and thus could 
refuse to seat either Duval delegation, thereby insuring the 
two-thirds vote necessary for nomination. 

Jones left for Ocala with the Dougherty delegation on 
the day preceeding the convention, and attended a caucus of 
Dougherty supporters that night. Ocala was packed with 
delegates and the verandas of the Ocala House, one of the 
state's largest hotels, were spilling over with excited con- 
ventioneers. The assembly was convened at three on the 
afternoon of August 4, but the credentials committee's inability 
to resolve the Duval delegation contest forced an adjournment 
until that night. Frank Harris, anti-Dougherty editor of the 
Ocala Banner , observed that "Charles H. Jones, editor of the 
Times -Union , was, of course, one of the leading spirits of the 
occasion, and the individual on whom all eyes rested as he 
marched among the throng. Everybody who knew this distinguished 
journalist by reputation, but on whom their eyes had never 
consciously gazed, asked every other person: 'Is Jones here, 
and which is the man?'" 65 

At the evening session the credentials committee still 
did not appear, so time was spent listening to speeches while 
a delegation was sent to demand the report. Finally, the 
credentials committee filed into the hall and the chairman 


announced that, by a 9-8 vote, the committee had decided to 
recommend that both Duval delegations be barred from the con- 
vention. The minority had voted to seat the Owens delegates, 
and an effort was made to have the convention adopt the 
minority's report. At one in the morning a vote was taken on 
the question, and the minority report was rejected by a large 
margin. Thereupon Owens took the stage and asked that Dougherty 

be nominated by acclamation. The convention shouted its approval, 

the band played "Dixie," and Jones's victory was secured. 

Harris of the Banner called Dougherty's renomination "the most 

remarkable ever achieved in a political contest in Florida." 

Harris believed that Owens had been cheated out of Duval's 

support, but, despite the means resorted to, he gave Jones 

credit for securing Dougherty's nomination. The Times -Union , 

Harris declared, had made itself feared, and in politics most 

men were motivated by fear. 

Dougherty returned to Florida on August 24. He was met 

at the Jacksonville station by a small crowd of supporters 

and driven to the Duval Hotel where a Negro band was playing to 

attract a crowd. Dougherty made a brief speech from the hotel 

balcony, after which Jones rushed up to shake both his hands 

in congratulation. The conspicuousness of Jones in the 

Dougherty campaign was noted by the Democratic regulars in 

Jacksonville, who claimed that it was really Jones's race more 

than Dougherty's. Later they were to call for Jones's dismissal 

from the county executive committee, declaring that he would 


drag Dougherty down to defeat in the county. At the county 
convention to nominate candidates for the state legislature, 
a resolution was introduced censoring Jones for the "old timers" 
letter and for his "treachery" to the party, but it was voted 
down when Dancy made a speech calling for party unity. 

For most of the campaign the Times-Union concerned 
itself with efforts to unite the Democratic party behind 
Dougherty. The Republican candidate Jonathan Greeley, who had 
been the Independent candidate for the lieutenant governor in 
1884, was almost ignored, although he made it a regular part of 
stump talk to read from the "old timers" letter. In line with 
his casual approach to the Greeley candidacy, Jones published a 
humorous account of what was alleged to be "Greeley's Great 
Speech." It began: "The first thing I want to talk about is 
the Tariff ['hurrah for Mr. Tariff*]. In dealing with this 
subject I ought to inform you that Tariff is not a man ['hurrah 
for Mrs. Tariff']." 71 The day following the publication of 
the "speech" Greeley filed a $25,000 suit for damages against 
the Times -Union . Instead of ignoring the suit as unworthy of 
attention-^which it probably was — Jones launched into a more 
serious attack on Greeley, implying that he was a grasping, 
selfish banker with no sympathy for the public. He later 

publicized charges that Greeley had lived with a Negro woman 

and hinted that they might be true. Greeley thereupon 

changed his suit from one for "libel," but by then the Times - 

Union was reporting, no doubt correctly, that Greeley had no 

chance of election. 


Toward the end of the campaign the Times-Union began to 
devote more attention to the referendum on the proposed con- 
stitution. Jones felt sure that the new state charter would 
pass, although ratification was opposed by Democrats in Middle 
Florida and in counties with black majorities such as Duval 
and Escambia. In Jacksonville an anti-ratification petition 
was circulated with the signatures of many party regulars and 
some leading citizens. A few days before the election the 
Times -Union ran a letter from Governor Perry in support of the 
new constitution. 

The election itself passed uneventfully. In the evening 
a large crowd gathered in the streets outside the Times -Union 
building and on adjacent verandas to see the returns projected 
on a large canvas. Jones had arranged to have returns tele- 
graphed from all across the state, and had assigned runners to 
bring returns from outlying settlements to the nearest tele- 
graph office. ° As expected, the new constitution was adopted, 
although seven Middle Florida counties and Escambia and Volusia 
voted against it. Dougherty's victory had also been anticipated, 
as he more than doubled his plurality of 1884. Although Duval 
County voted for ratification of the constitution, it went 
against Dougherty and elected Republicans in the legislative 
races. ' 

The election of Dougherty capped a year of prosperity 
for the Times -Union . In March Mrs . Eliza Jones had made a 
rare public appearance when she threw the main switch at the 


new American Edison Electric Light Company central plant to 
turn on newly installed lights in the Times-Union building. 
Electric lights were not the only innovation at the newspaper. 
During the summer the Times-Union began running illustrated 

feature stories purchased from syndicates which supplied plates 

for both text and pictures. Such plate matter would soon 

become regarded as the material of second-rate newspapers, but 

at the time it marked an advance over that Floridians had been 

accustomed to see in their newspapers . Increasing circulation 

made improvements in press facilities necessary. A Hoe double 

cylinder press arrived in November, along with a New York 

mechanic to help assemble it. A new cement foundation was 

prepared in the press room to receive the 28,000 pound, 28 foot 

press. Although the paper was now taking 10,000 words of 

telegraphic news per day, it was necessary to use a great deal 

of clipped or syndicated material to fill its pages. 

It was probably sometime during 1886 that a bright Negro 

teenager from LaVilla named Jim Johnson began work for the 

Times-Union as a delivery boy at $2.50 a week. He and his 

companions would come to the building at four in the morning 

to pick up their papers, fold them, and deliver them to the 

homes of subscribers. Soon Jim worked his way into a job in 

the newspaper plant, working at various jobs including office 

boy for the editor, who was known as "C. H." by the employees. 

He shared the staff's pride in working for the "greatest 

newspaper in Florida." He aspired to be an editor himself, and 


did in 1895 become editor of a short-lived Jacksonville paper, 
the Daily American , which was perhaps the first Negro daily in 
the United States. In 1912 Jim Johnson (then James Weldon 
Johnson) made a national reputation with his fictional Auto- 
biography of an Ex-Colored Man , and in 1921 he became the first 

Negro executive secretary of the National Association for the 

Advancement of Colored People. 

The Times-Union opened the new year with the startling 

declaration that Florida's winter tourists were "missing." A 

newspaper crusade was started to discover what had happened to 

the "missing tourists" and to determine means of getting them 

back. According to a count made by the Times-Union , hotel 

arrivals in Jacksonville were down by more than 1,000 compared 

to the last season. At first the Times -Union blamed the decline 

on the refusal of southern railroads to pay commissions to 

travel agents who were directing visitors to California. It 

was pointed out that railroad rates to California were lower 

than those to Florida. The hotels of Florida were also blamed 

for failing to advertise as vigorously as their California 


As might be expected, the Times-Union declaration that 

something was wrong in Florida met with widespread denials by 

those who feared that such publicity might scare away visitors. 

One argument which probably had merit was that tourists were 

coming to Florida in as large or larger numbers than ever, but 

were bypassing Jacksonville to visit other areas of the state 

opened by the railroads. 

r^^-^r:"; 'STCV77 ~" "*~~" *""" rj ~" — easy 1 ??? . . - . iy , JJU ^ briM , ^ ! 3j Bg g B B l ^^ 


In years past almost all tourists coming to the state 
had at least stopped in Jacksonville before proceeding to 

their destination, and many remained in the city or at nearby 

settlements such as Mandarin during the whole winter season. 

The most popular excursion into the interior of the state in 

previous years had been the trip by river steamboat up the 

St. Johns River and Oklawaha River to Silver Springs, where a 

large hotel and several smaller boarding houses had been 

established. But by 1887 the railroads had opened a wide 

path to such places as St. Augustine, Palatka, Ocala, Sanford, 

Orlando, and Tampa. The editor of the Tampa Journal complained 

that what the city needed was more hotels to house the winter 

visitors who were flocking to that new resort' town in ever- 

V 86 
increasing numbers. 

Some professed to believe that Jones had raised the 

issue simply as a means of inducing advertisers to purchase 

space in the Times-Union . The Jacksonville Herald disputed 

the figures published in its competitor and maintained that 

Jones only thought tourism was decreasing because he allegedly 

could not sell as much advertising or as many papers as in the 

past. The Tallahassee Weekly Floridian also disputed the 

figures used by Jones, saying that the state's larger hotels had 

been ignored. Jones replied that he had sent stamped return 

envelopes to all the state's hotels, but had not received replies 

from many. Despite this shortcoming, he declared that the 

attempt was worth while because no one else had tried to make a 


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After two weeks of discussing the question, the Times - 
Union began to suggest possible remedies for the phenomenon 
of the "missing tourists." The state was adivsed to establish 
an advertising commission to attract both tourists and permanent 
residents. Hotel men were admonished to form a combination 
which would advertise and negotiate with railroads for lower 
rates, promising the railroads more traffic for their cooperation. 

It was suggested that the Jacksonville Board of Trade take the 

lead in forming a federation of local boards. w The familiar 

call for cleaning up Jacksonville and building shell roads 

along the river was renewed.' 1 On February 10 Jones published 

an editorial, "Let Us Dish California," which electrified the 

city. It was a proposal that the state stage a "Sub-Tropical 

Exhibition" in Jacksonville during the 1887-1888 season. For 

a modest $25,000 a grand exhibition hall could be built to 

house agricultural and industrial displays, horse races and 

sculling races on the St. Johns could be held, a Seminole 

Indian camp could be created, and other activities sponsored 

which would publicize the state in the manner of the recent 

Atlanta and New Orleans expositions. The Times-Union offered 

to donate the first $1,000 toward the fund for the exposition. 

Actual planning was undertaken immediately which would lead 

to the successful launching of the exposition in the next 


A month after beginning the "missing tourists" series, 

the Times-Union reported that some railroads were setting lower 

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excursion rates for Florida, and shortly the heads of the 

southern railways were said to have decided upon lower rates 

for their roads. However, the tabulation for February 

indicated that the month's tourist traffic was still off from 

February of a year before. * In May Jones sent letters to 484 

hotels in the state inquiring about their business during the 

past season. Only 138 replied, and many of the larger hotels 

did not answer, but the raw figures showed a decline of nearly 

8,000 from the 1885-1886 season. This final tabulation drew 

another round of denunciation from the state press. 

The attention given to railroad rates during the "missing 

tourist" episode was typical of the Times-Union 's concern with 

railroad affairs. In part, Jones's interest in railroads 

stemmed from the necessity of having mail schedules that would 

facilitate rapid delivery of his newspaper, and any railroad 

which seemed to be ignoring the needs of the Times -Union or of 

Jacksonville was criticized. ' One aspect of Jones's dispute 

with Senator Call had been their disagreement over Call's 

proposal that Internal Improvement Fund lands granted to the 

Florida Railway and Navigation Company be forfited. Jones 

admitted that the state had sometimes been too liberal in its 

grants of land, but in this case he argued that the land grant 

was needed to insure completion of the road. In February, 

1887, the Times -Union began a concerted campaign in behalf of 

a proposal to establish a railroad commission in Florida. In 

the past it had opposed a commission on the grounds that it would 


scare away capital needed to construct a rail system in the 

state. ^ Now the Times-Union declared that railroad rates were 

discouraging travel and trade in the state and that lower rates, 

by stimulating use of the railroads, would actually benefit the 

railroads. 100 When the Jacksonville Board of Trade, many of 

whose members were railroad men, passed a resolution designed 

to cripple the proposed commission bill, Jones spoke against 

. 101 , 

it. Despite such opposition, the legislature passed an act 

establishing a state railroad commission that year. 

In February Jones went North to take part in the 
organizational meeting of a new association of newspaper 
publishers. During the National Editorial Association con- 
vention of the previous winter at Cincinnati, an attempt had 
been made by William H. Brearley, advertising manager of the 
Detroit Newsy to initiate an organization of newspaper business 
managers. His plan did not receive the sympathy of the 
National Editorial Association, whose membership was largely 
made up of rural weeklies; thus Brearley returned to Michigan 
and began publicizing the idea of an association composed of 
the business managers of large, urban dailies. His efforts 
led to the calling of a convention for February 16 in Rochester, 
New York.- 1 -"- 3 Forty-six newspapermen, with one exception from 
the Northeast or Midwest, met at the Powers' Hotel and elected 
the "dynamic southern colonel" Jones to the temporary chair- 
manship. The first day of the meeting was devoted to opening 
addresses, some discussion of publishing problems, and 


consideration of the organizational structure to be adopted. 
At Jones's suggestion the name "American Newspaper Publishers 
Association" was adopted for the organization. 

On the second day of the convention the publishers 
grappled with questions which have continued to dominate the 
American Newspaper Publishers Association conventions down to 
the present. Perhaps the most important problem was that of 
advertising, especially relations with the new advertising 
agencies which had sprung up to service the needs of regional 
or national businesses. Intense competition between newspapers 
for advertising had often forced managers to accept advertising 
at unprofitable rates; thus an effort was made to agree on a 
standard of advertising rates to which all member newspapers 
would adhere. It was decided that the American Newspaper 
Publishers Association would compile a list of reputable 
advertising agencies with whom a publisher could work with 
confidence. Other problems relating to distribution of large 
editions, new mechanical devices, libel laws, postal service, 
and labor unions were discussed. At the end of the second day 
an election of officers was held, and Jones was chosen to be 
one of the five directors who would act as an executive body 
and make rules for admission of members. 

While serving as a director of the American Newspaper 
Publishers Association, Jones retained the presidency of the 
National Editorial Association. In September, 1887, he attended 

W— ■— M— ^ win wiiii i 


the third annual convention of the National Editorial Association 

in Denver, Colorado. On the first day of the meeting Jones 

gave the presidential address to an audience assembled in the 

Chamber of Commerce building. Apart from the expected comments 

on the prosperity of the organization, he made the suggestion 

that the National Editorial Association draft a simple libel 

law, incorporating the idea that malice of intent must be proven 

in libel cases against newspapers, and that this proposed law 

be lobbied for by National Editorial Association members in 

every state. The press needed the protection of such a law, 

Jones declared, so that it might be free to expose crime and 

misconduct to the public. He closed his address with a plea 

for professional courtesy and expressed the hope that the 

association might help to develop a spirit of fraternity now 

sorely lacking among editors. 

On the second day of the convention Jones delivered 

another major address, "The Duty of Journalists Toward the 

Labor Problem," in which he said that the press was largely 

responsible for the "labor problem" because it had educated the 

laboring masses to conditions around them and had spotlighted 

the gap between the rich and the poor by emphasizing the antics 

of the 'vulgar rich." Although there was little that could be 

done in terms of economic reforms to change the existing state 

of inequality, newspapers could promote a peaceful resolution 

of the labor problem by taking a sympathetic view of the 


workingman's lot and by denouncing the crimes of the rich with 
the same vigor used in condemning the excesses of striking 
laborers . 

After the business of the convention had been completed, 
the editors embarked on a tour of the state, with President 
Jones acting as spokesman for the junketeers at every place 
visited. The sightseeing ended back in Denver with a banquet 

at the Windsor Hotel where Jones was presented with a gold- 

headed cane. Jones had considered visiting California after 

the convention, but instead returned to Florida by way of 

St. Louis, Chicago, and the Atlantic coast. He did discuss 

the California boom with men he met on his journey and announced 

that it was a "bubble" which would shortly remove itself as a 

threat to Florida's prosperity. 

In Jacksonville's spring municipal election the reform 

insurgents had mounted the most serious challenege yet attempted 

against the Democratic regulars' hegemony in local government. 

In February a Young Men's Burbridge Club had been organized to 

boost the candidacy of Burbridge and fight the city ring. Jones 

backed his friend and put the Times-Union 's support behind the new 

club. When the local Democratic executive committee refused to 

adopt a slate of reforms proposed by the club designed to prevent 

corruption of the party primaries, the Burbridge supporters 

boycotted the Democratic primaries and set up their own slate 

of officers as a "Citizens" ticket. Jones endorsed the 



"Citizens" slate, although expressing his disappointment that 
more prominent citizens would not become actively involved in 
the city's politics by running for office. The ticket was 

a composite of Negro Republicans, labor union representatives, 

11 "i 

and reform-minded Democratic businessmen. The reformers 

swept the election, with the exception of the office of trea- 
surer, although it was necessary to purchase large numbers of 
black votes to carry the day. Jones justified the purchase of 
votes by explaining that the reformers had decided to "fight 
the Devil with fire," and he claimed that Burbridge could have 
won an honest election too, if one were possible in Jacksonville. 
In the evening the victors paraded the streets and stopped 
outside the Times-Union building to receive Jones's congratu- 
lations before going to Burbridge 's home for a celebration. 
Prominent in the festivities were several blacks who had 
supported the movement, and Alderman Duncan U. Fletcher, later, 
to become United States Senator. 

The major item of political interest on the state level 
was the election of a new United States Senator to fill the 
seat of incumbent Charles W. Jones, who, for mysterious reasons, 
had been residing in Detroit, Michigan, and was not seriously 
considered for re-election. Stories were rife that he was 
insane. Senator Jones had not attended a session of Congress 
for more than a year, and because of this the Times -Union had 
called on Governor Perry in 1886 to appoint a successor, but 

l^WM^«»:l»WW%»W^ j AS»( ; ».^ I M^U WI I HM l » l 


Perry said then that he felt he lacked this authority when the 
existence of a vacancy was in doubt. The mystery of the 
missing senator remained unsolved through the remainder of 1886. 
Jones wrote to Brearley, the Detroit News ' s advertising manager, 
for the "rock-bottom facts" on the case and got the reply that 
Senator Jones was engaged in a hopeless courtship of a wealthy 
Michigan citizen's daughter. In March, 1887, there was a 
report that Senator Jones would return to Florida to seek re- 
election with a sensational explanation of his behavior, but 

the senator never appeared. He had, in fact, gone mad. That 

fall his son began measures which led to his commitment at the 

state asylum in Dearborn, where he died ten years later. 

The leading candidates to replace Jones were well known 

by the spring of 1887, for lobbying in their behalf had been 

carried on openly during the previous year's meeting of the 

legislature. The favorites were former Governor Bloxham 

and Governor Perry. Samuel Pasco was considered a worthy man, 

but lacking the personal following of Bloxham or Perry. 

Mahlon Gore of the Orlando Reporter suggested that peninsular 

Florida unite behind one candidate, and he advanced John G. 

Sinclair as that person. J. J. Finley also was proposed as 

an honest man and faithful party servant of many years. 

Frank Harris of the Ocala Banner thought that "C H for C W Jones 

would not be a bad exchange," and the News accused Jones of 

wanting to be senator, but he was not openly discussed as a 

candidate. On February 13, 1887, the Times-Union endorsed 

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Bloxham as the most popular Democrat In Florida. Perry was 

urged to complete the term to which he had been elected, while 

Pasco was suggested as the man to succeed Perry as governor. 

The Times-Union predicted a calm election in which the best man 

would be chosen on the basis of merit; instead there was a long, 

grudgingly-fought battle for the Democratic nomination which 

left the already divided party more disorganized than ever. 

The Times-Union 's endorsement of Bloxham on February 13 

seems to have been part of a plan evolved by Jones for insuring 

his election to the Senate and for increasing Jones's power in 

the party. The plan, if it existed, probably involved Jones, 

Congressman Dougherty, Bloxham, John A. Henderson of Tallahassee, 

and possibly Pasco. The strongest evidence for the existence 

of some sort of political agreement is a letter which Jones 

wrote to Dougherty on February 8 in which Jones said, "The 

combination we discussed when I saw you is about perfected." I 

shall come out for Bloxham this week, after seeing Henderson 

who is to see me this next Friday." Jones discussed his 

plan to endorse Bloxham with former Governor Drew and perhaps 

to Senator Mann, and may have asked them to join his "combination." 

Drew later said that Jones had told him the "old timers" had 

coalesced around Perry and that Bloxham was anxious to join 

the progressive faction of the party. However, both Mann 

and Drew were ardent enemies of Bloxham, and one or both of 

them leaked word of the "deal" to the press. The Orlando 


Reporter , the Palatka Dally News , and the Tampa Weekly Journal 

played up the story of the bargain in late February and March, 

. 128 
but Jones at first shrugged it off as campaign gossip. 

As the legislature prepared to convene, Jones began to 

denounce the bargain charges more strenuously, demanding that 

those making the allegations bring forth their proof. * On 

April 7, Gore of the Orlando Reporter went to Tallahassee and 

acquired sworn statements from Drew and Mann attesting that 

Jones had told them he had an agreement with Bloxham "in black 

arid white" regarding plans for cooperation in elections and 

control of patronage. The affidavits were published in the 

Palatka Daily News the following day and copies were rushed to 

Tallahassee for the inspection of the legislators gathered there 

to elect a new senator. Jones replied with a sworn state- 
ment published in the Times-Union contesting the Drew and Mann 

affidavits , and he also printed a letter from Bloxham denying 

the charges. On following days Jones published letters from 


Dougherty and Pasco denying knowledge of a deal. 

In the face of such diametrically opposed charges and 
denials it is difficult to determine where the truth lies. 
Drew and Mann were implacable enemies of Bloxham, so their 
testimony is clouded by their interest in seeing Bloxham 
defeated. Jones did not deny talking to them about his 
endorsement of Bloxham, and it is possible that he. made some 
statements to them which were exaggerated into the story of 
the "deal." One intriguing suggestion made at the time was 



that Jones himself exaggerated the importance of his association 
with Bloxham and that this was the source of the idea that 
there was a bargain. This might account for Jones's letter 
of February 8 to Dougherty. Yet the evidence tends to support 
the idea that Jones and Bloxham did have an understanding. One 
more item bears on the question: In 1895 Jones wrote a short 
autobiographical sketch in which he said, "When I left Florida 

I had the U. S. Senatorship in my grasp as completely as is the 

pen with which I now write." This must have been an 

exaggeration, but Jones could hardly have had a basis for such 

a claim unless he had reached an agreement with one or more 

powerful party leaders. 

The Democratic caucus which would designate the next 

senator convened at eight on the evening of April 12 with the 

widespread expectation that the race would be deadlocked 

between the Bloxham and Perry forces. The Times-Union correspondent 

reported, "The woods are full of dark horses, in fact, every 

budding statesman here has his lightning rod up." Two ballots 

were taken, with Bloxham and Perry dividing the bulk of the 

votes almost evenly between them, with a scattering of the 

remainder over a handful of others including Jones. Neither 

was close to the fifty-seven votes needed to nominate. Samuel 

Pasco, veteran state party leader from Monticello, was in 

3 137 
Tallahassee but refused to allow his name to be entered. 


Twice more during the week the Democratic legislators caucused, 
again with similar results. On the eighteenth there was great 

excitement in the hotels and streets as forces seemed to be 

rallying around the two favorites. That evening's session 

saw Bloxham's total reach 47, but when the session adjourned 

at two in the morning Perry led 47-41. For the next days 

balloting continued in an atmosphere of depressed solemnity, 

then on April 21 Pasco permitted his name to be placed in 

nomination for the first time. There was a renewed wave of 

enthusiasm, but the result was a three way deadlock, replacing 

the dual deadlock. As April turned to May, Bloxham and 

Drew, the chief Perry supporter, renewed their dispute of 1884, 

while ineffectual balloting continued. Finally Bloxham and 

Perry both agreed to withdraw, and Pasco was nominated on 

May 18, five weeks after the start of balloting. 

While the battle for the Senate seat was going on in 

Tallahassee, a serious threat to the Times-Union ' s existence 

arose in Jacksonville. Following the city election, John N. C. 

Stockton organized a corporation to establish a high quality 

newspaper in competition with the Times-Union . Among the 

company's stockholders were Frank P. Fleming, James P. Taliaferro, 

J. M. Barrs, G. W. Bentley, George F. Drew, A. W. Owens, John 

Varnum, Harrison Clark, and a number of other prominent men. 

As the Times-Union pointed out, this list of stockholders 

included many "ward bosses," several directors of the National 


Bank of Florida, Call supporters, and railroad men. Jones 

met the challenge by reorganizing the ownership of the Times- 
Union as a corporation with himself, his brother and his wife 
Nannie, Abernethy, J. F. Welborne (Chairman of the Democratic 

Executive Committee), and F. W. Hoyt (president of the Bank of 

Fernandina) as stockholders. For a time Jones negotiated 

with several bankers for their support, but broke off when they 

suggested selling stock to some parties of whom Jones did not 

approve. In May Jones went to New York to purchase a new 

set of type and arrange for added news and features for the 

Times-Union . In an effort to cut off the competition from 

a source of telegraphic news, Jones contacted United Press 

International, but failed to secure a franchise. 

During the first days of May the Stocktons purchased the 

News and at the end of the month bought the Herald , merging the 

two papers into the morning News-Herald . When the Herald was 

consolidated, John Temple Graves left Florida to begin a 

successful career in Georgia journalism, while several other 

Herald employees started an evening paper called the Metropolis . 

The News-Herald was almost exactly like the Times-Union in size 

and foremat, and it carried the dispatches of the United Press. 

Cassius E. Merrill, formerly editor of the Nashville World , was 

brought in as editor. The News-Herald was moderately favorable 

to Call — in contrast to Jones's deliberately anti-Call slanting 

of the news — and it favored the Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West 

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Railroad over the Florida Railway and Navigation Line which 
the Times-Union championed. The News-Herald also opposed the 

new railroad commission which the Times-Union had helped 

promote. Unlike its predecessors in Jacksonville journalism, 

the News -Herald began with a scrupulous avoidance of any 

mention of the Times-Union , a policy which was reciprocated by 


The truce between the two papers lasted all of two weeks. 

The Times-Union then began to charge that a "syndicate" had 

been established to break the Times-Union , which was standing 

in the way of their domination of state politics. The News- 
Herald declared that Jones was an "ass" to interpret competition 
as a conspiracy against him, and said this attitude showed that 
the Times-Union represented only Jones, while the News-Herald 
spoke for the whole party. The debate then shifted to ' 
attempts by each paper to pin the "Republican" label on the 
other. Jones pointed out that Varnum, until recently a 
Republican, was a member of the News-Herald ' s staff, while the 
News-Herald countered by saying Jones had been a Republican 
when he came to Florida. Jones reacted strongly to this 
charge, writing, "Whatever my faults (and they are no doubt many), 

they do not lie in the direction of the turncoat and the 


trimmer." As part of his effort to refute this charge, he 

wrote Abernethy, asking him to copy, sign, and return a draft 
letter Jones had written himself, attesting to his soundness on 


on Democracy. He also asked for a letter from another friend, 

who had once referred to him as "an unreconstructed rebel." 

Jones published the letters in the Times-Union and reported to 

Abernethy that "they effectually crushed out the slander." 

Jones was almost certainly telling the truth in professing his 
Democratic background, but there was probably an element of 
truth in a statement by Harrison Reed published in the News- 
Herald ; "If Mr. Jones was not, at the time he established his 
paper in this city, a Republican, he certainly attained money 
under false pretenses." 

The newspaper war continued Into July, although the News- 
Herald tried to avoid playing the role of foil for Jones and 
held its criticism to a minimum. Jones constantly pounded away 
at the theme that the News-Herald was a "sham," and that its 
news dispatches were faked and its circulation inflated with 
free or cut-rate subscriptions. The Times-Union reported that 
Standard Oil millionaire Henry M. Flagler, who was then 

building the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, purchased 

1,500 copies per day. The News-Herald responded in the 

middle of July by offering a bet that its circulation was 

greater than that of the Times -Union . Jones replied by 

pointing out that the press owned by the News-Herald was too 

small to put out a newspaper the size of the Times-Union , that 

a survey of the news dealers showed the Times-Union far ahead 

in sales, and that no newspaper could attain a legitimate 


circulation of even 1,000 copies in less than a year. 158 At the 
end of July hostilities were called off by both sides. Jones 
reported to Abernethy that he had gotten "the nincompoops down 
now and must keep them down." 159 The News-Herald may have 
decided that attacking the Times-Union was a self-destructive 
enterprise. Frank Harris of the Ocala Banner ventured that the 
hostility of the state press toward the Times-Union had made 
Jones "the biggest man in Florida." 160 

In October the fight between the two morning dailies 
flared up again. The Times-Union declared that the News-Herald 
was losing money at a rate of $2,000 to $3,000 per month because 
its circulation had not grown much over that of the old News , 
while expense of putting out the paper had increased tremendously. 161 
The News-Herald renewed its challenge for a comparison of cir- 
culation, but the Times-Union refused to open its books for 
inspection by an impartial committee, and the News-Herald would 

not consent to a count which surveyed only street sales and not 

subscription sales. It is likely that the Times-Union did 

have a larger paid circulation, but the acknowledged predominance 
of the News-Herald in subscription circulation suggests that 
much of its readership received the paper free or below listed 

The opening of Flagler's Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine 
during the 1887-1888 season made it a much more important tourist 
center than previously and an attractive market for Jacksonville 
newspapers. In November the Times-Union opened an office in 


St. Augustine to service subscribers and handle distribution, 
but sending the newspaper there proved to be a problem since 
the railroad to St. Augustine was a branch of the Jacksonville ■, 
Tampa and Key West Railway, a line hostile to the Times-Union . 
In December the News-Herald announced that it had chartered a 
"News-Herald special train" to St. Augustine to speed its 
editions to the public. The Times-Union declared that the 
"special newspaper train" was nothing but a freight train, and 
filed a protest with the Railroad Commission when the Jackson- 
ville, Tampa and Key West Railway refused to carry shipments of 


the Times-Union to St. Augustine. In January the Commission 

reported that it could not act on the case because it did not 
involve discrimination but refusal altogether to accept freight. 
Jones threatened to fight the case and perhaps call for an 
amendment to give the commission more power, but in February an 

agreement with the road was worked out so that the Times-Union 

was taken to St. Augustine. 

Meanwhile, the News-Herald had problems of its own. During 
the winter of 1887-1888 three editors John Varnum, Cassius 
Merrill, and Stanley Fletcher were fired or resigned. The Times- 
Union took advantage of the situation to publish recriminating 

statements from Merrill and Fletcher attesting to the internal 

problems of the News -Her aid . However, the News-Herald , at 

least on the surface, seemed to be in good condition and ably 

edited in 1888. The Times -Union likewise appeared to be as 

^^^^^^^^^^^i^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^M^^l^^^^^^^ ^ 


prosperous as ever and claimed an ever increasing circulation. 
It was admitted by the Times-Union that Jacksonville could 

support only one first rate newspaper, and both continued to 

1 68 
claim that their rival was about to succumb to the competition. 

In the autumn of 1887 an election was held to select a 
new city government under the terms of the Constitution of 1885. 
A revised city charter had been adopted which expanded Jackson- 
ville's boundaries to mclude Fairfield and LaVilla, thus giving 
the city a Negro majority and a decided Republican voting 
majority. Although the Times-Union had not entirely agreed 
with Mayor Burbridge's administration, Jones wished to see him 
remain mayor and tried to argue that an election could not be 
held under the new charter until the legislature met and set 
up machinery for holding an election. When it became 
evident that an election would be held, the Times-Union advocated 
that leaders of the two parties consult with leading citizens 
to establish a good slate of candidates who could then be voted 
into office with little opposition. 

After a great deal of negotiating, a convention of 
Republicans, Democrats, "citizens" representatives, and labor 
union leaders met and selected a nominating committee which 
drew up a "citizens" slate of candidates. The ticket was 
headed by Republican Charles B. Smith, with the 18 aldermen 
posts evenly divided between the two parties. The Times-Union 
noted that five of the Republican candidates were black and that 

^ ^gg^^^^^g^TT^^Sgg^^TO^^^^^T^^^ ^^^ 


ten of the nominees were associated with labor unions. The 

Democrats, both the Burbridge faction and the party regulars, 

thereupon withdrew their support from the "citizens" ticket and 

nominated one of their own. However, the Times-Union was hardly 

satisfied with the Democratic slate, declaring it to be too 

much tainted with "ring" influences. 

After all this maneuvering, the election went quietly, 
with the Republicans and labor elements winning most of the 

seats. The Times-Union judged the new government an unknown 

quantity, but pointed out the good elements in it. The News- 
Herald voiced the regular Democrat's disappointment in the 
results, and suggested that a move be made to have the city 
turned over to a commission appointed by the governor. The 
Times-Union opposed this plan since it seemed that it would lead 
to control of the city government by the regular clique which 
had the ear of the governor, but ultimately this was the plan 
adopted as a means of preventing Republican-Negro government 
in Jacksonville. 

The feature attraction of the 1887-1888 season was the 
Sub-Tropical Exposition, which opened in a spacious exhibition 
hall constructed on the waterworks grounds just north of the 
city. The Times-Union had suggested the idea the previous winter 
during the "missing tourist" controversy, and Jones had been 
one of the prime movers of the organization in the succeeding 
months. 177 Early in the summer of 1887 Jones resigned his 


membership on the Exposition's executive committee, perhaps 

because of disagreements with other members, but the Times- 

Union continued to promote the project. In December a 

special "Sub-Tropical Exposition Edition" of the Times-Union 

was printed and distributed throughout the state and country 

to publicize the event. The most celebrated visitor to the 

exhibit was President Grover Cleveland, who arrived in February 

for a parade down Bay Street, speeches, and an evening banquet 

in the St. James. Jones was conspicuous as a platform guest 

and escort of Mrs. Cleveland, perhaps indicating that his 

relations with the White House remained good. After a special 

morning tour of the exhibit hall, the President departed for 

St. Augustine as the guest of Henry Flagler for a private 


The imposing Hotel Ponce de Leon was St. Augustine's main 

attraction of the season. This magnificent tourist resort was 

by far the most luxurious edifice constructed in the state up to 

that time, and it, along with other hotels later built in South 

Florida, and in Tampa may have been partly responsible for the 

continued decline in Jacksonville's tourist population noted by 

the Times-Union . According to the count made by city editor 

Bowden, Jacksonville had even fewer visitors than the year 

before. The News-Herald denounced the Times-Union 's stories 

as a plot to wring advertising money out of the hotel owners 

and predicted that Jacksonville had a "Glorious Future" as a 

tourist center. But the Times-Union was probably correct 


in its portrait of a declining tourist industry in Jacksonville, 
which was increasingly becoming a center of commerce and industry. 

However, there was another reason for the "phenomenal 
dullness" of the season: yellow fever. Jones knew it was in 
Florida and privately referred to it in a letter to Abernethy, 

but publicly the Times-Union discounted or ignored rumors of 

the fever in South Florida. On January 17, 1888, Jones 

sent an Associated Press bulletin out carrying a statement of 

the Tampa Board of Trade denying that there was any fever in 

that city. The following summer and autumn Florida would be 

ravaged by the worst epidemic in the state's history, but by 

then Jones was no longer in Florida. 

It was Jones's involvement with the national press 
associations which led to his departure from Florida. In 
February he went to Indianapolis for the second convention of 
the American Newspaper Publishers Association, taking with 
him the usual boxes of citrus and tropical fruits. He was the 
presiding officer of the convention in the absence of 
President William Singerly, and was elected vice-president of 
the association for the coming year. The topic of advertising 
and relations with advertising agents dominated discussion 
during the convention, but Jones presented a paper on "Govern- 
ment Control of the Telegraph" in which he argued that public 

ownership of the wires would give government a potentially 

dangerous element of control over the press. In April Jones 


and his wife traveled to New Orleans for the convention of the 
Southern Press Association, where he was elected president of 
the association. After the convention, the Associated Press 
agents visited Jefferson Davis at his plantation "Beauvior" on 

-1, Tf 187 

the gulf. 

While in New York at an American Newspaper Publishers 
Association executive committee meeting, Jones was offered the 
editorship of the St. Louis Republican by Charles W. Knapp, a 
major owner of that paper. Jones thought about the proposal for 
several days, then agreed to come to St. Louis if he could sell 
the Times-Union on reasonable terms. Returning to Jacksonville, 
Jones opened negotiations with potential purchasers, including 
several backers of the News-Herald and his old political 
opponents. Jones found that he had more in common with some 
of his enemines than he thought, and an agreement was reached 
whereby a new company, the Florida Publishing Company, would 
purchase both newspapers. J. J. Daniel was made president of the 

company, and Thomas T. Stockton was made treasurer and business 

manager. The final passing of papers took place on April 27. 

On that day Jones penned a letter to Abernethy revealing his 


I have an announcement to make that will astound 
you. I have sold the Times-Union [ sic ] and am going 
to St. Louis to take the position of editor-in-chief 
and General Manager of the old "Missouri Republican," 
one of the five leading Democratic newspapers in the 
United States. I am also to secure a proprietary 


interest in the same on favorable conditions; and 
have a chance, I think, to acquire a fortune and 
make a great reputation. 189 

On the day after writing Abernethy Jones vacated the 
Times-Union 's offices, on May 2 news of the merger was announced 

to the general public, and at the end of the week Jones departed 

for St. Louis. Eliza Jones remained behind to supervise 

packing before following her husband West. 

When the announcement of Jones ' s move to St . Louis reached 

the state press the reaction was mixed. The Pensacola Commercial , 

long an antagonist of the Times-Union , labeled Jones a man with 

"neither principles or conscience" and declared that it was 

glad to see him go. Frank Harris of the Ocala Banner wrote: 

"If Mr. Jones ever returns to Florida he will be held in much 

higher esteem as his great service to the State was only 

realized and appreciated when his removal to St. Louis was 

announced." But Jones received probably his most flattering 

tribute from John Temple Graves, then editor of the Rome 

Tribune in Georgia, who called Jones "one of the brainiest and 

most remarkable journalists in the country." Graves recalled 

when Jones had first arrived in Jacksonville, "a dapper little 

fellow, with a pale scholarly face, resolute mouth, quick 

energetic movements, and plenty of confidence in himself. ... 

From that day to this, he has been the most marked man in 

Florida, more talked of, more criticized, better hated, and by 

a few better followed than any one man in the State." Graves 

j ^PWWBWitWj ^i WUHll « iiljJJHg l ^»-»UJ 


felt that the "ruling elements" had been right in opposing 
Jones, but Jones "was ever at his best in a fight and never 
seemed to have the faintest consciousness of being whipped. . . . 
Lacking in physical courage, he was simply unconquerable in 
spirit, and inexhaustible in resources, and although paper after 
paper was started to down him, and combination after combination 
formed to crush him, he managed somehow to come out of every 
encounter smiling, confident, and stronger than ever. . . . But 
in his withdrawal from Florida, that State loses at once the 

most striking figure, the most dominant personality, and the 

stormiest influence, it has ever known." 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , January 14, 1886. 

Ibid . 

Ibid . 

Ibid ., February 11, 28, March 13, 1886. 

Ibid., January 30, 1886. 

Ocala Banner , n..d., quoted in, ibid . , March 21, 1886. 

Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , September 29, 1885. 

Ibid ., April 4, 1886. 

9 Ibid. , February 12, 13, 14, 1886. 


Jones to Abernethy, February 17, 1886, JP. 


Ocala Item , quoted in Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , 

February 19, 1886. 


Ocala Banner , February 19, 1886. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , February 21, 1886. 


Herbert, First Decennium , 63. 

Ibid . ; Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , February 24, 
25, 26, 1886. 

Herbert, First Decennium , 120; Jacksonville Florida Times- 
Union , February 23, 27, 28, March 7, 1886. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER V (continued) 


Jones to Abernethy, February 17, 1886, JP. 


Ibid., February 17, 1886, JP. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union . February 21, 23, March 
7, 14, 18, 21, 22, 26, 1886. 


Ibid ., March 27, 29, 1886. 


Ibid ., April 22, 1886. 


Ibid., May 16, 1886. 


Ibid., August 18, 1886. 


Ibid., August 29, September 17, 1886. 

25 T , 

Jacksonville Morning News , September 14, 1886. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , September 8, 1886. 


Ibid ., February 15, 1886. 


Ibid ., March 6, 1886. 


Ibid .. March 24, 1886. 


Ibid ., April 7, 15, June 11, 1886. 


Ibid., April 7, 13, 1886. 


Ibid . , April 7, 9, November 18, 1886. 


Ibid ., April 9, 1886. 


Ibid ., April 11, 1886. 

iWWItte&k&M**Kt.m*#,.IIJU.Mnmm, l ui I 

NOTES TO CHAPTER V (continued) 


Ibid., April 13, 16, 22, 1886. 

Jacksonville Morning News , June 8, 1886; Jacksonville 
Florida Times -Union , May 10, June 8, 11, 15, 1886. 


Jones to Cleveland, January 4, 1886, Cleveland Papers. 


Wilkinson Call to Cleveland, October 30, 1885, Cleveland 
Papers . 


Jacksonville Florida Times Union , February 5, 6, 1886. 


Call to Lamont, March 22, 1886, Cleveland Papers. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , December 24, 1885. 


Ibid ., February 11, 1886. 


Lamont to Call, March 23, 1886, Cleveland Papers. 


Jones to Cleveland, July 6, 1886, Cleveland Papers. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , July 7, 10, 1886. 


Ibid., July 14, 19, 1886. 


Clipping from Florida Herald , enclosed in Jones to 

Cleveland, August 1, 1886, Cleveland Papers. 

Jacksonville Morning News , July 9, 11, 1886. 


Tallahassee Weekly Tallahassean , July 14, 1886; Palatka 

Daily News , July 15, 1886. 

Tallahassee Weekly Floridian , July 15, 1886. 
Jones to Lamont, July 18, 1886, Cleveland Papers. 

W ^g^^^zm^^m^^^^^ma^s^^^^gs^^^^^^g^^^^g* 

NOTES TO CHAPTER V (continued) 


Cleveland to Jones, July 25, 1886, quoted in Jacksonville 

Florida Times -Union , August 1, 1886. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , August 1, 1886; Jack- 
sonville Morning News , August 3, 1886. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union ,' August 1, 1886. 


Jones to Cleveland, August 1, 1886, Cleveland Papers. 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , June 30, 1886. 


Jacksonville Morning News , June 22, 23, 30, 1886. 


Ibid . , June 1, 1886; Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , 

June 1,1886. 


Jacksonville Morning News , June 3, 1886. 

60 , 

Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , June 4, 1886; Jacksonville 
Morning News . June 7, 1886. 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , June 4, 1886; Jackson- 
ville Morning News , June 7, 1886. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , June 11, 15, 21, 1886; 

Jacksonville Morning News , June 17, 23, 24, 25, 1886. 


Ocala Banner , July 23, 30, 1886. 


Jacksonville Morning News , July 28, 1886. 


Ocala Banner , August 6, 1886. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , August 4, 5, 1886; 
Jacksonville Morning News , August 5, 7, 1886. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER V (continued) 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , August 15, 1886; Ocala 
Banner , August 13, 20, 27, 1886. 


Jacksonville Morning News , Augus t 25 , 1886 . 


Ibid . , August 29, September 9, 1886. 

Ibid., September 26, 1886. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , October 6, 1886. 


Ibid ., October 8, 12, 1886. 


Ibid ., October 23, 1886. 


Ibid .. October 29, 1886. 


Ibid ., October 28, 1886. 


Ibid., October 25, 1886. 


Ibid ., November 2, 3, 4, 5, 1886. 


Ibid ., March 6, 1886. 


Ibid ., September 19, 1886. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , October 17, 29, December 

17, 24, 1886. 


James Weldon Johnson, Along This Way, The Autobiography 
of James We Id on Johnson (New York, 1933), 8. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , January 5, 6, 7, 8, 

13, 16, 1887. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER V (continued) 


Ibid., January 13, 1887; Tampa Journal , January 19, 1887. 


Palatka Daily News , February 3, 1887. 

Ibid . 


Tampa Journal , January 19, 1887. 


Jacksonville Daily Florida Herald , May 3, 1887. 


Tallahassee Weekly Floridian , May 5, 1887. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , May 8, 1887. 


Ibid . , January 27, 1887. 


Ibid ., February 1, 1887. 


Ibid . , February 6, 1887. 


Ibid., February 10, 23, March 10, 1887. 


Ibid ., March 1, 1887. 


Ibid ., May 8, 1887. 


Tallahassee Weekly Floridian , May 5, 1887; Jacksonville 
Daily Florida Herald . May 3, 1887. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , December 2, 1883, Janu- 
ary 17, 1884; January 3, February 22, 1885; December 1, 12, 1886. 


Ibid ., April 23, 1886. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER V (continued) 


Ibid., February 17, 1883; January 31, 1885. 


Ibid., February 28, March 23, 1887. 


Ibid., May 6, 7, 1887. 

ia«7 looi ?T ^ L ° n8 ' " Florida ' s Fi "t Railroad Commission, 
1963)!" lls-ltT ' F1 ° rida Hlst0rlca1 SHglterl^ XLII (October , 


Emer Y> American Newspaper Publishers Association . 18-19. 


IhlA', 15-17; Jacksonville Florida Times -Union . Febru- 


Emer y> American Newspaper Publishers Association . 6-29. 


Jones to Abernethy, September 9, 1887, JP. 


Herbert, First Decennium , 139. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union . October 10, 1887. 


Ibid., October 16, 1887; Herbert, First Decennium . 180-184. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union . October 9, 1887. 


Ibid., February 5, 9, 24, 26, 29, 30, 1887. 


Ibid., February 28, 1887. 


Wayne Flynt, Duncan Upshaw Fletcher. Dixie's Reluctant 
Progressive (Tallahassee, 1971), 12. '. ~ 


NOTES TO CHAPTER V (continued) 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , April 5, 6, 1887. 


Ibid ., February 10, 20, 23, 26, March 2, 17, 20, April 
24, 1886. 


Ibid ., February 2, March 20, 1886. 


Ibid ., April 24, 1886. 


Ibid ., March 6, 1887. 


Ibid ., October 13, 1897. 


Ibid., April 5, 1886. 


Ibid ., October 3, 1886. 


Ocala Banner , March 25, 1887. 


Ibid . , December 3, 1886; Jacksonville Morning News , 
June 9, 1886. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , February 13, 1887. 


S. S. Harvey to Call, January 2, 1888, Cleveland Papers. 


Jones to Charles Dougherty, February 8;, 1887. 


Tampa Weekly Journal , March 14, 1887. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , March 2, 14, 1887; 
Palatka Daily News , March 17, 1887; Tampa Weekly Journal , March 
24, 31, 1887. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER V (continued) 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , April 3, 1887. 


Palatka Daily News , April 8, 1887; Jacksonville Florida 
Times -Union , April 9, 1887. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , April 9, 1887. 


Ibid ., April 11, 13, 1887. 


Palatka Daily News , April 10, 1887. 


Jones, "Sketch of Life." 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , April 13, 1887. 


Ibid., April 13, 1887. 



, April 







, April 





, April 




Jacksonville News -Herald , September 16, 1887. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , May 1, 1887. 


Jones to Abernethy, July 13, December 22, 1887, JP. 



NOTES TO CHAPTER V (continued) 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , May 29, 1887. 


Ibid ., July 2, 1887. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , July 3, 21, 1887. 


Jacksonville News -Hera Id , June 19, July 11, August 10, 
24, September 5, November 27, 1887. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , June 26, 1887. 


Jacksonville News -Herald , June 18, 30, 1887. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union . July 15, 17, 1887; 
Jacksonville News -He raid , August 11, 1887. 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , July 3, 1887. 


Jones to Abernethy, August 8, 1887, JP. 


Ibid., September 9, 1887, JP. 


Jacksonville News -Herald , October 27, 1887. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , July 21, 1887. 


Jacksonville News -Herald , July 17, 19, 21, 1887. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , July 18, 1887. 


Jones to Abernethy, September 9, 1887, JP. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , August 28, 1887. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER V (continued) 


Ibid., October 30, December 4, 1887. 


Jacksonville News -Herald , December 3, 5, 7, 10, 1887; 
Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , December 6, 10, 1887. 


Jacksonville News -Herald , December 20, 1887. 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , December 27, 1887; 
February 24, 1888. 


Ibid ., January 11, February 23, 1888. 


Jacksonville News -Herald , November 21, 22, 1887; Jack- 
sonville F]££i^a_Timesj : Union, February 19, 26, 1888. 


Ibid., January 24, 1888. 


Ibid ., March 6, 14, 1888; Jacksonville News -Herald , 
March 7, 1888. 


Jacksonville Florida Times-Union , November 22, 28, 1887. 


Ibid ., November 29, 1887. 


Ibid. , December 6, 7, 1887. 


Ibid . , December 7, 1887. 


Ibid., December 8, 9, 1887. 


Ibid ., December 14, 15, 16, 18, 25, 1887. 


Jacksonville News -Her aid, December 14, 1887. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER V (continued) 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , December 15, 18, 25, 


Ibid ., February 6, 14, March 25, April 9, 1887; January 
12, 1888. 


Ibid . , May 3, 1887; Jacksonville News-Herald, November 
4, 1887. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , December 5, 1887. 


Ibid ., February 23, 1888. 


Ibid . , December 3, 1887. 


Jacksonville News -Her aid , December 2, 1887. 


Jones to Abernethy, December 22, 1887, JP; Jacksonville 
Florida Times -Union , January 30, 1888. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , January 17, 1888. 


Charles S. Adams, Report Covering the Work of the 
Association During the Yellow Fever Epidemic , 1888 (Jacksonville, 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , February 8, 9, 10, 



Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , February 8, 9, 10, 


Richard A. Martin, The City Makers (Jacksonville, 1972), 

NOTES TO CHAPTER V (continued) 


Jones to Abernethy, April 27, 1888, JP. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union , May 2, 8, 1888. 


Jones to Abernethy, August 5, 1888, JP. 


Pensacola Commercial , May 5, 1888. 


Ocala Banner , June 22, 1888. 


Rome Tribune , n.d., quoted in Ocala Banner , May 18, 





The step from Jacksonville to St. Louis was a major one 
for Jones. The city of St. Louis had a population larger than 
all of Florida, elected more Congressmen than the state of 
Florida, and was the largest city southwest of Chicago. While 
it had not lived up to expectations as the "Future Great City 
of the World," as Jones and others had predicted in the 1860 's, 
it was the fifth largest city in the country and the commercial 
center of a region covering several states.-'- It was slower in 
its pace than Chicago, with a declining remnant of its old 
French population, a larger number of German forty-eighters, an 
increasing Irish population, many Negroes, and a substantial 
Jewish community. The twisting cobblestone streets of the 
riverfront ran west past low, smoke blackened brick buildings, 
through teeming slums where lone policemen hesitated to venture, 
out to the new western suburbs of large homes and the green 
lawns of Forest Park. The Merchants Exchange, near the 
Republican building, was the center of mercantile activity 
where the agricultural produce of the Mississippi Valley was 


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The city boasted many newspapers, including several 
German language presses, but the leading dailies were the Globe- 
Democrat , the Pos t -Dispatch , and the Missouri Republican. The 
Globe-Democrat , despite its name, was a Republican paper, and 

its editor Joseph B. McCullah was reputed to be one of the best 

in the business. The Post-Dispatch was Joseph Pulitzer's first 

newspaper and was still his property, although Pulitzer had 

moved to New York to edit the World . The Missouri Republican . 

was the oldest Democratic newspaper in the Southwest, taking 

its name when "Republican" was synonymous with "Jef fersonian." 

Despite its long and noteworthy history, the paper had fallen 

on hard times, and Jones was expected to return it to the front 

ranks of national journalism. 

On May 12 Jones completed purchase of a one-quarter 

interest in the newspaper, paying $92,500 for the stock. He 

also made an agreement with Charles W. Knapp whereby the stock 

of both men would be voted to insure that Jones would become 

vice-president of the company and editor with complete control 

of editorial policy. Charles W. Knapp remained president of 

the company with responsibilities for the business affairs of 

the newspaper, although George W. Jones would shortly follow 

his brother to St. Louis from Jacksonville to become the 

newspaper's business manager. Charles Knapp 's father, John 

Knapp, had already retired from active affairs in the business 

due to failing health and would die before the end of the year. 

^^l^^gB W B SfiS^^^Bfe H^^B^B^S^S^^SSHfflS 


The Republican 's former editor, William Hyde, had been a 
leading figure in Missouri's politics during Reconstruction and 
had been recently appointed postmaster of St. Louis. Hyde was 
noted for having once knocked Pulitzer down in a street fist- 
fight. 6 

The history of the Republican building was perhaps symbolic 
of the newspaper's decay. Completed in 1872, it was a five 
story Victorian monument abounding with corinthian columns, 
gargoyles, and over-arched windows. Its location at Third and 
Chestnut near the riverfront had once been the center of the 
city's business section, but over the years the city had grown 
away from the area, and the building had decayed with the 
neighborhood. A few years after Jones arrived at the Republican 
Theodore Dreiser, then a novice reporter looking for work, was 
struck with the building's dinginess: 

The office was so old and rattletrap that it was 
discouraging. The elevator was a slow and wheezy 
box, bumping and creaking and suggesting immediate 
collapse. The boards of the entrance-hall and the 
city editorial room squeaked under one's feet. The 
city reportorial room, where I should work if I 
secured a place, was larger than that of the Globe 
and higher-ceiled, but beyond that it had no 
advantage. The windows were tall but cracked and 
patched with faded yellow copy-paper; the desks, some 
fifteen or twenty all told, were old, dusty, knife- 
marked, smeared with endless ages of paste and ink. 
there was no sign of either paint or wallpaper. 
The windows facing east looked out upon a business 
court or alley where trucks and vans creaked all 
day but which at night was silent as the grave, 
as was this entire wholesale neighborhood. 7 

"•~ ^^H-^y^^ 


The changes Jones instituted in the paper marked a clear 
break with the past. The name Missouri Republican was dropped 
to eliminate confusion over party sympathies and perhaps to 
symbolize that the newspaper had entered a new era. The issue 
which reached the streets on May 31 was almost an entirely new 
paper. It was slightly longer, had new clearer type, the old- 
fashioned front page advertisements were gone, and the masthead 
now read: St. Louis Republic , "The People's Paper." Efforts 
were made to improve telegraphic news service by joining a 
syndicate of the Boston Herald , Chicago Herald , Pittsburg Post , 

and New York Sun — the latter paper's services being especially 

important because of the Sun 's cable communications with Europe. 

Jones endeavored to print stories of substance, and did not 

exploit sensationalism in the news columns, but by today's 

standards there was much more space devoted to lurid trivia. 

The Post-Dispatch and Globe-Democrat still enjoyed a superior 

staff of local reporters, but the Republican had previously 

been competitive in local news coverage. As a service to "the 

people" the Republic instituted a free want advertisement policy 

in some departments, a move which may have been aimed at 

increasing city circulation. 

Perhaps the most drastic change attempted was the 

reduction in price from five cents to three cents. It was 

announced that this innovation was designed to bring St. Louis 

into line with modern newspaper prices in eastern cities, and it 

^ ^,;jg " j! W ^|!^ 


was predicted that the other city newspapers would have to join 
in or go out of business. There was a problem with the news- 
boys, who wished to continue selling the papers at five cents, 
and St. Louis was supposedly diffident in circulating pennies, 
but the Republic ran daily reminders how these difficulties 
could be avoided. The three cent experiment continued until 
March of the following year, when it was announced that the 
price would return to its former level due to the lack of 
pennies in circulation. Possibly the price was raised for 
other reasons which the paper's management did not wish to 

In an introductory editorial, "Our Policy Outlined," 
Jones sought to reassure those who regarded the Republican with 
"ancestral affection" that the Republic was the same paper, 
"rejuvenated and inspired with new energy," and it would now 
be "found in the front rank of the liberal and progressive 
Democracy." He said the paper would fight to lay the memories 
of the war to rest, but would oppose centralization and 
"paternal government." Public education, civil service reform, 
and tariff reform would be supported. Editorial policy would 
be conducted "in conformity with a deep-seated conviction that 
Democratic principles are grounded not merely in political 
expediency, but in moral right and social needs, and hence it 
will be with the people and for the people, as against 
capitalistic greed and corporate oppression." But he added that 


corporate wealth was the foundation of civilization and 
deserved as much protection as private property and therefore 
"turbulent agitation" would not be condoned. While the Republic 
would be a Democratic newspaper, it would not be obnoxiously 
partisan and would cultivate the readership of Democrat and 
Republican alike. 12 By in large Jones was able to live up to 
these promises, although his newspaper was never as independent 
of partisan spirit as he would lilce to claim. 

During the first weeks after the change in management, 
the Republic ran thousands of words telling of the wonderful 
reception given the new paper. Individuals on the street were 
interviewed to get their reactions, praise from advertising 
patronage were given prominent attention. But the thing that 
stood out above all else was the prominence of Charles H. Jones: 

"the great Southern editor," "writer of national reputation," 

"gentleman of rare attainments and an indefatigable worker." 

The Republic printed the New York Sun's announcement of the 

change: "Jones is at the helm, and there is new blood in every 

department, and bounce everywhere. From being a 5-cent blanket 

sheet, with wall-poster advertisements and the general air of 

having been edited with a shovel, our esteemed contemporary 

has put on the external aspects of a first-class metropolitan 

journal, with news predominating over advertisements and brains 

over both. ... Jones has arrived. In fact, he is on deck 

in command. . . ." 14 Such inflated self-eulogy drew critical 

comments, even from friendly sources, and it aroused the scorn 

^■' y^wyag^^^y^^ 


of hostile ones, but there may have been method in Jones's 
policy of advertising himself in his own paper. A writer for 
William Marion Reedy's St. Louis Mirror (perhaps Reedy himself) 
thought he knew what it was: 

He adopted a course radically opposed to the 
conservatism which had for seventy years been the 
paper's too monotonous characteristic. He exploited 
himself to impress upon the public the fact that 
the men who had made the Republican obnoxious in 
its unprogressiveness, were out of control. 1° 

People bought the Republic to see what kind of 
damphool thing he was going to play next. All 
the time they thought he was making an ass of 
himself he was really making monkeys of them, 
and the paper's circulation went up until, for 
the first time in twenty years, the word dividend 
was defined to stockholders in checks. ' 

Jones threw himself into his new enterprise with enthusiasm, 
working as hard as he had ever worked in his life, yet relishing 
every minute of the labor. After two weeks with the paper he 
wrote his daughter Dora, then attending school in New York, that 

his heart was in the business and he was confident that it 

1 8 
would turn out a success. A month later he wrote Abernethy: 

"I am working extremely hard, but the success we are achieving 

is very encouraging. I have never known anything like it. We 

have made as much progress in two months as Pulitzer did with 

the world [ sic ] in a year. I feel contented and hopeful — more 

so than ever before in my life. * Even the acid attacks of 

the Glove-Democrat and Post-Dispatch did not discourage him: 

^"%yy'? j ^-^^-" * w '^ 


"Every newspaper in the city has joined the chorus against me," 
he told Abernethy, "but I am not dismayed — in fact, rather 
enjoying it, especially as I think I am getting the best of it. 

The trouble is I am rattling their dry bones." The experience 

of piloting a "huge newspaper" was exhilarating. 

By the middle of June the Republic claimed that its city 

circulation had increased by 50 percent, and it predicted that 

the paper's entire circulation would double in 60 days. 21 This 

reported increase can be partly attributed to the ordinary rise 

in circulation in an election year, and some of it was probably 

the result of free distribution and simple exaggeration, but it 

is highly probable "that the Republic was enjoying a boom of 

major proportions. By fall a circulation of over 45,000 was 

being attested to in sworn statements, and it was claimed that 

the Republic had a larger circulation in the states of Missouri, 

Illinois, Arkansas, and Texas than any other paper and was the 

fastest growing newspaper in St. Louis. 

The Globe-Democrat was the Republic 's major competitor 

because it was a morning paper and depended on subscribers 

outside of the city for much of its circulation. It had enjoyed 

a substantial lead in circulation over the Republican for many 

years past, and it was claiming an average circulation of more 

than 47,000 in the summer of 1888, but the Republic was rapidly 

closing the gap, and by the end of Jones's tenure in 1893 had 

achieved virtually the same circulation as the Globe-Democrat. 


The Post-Dispatch , an afternoon paper with the bulk of its 
circulation concentrated in the city, was claiming a circulation 
of only 33,000 in the spring of 1888, but it was the most rapidly 
growing of the three and would far outstrip its rivals by the 
mid-1890 's. 24 

One of the first things Jones did as editor of the Republic 
was to pick a fight with the Globe-Democrat , probably in the hope 
of sparking the reading public's interest. The Republic called 
attention to the out-dated format, the staid contents, and the 
conservative editorial policies of the Glob e-Democrat , also 
noting the higher price typical of the "old five-centers of the 
state-coach period." 5 When a Texas newspaper said people in 
that state preferred the Globe-Democrat because of its better 
news coverage, the Republic pointed out that in recent issues 
it Imd run more telegraphic news than its rival, while the Globe- 



Democrat padded its pages with "snake stories, whole columns of 

faith-cure clippings, Spiritualistic [ sic ] drivel, and all kinds 


of odd and end exchange clippings." There was some truth in 

this charge, for McCullah deliberately kept the Globe-Democrat 

sedate, while at the same time sprinkling it with snake stories 

and the like to keep up reader interest. The Globe-Democrat 

had written approvingly of the reformation at the offices of its 

competitor, but when Jones began to refer to McCullah as the 

"fat assistant" of the newspaper's president Daniel Houser, the 

Globe-Democrat began to slip in a few remakrs about the "Adonis 


of the Everglades" and "Jones, Late of the Swanpoodle (Fla.) 
'Slasher'." 2 ** When the Republic charged that the Globe-Democrat ' s 
editorials on Arkansas were stirring up a race war, the Globe- 
Democrat called Jones "a Yankee tramp recently imported into 
this city from Florida," who had sneaked the back streets of 

Jacksonville to avoid chastisement for his practices of personal 

journalism. Jones responded by printing a letter from former 

Mayor Burbridge certifying Jones's southern parentage and 

praising him for his work as a civic-minded promoter of Florida's 

.„ 30 

While concentrating on his morning competitor, Jones did 
not ignore the evening Post-Dispatch , like the Republic a Demo- 
cratic paper but less involved with the party organization. 
Pulitzer shared the resources of the New York World with the 

POst-Dispatch , giving that paper high quality features such as 
Sunday [Supplement material not available to other St. Louis 


newspapers. The illustrations of the Post-Dispatch were better 
than the Republic 's, but the layout of the paper was, if any- 
thing, more conservative. Jones began his contest with the 
Post-Dispatch by harping on the fact that Pulitzer marketed a 
12 page paper in New York for two cents but charged five cents 
for an eight page paper in St. Louis. The Post-Dispatch had 
ignored Jones's arrival in St. Louis but reacted to this 
campaign by charging that the Republic had scissored a story out 
of a Chicago paper and run it as a "Special to the Republic." 


The Post-Dispatch 's editorial continued: 

When Brer Jones announced that he had placed his 
small savings in the lean treasury of the old 
Republican there was a certain sympathy felt for 
him as for a harmless imbecile who had been con- 
fidenced out of his money. But he is evidently a 
fraud of the first water, and his attempt to impose 
on the intelligent reading public of St. Louis with 
petty swindles that would not go down in the 
Okeefinokie [ sic ] Weekly Everglade explains very 
fully why the aforesaid reading public pay 5 cents 
for a newspaper with news in it and do not pay 3 
cents for journalistic swindle with fakes in it. 31 

At the bottom right-hand corner of the page carrying the 
Post-Dispatch * s attack, a story of a hold-up in Texas appeared 
under the headline "Wore a Red Bandana." The next day's 
Republic carried a denial of the charge that it faked news, 
and declared that it was the Post-Dispatch which faked stories 
such as ivWore a Red Bandana," which was allegedly clipped from 

the Republic and run in the Post-Dispatch without acknowledg- 

ment." The Post-Dispatch returned the fire on the following 

day, and charges of fraud flew both ways for weeks. Fortunately 

for Jones the managing editor of the Post-Dispatch ran away with 

the wife of a well-known St. Louis theatre owner during the 

dispute, and the Republic ran front page stories of this 

"shameless and cold-blooded depravity" daily. The Post-Dispatch 


slackened its assaults for the moment. 

Jones had hardly settled at his desk at the Republic 
before delegates began arriving in St. Louis for the Democratic 
national convention. As the local organ of Democracy, the 


Republic occupied a special position, both as servant of the 
visiting pressmen and, for the moment, the spotlighted mouth- 
piece of the party. As Cleveland's renomination was a foregone 
conclusion, the Republic 's attention was first turned to the 
question of the vice-presidential nomination. Allen G. Thurman, 
the "Old Roman" of Ohio politics, was the leading contender 
for second place on the ticket, despite his poor health and 
advanced age. Press speculation swirled about whether he would 
accept the nomination if it were offered to him, and it seemed 
certain that he would be offered the position if he indicated 
that he would accept. On June 2 the Republic published what 
was apparently the first definite statement from Thurman that 
he would indeed accept the nomination if it were offered to him. 
Jones used the exclusive interview to acclaim his newspaper 
enterprise: "The sensation of the day in journalistic circles 
is The Republic's "scoop" in obtaining direct from Judge Thurman 
the first authoritative announcement that he would accept the 
Vice-Presidency. It is acknowledged to be the biggest thing of 
the kind achieved in recent years; and yet it was due to the 
position of The Republic in the journalism of the Democratic 
party that it should be made the medium of the announcement." 

During the convention Jones kept a close watch on the 
activities of the Committee on Resolutions, as he had in the 
Democratic convention of 1884. He wished to see a genuine low 
tariff clause incorporated in the platform, and lobbied for 


such a plank in the columns of the Republic . Despite his 
famous tariff reform message of 1887, Cleveland had made it 
known that he wished the tariff plank to be moderate, but 
Henry Watterson, editor of the Louisville Courier- Journal and 
draftsman of national platforms, wanted a decisively low 
tariff plank. The Republic 's emotional campaign against the 
"combine" of Senator Arthur P. Gorman, leader of the faction 

committed to reaffirming the cautious 1884 plank, drew national 


attention. When, after a long caucus, the platform sub- 
committee reported out a generally low-tariff plank Jones 
patted himself on the back for having saved the tariff reform 


cause. This inflated view of the Republic 's influence was 
probably unrealistic in the case of the platform, as it 
certainly was in its claim to have secured the vice-presidential 
nomination for Thurman. 

The Republic 's coverage of the Republican convention later 
in the month was unashamedly biased against both the Republicans 
and Chicago. Chicago was portrayed as a haven for anarchists, 
while the Republicans were pictured as a combination of "the 
sleek type of the class produced by monopoly greed at the North 
and the unwashed type of the ignorant and shiftless class of 
the South." The Republic was pleased when the opposition 
chose to make a square fight on the tariff issue by stoutly 
endorsing protection in their platform. 


The Democrats' decision to fight the election on the 
question of tariff reform may have cost Cleveland the election 
because it antagonized business and frightened much of the 
public. The mistake was compounded by making William H. Barnum 
national chairman and Calvin S. Brice chairman of the executive 
committee. Barnum, a Michigan iron ore producer, and Brice, 

a northeastern lawyer, were both protectionists and were indif- 


ferent to the call for a "campaign of education" on the tariff. 

For his part, Jones threw the Republic enthusiastically and 
unreservedly behind the low tariff, anti-trust campaign. He 
accused the Republicans of wishing to raise tariff rates to 
prohibitive levels which would force the American people to 
buy only from the trusts. 40 The Republic also played on sectional 
and class themes which would increasingly become a hallmark of 
Jones's thinking. The election was seen as a contest between 
the protected rich business community and the unprotected workers 

and farmers; between the Northeast, grown fat on protection, 

u 41 

and the South and West, increasingly indebted to the Northeast. 

Harrison was declared to be an enemy of the workingman because 

of his role in breaking the strike on the Ohio and Missouri 

Railroad in 1877. The use of "Pinkerton armies" was denounced, 

and the use of court injunctions in labor disputes was condemned 

as having great potential for oppression. Cleveland's record 

as a civil service reformer was defended, and his careful 

vetoes of pension bills were contrasted to the reckless passage 

of such bills by Congress. 



On the level of state politics, Jones had assured local 
party leaders that until he learned something of Missouri 

politics he intended to maintain a neutral posture and would 

treat all Democratic candidates fairly. But as the race for 

the Democratic gubernatorial nomination developed into a 

heated battle, Jones piloted the Republic into the fray in 

behalf of St. Louis Mayor David R. Francis, a young man of the 

post-Reconstruction generation of Missouri politicians and a 

highly successful dealer in grain at the Merchants Exchange. 

The other candidates for the nomination were Governor Albert P. 

Morehouse, who had succeeded to the governorship upon the death 

of John Marmaduke in December, 1887, and Congressman John Glover 

of St. Louis. Ostensibly Jones 1 s excuse for enlisting Francis's 

behalf was that Glover and Morehouse, in cooperation with 

St. Louis "boss" Edward Noonan, had entered into a conspiracy 

to defeat Francis. According to Jones, Francis had the 

backing of the Merchants Exchange and St. Louis businessmen, 

while Glover was being put up by the "rings" and liquor interests 

to insure the defeat of their enemy Francis. Actually, 

Francis had his own "ring" backing from Ed Butler, a man who 

had risen from the humblest of origins in Ireland to become a 

successful and wealthy blacksmith and ward politician. Glover 

reacted to the Republic 's unfriendly treatment of his campaign 

by explaining that "Jones of Florida" was new to the state, and 

Jones replied that he was learning fast enough to make "political 


47 , j 

fakirs and side showmen" uncomfortable. When Glover accused 

Jones of backing Francis because of "certain monetary trans- 
actions," Jones demanded proof and forced Glover to admit that 

he had relied on gossip in making his charges. 

After Francis won the Democratic nomination, the Post- 
Dispatch , which had backed Glover, refused to endorse the nominee 
of the party and declared that it would be better to elect a 
Republican than to allow Francis and Butler to gain permanent 
control of the Democratic party. It accused Francis of fraud 

in his 1885 election as mayor, of gambling in grain, and of 

neglecting his duties as mayor while running for governor. 

The Republic , said the Post-Dispatch , licked the "boots of the 
mayor" and condoned party bossism because its survival depended 
on "party pap." 50 The Republic replied by charging the Post- 
Dispatch with infidelity to the party and by saying that the 
Post-Dispatch ' s pious anti-bossism was a sham since Elbert E. 
Kimball, the Republican nominee, was the creature of Republican 

v 51 

On the day after the election, the Republic published an 

immense edition running over 100,000 copies, and sent a special 

train, decked with flags and posters of crowing roosters, 

speeding south with the news that early returns from New York 

showed an increase in Democratic turnout which indicated a 

Democratic victory. The next day brought sobering facts: 

New York had been lost to Harrison and with it the election. 


The Republic said that the Democrats had overestimated the 
public's knowledge of the evils of class legislation and its 

remedy, while the West had not yet reached the decision to un- 

shackle itself from the Northeast. Perhaps the most important 

lesson of the campaign, as far as Jones was concerned, was 

found in the loss of New York. David B. Hill was credited with 

giving the state to Harrison by "knifing" Cleveland — which he 

probably did. Hereafter, Jones declared, the Democratic 

party should never again trust either Hill or New York in a 

presidential election. The party of the future must be the 

party of the West, and the West could be won for Democracy on 

the tariff issue. The development of the West and its continued 

growth in years to come was seen by Jones as the determining 

factor in the future course of the party: 

When we say that in the Democratic party the West must 
lead, we are talking practical politics, and we will 
talk it without cessation on all proper occasions 
until on and after the session of the next Democratic 
convention. It is not put forward as the view of 
superior honesty. It is the view of practical common 
sense, and if the Democratic party has not the courage 
to obey the dictates of common sense, it will be 
beaten in 1892 as it was in 1888. 55 

Missouri remained safely Democratic, and Francis was 
elected governor by a comfortable margin over Kimball, a G. A. R. 
commander and easy target, but Francis's victory was spoiled 
by Republican success in his home town. Francis blamed the 
defeat in St. Louis on Noonan and his friends, vowing to repay 


them for what he felt was treachery. 5 ^ The St. Louis returns 
also reflected poorly on Jones. All three of the city's 
Congressional seats switched from Democratic to Republican, a 
disaster which was enough to give control of the House of 
Representatives to the Republicans and brought demands for 
Jones's removal as editor of the party's organ in St. Louis. ^' 
Jones reacted to the reversal by writing that Republican 
hegemony in the House simply meant the public would be given 
a graphic illustration of Republican rule and thus ultimate 
rejection of their program would be accelerated. ^8 At the time 
this sounded like sour grapes, but it proved to be an accurate 
forecast of events to come. 

The Republic blamed the loss of St. Louis on vote buying, 
importation of "Negro ruffians" to vote as repeaters, and the 
"saloon vote."-^ The real causes of the defeat may have been 
the low tariff campaign, Francis's unpopularity with organized 
labor, and the hostility of the Noonan city Democrats, although 
there were some indications of fraudulent registrations of 
blacks before the election. The Post-Dispatch , ostensibly 
Democratic, had all during the campaign characterized Francis 
and the Democratic Congressional candidates as the minions of 
the "bosses," and this hostitlity must have hurt the party to 
some extent. ^ Within a week after the election, the Republic 
declared "war to the knife" with the "political saloon," running 
a flamboyant crusade in front page illustrated articles which 


demanded a high license law to shut down the city's dives. 

Perhaps more realistic as a step toward election reform, was 

the Republic 's endorsement of the Australian secret ballot 

system, which was shortly introduced in Missouri. 6 -* 

A month after the election Jones's life was touched by 

tragedy. Eliza Jones had arrived in St. Louis from Jacksonville 

in a "precarious" state of health. She enjoyed the "delightful 

quarters" and comparative luxury of hotel life in the city, but 

the demands of her husband's profession prevented him from 

spending time with her, as they always had. However, Jones 

did take the opportunity to purchase some small gifts for his 

wife which had long been deferred. 64 He hoped that the advent 

of cooler weather would improve his wife's health, but instead 

she caught a cold that developed into pneumonia. Jones wrote 

Abernethy: "I find it hard to give up hope, but the physicians 

give little encouragement," and he told him to prepare his 

daughter Dora, who was living in New York, for the worst. On 

the night of December 9, numbed by opiates, Eliza Jones died. 

After a brief local service attended by a few friends and 

business associates, including Charles Knapp, acting-Mayor 

George W. Allen and Governor Francis, Jones took his wife's 

remains back to Brooklyn to be buried with their son at 

Greenwood Cemetary. 


The blow of Eliza's death was crushing. Dora returned 
from New York to live with her father, and he arranged his 

5gjg ^jg|^gf |9j^ 8^^igSjggjj&^ 


schedule so that he could remain with her in his hotel parlor 
during the mornings reading and talking. He believed that he 
could not afford this time away from the newspaper, yet felt 
remorse for having allowed his business to separate him from 
his family: "I feel my heart eaten up with unavailing regret 
when I think what a slave I made of myself for years, and how 
little time I gave to my poor little wife who was craving 
companionship." Only in work did he find escape from his 
emotions, and, while the routine of business seemed dreary and 
depressing, it would become more than ever the center of his 
life in the months to come. ° 

During the closing days of the Cleveland administration 
Jones went to Washington and New York for a two week visit. 
While in New York he presided over the third annual meeting of 
the American Newspaper Publishers Association, president 
William Singerly of the Philadelphia Record being absent due 
to illness. The newspapermen discussed the usual topics of 
advertising and other problems of management, but the feature 
event of the convention was an afternoon trip to a printing 
company in Brooklyn for a demonstration of the new linotype 
machine, an improvement which some feared since it might 
reduce the cost of publishing a newspaper and thus increase 
competition in an already highly competitive field. The meeting 
closed with a cordial banquet at the Hoffman House where Jones 
was among the several speakers of the evening. ^ 


Early in his administration Governor Francis moved to 
secure friendly relations with the editor of the paper which 
had played an important role in his election. Francis sent 
flattering letters to Jones explaining his feelings on contro- 
versial issues and suggesting how they might be handled in the 
Republic. 70 He included in one a clipping from the Saline 
County Progress . "I thought you might want to know," he wrote, 
"what kind of impression an 'importation from the Everglades' 
makes upon a denzen of the wilds of Missouri." Jones was 
amiable to the alliance with Francis, and for the next four 
years they would work together, although, it was rumored, not 
always harmoniously. Jones was too independent-minded to be 
merely the servant of a man or party faction. Francis's 

secretary had already noted that "the new man on the Republic 

[ sic ] is a pretty hard customer to handl[e]." 

Jones's bias in favor of the Francis faction of the party 

was noted by the Post-Dispatch , which declared that Francis, 

the "interests," and the bosses controlled the Republic for 

their own selfish purposes. 73 One of the most important instances 

of Francis-Jones cooperation developed out of a relatively 

trivial incident. Francis wished to send several companies of 

Missouri militia to the Washington Centennial celebration which 

would be held in New York in April. Francis's enemies in the 

legislature succeeded in killing a bill appropriating the 

necessary money, and the sending of the militia became a test 


of strength during the opening days of the new governor's 
administration. Francis wrote Jones asking him to use his 
"facile and vigorous pen" to promote the idea of sending the 
militia to New York and to deflate a plan, which Francis 
believed originated with his enemies at the Post-Dispatch , to 
hold a celebration in St. Louis. He also offered to take 
Jones to New York with him to make contact with eastern 
Democrats and to act as an aid to the grand marshall of the 
Centennial parade. Jones gave favorable publicity to the 
Governor's plans for displaying the militia in New York, for 
which Francis was grateful, but Jones declined to accompany 
him to New York, remaining instead in St. Louis to act as 
chairman of the local celebration which Francis had at first 
opposed.' 6 Francis finally sent the militia to the Washington 
Centennial at his own expense and was reimbursed by the state 
legislature the following year. 

The spring municipal election saw Jones join the Francis- 

Butler combine in backing acting-Mayor George W. Allen for mayor. 

Allen was a stockholder of the Republic and one of the few 

friends Jones had made since coming to St. Louis. Opposing 

Allen for the Democratic nomination and for control of the 

Democratic machine in St. Louis was Robert M. Noonan, a young 

real estate broker who had lost the nomination in 1885 to Francis 

and had been his enemy ever since. The Republic characterized 

Allen as the candidate of the respectible elements, while 


picturing Noonan as the demagogue candidate of the slums. 

The Globe-Democrat echoed the Republic 's view of Noonan, and 

after he secured the nomination it ran the Republic 's anti- 

Noonan editorials as a prominent part of its campaign to elect 

J. G. Butler, the Republican candidate. The anti-Francis 

Post-Dispatch had a more sympathetic view of Noonan, calling 

him the workingman's candidate. 81 The Republic did not change 

its view of Noonan very much after his nomination, but declared 

that the Republican ticket was more boss-ridden than the 

Democratic. Noonan was successful in securing his election 

as mayor, but most of the city's other offices went to the 


In national politics the Republic concentrated on 

continuing the "campaign of education" on tariff reform. Jones 

believed that the Democratic mistake in 1888 had been to wage 

a half-hearted campaign for tariff reform and then for only six 

months preceeding the election. 83 The strike at the Carnegie 

mills at Homestead that summer gave the Republic an opportunity 

to point out that in the last election Carnegie had argued that 

high tariffs made high wages " t and now he was announcing another 

wage cut of 20 to 6Q. percent. The Carnegie workers, however, 

deserved what they were getting because they had "selfishly" 

voted for a high tariff in 1888 in the expectation of sharing 

the spoils. When coal miners went on strike in Clay County, 

Indiana, because of similar pay cuts, the Republic pointed out 


that these were the same men who carried "Protection and 
Plenty" banners for Harrison the previous year. They were 
learning by experience, it said, but hopefully had now compre- 
hended the lesson. -* The tariff was made to bear the blame not 

only for low wages, but also for high prices, scarcity of goods, 

and long work days. 

The second major editorial theme of the Republic was that 

the West had taken the lead in national politics . Because of 

its emphasis on this idea, the Republic credited itself with 

"contributing largely to the development of that aggressive 

and confident tone which now characterizes the Western Democracy.""' 

The New York-Solid South combination could not be expected to 

win very often for the Democrats, it argued, but if the old 

Northwest could be secured, it and the traditionally Democratic 

West and South would give the party an unshakable foundation. 

To those who said the large bloc of votes in New York were "an 

unanswerable argument," the Republic replied that New York had 

brains and money, and would continue to be a major power, but 

New York could not swing elections by itself and, moreover, its 

vote was subject to the whims of Tammany. When the New York 

Sun failed to see the "political revolution" which the Republic 

detected in the Democratic gains in Iowa and Nebraska in the 

fall elections of 1889, the Republic declared: "West of the 

river there is not a single State where Republicanism has any 

right to control with its doctrines of high tariff taxation and 

usurpation of the prerogatives of the States. "89 


One reason that Jones backed the Western idea was that 
the alternative seemed to be an eastern orientation under the 
leadership of New York Governor David B. Hill, a man the 
Republic called "one of the most ignorant, narrow and unscrupulous 
pot-house politicians who ever pretended to be a Democrat or 
knifed a Democratic ticket." 90 In June Jones published on the 
Republic 's front page the results of a letter sent to editors 
in the South and West asking if they believed Hill should be 
the party's next nominee and if the party should move to a 
western orientation. The replies showed what was already well 
known: that Hill was not popular in the South and West, but 

many editors felt Jones was wrong in stressing sectionalism, and 

advocated that the party seek a candidate of national stature. = ,J - 

When Hill's southern tour later that fall turned into a fiasco, 

the Republic commented that he could have saved himself the trip 

by reading the Republic . Although Jones was utterly serious 

in his dislike of Hill, the anti-Hill campaign was not without 

its more humerous side. When the Republic chided Charles Dana, 

editor of the New York Sun and Hill adovcate, with the "poem:" 

"Oh Dana!/ Be saner!" the Sun replied: 

Now Brother Jones his razzer hones 
And sweares in goose-flesh-raising tones 
That he will spill the blood of Hill 
And the Robber Tariff smite and kill; 
So stand from under ere peals the thunder 
And falls the lightning to blot and tear; 
For Brother Jones is loaded for bear; 
Aha, Brother Jones ! 9 ^ 


The man who Jones considered as a possible presidential 
candidate and leader of the Western idea was former Governor 
John M. Palmer of Illinois. The idea of a Palmer candidacy 
suffered from the fact that he was seventy years old; however, 
he was from the state which the Republic declared to be the 
keystone to Democratic success in the old Northwest. The 
ticket of Palmer and William C. Whitney of New York was tenta- 
tively advanced as one which would be sure to carry Illinois, 
New York, and Indiana. 95 By the summer of 1889 it was becoming 
clear that Cleveland would not drop out of sight or be pushed 
aside by Hill, and this led to the definitive statement of the 
Republic 's editorial position on the next Democratic nomination: 
"The candidate of the Democratic party in 1892, if he come from 
New York, will be Gover Cleveland . If New York refuses to 

present Mr. Cleveland , the candidate will come from the West. 


This is official, final, and authoritative." 

The Republic had never ceased to hold a friendly attitude 
toward Cleveland, even after his defeat, and it maintained that 
he was the only eastern man who was a national figure. He was 
admired not only for his civil service and tariff stands, but 

also because he had brought the South back into the Union and 

appointed southern men to federal office. In January, 1889, 

Jones sent a personal letter to Cleveland, enclosing an 

editorial which he would run in the Republic . "It may interest 

you," he wrote, "not as the tribute of a personal friend and 


admirer, but as an expression of the sentiments of the Western 


Democracy." The editorial, which appeared in the Republic on 
January 16, said that Cleveland had been right to make a fight 
on the tariff in 1888 and that the Democratic party was united 
and had won more votes on this issue than on any other. Only 
the treachery of Hill and others had beaten Cleveland, but the 
fight for tariff reform would go on, and people like Hill ought 
to get out of the Democratic party. 

Jones's private life remained darkened by the shadow of 
Eliza's death. Writing to Abernethy, he observed: "It is 
one of the sorrowful facts of human life that whatever is 
painful seems to prolong itself in the memory, while pleasure 
and happiness are evervescent as a strain of music. Whatever 
may be behind the great mystery, the dead are at peace, and 
this cannot be said of us who are living." For a few months 
Dora remained in St. Louis and was a consolation to her father, 
but in the spring Jones decided to send her to Europe to continue 
her education. She was first placed in a boarding school near 
Paris, then at Montreaux in Switzerland. Jones kept up a steady 
correspondence with his daughter, telling her of his plans to 
install her as mistress of his household in a new West-end flat 
when she returned. Jones's mother came to St. Louis to spend 
the spring and summer with him — a rare occasion, even though she 
had lived in Holly Hill, Florida, for several years while Jones 
was in Jacksonville. However, most of the time Jones devoted 


himself to his work, avoiding his empty suite of rooms at the 
Southern Hotel. He wrote Dora, "I spend a rather dull routine — 
from the hotel to the office and from office to hotel. That is 
about the record. Yet I keep well and with [ sic ] tireless capacity 
for work — bless be the man that invented work!" 1 ^ 1 His health 
had not been good during the winter, but it improved during the 
year, and he began to feel more hearty and robust than in years, 
putting on enough weight to force alterations in his clothes. 
His whiskers and hair, which had been streaked with grey even 

during his days in Florida, were rapidly greying, and within a 

few years would be completely white. 

In the summer of 1889 it was decided that the United States 

should sponsor a world's fair to be held in 1892 commemorating 

the discovery of the Americas. The Republic enthusiastically 

endorsed the idea of the exposition, and suggested that St. Louis, 

as the central city of the nation, would be the most fitting site 

for the fair. From the beginning Jones led in the organization 

and planning for St. Louis's bid for the fair. Numerous 

committees were established in July and August to contact 

businessmen, politicians, and government officials to determine 

what kind of inducement the city could offer to get the fair. 

Late in August Jones was selected permanent chairman of the 

St. Louis World's Fair Committee, with, as he said, "plenary 

powers to do everything that is to be done." The chairmanship 

gave Jones an opportunity to publicize himself and win great 

laurels for his newspaper if St. Louis's bid for the fair succeeded. 


As part of his duties, Jones drafted and distributed 
thousands of pamphlets presenting St. Louis's case for holding 
the fair. The central theme of the argument was that St. Louis 
was a typical American city, with a central location and 
experience in staging fairs, and exhibitions. It was believed 
that Chicago would combine with St. Louis in preventing the 
fair from going to New York, and that New York would then throw 
its weight behind St. Louis if it could not have the fair itself. 
In order for St. Louis to have a solid base for pressing its 
claim it would be necessary to secure the backing of the states 
in the South and Southwest; thus Jones stressed the advantages 
which would accrue to the South from locating the fair in a 
southern city. In a pamphlet "An Address to the People of the 
South and Southwest," Jones made his appeal, in part, on 
sectional loyalty, saying if the fair were held in the North, 
southerners would have to travel great distances to visit it 
and "when they get there they will find themselves almost 
strangers and under the dominant influence of Eastern spirit and 
ideas." 105 This pamphlet was attacked by the Post-Dispatch and 

Globe-Democrat as injurious to St. Louis's cause, but Jones 

1 Ofi 
passed off such criticisms as the jealousy of rivals. 

With the approach of Congress's convening, serious efforts 

were made to raise a subscription among St. Louis businessmen 

to guarantee a $5,000,000 fund for staging the fair, although 

it was assumed that Congress would make supplemental appropriation 


for the fair as well. Jones and Governor Francis worked 
jointly in this effort, and in November departed for New York 
and Washington to press the city's campaign. In the latter 
city they opened headquarters at the Williard Hotel and talked 
to a throng of politicians and newspapermen. By the end of 
the month they were back in St. Louis to report on their eastern 
expedition. 107 All of this was very irritating to the Post- 
Dispatch , which criticized the governor's "strutting" about 

the country with "his newspaper man Friday." 

In January, 1890, Jones returned to Washington at the 

head of a large St. Louis delegation. On Janauary 8 Jones 

appeared before the Senate committee studying the fair and 

described St. Louis as "the great central inland metropolis 

of the United States." He spoke for an hour and five minutes 

without notes. 109 The Post-Dispatch 's Washington correspondent 

reported that the speech was long, windy, and lacking substance, 

but Jones felt that his presentation had been one of the better 

ones given. He wrote Abernethy, "I won quite a triumph, and am 

now regarded as a 'coming man' politically in our State. ... 

If I had political aspirations I could regard this as a very 

good start." Jones remained in Washington lobbying for his 

city and attending a constant round of dinners and receptions. 

For a while he managed to gain access to the floor of the House 

of Representatives where he plied his arguments until he was 

.. ■■ ^.-rawtfaamMIICMaMMMaigBS^^ 


spied by the Chicago delegates who forced his removal. He 
confided to Abemethy that the race seemed to have narrowed down 
to St. Louis and New York: "At any rate, we have beaten 
Chicago, unless I am greatly mistaken, and that is what I set 

out to do." 112 

Jones may have been mistakenly optimistic in January, but 
by February he was willing to admit that Chicago seemed likely 
to get the fair. The concensus of the St. Louis and New York 
newspapers was that the Republican party leadership had decided 
on Chicago as the site for the fair and that this insured 
victory for that city. 113 There was some dissension among the 
St. Louis newspapers because of the defeat. The Republic said 
that the city's chances had been hurt by the Post-Dispatch and 
Globe-Democrat 's "knifing," while the Post-Dispatch maintained 

that the leaders of the fair committee had damaged the city's 

effort by exploiting their positions to puff themselves. 

All were willing to concede that Chicago had perhaps gotten 

stuck with a "white elephant," and Jones admitted privately 

that St. Louis did not want the fair once it became established 

that Congress would not make an appropriation for it. Jones's 

connection with the World's Fair did not end with the defeat of 

St. Louis's bid to sponsor it. In May he was appointed by 

Governor Francis to be one of Missouri's two members on the 

, ^ 116 
national Columbian Exposition commission. 

Following the World's Fair vote in Washington, Jones 

went to New York where he was one of the featured speakers at 


a formal banquet of the Southern Society in the Lenox Lyceum. 
The guest of the evening was former President Cleveland, who 
sat at the head table with other speakers, including Jones 
and John Temple Graves. The atmosphere was cordial, with much 
singing and toast making, but Jones ventured a discordant note 
in his speech on "The West and South." After an opening 
reference to New York's generosity in taking the "children of 
the South" to her heart — an allusion to his own youtli — Jones 
spoke on the theme of continuing sectionalism in the United 
States, noting that the Northeast was as sectional in its out- 
look as were the South and West. In politics this sectional 
solidarity could not be overlooked, and the West, because of its 
growth, could no longer be safely ignored by any party which 
hoped to survive. However, for the moment the Democratic party 
was fortunate to have as its leader a man who was recognized as 
a national rather than a sectional leader, and that man, Grover 
Cleveland, with the "tramping legions of Western Democracy" 
behind him, was sure to lead the party to victory in 1892. The 
speech was well received, and the references to Cleveland en- 
thusiastically applauded, but later press comment on it was 
more critical. "My speech attracted more attention than any 
other made," Jones wrote his daughter, "and is still the theme 
of much discussion in the newspapers, some of it highly abusive, 

as I expected." 


During his stay in Washington Jones met Mrs. Lily Parsons, 
a vivacious woman of twenty-five who was either a widow or 
divorcee. Jones described her to his daughter as "one of the 
most beautiful women in Washington," yet "with force of character 
which you will respect." 119 He fell in love with her. Shuttling 
back and forth between St. Louis and Washington that spring as 
he courted her, he nearly ruined his health fretting over the 
possibility of being rejected. But late in the spring she 
consented to marry him. 120 After a quiet ceremony in Washington 
on July 19, 1890, they left on a honeymoon tour of Europe 
where they joined Dora. All three returned to the United States 

in September. 

Jones's marriage seems to have made a decided improvement 
in his outlook on life. In a letter to Dora, he admitted that 
Lily's influence had "made me feel gentler and more kindly 
towards all the world. The old pride and haughtiness and 
sternness are greatly modified." 122 The change was evident in 
the Republic — at least for a few months. Jones's name and face, 
usually so prominent in its pages, disappeared for a time, and 
the editorial page assumed an uncommon serenity — or at least 
comparative serenity. 

The Republic celebrated its second year under Jones's 
management in June, 1890. Continued increases in circulation 
were claimed, but the most concrete proof of the paper's 
prosperity was the purchase of two $40,000 presses from Hoe 


Company of New York. The new machines capable of producing 
50,000 twelve-page newspapers per hour, were as large an order 
as Hoe had ever shipped to the West. It was placed in the 
summer of 1889, and the presses began operation in October, 

1890. 123 The installation of electric lighting in the entire 

124 x. 
Republic building was another sign of prosperity. But perhaps 

the most pleasing aspect of the Republic 's success was the 

influence which Jones felt the paper had on the opinions of 

men in politics. In the anniversary issue he published 

several dozen letters solicited from Democratic statesmen which 

praised the Republic as a leading organ of party doctrine. 

Jones believed that the letters constituted "the most remarkable 

tribute ever paid to a newspaper." 

Competition with the other St. Louis newspapers for cir- 
culation and advertising remained keen. Premiums and contests 
remained two of the most popular devices for boosting circulation, 
Beginning in 1890 the Republic offered large engraved pictures 
to purchasers of the Sunday edition and to patrons of the want 
advertisement columns. A contest to guess the population of 
St. Louis according to the new 1890 census ran during the 
spring and summer, followed by the offer to subscribers of a 
complete ten volume set of the Encyclopedia Britannica at low 
cost. 126 When the Globe-Democrat and Post-Dispatch reduced 
their prices in the spring, leaving the Republic the only five- 
cent newspaper, the Republic called the move a desperation 


effort by the other papers and said that the public would gladly 
pay more for a better newspaper. 127 The competition between 
the Republic and Globe-Democrat for circulation in the country 
around St. Louis led to the chartering of special early morning 
trains by each company to rush their newspapers to Southern 
Illinois where they would catch the Chicago to New Orleans 
express on the Illinois Central Railroad. This practice led 

to increased circulation in the South, but proved too costly 

.... 128 

for either paper to maintain except for Sunday editions. 

Advertising was the other barometer of newspaper success, 
and each of the three major St. Louis newspapers boasted of 
its patronage and kept careful watch on advertising space of 
its competitiors, calling any shortcomings to the attention of 
the public. Jones spoke on competition between newspapers for 
advertising patronage at a meeting of the Missouri Press 
Association in January, 1890, where he decried the lack of 
cooperation between newspaper men which permitted advertisers 
to play one against the other and force rates down to runious 
levels. However, he felt that if a publisher had the courage 
to set just rates and stand by them, advertisers would eventually 
be forced to accept the rates. 129 Perhaps Jones was wrestling 
with that problem at the time, for in November of that year he 
admitted that total advertising volume in the Republic was down. 
He explained this by saying that the loss was due to the omission 
of unprofitable legal notices and by the refusal of some major 


advertisers to insert their advertisements in the Republic at 
new, increased rates. This latter problem was a good one, Jones 
argued, since it was one faced by growing newspapers. He added 
that the higher rates had resulted in an overall increase in 
advertising income, despite the decrease in advertising space. 

The editorial page of the Republic continued to feature a 
constant barrage of editorials on tariff reform, and there was 
no doubt that the Republic intended to fight the fall Congres- 
sional elections on that issue. In the spring the topic had 
been modified to include a scrutiny of the sugar trust and the 
beef trust, and in April the plight of Kansas farmers who were 

losing their mortgaged farms by sheriff's sales was- taken up, 

. „ . . 131 
but the underlying theme of tariff reform remained constant. 

As it turned out, the Republicans played into the hands of the 

Democrats on this issue by passing the McKinley Tariff which 

increased rates to even higher levels . In a prophetic editorial 

the Republic stated: "The outline of the McKinley tariff bill 

sent out by the Associated Press shows plainly that the Republican 

party is about to make the greatest blunder in its history." 

By June the Republic was predicting disaster in the West for 

the Republican party because its tariff policies had "converted 

the Western States into mortgaged provinces." 133 When the fall 

Congressional campaigns were in full swing, the Republic was 

running full-page, illustrated broadsides against the McKinley 

Tariff. One of these showed farm implements and listed their 


domestic price as compared to the lower price at which the same 

implements could be purchased overseas. Another followed a 

laboring man from the time he put on his flannel shirt (taxed 

100 percent) in the morning until he was laid to rest under a 

slab of marble (taxed 68 percent) . An appeal was made to 

St. Louis's wealthier classes on the basis that the tariff would 

cost the city $1,000,000 a year in decreased trade due to the 


impoverishment of the Southwestern trade territory. 

On the day following the election, the Republic appeared 

with Democratic roosters roaring from its front page. "Democratic 

Tidal Wave Rolls In. . . It Is Revolution," read the headlines. 

In the most sweeping Democratic victory since 1856, the 

Democrats made startling gains in the West and took control of 

both houses of Congress. The recapture of St. Louis's three 

House seats by Democrats was particularly gratifying to Jones , 

who had been severely criticized for their loss in 1888 and 

had paid close attention to them during this campaign. 

According to the Republic , the victory assured Cleveland's 

renomination in 1892. 

Jones had once felt that John M. Palmer of Illinois, a 

Western man, might be the Democratic candidate for the Presidency. 

In March, 1891, Palmer was elected United States Senator from 

Illinois by the state legislature. His election had been 

certain since the fall elections because the Illinois Democrats 

had endorsed him as their candidate for the Senate prior to the 


elections — thus the election of a Democratic majority to the 
legislature insured the election of Palmer. By this means the 
public, for the first time, had a direct voice in the selection 
of their United States Senator. Jones had a special interest 
in Palmer's victory, since he had been backing Palmer and this 
more democratic method of choosing Senators for nearly two years. MO 
The Republic proclaimed Palmer's victory as a sure sign that 

the Democratic party was on its way to capturing Illinois and 

the West in 1892. In a speech at a Palmer rally in Springfield, 

Illinois, Jones declared that if the new method of election 

Senators were adopted in all states, the Senate would "cease to 

be a club of millionnaires , the members of which regard their 

desks as breastworks behind which they rise, gun in hand, to 

defend the personal or corporate interests whose boodle bought 

them." He went on to strike his favorite theme: 

I make this prediction: That as goes Illinois in 
1892, so goes the Union. And if it goes Democratic, 
that will be the end of the hoary superstition that 
the only avenue to Democratic victory in presidential 
elections is through a combination between the South 
and New York, with New York always in the lead. The 
agricultural West is the natural breeding-ground for 
Democratic principles, and until Democracy is rooted 
deep in Western soil it will not attain the bloom 
and fruitage of permanent control of the Union. ^2 

While iii Illinois, Jones had a conference with Palmer and 
found that he had no desire to run for the Presidency. Jones 
communicated this information to Cleveland in a letter and 
enclosed a clipping of his Springfield speech, saying, "It has 


made something of a sensation. There can be no doubt that the 
West is on the eve of a great political upheaval." Cleveland 
answered the letter immediately, evidently taking exception to 
Jones's line of thought, for in Jones's next letter to Cleveland 
he explained in response to a comment by Cleveland: 

The policy I have pursued for the past three years 
with "The Republic" has been based on the convic- 
tion that the agricultural West and not the manu- 
facturing East is the real field in which to win 
that kind of Democratic victory that comes from the 
campaigns of education and that means permanent con- 
trol of the Government. I am not preaching discord 
but harmony between these sections and peoples whose 
interests are identical. 1^4 

Cleveland's own chances for the Presidential nomination in 
1892 were menaced by the increasing prominence of the free 
silver issue, which was threatening to displace Cleveland's 
favorite issues of governmental and tariff reforms . As an 
advocate of the gold standard, the former President was becoming 
less appealing to a party gravitating toward free coinage of 
silver. Jones, a sound money advocate since his first utterances 
on the question as editor of the Eclectic , had constantly argued 
that the money issue could "take care of itself until more 
urgent questions are disposed of." 5 Jones wanted to keep 
tariff reform at the front of the party's attention, and in 
this he was in agreement with Cleveland . The Republic had taken 
the position that Cleveland, while not presently for free 

silver, was concerned with the money problem and could possibly 

be won over to free silver eventually. Cleveland, however, 


had made his mind up on the question and was not leaning toward 
a modification of his ideas. On February 10, 1891, he tackled 
the question head-on in a letter to the New York Reform Club in 
which he referred to free silver as "the dangerous and reckless 
experiment." The Republic joined the chorus of western and 
southern newspapers which denounced the letter, saying that the 
ex-President was "honestly and courageously wrong." 148 However, 
the Republic softened its blow by speculating that Cleveland, 
goaded by gold standard Democrats, just "broke loose" in his 
customary blunt manner, and it reiterated the belief that he 
could be educated on the issue. At any rate, although Cleveland 
might have damanged his prospects to be the party's nominee, 
there should be no split in the party ranks over this issue. 149 

In April Lon V. Stephens, Missouri's youthful state 
treasurer, went to visit Cleveland, carrying letters of intro- 
duction from Jones and Governor Francis. After the interview, 
Stephens talked freely about his conversation and gave a report 
to the Republic 's correspondent in which he said Cleveland told 
him he would stand by his letter to the New York Reform Club 
despite its unpopularity in the West. However, according to 
Stephens, Cleveland went on to say that he had not expected the 
"direful consequences" of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act and 
he would not take a definite stand at the present, either for 
or against, a free silver proposal should the party adopt one. 
The interview was intended to show that' Cleveland was not as 


hostile to the free silver movement as his Reform Club letter 

had indicated. Jones wrote Cleveland immediately after publishing 

Stephen's interview, saying that he hoped Stephens had expressed 

Cleveland's sentiments accurately and that he had not violated 

Cleveland's confidence in publishing the story. 

Meanwhile, Stephens discovered that his loose talk had 

gotten to New York Telegram a nd New York Herald reporters who 

published their own exaggerated accounts of the interview with 

Cleveland. Stephens rushed a telegram to Cleveland saying that 

the New York newspaper accounts embarrassed him; then he wrote 

the former President a longer letter explaining how his 

imprudence had led to the New York articles. He enclosed an 

intereview with Jones taken from the Republic , in which he 

denied the accuracy of the Telegram 's account of the interview. 

Despite his apologies, Stephens added: "I am confident from 

opinions of prominent political leaders and newspapers in 

Missouri, that I have not injured you in Missouri, but to the 

contrary, unless your partial denials throw discredit upon my 

statements as were made to the St. Louis Republic's New York 

correspondent, you will be strengthened throughout the West, in 

the even you shall become a candidate for the Presidential 

nomination . "152 

The intent of the Stephens interview and other elements of 

the Republic 's editorial policy was to neutralize the money 

question by calling it a divisive issue, the resolution of 


which ought to be postponed until after the next election. 

Until then the tariff should remain the prime concern of the 

party. Other demands for reform legislation were likewise 

pushed aside with the argument that what was needed was not 

more laws but the repeal of "thelaws which for 25 years have 

put the nipple of the nursing bottle in the mouth of New 

England and forced the rest of the country to furnish the milk." 

Beginning in July, 1891, and running for the next year, the 

Republic carried a weekly column on tariff reform by William L. 

Wilson. By the fall of 1891 the silver issue was all but 

ignored while agitation of the tariff question received constant 


Jones put his popularity in Missouri in jeapordy on behalf 

of the cause of tariff reform and Cleveland's candidacy, 

although Jones may have harbored the hope that if he placed 

Cleveland 's interest ahead of his own he would be rewarded with 

a high federal appointment should Cleveland be nominated and 

elected. Jones's boldest break with public opinion in his home 

state was on selection of the new Speaker of the House. Missouri's 

candidate was William H. Hatch. Although the Republic had 

endorsed his candidacy when it was announced in November, 1890, 

Jones decided at an early date to back Roger Q. Mills because 

he was the leading exponent of tariff reform and Cleveland's 

choice for the speakership. In March, 1891, Jones wrote Cleveland 

that he intended to keep the tariff issue at the forefront of 


public attention and would back Mills for Speaker. He warned 
that "adroit men" such as Senator Gorman and Charles A. Dana of 
the New York Sun were at that moment in the South working for 
the election of Charles F. Crisp of Georgia. Crisp was 
popular in the South and West because of his free silver views, 
but he was opposed by Jones because he was a protectionist and 
supporter of David B. Hill, who was now Senator from New York 
and Cleveland's chief opponent for the Democratic nomination. 
In April Jones sent Cleveland a telegram from his Washington 
reporter which said that Crisp was pretending to favor Cleveland 
and tariff reform but secretly was in sympathy with Hill and 
protectionist Democrats. Jones also enclosed a typical anti- 
Crisp editorial from the Republic which carried the same 
message: Crisp and his friends were speaking in favor of 
tariff reform now so that they could gain power and subvert ..real 
reform later. 

Jones's advocacy of Mills over favorite son Hatch and 
silverite Crisp brought down widespread criticism on him from 
newspapers and party men in his own state and the West. He 
was also accused of trying to "boss" the state party because 
he went to Washington to work for Mills and requested that 
Hatch drop out of the race. When Crisp was elected to the 
speakership, Jones denounced Hatch as the tool of the "forces 

of reaction" who were threatening to set the party back to 

1 SQ 
1880 in its stand on the tariff. He had harsh words for 


Missouri congressmen who voted for Crisp and denounced 
"New South" protectionists as traitors and "plutocrats in 
the pupa stage. "160 For the moment, Jones was out of harmony 
with important elements of the party in his state, but his 
relations with the state's leading Cleveland Democrat, Governor 
Francis, had also come to the breaking point. 

In the spring of 1892 the Jones-Francis alliance ended — 
an event that had been long expected. Jones had grown out of 
sympathy with many of Francis's ideas on major issues, 
particularly with Francis's belief in the gold standard. Also, 
Jones had begun to associate with anti-Francis politicians 
such as Mayor Noonan. As early as the winter of 1889-1890 
rumors were circulating that leading Democrats in the state 
were upset with Jones's high-handed manners and attempts to 
"dictate" to the party. It was alleged that Francis and Jones 
had quarrelled after Jones's speech at the Southern Society 
banquet in February, 1890. Nevertheless, during 1890 and 1891 
Jones steadfastly denied that there was any lack of harmony 
between himself and Francis or the rest of the party in the 
state. 161 

The ostensible reason for the final break with Francis 
was the contest for the at-large delegate seat at the Democratic 
national convention customarily assigned to St. Louis. Francis 
wished to see his personal friend and state chairman C. C. Maffitt 
sent as the St. Louis delegate, and Jones wanted to go himself. 
He wrote Cleveland in May, "It is probable that I will be at 


Chicago at the head of the Missouri delegation, and [I] expect 

1 £9 
to be on the platform committee." At the same time, Francis 

was writing to party leaders around the state saying that Jones 

had made a combination with Noonan to have himself elected 

delegate-at-large, and declaring that his success would be "a 

slap at myself." 163 Francis detailed his reasons for opposing 

Jones in a letter to Judge E. H. Norton, an old time leader in 

the party. 

I do not like his policy and believe, if not checked, 
he will disrupt the party in the State. He is self- 
opinionated, dictatorial and overbearing, has been 
in the State but four years and attempts to teach 
Democracy to such men as yourself and to read out of 
the party all of those who do not agree with him. 
His professed platform of "Cleveland or a Western 
man" is, in my opinion, a mere subterfuge to disguise 
his real opposition to Cleveland and I think he wants 
to nominate Boies or Palmer or any man who will 
acknowledge that Jones was the most powerful influence 
in bringing about his nomination. 1 " 

There may have been another reason for Jones's opposition 
to Francis which had no connection with politics. It was rumored 
that the governor's wife, Jane Perry Francis, a beautiful woman 
from Missouri's social elite, would not accept Mrs. Jones as an 
equal. 165 The story was told that Jones had attempted to bring 
his new wife to Jefferson City to be introduced and had been 

snubbed by Mrs. Francis, supposedly because of Mrs. Jones's 

allegedly scandalous life in Washington before her marriage. 

Privately Lily Jones admitted to having had a "troubled" life, 

but there may have been nothing more scandalous in her past than 


a divorce. However, little is known of her life prior to 

her marriage to Jones. The second Mrs. Jones was an attractive, 

intelligent, and socially aggressive person whose personality 

may simply have clashed with that of Mrs. Francis. Whether this 

story has any merit or not, it was given wide publicity. There 

were, however, ample reasons for the Jones and Francis rupture 

unrelated to personal animosities. 

While Francis was attempting to prevent Jones's election 

as a delegate to the Chicago convention, he was also engaged in 

an effort to oust Jones from the editor's chair at the Republic . 

One member of the state press had written Francis, "I cannot 

understand why this man Jones is retained at the head of the 

party organ in Missouri when his work as a disorganizer is so 

apparant." Francis wrote another party leader that Jones 

ran the Republic for his own benefit, while doing injury to the 

party, the commercial interests of St. Louis, and the stock- 

holders of the newspaper. When Maffitt told a reporter for 

the Kansas City Times that plans were underway to remove Jones 

and that one attempt had recently failed, Francis sent a note to 

Maffitt expressing his disbelief that Maffitt would admit such a 

thing since it might make it impossible to get rid of Jones. 

Charles W. Knapp was probably cooperating with Francis in an 

effort to purchase enough odd-lot shares of Republic stock to 

enable the directors to vote Jones out of power. This attempt 

to remove Jones failed, probably because of Jones's stock voting 

contract with Knapp which still had a year to run. 

MSB r raruwH T y^ 


The convention to select delegates to the Democratic 
national convention met at Sedalia on May 11. Both Jones and 
Maffitt opened rooms in local hotels to entertain their sup- 
porters, although it was generally known that Maffitt would 
receive the backing of the St. Louis delegation. Jones's only 
chance was to gain the support of rural delegates for a "harmony" 
plan by which both Maffitt and Jones would be sent to Chicago. 
Jones had the backing of Noonan, former Congressman William 

Stone, and railroad lawyer William H. Phelps, "the political 

field Marshall of the [Jay] Gould system in Missouri." It 

is possible that the "harmony" movement needed no deliberate 

manipulation, for apparently many country delegates had decided 

that the only way to preserve party unity was to elect both 

■I TO 

Jones and Maffitt. Francis was opposed to the plan for 
sending two at-large delegates from St. Louis; he wanted to 
see Jones defeated. However, by the time the roll call vote 
reached St. Louis, Jones and Maffitt had already secured enough 
votes to insure their election. Jones went to the platform to 
request that his backers in St. Louis cast their votes for 
Maffitt as a gesture of reconciliation. This move brought a 
visibly angry Governor Francis to the podium to declare that 
although Maffitt was the choice of St. Louis, he would request 

that Maffitt's supporters reciprocate the token of harmony by 

casting their votes for Jones. 

As Democratic delegates began arriving in Chicago for the 
national convention, it was speculated in St. Louis that 


Governor Francis might be offered the vice-presidency. As a 
stanch Cleveland man and a westerner, Francis was seen as a good 
choice to balance the Democratic ticket. At the same time, 
reports began to circulate that Jones also was being considered 
for the vice-presidency. Jones was a Cleveland supporter, a 
western man, and, as an editor whose newspaper employed union 
typographers, he might be an attractive foil to Republican 
vice-presidential nominee Whitelaw Reed of the New York Tribune 
who was currently engaged in a heated dispute with the Typo- 
graphical Union. It was also suggested that a boyhood school- 
mate of Jones's (probably Oscar Straus) would contribute 
$30,000 to the campaign if Jones received the nomination. In 
an interview Jones denied that he was interested in the vice- 
presidency, yet at the same time he gave credence to the idea 
that there was a movement in his favor and offered several 
reasons why he would be a good choice. The Post-Disptach 

explained the Jones boomlet as a device inspired by Jones to 

weaken Francis as a possibility for the position. At Chicago 

neither Francis nor Jones would be prominently mentioned for 

the vice-presidency. 

Jones went to the Chicago convention with several goals 

in mind: He wished to become a member of the platform committee, 

he wanted to have himself elected national committeeman or state 

chairman, and he wanted to help secure the nomination of Cleveland. 

Success or failure hinged on the decisions reached at a caucus 


of the Missouri delegation on June 20. Jones had written the 

platform adopted at the Sedalia convention which contained a 

pro-Cleveland plank. At the caucus on the twentieth, Jones 

tried to argue that the delegation was already bound to support 

Cleveland because of this plank, but William C. Marshall, a 

St. Louis delegate, said that the plank adopted was only a 

"request" not an "instruction." This effort of anti-Cleveland 

forces to free the delegation from the unit rule was watched as 

an indication of whether or not a "stop Cleveland" drive could 

be mounted by the Hill or Boies men. William H. Phelps, who 

had supposedly helped Jones get to Chicago, was backing Boies. 

In this case, Jones found himself on the side of the Francis 

men, who feared that some Missourians would vote for favorite 

son, Congressman Richard "Silver Dick" Bland, thus injecting 

the silver issue into the convention. The debate over the 

Missouri delegation's vote lasted from ten in the morning until 
one in the afternoon. Finally the delegation adopted a resolution 
which Jones had written down on a small slip of paper: "Re- 
solved that the chairman be instructed to cast the unanimous 

vote of the Missouri delegation for Grover Cleveland as long as 

he is before the convention as a candidate." The nomination 

of Cleveland was probably already a foregone conclusion, but 

the action of the Missouri delegation helped to stamp out the 

last flickers of hope among the Hill and Boies men. 


The second important decision to come out of the Missouri 
caucus was a defeat for Jones. J. Griff Prather, a close 
friend of Francis, was selected national committeeman over Jones, 
and Maffitt, who was elected chairman of the delegation, would 

later be re-elected state chairman, defeating Jones in the 

process. But Jones was assigned the state's place on the 

Committee of Resolutions which he had desired. 

The platform committee convened on the evening of June 21. 

Jones was elected chairman of the committee without difficulty 

when ex-Secretary of State Thomas F. Bayard withdrew from the 

race in favor of Jones. It can be assumed that he was given the 

chairmanship with the assent of the Cleveland managers. Jones 

immediately offered to read the platform he had drafted, but 

some on the committee interpreted this as an effort by Cleveland 

supporters to rush their views into adoption without debate. 

Also, there were many inside and outside the committee room who 

wished to be heard, and it was decided that the early part of 

the session should be devoted to hearing the addresses of groups 

desiring mention of certain questions in the platform. Among 

the petitioners was Susan B. Anthony, who asked for a plank 

endoring women's suffrage. At eleven p.m. the committee 

adjourned, and the sub-committee on the platform, composed of 

11 representative men, began the real work of hammering out 

the platform. - A reaffirmation of the 1888 platform was 

expected, and no major difficulties were anticipated, except 


perhaps some small ones with the money plank. As it 

developed, the platform was to result in the only genuine battle 

of the convention. 

Working from Jones's original draft, the sub-committee 

made some minor changes in his wording (such as substituting 

"Republican" for "Radical" in describing the opposition party) 

and added a number of planks designed to appease a variety of 

1 88 
special interest groups (not including the women's suf f ragetts) . 

The first major change in the draft was made with regard to the 
tariff plank. Cleveland desired a moderate plank, and his 
agents Whitney and Vilas were at the convention to secure a 
tariff plank acceptable to Cleveland. Jones's original tariff 
plank called for a tariff "for revenue only" and denounced the 
"Tariff law enacted by the Fifty-first Congress as the culmi- 
nating atrocity of class legislation." It is not known whether 
Cleveland approved of this original plank, and Jones later 
declared that he knew Cleveland's views on the tariff only from 
his published statements, but the actions of Whitney suggest that 
the original plank was too strong for Cleveland's taste. ° 9 The 
sub -commit tee, however, acted to make Jones's plank even more 
strongly in favor of tariff revision. The McKinley Tariff was 

named specifically and a paragraph was added attributing wage 

1 90 
cuts, strikes, and the general depression to high tariff rates. 

Having made these changes, the sub-committee turned its 

attention to the money plank. 


As expected, the declaration on money occupied most of 
the committee's time, Jones had sounced out Cleveland on the 
issue in a letter of May 4, sending the former President a 
copy of a plank which he believed would placate the silverites 
and be acceptable to the East. Jones said he expected to be on 

the platform committee and would like to know if Cleveland 

would support a "compromise" plank such as the one suggested. 

It is not clear whether Cleveland replied to Jones or not, but 

Jones incorporated the paragraph into his draft platform, 

adding a section denouncing the Sherman Silver Act in language 

typical of free silver advocates. Jones's original plank 

called for the "free" coinage of both metals, and in the sub- 
committee this word became the bone of contention between 
silverites Thomas Patterson of Colorado and J. W. Daniel of 
Virginia, on the one hand, and the Cleveland men Vilas, Bayard, 
and John R. McPherson of New Jersey, on the other. The free 
silver advocates later said that all members of the sub-committee 
had declared their support of bimetalism, but that some feared 
that the use of the word "free" would frighten Easterners. For 
their part, the silver men feared that a plank omitting the 
word "free" would be interpreted as an endorsement of the gold 
standard. " The impasse on wording of the money plank lasted 
until dawn, when the sub-committee adjourned. A meeting of the 
full committee was scheduled for eighat a. m. 


At the morning meeting of the full committee Whitney 
requested that the sub-committee change the tariff plank to 
make it more protective, and his proposal was accepted. Whitney's 
plank dropped Jones's tariff "for revenue only" paragraph and 
replaced it with a weaker declaration that "necessity of 
government is the only justification for taxation." But more 
importantly it added a paragraph admitting the value of pro- 
tection in fostering the "healthy growth" of industry and 
warning that "many industries have come to rely upon legislation 

for successful continuance, so that any change of law must be 

at every step regardful of the labor and capital thus involved. 

Jones later claimed to have opposed Whitney's substitute, 

predicting that the convention would not accept it. 

On the money plank Whitney was inclined to accept 
inclusion of the word "free," and spoke to the other Cleveland 
men in support of its incertion, but they were adamant, and by 
vote of the full committee the word was not included. The plank 
finally adopted contained a toned-down denunciation of the 
Sherman Act, a pledge to coinage of 'both gold and silver," and 
some cautious language about the dangers of instable money. 

The convention convened at five- thirty p. m. with the 
adoption of the platform as the first item on the agenda. After 
a delay of more than an hour, Jones was introduced by the 
chairman and began by apologizing for the delay in reporting 
the platform. Interrupted by cries of "louder," he waved for 


silence, and continued, saying that he would ask former 
Secretary Vilas to read the platform, after which he would 
"move the previous question upon the adoption of the platform." 
This brought shouts of "no" from the silverites and low tariff 

delegates who thought an attempt was being made to railroad 

the platform through to adoption. Thomas Patterson of 

Colorado, the leading silver ite on the platform sub-committee, 

rose to say that the minority wished to be heard before the 

vote on adoption of the platform. Vilas then proceeded to 

read the platform draft, but when he reached Cleveland's name 

in the first paragraph there was a tumultuous demonstration 

for the convention's favorite which delayed completion of the 

reading for twenty minutes. When Vilas had concluded, Jones 

stepped up to move its adoption, then yielded to Lawrence Neal 

of Ohio, who asked that Whitney's straddle plank on the tariff 

be stricken and replaced with a paragraph denouncing protection 

and calling for a "revenue only" tariff. The galleries then 

took up a chant for Henry Watterson, framer of past Democratic 

platforms and champion of tariff reform. Watterson was escorted 

to the podium where he denounced the majority plank as a 

"monstrosity." Vilas spoke for the Whitney plank, saying that 

it was virtually the same as the 1884 plank which Watterson had 

once approved. Jones then came to the front again and offered 

to accept Neal's paragraph as an "addition," but Watterson and 

others declared that they wanted outright repudiation of protection. 


By this time the debate on the substitute was rapidly dissolving 
into confusion; a motion to re-submit the platform to committee 
was introduced and then ignored; amidst much turmoil and 
questioning of what was being voted on, a roll call vote was 
begun. After a tortuous count, during which many delegates 
rose to protest that their votes were being cast against their 

true wishes because of the unit rule, the Neal substitute was 

adopted by a substantial majority. 

When Patterson came to the podium to make his speech for 

a stronger pro-silver money plank it was past midnight, rain 

was pounding on the roof of the hall, and the delegates were 

anxious to proceed with the nomination of Cleveland. Patterson 

tried to make himself heard over the din, but forfeited his 

opportunity by announcing that he was proposing only one 

addition to the money plank: the "five letter word. . . free." 

This elicited laughter and shouts of "four." Patterson's 

appeal for a hearing failed to restore order, and in a hurried 

voice the amendment was shouted down. 

The day following adjournment Jones spoke to Watterson 

and members of the Missouri delegation, telling them that he 

had originally supported a "revenue only" tariff plank — which 

he had— but because of his efforts to appease the Cleveland 

forces at the convention his explanation was discounted by many. 

When a newspaper article appeared purporting to quote Jones as 

saying that Cleveland had been responsible for the majority 


tariff plank, Jones sent a denial to George F. Parker, 
Cleveland's lieutenant who handled publicity: 

By letter and word of mouth I have been asked at 
least a hundred times whether Mr. Cleveland was 
responsible for the Tariff plank originally re- 
ported by the Committee on Resolutions. . . . 
To these questions I have invariably replied that 
I knew nothing whatever of Mr. Cleveland's views 
except in so far as they were stated in his pub- 
lished reference. I have been extremely careful 
on this point, as I knew there was dynamite in it. 201 

In fact, Cleveland had desired something like Whitney's 
original plank and was disgruntled by the convention's rejection 
of his attempt to straddle the issue. On July 9 he wrote 
Whitney: "Ever since I read the plank in the platform to which 
you refer, I have been very much annoyed and fearful about it. 

I am irritated too because I can plainly see the thing was 

started in malice and carried out in malignity." Cleveland 

blamed the affair on Tammany Hall and Watterson, and mulled over 

the idea of rejecting that part of the platform. 

When intimations of Cleveland's unhappiness with the 

tariff plank reached Jones, he sent Cleveland a letter advising 

him that a backdown on the tariff plank might cause the party 

to lose the Midwest. He added that he did not think the 

Republicans would be able to alarm the public with the idea 

that the plank would be interpreted in a radical way so long 

as Cleveland remained moderate in his public position. Jones 

predicted that the Democrats would carry Illinois, Wisconsin, 


and Indiana in the election because the rural people had been 

awakened to the benefits of tariff reform. 

In his letter of acceptance Cleveland devoted most of his 

attention to the tariff issue, taking a more moderate view than 

the platform but not emphasizing any disagreement with it. He 

said that he believed in a tariff for revenue, omitting "only," 

but added that he did not believe in free trade. 

Cleveland wished that Whitney, who had done an excellent 

job for him at Chicago despite the difficulty over the tariff 

plank, to head the Democratic National Committee. Whitney was 

reluctant to take the post, so Cleveland asked prominent party 

leaders to urge Whitney to accept the post. Jones was one of 

those who approached Whitney on the subject, for he wrote 

Don Dickinson of Michigan in July that Whitney had told him 

"that he can accomplish more by being a free lance, unburdened 

with the details that fall upon the chairman, than by accepting 

the chairmanship." Jones went on to ask Dickinson if he had 

any other choices for the post, adding that whoever was chosen 

"should not be simply a Plutocratic figure-head, but whose 

leadership will be an inspiration to the rank and file of the 

party. For 12 years the chairman of the National Committee has 

been a burden for the Democratic party to carry instead [ sic ] of 

help." 205 The post eventually was filled by a party functionary, 

while Whitney played the role he wished and was the real director 

* .1, • 206 
of the campaign. 


The 1892 Missouri Democratic convention was held at 
Jefferson City on July 19, and former Congressman William J. 
Stone of Nevada, Missouri, was nominated for governor. His 
nomination was a victory for the Noonan-Jones-Phelps-Stone 
faction. Stone had earlier been instrumental in rallying 

rural support for Jones's election as delegate to the national 

convention. The Francis-Maffitt Democrats had supported 

Judge James Gibson of Kansas City. 

Despite his pre-convention opposition to Stone, Francis 

campaigned for the Democratic nominee, although it was rumored 

that the two men would not be able to work together within the 

party. Stone ran well behind Cleveland in St. Louis in the 

November general election, an indication of his lack of sup- 
port in the city, and within a short time of the November 
balloting, a definite rift between the rural-Stone Democrats 
and the St. Louis-Francis Democrats had developed. 

The national campaign in the fall of 1892 ran along lines 
the Democrats hoped for, with the disruptive silver issue 
remaining in the background. The Populists appeared to be a 
severe threat to the Democrats, and the election was expected 
to be close. The returns, however, showed that Cleveland had 
not been in any danger. He carried the doubtful eastern states 
of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, and, as Jones had 
predicted, the midwestern states of Indiana, Illinois, and 
Wisconsin. Cleveland could have won without New York, a fact 
which the Republic dubbed a "Revolution." It was predicted that 


Illinois would replace New York as the key to election victory, 
that the West would become dominant in the Democratic party, 
that the Republican party would go the way of the Whigs, and 
that the subjugation of the West and South by the Northeast was 

A 209 

at an end. 

Cleveland's victory, for which he had labored and 
sacrificed, was a triumph for Jones. He received messages of 

praise from party leaders for his work and for the influence 


of the Republic in carrying the West. Jones sent congratu- 
lations in reply, including a telegram to the President-elect: 
"Accept my heartfelt congratulations and the same from millions 
of democrats of the west and southwest to whom your triumphant 
election comes like the benediction that follows after prayer 

this is a great day for our party for our country and for the 

cause of popular liberty everywhere." 

Having played a prominent part in the campaign in the 

West, it was assumed that Jones stood high on the administration's 

list for reward. Governor Francis occupied a similar position, 

and it shortly became a matter of speculation and controversy in 

Missouri as to which would be rewarded with a post in the cabinet. 

Maneuvering had begun even before election day. A friend of 

Francis reported on November 2, 1892, that he had talked to 

Congressman Bland, who had pledged his support for any worthy 

Missourian: "My fears were that he would [be] for C H Jones 

not that he is partial to him personally but being at the head 


of the Republic [ sic ] He in common with all politicians would 

support him in 'Timorem'." Among the telegrams Jones 

received after the election was one from William M. Davidson 

and James P. Taliaferro, leaders in the Florida Democratic party, 

which stated: "if Florida can serve you please command us 

would rejoice to see you postmaster general." The pro- 
Francis Post-Dispatch worked against Jones's candidacy, reporting 
that his "ambition is regarded as a joke" with the President, 
who considered Jones a "fussy little man." When the Republic 
advised against a special session of Congress to repeal the 
McKinley Act, a move which Cleveland also opposed, the Post- 
Dispatch declared that Jones had abandoned his tariff reform 

principles to curry favor with the President-elect. 

After the new year it became apparent that the Post-Dispatch 

was correct in its belief that Jones had no chance for a cabinet 

position. It is possible that Jones had never wanted it from 

the beginning and only made the appearance of aspiring to the 

cabinet in order to weaken Francis's chances. Jones had 

always stated that he did not want public office and two years 

later he would repeat that he had "no political ambitions. . . . 

I like to have influence in and upon politics, but I believe in 


exercising it as an editor and not as a politician." From 

Cleveland's point of view there were several things wrong with 
Jones: he lacked an established national reputation, he was un- 
safe on the money question, he was a newspaperman, and he was an 


extreme and controversial partisan. Such men did not get 

cabinet appointments in the second Cleveland administration. 

Thus Jones's efforts were definitely oriented toward stopping 

Francis after January 1, 1893. 

In January Francis received the backing of the state 

Democratic caucus and the endorsement of the Missouri House of 

Representatives for a place in the cabinet. His friends, 

national committeeman Prather and state chairman Maffitt, went 

in his behalf to visit Cleveland at Lakewood, New Jersey, where 

he and Mrs. Cleveland were spending the winter. Despxte 

this backing from his home state, Francis's chances for a seat 
on the cabinet seemed to fade as time passed. Then in February 
Francis again became prominent as one of the leading contenders 
for a post as Secretary of the Interior or Agriculture. On 
February 13 Senator Vest had an interview with Cleveland at 
Lakewood to urge Francis's appointment to the cabinet. The Post- 
Dispatch reported that Cleveland informed Don Dickinson that 

Francis would be appointed if he received the approval of Maffitt 

and Dalton. Another story later given wide credence stated 

that Cleveland decided to appoint Francis and sent Dickinson to 

New York to make the announcement. Dickinson supposedly met the 

Republic 's Washington correspondent, who learned of Francis's 

pending appointment and asked that the announcement be delayed 

until he could contact Jones. On February 15 Jones telegraphed 

Cleveland: "An important telegram has been sent to Gen. Dickinson 


for you today from the governor of Missiouri Lt. Gov. Members of 

the senate and other prominent democrats." According to the 

story, Stone and other anti-Francis Democrats sent Cleveland and 

Dickinson a barrage of telegrams which caused Cleveland to 

rescind his appointment of Francis. * 

It cannot be known whether the story of Jones's frustration 
of Francis's cabinet ambitions is true in all its details, but 
Jones's telegram of February 15 proves that Stone and other 
Missourians did oppose Francis's appointment after Vest's visit 
to the President-elect when Francis was thought to be one of 
the leading contenders for a cabinet position. There is no 
evidence in the biographies or memoirs relating to the Cleveland 
administration which would indicate that Francis was offered a 
cabinet position, however, it is significant to note that four 
years later, in the fall of 1896, Francis was made Secretary of 
the Interior to fill the place vacated on the resignation of 
Hoke Smith. 

Cleveland's second administration was a time of reordering 
in the Democratic party. Many of the men in the South and West 
who had been supporters of Cleveland in his first term of office 
now actively placed themselves in opposition to the leader of 
their party or found themselves shut out from the White House. 
The widening division between farming West and industrial East, 
the silver question, and the problems growing out of the uni- 
versal depression of the 1890 's were underlying factors in the 
estrangement. For some individuals there were specific issues 


that led to the split. Patterson of Colorado departed on the 
silver question, Watterson exchanged heated letters with 
Cleveland on the tariff issue and never spoke to him afterward, 
Missouri Congressman Champ Clark said that Cleveland never 
forgave those connected with the repudiation of the original 
tariff plank in the 1892 platform. 223 Jones was among those who 
broke with the President, although the specifics of his parting, 
if there were any, are unknown. As late as March, 1893, Jones 
was writing Cleveland in regard to distribution of patronage, 
but these letters, although they contained no hint of animosity, 
were his last. 2 ^ 

Jones had already made the acquaintance of two western 
Democrats who were later to become antagonists of Cleveland. 
He had visited John Peter Altgeld of Illinois in September, 1892, 
and reported to Cleveland that he found him "a very clear-headed, 
conservative man of the business type. . . the very antithesis 
of a 'rainbow chaser'." Jones was also advising a young 
Nebraska Congressman, William Jennings Bryan, to acquaint him- 
self with the facts regarding the concentration of wealth in 
the United States so that he would be better prepared to fight 
for an income tax. Jones told him: 

the most effective weapon against Plutocratic policy 
is the graduated income tax. . . Eastern Plutocrats. . . 
dreaded nothing more. . . I do not believe there is 
any way in which a member of the House could impress 
himself on the country more effectively than by fighting 
such a measure through. lb 



On May 18, 1893, Jones's connection with the Republic as 
editor came to an abrupt, if not unexpected, end. "There was 

an intense row and I was on the losing side," Jones wrote 

Abernethy on the day after his firing. Jones surely knew 

that he could expect at least a fight when his five-year stock 

voting contract with Charles Knapp expired in mid-May. Three 

months before Mrs. Eleanor Knapp, widow, of George Knapp, filed 

suit against the directors of the Republic organization to 

regain control of $19,000 worth of stock originally belonging 

to the George Knapp estate. What part this suit played in 

the ousting of Jones cannot be determined, but a later reference 
by Jones to "those women" who put him out suggests that its 
significance was crucial. ^ However, the driving force behind 
the movement to get rid of Jones was David R. Francis. Reportedly 
Francis had set about quietly purchasing Republic stock and had 
secured enough to swing the balance against Jones. ^30 Part of 
the campaign against Jones involved whispered insinuations 
attacking his wife and family life. He was assailed by "social 
innuendo" in an "atmosphere filled by his enemies with strange 
rumors and threats. "231 The <jay after Jones's fall, the Globe- 
Democrat ran a front page story, illustrated with a cartoon of 
Jones, which said that Mrs. Jones had a "secret connection" in 

Washington which had caused Mrs. Francis to shun her and had 

led to the Jones-Francis fight. "I have been greatly out- 
raged in St. Louis," Jones would write a friend — probably with 
reference to thse personal attacks. 2 " 


A precise accounting of Jones's influence on the Republic 
is impossible due to lack of concrete figures on circulation and 
advertising income, but it is clear that he found an old and 
well known paper in the midst of a business slump and restored 
it to a competitive position in St. Louis and the surrounding 
countryside. An anonymous writer for the St. Louis Sunday 
Mirror said that Jones did not make the Republic "a great paper 
but he made it modern, he made it new. He all but resurrected 
a corpse.' ^ The testimony of contemporaries, such as Theodore 
Dreiser, who worked as a reporter for both the Globe-Democrat 
and the Republic , indicates that the Republic lacked the physical 
facilities and financial backing of its contemporaries, but had 
competent men directing its affairs. 35 The Republic had 
virtually overtaken its morning competitor the Globe-Democrat 
in circulation by the time Jones left, and after his departure 
it became the most widely read morning daily in St. Louis for a 
time. 3° Thereafter the fortunes of the Republic , in which 
Francis eventually became the predominant stockholder, were on 
the wane until the paper's demise during the First World War. 

Jones wrote a brief evaluation of his work with the 
Republic in an 1895 autobiographical sketch: 

For nine years prior to my assuming control the 
paper had not paid a dividend. Seven months after 
I took charge it paid a dividend and has been paying 
dividends ever since, besides investing about 
$160,000 in new presses, machinery and equipment. 
Nearly every man now on the paper, including Mr. C. W. 
Knapp, was there when I took charge, and the paper 


was dying in their hands. The general belief is 
that it will die again: in fact the process of 
decay is already begun. -*' 

Jone's reference to the "process of decay" probably was 
based on his experience in disposing of his Republic stock. 
Four months after Jones's departure, William Vincent Byars, the 
Republic 's chief editorial writer, reported that some of the 
paper's stockholders were dissatisfied with the way the paper 

was being run. Jones replied that these same stockholders had 

wanted him gone and would now have to suffer the consequences. 

After selling his Republic stock in the spring of 1894 Jones 
wrote to Byars again about conditions at the newspaper: 

What a wreck is there! On the basis of that sale, 
comparing it with the three preceeding my demise, 
my leaving has cost the stockholders (of whom I 
was one unfortunately) just $350,000 in 10 months. 
And if what I hear about the condition of affairs 
is true I would not get within 25 per cent of what 
I sold for. This is what comes of trying to run a 
newspaper tail end first. 239 


Department of the Interior, Census Office, Report on 
Population of the United States at the Eleventh Census: 1890 ; 
(Washington, 1895), I, 2, 84, 221, 370. 


Max Putzel, The Man in the Mirror, William Marion Reedy 

and His Magazine (Cambridge, 1963), 12; Theodore Dreiser, A Book 
About Myself (New York, 1922), 89, 92, 98, 101, 220. 


Charles C. Clayton, Little Mack, Joseph B. McCullagh of the 

St. Louis Globe-Democrat (Carbondale, 1969) . 

Jones, "Sketch of Life," 4; St. Louis Missouri Republican , 

May 13, 1888. 

Putzel, Man in the Mirror , 24. 

Dreiser, Book About Myself , 206. 

St. Louis Republic , June 10, 1888. 

Ibid ., May 31, 1888. 


Ibid., March 4, 1889. 


Ibid., May 31, 1888. 


Ibid ., June 4, 7, 9, 1888. 


Ibid . , June 8 , 1888 . 

Ibid., June 5, 1888. 



NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 


St. Louis Mirror , May 19, 1893. 


Ibid ., March 5, 1896. 


Jones to Dora Jones, July 17, 1888, JP. 


Jones to Abernethy, August 5, 1888, JP. 


Ibid .. October 20, 1888, JP. 


St. Louis Republic , June 17, 1888. 


Ibid., November 30, December 20, 1888. 


St. Louis Globe-Democrat , May 26, 1888; Jim Allee Hart, 

A History of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat (Columbia, Missouri, 

1961), 168. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , April 15, 1888. 

25 St. Louis Republic , June 22, 1888. 

Ibid ., June 24, 1888. 


Putzel, Man in the Mirror , 26. 


St. Louis Globe-Democrat , June 5, 27, 1888; St. Louis 

Republic , June 4, 6, 1888. 


St. Louis Globe-Democrat , September 8, 1888. 


St. Louis Republic , September 10, 1888. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , June 26, 1888. 


St. Louis Republic , June 26, 1888. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 


Ibid ., July 8, 9, 10, 11, 1888. 


Ibid ., June 2, 3, 4, 1888; New York Times , June 3, 1888. 


St. Louis Republic , June 1, 6, 8, 1888; New York Times , 

June, 4, 5, 7, 1888. 


St. Louis Republic , June 8, 1888. 


Ibid ., June 15, 17, 21, 1888. 


Ibid., June 21, 1888. 


Allan Nevins, Grover Cleveland: A Study in Courage (New 

York, 1932), 365, 370, 415. 


St. Louis Republic , June 28, August 17, 1888. 

41 Ibid. , June 1, 7, 1888. 


Ibid . . June 2, August 30, 1888. 


Ibid ., June 20, August 16, 1888. 


Ibid ., August 12, 1888. 


Cosmo J. Pusateri, A Businessman in Politics: David R. 

Francis, Missouri Democrat (Ph. D. dissertation, St. Louis Univer- 
sity, 1965), 97-99; St. Louis Republic , June 30, 1888. 


Ibid., August 8, 1888. 

47 Ibid. , July 21, 1888. 


Ibid ., July 31, August 4, 1888. 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 21, 29, 30, 1888. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 

50 Ibid. , October 20, 23, 24, 1888. 

51 St. Louis Republic , October 15, 16, 26, 1888. 


Ibid ., November 8, 1888. 


Nevins , Grover Cleveland , 427 . 


St. Louis Republic . November 9, 19, 1888. 

Ibid ., December 10, 1888. 


Pusateri, Businessman in Politics , 126. 

New Orleans Times -Democrat , n.d., quoted in St. Louis 
Post-Dispatch , November 15, 1888. 


St. Louis Republic , November 8, 1888. 

59 Ibid. , November 8, December 29, 1888; March 4, 1889. 


Ibid . , November 5, 1888; Pusateri, Businessman in Politics , 



St. Louis Post -Pis patch , July 1, October 13,1888. 

62 St. Louis Republic , November 10, 11, 1888. 


Ibid., November 25, 1888. 


Jones to Abernethy, August 5, October 20, 1888, JP. 

Jones to Abernethy, December 7, 1888, JP. 


St. Louis Globe-Democrat , December 10, 1888; St. Louis 

Republic , December 11, 1888. 

67 Jones to Abernethy, January 15, 1889, JP. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 


Ibid . , December 26, 1888, JP. 


New York Times , February 14, 15, 1889; St. Louis Republic , 
February 15, 16, 25, 1889. 


David R. Francis to Jones, January 29, 31, April 9, May 
10, 22, 23, 1889. David R. Francis Papers, Missouri Historical 
Society Library, St. Louis. 


Ibid., November 26, 1888, Francis Papers. 


M. A. Ganning [ ?] to B. M. Anderson, June 26, 1888, 
Francis Papers . 


St. Louis Republic , January 3, 4, 9, 1889; St. Louis 
Post-Dispatch , June 26, December 12, 22, 1889. 


Pusateri, Businessman in Politics , 142. 

Francis to Jones, March 27, 1889, Francis Papers. 


Ibid ., April 9, 19, 1889, Francis Papers. 


Pusateri, Businessman in Politics , 147. 


Ibid., 166; Francis to Jones, March 27, 1889, Francis 
Papers . 


St. Louis Republic , February 9, 12, March 24, 1889. 


St. Louis Globe-Democrat , March 28, 31, 1889. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , March 19, 29, 1889. 


St. Louis Republic , March 28, 29, 1889. 


Ibid ., July 3, 1889. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 
















Ibid., May 20, July 16, 1889. 

Ibid., June 25, 1889. 
'ibid., July 15, 1889. 

Ibid., May 31, 1889. 
"Ibid., March 17, June 24, 1889. 

Ibid., November 7, 14, 1889. 

Ibid., January 13, May 24, 1889. 
"ibid., June 15, 1889. 
"ibid., November 5, 1889. 

Ibid., June 21, 1889. 

Ibid., April 3, 1889. 

Ibid., March 12, June 25, 1889. 

Ibid., May 15, 1889. 

Ibid., January 18, February 28, 1889. 


Jones to Cleveland, January 15,1889, Cleveland Papers, 


Jones to Abernethy, December 9, 1889, JP. 

100 Ibid . , January 15, 1889; Jones to Dora Jones, June 
26, August 21, October 14, 1889, JP. 

Jones to Dora Jones, May 1, August 3, 1889, JP. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 


Jones to Abernethy, May 26, 1889; Jones to Dora Jones, 
August 14, November 10, 1889, JP. 


Jones to Abernethy, August 28, 1889, JP. 


St. Louis Republic , August 25, September 7, 1889. 


Ibid . . September 25, 1889. 


Ibid., October 16, 1889; St. Louis Globe-Democrat , 
October 15, 1889; St. Louis Post-Dispatch , October 8, 14, 16, 


St. Louis Republic , October 23, November 13, 16, 20, 


Ibid . , November 24, 1889; St. Louis Post-Dispatch , 
December 4, 5, 9, 1889. 


St. Louis Republic , January 9, 1890. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , January 9, 1890; Jones to 
Abernethy, January 16, 1890, JP. 


St. Louis Republic , January 18, 28, 1890. 


Jones to Abernethy, January 16, 1890, JP. 


St. Louis Republic , February 2, 5, 6, 25, 1890; New 
York Times , February 25, 1890. 


St. Louis Republic , February 25, 1890; St. Louis Post- 
Dispatch , February 25, 28, 1890. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , February 25, 1890; Jones to 
Dora Jones, March 1, 1890, JP. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 


St. Louis Republic . May 24, 1890. 


Ibid., February 23, 1890; New Yo rk Times, February 23 
1890. — J ' 


Jones to Dora Jones, March 1, 1890, JP. 


Ibid., June 8, July 16, 1890, JP. 


Ibid ., June 8, 11, 1890, JP. 


Ibid., June 21, July 13, August 4, 1890, JP. 


Ibid., June 11, 1890, JP. 


St. Louis Republic . August 25, 1889; October 5, 1890. 


Ibid . , August, 1889. 


Jones to Dora Jones, June 21, 1890; JP. 


St. Louis Republic . March 21, 30, April 14, July 14, 1890. 


St. Louis Post -Pis patch . May 25, 1890; St. L ouis 
Republic . May 25, 26, 1890. 


St. Louis Republic , May 3, October 25, 1890. 


Ibid., January 25, 1890. 


Ibid., November 3, 1890. 


Ibid., March 22, April 11, May 2, 10, 1890. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 


Ibid . , March 20, 1890. 


Ibid ., June 14, 1890. 


Ibid ., October 25, 1890. 


Ibid . , November 1, 1890. 


Ibid . , November 4, 1890. 


Ibid . , November 5, 1890. 


Ibid . , November 1, 2, 1890. 


Ibid . , November 6, 1890. 


Ibid ., July 10, 13, 1889; March 4, 1890; March 13, 



Ibid., March 13, 1891. 


Newspaper clipping, enclosed in Jones to Cleveland, 
March 30, 1891, Cleveland Papers. 


Jones to Cleveland, March 30, 1891, Cleveland Papers. 


Ibid ., April 22, 1891, Cleveland Papers 


St. Louis Republic , November 29, 1889. 


Ibid ., October 23, 1889; November 28, 1890. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 


Cleveland to President, New York Reform Club, quoted in 
Nevins, Grover Cleveland , 467. 


St. Louis Republic , February 18, 1891. 


Ibid ., February 19, March 4, 1891. 


Jones to Cleveland, April 22, 1891, Cleveland Papers. 


Lon V. Stephens to Cleveland, April 23, 28, 1891, Cleve- 
land Papers. 


Ibid . 


St. Louis Republic , June 22, 1891. 


Ibid., April 16, 1891. 


Ibid ., June 13, 1891. 


Jones to Cleveland, April 22, 1891, Cleveland Papers. 


Ibid ., April 22, 1891, Cleveland Papers. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , December 8, 9, 10, 26, 1891. 


St. Louis Republic , December 8, 1891. 


Ibid . , December 10, 1891. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , February 13, May 4, 1890; St. 
Louis Republic, June 16, 1890. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 


Jones to Cleveland, May 4, 1892, Cleveland Papers. 


Francis to George H. Boughner, April 22, 1892; Francis 
to James H. Waugh, April 22, 1892, Francis Papers. 


Francis to E. H. Norton, May 3, 1892, Francis Papers. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , May 24, 1892. 


St. Louis Globe-Democrat , May 19, 1892. 


Jones to Dora Jones, June 11, 1890, JP. 


C. J. Walden to Francis, May 18, 1892, Francis Papers. 


Francis to N. 0. Nelson, May 16, 1892, Francis Papers. 


Francis to C. C. Maffitt, May 18, 1892, Francis Papers. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch . April 20, 1892. 

, Ibid ., May 15, 1892. 


St. Louis Mirror , May 19, 1893; Pusateri, Businessman in 
Politics , 213. 


Francis to Norton, May 3, 1892, Francis Papers. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , May 12, 1892. 


Ibid., June 18, 1892. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 


Cleveland Leader , June 19, 1892; St. Louis Chronicle , 
undated clipping; St. Louis Star-Sayings , undated clipping, JP. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , June 18, 1892. 


"Platform Missouri Dem 1892," JP. 


Jones to Cleveland, May 4, 1892, Cleveland Papers;; 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch , June 20, 21, 1892. 


New York Times , June 21, 1892. 


Pusateri, Businessman in Politics , 201. 


Original copy of resolution, JP. 


Pusateri, Businessman in Politics , 215; St. Louis Post- 
Dispatch , June 20, 1892. 


Nevins, Grover Cleveland , 489. 


Denver Rocky Mountain News , September 1, 1895, clipping, 


New York Times , June 20, 1892; St. Louis Post-Dispatch , 
June 19, 22, 1892. 


Kirk H. Porter and Donald Bruce Johnson, National Party 
Platforms, 1840-1968 (Urbana, 1956), 86-89; "Democratic Platform 
of 1892, Draft as Submitted by C. H. Jones. After First Revision." 


Jones to Cleveland, September 10, 1892, Cleveland 
Papers . 

NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 


"Democratic Platform of 1892, Draft as Submitted by 
C. H. Jones. After First Revision," JP. 


Jones to Cleveland, May 4, 1892, Cleveland Papers. 


"Democratic Platform, Original Copy," JP. 


Denver Rocky Mountain News , September 1, 1895, clipping, 




Official Proceedings of the National Democratic Conven- 
tion, Held in Chicago, 111., June 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, 1892 (Chi- 
cago, 1892), 77. 


St. Paul Dispatch , June 24, 1892, clipping, JP. 


Porter and Johnson, Party Platforms , 88. 


Official Proceedings, 1892 , 75; St. Louis Post-Dispatch , 
June 23, 1892. 


Official Proceedings, 1892 , 75-90; St. Louis Post- 
Dispatch , June 23, 1892. 


Official Proceedings, 1892 , 93. 


St. Louis Post -Pis patch , June 24, 1892; St. Paul Dis- 
patch , June 24, 1892, clippings, JP. 


Jones to George F. Parker, September 10, 1892, Cleveland 
Papers . 


Cleveland to William C. Whitney, July 9, 1892, quoted 
in Mark D: Hirsch, William C. Whitney, Modern Warwich (New York, 
1948), 398. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 


Jones to Cleveland, September 15, 1892, Cleveland Papers. 


St. Louis Post -Pis patch , September 27, 1892. 


Jones to Donald Dickinson, July 13, 1892, quoted in, 
Robert Bolt, "Donald M. Dickinson and the Second Election of 
Grover Cleveland, 1892," Michigan History , 49 (Marck, 1965), 34. 



Nevins, Grover Cleveland, 493; Hirsch, William Whitney , 


Pusateri, Businessman in Politics , 202. 


Ibid ., 218. 


St. Louis Republic , November 9, 22, 1892. 


St. Louis Republic , undated clipping; E. B. Erving to 
Jones, November 9, 1892; W. C. Whitney to Jones, November 10, 
1892; Oscar Straus to Jones, November 10, 1892; J. P. Altgeld to 
Jones, November 10, 1892; W. M. Davidson and James P. Taliaferro 
to Jones, November 11, 1892, JP. 


Bolt, "Don Dickinson," 38; Jones to Cleveland, November 
9, 1892, Cleveland Papers. 


E. Y. Mitchell to Francis, November 2, 1892, Francis 
Papers . 


W. M. Davidson and James P. Taliaferro to Jones, Novem- 
ber 11, 1892, JP. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , December 22, 1892. 


Ibid ., November 15, 1892. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 


Pusateri, Businessman in Politics , 220. 


Jones, "Sketch of Life." 


Nevins, Grover Cleveland , 513-515. 


Pusateri, Businessman in Politics , 219; St. Louis Post- 
Dispatch , January 6, 1893. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , February 14, 1893. 


Jones to Cleveland, February 15, 1893, Cleveland Papers. 


St. Louis Mirror , March 5, 1896. 


Henry Watterson, Marse Henry (New York, 1919), 144; 
Grover Cleveland , 492; Champ Clark, My Quarter Century of Ameri- 
can Politics , 2 vols. (New York, 1920), I, 320. 


Jones to Cleveland, March 18, 22, 1893, Cleveland Papers. 


Ibid ., September 15, 1892, Cleveland Papers. 


Jones to William Jennings Bryan, May 8, 1893, quoted 
in Louis W. Koenig, Bryan: A Political Biography of William 
Jennings Bryan (New York, 1971), 129. 


Jones to Abernethy, May 19, 1893, JP. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , February 26, 1893. 


Jones to William Vincent Byars, September 7, 1893, 
William Vincent Byars Papers, Missouri Historical Society Library, 
St. Louis. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER VI (continued) 


St. Louis Globe-Democrat , May 19, 1893. 


St. Louis Mirror , March 5, 1896. 


St. Louis Globe-Democrat , May 19, 1893. 


Jones, to Byars, July 31, 1893, Byars Papers. 


St. Louis Mirror , May 19, 1893. 


Dreiser, Book About Myself , 205. 


Hart, History of Globe-Democrat , 168. 


Jones, "Sketch of Life." 


Jones to Byars, September 7, 1893, Byars Papers. 


Ibid ., April 28, 1894, Byars Papers. 

i^E!^gg.~y"^''' !r7 ^*^"/~";~-"'?qyg ^..^fty^ 



In the immediate aftermath of his defeat Jones remained 
in St. Louis, undecided on his future plans and uncertain 
whether he would remain a stockholder in the Republic . In 
June he departed from the summer heat of St. Louis to vacation 
with his wife on the seaside at Asbury Park. 2 He had more on his 
mind than a relaxing vacation, however, and was soon engaged in 
negotiations with several parties in an endeavor to return to 
newspaper work. One of these was Joseph Pulizer, who was at 
the time dissatisfied with the management of both his newspapers, 
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the New York World . Jones , 
however, was not interested in joining another newspaper simply 
as an employee, and he discussed the possibility of purchasing 
the Post-Dispatch from Pulitzer. The difficulty in negotiating 
a purchase was Jones's lack of ready money, since most of his 
assets were still tied up in the stock of the Republic . When 
word reached the staff of the Post-Dispatch i n St. Louis that 
Jones was negotiating to purchase the paper they became con- 
cerned, and Jones feared they would try to block the sale. "I 
wish you would try to pacify those P-D alarmists," Jones wrote 
Byars. "They may make trouble." Jones also told Byars that 



he was planning on conferring soon with Pulitzer at the oceanside 
villa "Chatwood" in Bar Harbor, Maine, and expected to reach 
some kind of agreement. He felt that he could gain control of 
the Post-Dispatch if he could raise the purchase price, and he 
asked Byars to write or talk to western silverites who might 
be interested in an organ for the silver cause. "Without a 
powerful newspaper in the Central West to fight their battles, 

in my judgement they are hopelessly beaten," Jones wrote. 


"Their 'conventions' wont amount to a whistle in a gale of wind." 

On July 14 Jones wrote Byars that he was leaving for Bar 
Harbor and expected to return to St. Louis within two weeks. 

He asked Byars to telegraph a warning should Post-Dispatch 

editor Samuel Williams leave St. Louis to try and stop the deal. 

Jones's visit to Bar Harbor was longer than expected, and two 

weeks later he was still there talking with Pulitzer. He reported 

to Byars that his efforts to purchase the Post-Dispatch had been 

thwarted by his inability to borrow money due to the general 

business panic of the spring. "The stars in their courses have 

fought against me." But the day after writing Byars, Jones 

closed a deal with Pulitzer: he would go to the New York World 

as Pulitzer's "recognized personal and official representative. . . 

with all the responsibilities of the position and with powers 

coequal with the responsibilities." Pulitzer had never given 

such a broad grant of authority to any of his previous editors, 

but Jones told Byars that he would not have settled for less. 



"So this is what the fool stockholders of The Republic have 
done for me! I owe them much thanks."" 

In 1893 Joseph Pulitzer was blind, with a serious nervous 
disorder which prevented him from undertaking the stressful 
labors of daily newspaper work, but he still maintained a close 
surveilance of all which went into the World and sent frequent 
messages to his editors regarding matters of policy and manage- 
ment. The affairs of the World had been in a state of flux for 
many months due to Pulizer's inability to find an editor-in- 
chief to suit his wishes. At the moment the World had no 
single man in the office with general supervisory powers. 
William H. Merrill was the chief editorial writer, Solomon S. 
Carvalho was acting as publisher, and Don Seitz was business 
manager.' The reasoning behind Pulitzer's choice of Jones as 
the man to assume command over the entire enterprise remains 
obscure. Seitz speculated that Pulitzer had "always respected 
vigorous opponents and the colonel had been a lively one." 
It has also been suggested that Jones's personal charm and 
abilities as a talker overwhelmed Pulitzer's better judgment, 

or that Pulitzer, always suspicious of his employees, wanted 

to bring in an outsider with loyalty only to himself. 

Jones had not always been an admirer of Pulitzer in the 

past. He had criticized the World 's hostility to Cleveland 

during his first administration and distrusted Pulitzer's 

partiality toward David B. Hill. 10 In a speech before the 


Missouri Press Association in 1889, Jones had said that 
Pulitzer was a successful journalist but not an influential one 
because of his lack of principles. 11 In 1889 the Republic 
carried an editorial criticizing the New York newspapers for 
their provinciality, and in an accompanying story Pulitzer was 
criticized for pitching the tone of his newspaper to appeal to 
the lowest common denominator. Jones had been one of the 
thousands who attended the opening of the twenty-story World 
Building in 1890, and he may have met Pulitzer then. 

Jones ' s appointment as editor of the World was received 
with general favor by the press, who saw Jones as a talented 
writer and organizer, but some expressed reservations about 
his "pronounced opinions" and his attitude on the money question. 
His "Populist" whiskers also came in for comment, one journalist 
venturing, "At all events, the average of the beauty of New 
York journalists will be raised considerably by the advent of 
the Colonel. "^ The Pittsburg Post 's comment was probably the 
most insightful: 

Col. Jones is the first big man who has served under 
Mr. Pulitzer. Col. Cockerill had a reputation, to be 
sure, but it was as a newspaperman, rather than a 
publicist. Jones is a crank in a way and not much of 
an editor. But he is a virorous writer and will 
attract attention to himself which Mr. Pulitzer will 
not relish. The chances are, therefore, that Jones 
will not last long on the World. 15 

Jones left Bar Harbor and went immediately to New York. 
He later confided his feelings at the time to his friend Abernethy! 


As I approached New York on my return from Bar 

Harbor, bearing my commission as editor of THE 

WORLD, my thoughts turned back to that period 

twenty-eight years ago, when I came to New York 

for the first time, a friendless boy with hardly 

an acquaintance in this great city and scarcely a 

dollar in my pocket. You know, as few do, what 

laborious years intervened between these two 

1 fi 
events. I feel less elation than one might suppose. ° 

On the second or third day of August Jones walked 
unannounced into the editorial offices in the gold-gilt dome 
atop the World Building carrying a blue envelope containing his 
letter of authority from Pulitzer. The old hands at the World 
were "astonished." Seitz was amazed that Pulitzer would ignore 
"those who had done much to hold the paper together successfully" 
and give the editorship to a man who had "no knowledge of the field." 
To Seitz, Jones seemed tainted with Populism and other ideas 
"remote from those ideals which had solidified in the World." 
Carvalho, formerly the wielder of most authority, was, in 
Seitz' s words, "quite flattened out." 17 Walt McDougall, the 
World 's leading cartoonist, was antagonized when Jones, "before 
he had been many minutes in the office," began to lecture him 
on how the cartoon features were to be done . McDougall con- 
sidered Jones a "pompous half-portion with the verbal output of 
an Atlantic City auctioneer." 1 " Jones's editorship was doomed 
almost before it had begun by the hostility of the staff. As 
Seitz explained, Jones, with his whiskers and "ladylike manners," 
could not gain the confidence and respect of his associates, 


and, unable to impress his authority on them, "he was soon 
flustered." 19 

Jones might have made a success of his chance with the 
World if he had not been so precipitous in testing the extent 
of his authority under his contract with Pulitzer. Shortly 
after he arrived in New York, Congress convened in special 
session to consider Cleveland's demand that the Sherman Silver 
Act be repealed. The South and West opposed repeal, unless 
the law were replaced with a new act providing for free coinage 
of silver. The World supported the Northeast's sentiment in 
favor of unconditional repeal and had been pursuing a forceful 
campaign in favor of repeal since June. At Bar Harbor Jones 
had promised Pulitzer that he would refrain from writing 
anything on the money question, but in mid-August he went to 
Washington where he took the place of theregular correspondent 
and began to send back pro-silver reports of the Congress's 
activities. His dispatches were intercepted in New York by 
Carvalho, who refused to publish them and telegraphed Pulitzer 
to inform him of Jones ' s actions . Jones returned to New York 
in a rage, but found that Pulitzer would not support him. His 
powers as editor-in-chief were diminished, and he was thereafter 
watched closely by Pulitzer and the other members of the staff. " 

Instead of bringing centralized oversight to the management 
of the World , Jones was caught up in the existing system of 
shared responsibility which Pulitzer had fostered whereby each 
editor checked the other. The result of this clumsy and punitive 
system was, in McDougall's words, "a cutthroat contest between 


a number of ambitious, jealous, hard-working and able men. . . 

ill-concealed enmities or open combat prevailed in every 

department." "It produced a reign of suspicion and hatred, 

a maelstrom of office politics." Theodore Dreiser, who took 

a job with the World in November, 1894, just before Jones's 

departure, found the atmosphere there different from that of 

the Globe-Democrat or Republic . Dreiser noted the spying of 

one editor on another, the constant battle to please Pulitzer 

at another's expense, and the atmosphere of fear which seeped 

down through the ranks to affect even the lowliest reporter. J 

During his first months at the World , Jones devoted most 

his attention to foreign news service, staff organization, 

feature departments, and news gathering, finding, he said, a 

surprising lack of system in the latter section. He did 

little writing for the editorial department, where Merrill and 

a half-dozen writers handled the bulk of the work, but Jones 

was not happy with the editorial page as it was being run. To 

keep editorial comments up to the minute in relevance, he 

demanded that the writers do their work in the evenings after 

the day's news had come in. 5 By St. Louis standards the 

editorial writers lived an easy life, Jones felt, declaring 

that he could write in an hour what they did in a day. He 

wrote Byars that the editorial page was too bland, and he 

particularly objected to the "paragraphs" (the short one and two 

sentence comments typical of that day's editorial pages): 


The World's Editorial page now is least satisfactory 
to me in its paragraphs. I have been writing five or 
six a day myself, although overwhelmingly busy with 
other things, to try and give point and snap to it. 
I never knew before what it was to crave pointed, 
pungent and epigramic paragraphs. I have a staff of very 
capable writers, but the mind of every one of them is 
analytical and expository rather than centripetal and 
the paragraphs they produce read like passages clipped 
out of longer editorials. 2 ? 

Jones had wanted Byars to come with him to the World from 
the time that he completed negotiating with Pulitzer. Byars, 
who was labeled a "Christian Communist" by one St. Louis writer 
and who shared Jones's feelings on the money question, had been 
Jones's editorial mainstay at the Republic. Jones warned him 
that if he came to the World he must suppress his convictions 
on silver. Until an opening could be found for him, Jones 
asked Byars to send in editorials by mail, for which he would 
be paid by the item. 29 Jones advised Byars that Pulitzer 
insisted that editorials be kept simple so that the. meaning of 
a passage could be grasped in an instant. ° He passed on a 
few other hints regarding Pulitzer's preferences in writing: 
"Mr. Pulitzer insists on short editorials. His favorite saying 
is that 'three editorials a column are six times as good as one 
editorial a column in length.' He also likes short, epigramic 
sentences. He professes a great horror for conjunctions."-' 1 
Byars began sending in material that summer and continued the 
practice until July, 1894, when he came to New York to join the 
World staff. 32 


Jone's editorship, while not satisfactory to either 
himself or the other members of the staff, continued through 
the winter and spring without any major breaks with Pulitzer. 
Then on June 26, 1894, the American Railway Union, a radical 
organization headed by Eugene V. Debs, called a nation-wide 
sympathy walkout on behalf of the workers striking against 
Pullman Company. The strike spread across half the nation, and, 
although it was largely peaceful, some scattered violence near 
Chicago evoked an emotional outbrust from the press. The World 
termed the action of the strikers "war against the Government 
and against society." 33 On July 2 a federal court in Chicago, 
acting with the advice of a railroad attorney recommended by 
Attorney Genral Richard Olney, issued an injunction against 
the strikers, and on President Cleveland's orders federal troops 
were sent in to enforce it. On the day the injunction was 
issued, Jones wrote an editorial entitled "No Federal Encorach- 
ment," in which he declared that the railroad managers were 
bringing the federal government into the strike on the side of 
the railroads "under a strained interpretation of the law. . . . 
Such an injunction as that drawn by two coproration attorneys 
and granted yesterday by Judges Grosscup and Woods is a 
monstrous invasion of the people's rights." He argued that 
this use of federal power to fight the railorad corporations' 
battles for them constituted an expansion of federal authority 
unparalleled in United States history. ^ On the Fourth of 


July Jones ran an editorial entitled "Usurpation by 
Injunction," which stated that Jefferson's fear of the 
judiciary as the greatest threat to liberty was being proved 
true by the actions of the courts, backed by a "corporation- 
owned Attorney-General." 

These two editorials started the chain of events which 
led to Jones's departure from the World . Pulitzer's attention 
was immediately called to Jones's break with past policy, and 
he was removed from control of the editorial page and permitted 
to work only with the news departments. " Editorial notice of 
the strike was dropped for a few days, then resumed on its 
former basis. It was declared that in the face of "rebellion" 

it was not appropriate to quibble over theories of states' 

rights. Jones was summoned to Bar Harbor, where he defended 

his stance on the strike, and, according to Seitz, vowed that 
he would write "Usurpation by Injunction" into the next 
Democratic national platform. ^° Pulitzer's reaction was sur- 
prising in the light of his customary ruthlessness with anyone 
who challeneged his authority: he offered to sell Jones a major 
interest in the Post-Dispatch and make him editor of that paper. 
Jones, perhaps because- he still hoped to achieve success as 

editor of the World , declined the offer, and for the moment the 


awkward situation in the World offices continued. 

In December Jones went to St . Louis for two weeks at the 
request of Pulitzer, who was about to intorduce a new program 


there designed to restore prosperity to the sagging affairs of 
that newspaper. The Post-Dispatch , which had been making huge 
circulation gains in the late 1880 's and early 1890' s, lost 
circulation in 1894, and the prospect for the future was for 

increased competition from the evening Chronicle and Star- 

Sayings. Jones returned from St. Louis to confer with 

Pulitzer late in December, whereupon Pulitzer again asked him 

to go to the Post-Dispatch as editor, "at least for a time." 

Pulitzer cited "out difficulties, and your enviroment [ sic ] in 

the World office" as reasons why Jones ought to accept his 

offer, but he concluded his argument with a threat: "The change 

in St. Louis takes effect on January 1, and apropos of this 

I wish you would give me your exact understanding as to our 

Bar Harbor agreement. Will there be anything left of it after 

January 1? Were our relations not mutually terminable at will?" 

Given the choice of the Post-Dispatch or nothing, Jones 

accepted, but he set explicit terms upon which he would go: 

I am willing to go to St. Louis on the basis you 
propose to me last summer, namely, that I be allowed 
to purchase a majority interest in the stock of the 
Post-Dispatch, so that I can utilize my knowledge of 
the field and exercise whatever abilities I may have 
to the full and with entire freedom of judgement and 
action. It is only in this way that I can be of the 
highest service to the Post-Dispatch. The people of 
St. Louis and the southwest know what kind of a news- 
paper I will make it left untrammelled. If they know 
I am untrammelled, they will look for that kind of a 
newspaper eagerly. Even if it sounds egotistic, I 
think I can say with truth that every intelligent 
reader in Missouri, southern Illinois, Kansas, 


Arkansas and Texas would turn with attention to any 
newspaper in St. Louis that they know I control and 
direct. That was so before I came to The World. I 
now have the added prestige of having been The World's 
editor. But none of these advantages would accrue 
if I returned there simply as an employee, even if 
I were willing to do so. 

Under conditions that leave my individuality free 
play I can make an editorial page that will be just 
as valuable for getting and holding circulation as 
anything that can be done in the news columns. I 
will make a newspaper that will make its influence 
felt throughout the West, and in national politics 
I will write or largely determine the platform of 
the next Democratic National Convention. ^2 

Pulitzer departed New York on the day after Christmas to 
spend the winter at Jekyl Island off the coast of Georgia, 
leaving negotiations in the hands of Carvalho. A contract was 
drafted and sent to Pulitzer whereby Jones would pay $80,000 

immediately and a total of $300,000 over a five-year period for 

a majority protion of Post-Dispatch stock. Pulitzer refused 

to agree to this arrangement, telegraphing Carvalho that further 

negotiations would be unnecessary due to the tremendous success 

of the price reduction in increasing the Post-Dispatch 's 

circulation. According to Carvalho, Jones "turned white" on 

learning that Pulitzer was no longer interested, but on the 

same day Pulitzer sent a second telegram asking Carvalho to see 

if Jones would go without an agreement to purchase majority 

interest but with complete control of the paper as editor and 

manager. Jones was agreeable to this proposal if he could 

purchase a one-sixth interest for $80,000 and receive a five- 
year contract giving him "full control." An agreement was 


drawn up incorporating these points, whereby Pulitzer would 
make Jones editor and manager at a salary of $10,000 per year. 
Included in the contract were provisions that Jones agree not 
to hold any political office and that gross receipt for 1895 

and 1896 must exceed those for 1894 and 1893 respectively or 

the contract would be void. Jones went to Jekyl Island 

during the first week of February to see Pulitzer and sign 

the papers. He then returned to New York and from there went 

directly to St. Louis. 

Jones arrived in St. Louis on February 14 and went 

immediately to the Post-Dispatch offices. Samuel Williams, 

then editor, had received a long, concilliatory letter from 

Pulitzer asking him to make Jones comfortable and explaining 

that he had decided to remove him in order to give the Post- 

Dispatch "a stronger hand and permanent head." Jones's first 

act as editor was to take Pulitzer's name down from the mast- 
head on the editorial page and replace it with his own. A 
published note from Pulitzer explained to the paper's readers 
that poor health had forced him to relinquish "responsibility 

and control over its columns," and an editorial by Jones announced 

that he would make the Post-Dispatch a western paper. Someone 

telegraphed Pulitzer telling him that his name had been removed 

from the paper, and Pulitzer replied that it must be put back, 

but Jones replaced it on his own initiative — with his name 

remaining just below. Jones did restrain himself on silver 


and largely ignored the money question for the first two 
months of his tenture. 

A potentially serious dispute developed between Jones and 
Carvalho over the new by-laws proposed for governance of the 
paper under Jones. Carvalho inserted a clause stating that the 
board of directors would have final authority over the newspaper, 
its employees, and its manager. Jones objected to this, main- 
taining that it was contrary to the provisions of his contract 
with Pulitzer. However, Pulitzer refused to change the by-laws 
and suggested that Jones test them in court, but he declared 
that he would not interfere with Jones's control of the paper 
so long as he did not "foreget my sensibilities." At the first 
meeting of the board of directors in March the by-laws were 
adopted as Carvalho had drafted them over Jones's dissenting 

vote; however, Pulitzer did not make any effort to obstruct 

Jones's management afterwards. 

When Jones arrived at the Post-Dispatch a circulation boom 

was in full tide due to the reduction in price to one cent. 

Canvassers were scouring the city and countryside signing up 

subscribers, many of whom were, however, delinquent in paying 

for their subscriptions. Jones brought his brother George over 

from the Republic , where he had remained after Jones's departure, 

and began to reorganize the circulation department on a more 

businesslike basis. Within a week after his arrival, Jones 

eliminated almost 2,500 names from the subscription lists, and 


and large reductions were continued on into the summer until 
the newspaper was put on a "rock bottom" basis. Yet, Jones 

claimed, overall circulation held up, and revenue from circula- 


tion exceeded every previous year, except 1893. Income from 

advertisements was also up during 1895, but advertising manager 
William C. Steigers would report in September that some 
advertisers had withdrawn their patronage in objection to 
Jones's editorial policies. Net profits were up significantly 
from 1894 for the year. At the end of the year it was 
decided to increase the price of the paper for country sub- 
scribers to two cents. This was done because the one cent price 
was hot enough to cover the cost of handling and mailing copies 
to the country. Jones made the increase in the face of 
intense competition from the other St. Louis newspapers (which 
reduced their prices to one cent at about the same time) , but 
the move was in line with his belief that every aspect of the 
newspaper must pay its own way. In the spring of 1896 the Post- 
Dispatch cut out much of the legal advertising which it had been 

carrying because it did not bring in enough income to justify 

the space used. Profits continued to increase during the 

first half of 1896. 58 

Jones's eighteen month absence in New York had done 

nothing to cool his hostility to Francis, Francis's supporter 

in city politics Ed Butler, or the Francis-Maffitt wing of the 

Democratic party. The St. Louis Mirror reported that soon after 


returning to St. Louis, Jones met with Governor Stone and his 

men, and they had decided to destroy Francis's influence in the 

party. In March and April the Post-Dispatch struck blows at 

the Francis organization, root and branch. During the city 

election campaign it enounced the Democratic party for allowing 

"Butlerism" to infect its operations, and declared that it would 

prefer to see victory go to the Republicans, rather than to 

Butler and the "respectible" backers who financed his operations. 

When the Republicans did sweep nearly all of the municipal 

offices, the Post-Dispatch not only approved but exposed alleged 

corruption in wards where Democrats did win. Having attacked 

the rank and file of the Francis Democrats , the Post-Dispatch 

then turned to flay the Merchants' Bridge and Terminal Company, 

of which Francis and Maffitt were directors, for supposedly 

making price fixing agreements with other bridge companies . 

However, the major battle between the Stone Democrats and 

the Francis Democrats came over the money question. In the 

spring of 1895 there was a widespread movement in the West for 

calling state conventions to express public sentiment in favor 

of free coinage of silver. Although Governor Stone endorsed 

the idea of a convention, there seemed to be little support for 

the idea in Missouri. In any case, Jones felt that the only 

way that a convention would be called would be if the Post- 

Dispatch pressed for it. Chairman Maffitt, who supported the 

gold standard, was reluctant to issue the call for a party 


convention, but the Post-Dispatch threatened that unless he did, 
another means of convening the party would be found. Jones 
warned the public that Francis and the Republic would fight to 
prevent the convention because they realized that the gold 
forces would be defeated, but apparently the Francis-Maffitt 
faction decided not to make a fight which they were sure to 

lose, and Maffitt issued the call for a convention to assemble 

at Pertile Springs on August 8. For a time the Post-Dispatch 

fretted over the possibility that the railroads might use their 

influence to pack the convention with gold men, but when the 

silverites arrived in Pertile Springs with a solid majority of 

the delegates, Jones declared that this showed that the influence 

of the railroads could be beaten. The convention adopted a 

brief platform, written by Jones, which endorsed the free coin- 
ing of silver at a ratio of 16 to 1. A plan to double the 
size of the state committee in order to increase the number of 
pro-silver members was also passed, although Maffitt continued 
to hold his seat as party chairman despite his offer to resign. 

When the legislature met in April and May the Post-Dispatch 
ran a campaign against the "railroad lobby," publishing a front 
page cartoon showing Missouri Pacific lawyer William Phelps 
whipping legislators like cattle into the state house. The 
cartoon was condemned by a resolution of the House, and before 

the session was over the Post-Dispatch 's reporters were barred 

from the Senate chambers for similar offenses. According to 


the Post-Dispatch the session was a case of the governor and 

the people against the Missouri Pacific and the "interests." 

Anti-lobby and worker protection laws failed to pass during 
the session, providing an opportunity for the publication of 
roll call votes in which the "tools of the railroad lobby" were 
marked out. The Post-Dispatch declared that although the ses- 
sion was a failure, it had revealed to the people the extent 
of "lobby'': control. 70 

About the time the legislature was meeting, the St. Louis 
Mirror carried a humorous story about an incident during dinner 
at the Planters Hotel when Jones, every hair in his beard 
quivering with rage, refused to eat the rib of beef set before 
him: "'Away with it,' he cried, 'I will have none of it. 
Millions for defense, but not a sou marque for tribute to 
Armour and his gang.'" According to the story, Jones swore he 
would write a vegetarian plank into the next Democratic plat- 
form and ordered the staff of the Post-Dispatch to eat only 
horseradish and oyster crackers. Whether the tale was based 
on a real incident or not — and the Post-Dispatch did run an 
editorial against the beef trust shortly thereafter which 
offered vegetarianism as a possible means of breaking the trust— 

the story illustrated the passion with which Jones had moved 

into the camp of the reformers. When the Supreme Court began 

to negate parts of the income tax law as it applied to the 

wealthy, the Post-Dispatch advocated a constitutional amendment 



to provide for a comprehensive income tax law. When 

William Vanderbilt staged one of the elaborate balls typical of 
the era, an editorial warned: "It is a question how long the 
toiling, thinking people of this country who earn their living 
by honest work will stand the costly burden of a vulgar 

aristocracy who accumulate their luxurious surplus by oppres- 

sion and robbery under the forms of law." But above all the 

Post-Dispatch became the advocate of free silver and the 
enemy of Francis, the Republic , and all gold standard supporters. 
Jones published long sections from the silverite tract Coin's 
Financial School , ran educational series on "The Money Question," 
and gave credence to the idea of an "international gold con- 
spiracy" aimed at controlling the finances of the world. 

Jones's course in steering the Post-Dispatch away from its 
"traditional character and principles" by advocacy of silver and 
by injecting the paper into a factional fight within the 
Democratic party finally goaded Pulitzer into action late in 
the summer of 1895. Pulitzer believed that free coinage of 
silver was "false and wrong in morality, public honor and public 
welfare, was just like advocating counterfit money, and I did 
not think any paper of mine should do that." Carvalho after - 
consultation with Pulitzer and Samuel Williams sent a "friendly 
warning" to Jones that Pulitzer considered the management of the 
paper under Jones "practically a failure." He demanded that 
Jones change the paper's policy toward free coinage of silver 
and the "Stone Democratic faction," and urged that George W. Jones 


be replaced as business manager by a "more competent" man. 

Jones, who was taking a brief vacation at Asbury Park, did not 

answer Carvalho's letter, and a week later a second letter 

reiterating the same three demands was sent to Jones: "It 

would be pleasanter and more agreeable if you pledge prompt 

and loyal compliance, to make these changes at once. If, 

however, you do not pledge prompt and loyal compliance, a 

meeting of the Board of Directors will be called, when the 

matter will be laid before it that it may immediately proceed 

to take action to protect the Post-Dispatch from the danger 

and folly of its present management." Three days later 

Carvalho telegraphed that a meeting of the board of directors 

had been called for September 21 at the Post-Dispatch offices. 

When Jones returned to St. Louis he wrote a long letter to 

Pulitzer saying that Carvalho's letters and demands must have 

been sent under a misapprehension since every charge Carvalho 

had made regarding conditions at the paper could easily be 

disproved. He denied that the paper had been a failure under 

him, "but a conspicuous and gratifying success." He then 

proceeded to a lengthy commentary on the issues of the Stone 

faction and the silver question: 

Those who know that I am not the man to make an 
organ for any man or faction. I shall be able to 
prove, from the files of the Post-Dispatch itself, 
that I have collided with the so-called Stone faction 
on more points than with any other. I shall also be 
able to prove, by private letters, that I have 


refused to affiliate in any way with any party or 
faction. I have even refused to join clubs or 
associations for the avowed reason that I was 
determined to keep in position to make an entirely 
free and independent journal. Governor Stone is my 
friend, and we are in accord in our general views 
on public policy; but no one knows better than he 
that my course as editor has never been controlled 
by personal considerations. I could have remained 
editor of the Republic until now if I had been 
willing to conduct a personal faction organ. Some 
one has purposely misled you in this matter. . . . 

In regard to the silver question, I cannot de- 
grade myself in my own eyes and disgrace myself in 
the eyes of the people who have trusted me by telling 
them that I have changed my views on a question that 
vitally concerns them, when I have not. What I have 
written on the money question I have written from 
conviction, and I do not hold my convictions subject 
to some one else's change of mind. . . . When you 
made me editor of the Post-Dispatch you knew as well 
as you know now that I was and am a free silver man. . 

It is difficult for a New Yorker to understand the 
strength and intensity of the feeling in Missouri, 
Illinois and other Western and Southern States, in 
favor of free coinage. The rank and file of both 
parties are overwhelmingly for it. Every newspaper 
that has tried to breast this sentiment has suffered 
terribly. The St. Louis Republic has lost money 
during the last six months, during which the Post- 
Dispatch has enjoyed great prosperity. °0 

At the directors meeting of September 21 Jones presented 
the other directors in attendance — Carvalho, White, and Williams- 
with a temporary restraining order prhibiting them from inter- 
fering with his management of the paper. Prevented from taking 
steps to curb Jones, the only item placed before the directors 
was a recommendation by Jones that a $40,000 dividend be 
declared. This motion was voted down— ostensibly because it was 
thought that the surplus funds might be used to construct a 
permanent building for the newspaper— but probably to keep the 



newspaper's profits out of Jones's hands. While Jones's 

petition to make the restraining order permanent was pending, 
Pulitzer struck at Jones by denying the Post-Dispatch access 
to the features and facilities of the World . Jones declared 
in a Post-Dispatch editorial that he would search for means of 
replacing these materials, but he added: "For one thing, all 

entanglements with Eastern or Plutocratic influences are 

definitely severed." On February 17, 1896, Judge L. B. 

Valliant made the temporary injunction permanent, and Pulitzer 

appealed the case to the Missouri Supreme Court. 

Despite the mounting interest in the coming election, the 
Post-Dispatch 's editorial page in the spring and early summer 
of 1896 was lacking in consistent themes and forceful presenta- 
tion. This was unusual for a paper edited by Jones, and the 
reason in this case is fairly certain: Jones was seriously 
run down by his work and was entering the long period of illness 
that would force his retirement from newspaper work. At the 
Republic Jones had always had Byars as a more than able support, 
and when he returned to St. Louis he wanted to bring Byars with 

him. He told Pulitzer, "With me off the paper and: you absent, 

he would be a very dangerous man on The World editorial staff." 

After coming to St. Louis he had tried unsuccessfully to entice 

Byars out, and a year later, in April, 1896, Lily Jones wrote a 

personal letter to Byars pleading with him to reconsider, since 

she feared that her husband would break under the strain, but 


Byars declined. The man who Jones did bring in was Albert 

Lawson, formerly the Post-Dispatch 's representative at the 

World . Lawson wrote back to Byars saying that work was twenty 

times as great with the Post-Dispatch as with the World , but was 

tempered by the unusual courtesy shown him by Jones . "I think 

he has been under a great strain and is suffering the result 

and wants to get out of the hard work and the details for a 

time. He is not very well and some of the staff suffer from 

it, not a little at times, though, on the whole, he is much 

better that way than he used to be. A month later Byars 

reported, "He is not as well as he was on the Republic and 

will do well to take good care of himself." 

As early as the middle of 1895 the Post-Dispatch began 

making predictions that the election of 1896 would be fought on 

the issue of free silver and that the country would divide 

into eastern and western camps over this issue. It advised 

the Democrats to concentrate on capturing the South, West, and 

Midwest— abandoning the Northeast to the forces of capitalism 

and gold. Jones had already taken a step toward securing 

the West for silver by writing a recommendation into the 

Pertile Springs platform declaring for an early state convention 

in 1896. Jones was confident that the silver advocates could 

carry the Missouri convention, and, if it were held early, 

stimulate the efforts of silver forces in other states. There 

was some effort by gold standard supporters to set the date 


back, but the convention was called for mid-April, making 
Missouri the first Democratic state to hold its convention. 
Francis organized a state-wide "sound money" effort to elect 

gold standard men in districts where they stood a chance of 

being elected, but the effort largely failed. The Sedalia 

convention was a triumph for the silver forces. A strong 

platform endorsing free coinage of silver was adopted and 

resolutions denouncing the Republic and praising the Post- 

Dispatch were passed. The St. Louis Mirror declared that 

Jones had turned the party organization in Missouri into 

chaos because of his fight against Francis. Jones's efforts 

had helped to eliminate Francis permanently as a power in state 


The Jones-Francis vendetta was not an unemotional affair. 

Charles Chapin, who Jones had made city editor and who later 

became famous as city editor of the World , recounted an episode 

in his autobiography which could have ended tragically: 

One day there was something printed in the paper 
in connection with the mysterious drowning of Dennis P. 
Slattery that so aroused the anger of Francis, he came 
stalking into the Post-Dispatch office, accompanied by 
his brother Tom, angrily demanding to know where the 
editor was. I told him that Colonel Jones was in his 
office on the floor above and he and Tom Francis went 
up the staircase two steps at a time. 

I saw my assistant, Kinney Underwood, another fiery 
little Southerner, grab a revolver from a drawer of his 
desk and rush up the stairway behind them. I followed. 
The two Francis brothers were in the editor's sanctum, 
when I got there, demanding an immediate retraction. 

Colonel Jones was at his desk, white of face but 
coldly dignified. I found Kinney Underwood in an 



adjoining office, that was divided from the editor's 
sanctum by a glass partition through which every 
action of the men inside could be watched. Underwood 
was crouched behind a desk, revolver in hand, the 
weapon leveled at David R. Francis. The latter had 
his back turned to him. Francis never knew how close 
to death he was. One move to draw a weapon and 
Underwood would surely have killed him. 

With that imperturbable dignity that characterized 
our spunky little editor, I heard him tell Francis to 
dictate to a stenographer what he wished to have printed 
by way of retraction and I saw him at least pretend to 
go ahead with his work while this was being done. When 
the stenographer had written it out Colonel Jones care- 
fully read it and struck out more than half of it with 
his blue pencil. He handed the revised item back to 
Francis to read. 

"I'll print that much and no more," calmly remarked 
the editor. 

Francis read and gave a nod of approval. 

Colonel Jones turned to Tom Francis. "Take your 
brother out of here," he said, jerking his thumb in 
the direction of David R. and resuming the writing 
from which he had been interrupted. They went away. 92 

In the winter of 1896 Jones had been concerned that eastern 
"sound money" forces might gain control of the Democratic na- 
tional convention, but as the spring wore on it became increasingly 

apparent that the free silver movement would sweep the conven- 

tion in its tide. The major problem of the silverites was 

the selection of a candidate because there was no one man of 

stature who could command the allegiance of the entire West and 

South. The leading candidate was Missouri's Richard "Silver 

Dick" Bland, and it was he that the Post-Dispatch settled on as 

the candidate to back, although the paper was somewhat restrained 

in its support. Bland's greatest problem was that he was as 

colorless as his name: "He is a farmer and looks like a farmer," 


the Post-Dispatch pointed out. Bland's most important asset 

was his long-standing dedication to the cause of free silver, 
which made him "the personification of the issue." 95 The man 
Jones definitely did not want as the party's candidate was 
Grover Cleveland, who was no described as the champion of the 
Northeast rather than leader of the whole nation. 96 In the 
fall of 1895 Cleveland was suggested for a third term as the 
only one who could restrain the silver deluge, although 
Cleveland himself entertained no ambitions for a third term 
as the only one who could restrain the silver deluge, although 
Cleveland himself entertained no ambitions for a third term. 97 
The Post-Dispatch denounced this effort to secure a third term 
for Cleveland as a violation of American tradition as well as 
bad policy. 

When the Republican nation convention met in St. Louis in 
mid- June, Jones was in the process of writing a draft of the 
platform to be submitted to the resolutions committee at the 
Democratic national convention. He was visited by William Jennings 
Bryan, who was attending the Republican convention as an 
interested spectator. Jones had corresponded with Bland, 
Missouri Senators Vest and Cochrell, and other party leaders to 
sound them out on issues to be included in the platform, and 
he no doubt welcomed Bryan's contributions. Bryan later wrote 
that he considered Jones "a very able man, entirely in sympathy 
with the progressive ideas of the party. "" Bryan claimed that 


he wrote the plank on silver, but Jones did not acknowledge 
his authorship, and. Jones's first draft of the platform does not 
reveal who composed the money plank. Jones's first draft 
was about half the length of the final version of the platform, 

and he possibly did not complete it until he reached Chicago 

c , 101 

for the convention. Jones later wrote that he wished to 

keep the platform brief, but had lengthened it because he "felt 

that the time had come to assert fundamental Democratic 

principles all along the line." A handful of planks on 

specific issues, such as a paragraph praising the Cuban 

revolutionaries, were added in committee, but chairman James K. 

Jones, Senator from Arkansas, kept accretions to a minimum. 

The platform reported out of the resolutions committee 

declared the "money question" to be "paramont at this time," 

and opened with a declaration in favor of free coinage of 

silver at 16 to 1, a denunciation of the "un-American" policy 

of gold monometalism, a statement of opposition to, the 

issuance of interest bearing bonds by the government, and a 

declaration that only the government, not banks, could issue 

paper money. A plank favoring a tariff "for revenue only" 

and a declaration in support of a Constitutional amendment to 

permit an income tax followed the leading statement on money. 

The plank denouncing "government by injunction" was in keeping 

with the platform's theme that the Democratic party was the 

bulwark against "the centralization of governmental power," 


but in committee planks were added calling for stricter 
government control of trusts, a strengthened Interstate Commerce 
Commission, and federal aid for improvement of internal water- 
ways. 4 Despite this, the Democratic platform differed from 
the Populist in the absence of calls for government ownership of 
monopolistic industries and its milder demands for regulation. 105 
There was no mention of Cleveland in the platform, but Jones 
had included one paragraph pronouncing against a third term for 
the Presidency. The Review of Reviews noted that this plank 
was "evidently intended, like several other portions of this 
remarkable platform, to have direct and uncomplimentary reference 
to President Cleveland." 106 

Delegates supporting the gold standard were not satisfied 
with the money plank adopted by the committee and drafted a 
minority plank to offer to the convention as a substitute. 
William Jennings Bryan was named to arrange for a debate on 
the substitute plank before the convention, and Jones suggested 
to him that he use his authority to name himself as one of the 
speakers defending the majority plank. 107 Bryan was the only 
leading candidate for the nomination who had not yet spoken 
before the convention, and his decision to act as the concluding 
speaker for the silver forces created the opportunity for him 
to dilver the "Cross of Gold" speech which assured his nomina- 
tion. After observing the tumultuous reception given Bryan's 
address, Jones telegraphed a report to the Post-Dispatch 


saying that the contest was now between Bryan and Bland. He 
did not think that Bland's supporters had been stamped by the 

Bryan boom, and was hopeful that Bland would receive the 

nomination. When Bryan did receive the nomination, Jones 

maintained that there was no reason to regret the decision since 

Bryan was a sound and true advocate of the silver cause. 

During the campaign the Chicago platform became a focus 
of attack for the Republicans, the declaration against "govern- 
ment by injunction" drawing perhaps more criticism as destructive 
of law and authority than the free silver plank. Jones made 
sure that he was given recognition as the author of the 
"Second Declaration of independence," and defended it as a 
conservative document. He said that criticism of it as radical 
only showed how far the country had strayed from the principles 
of the nation's founders. The comment of the Chicago Tribune 
on Jones's authorship was typical of the rhetoric employed by 
conservatives during the campaign: 

It was the "Majah" who made the plank for rotten 
money, for national dishonor, for swindling creditors, 
for breaking down the national currency, for industrial 
and commercial panics, for discrediting the Supreme 
Court, for shutting off the national revenue, for 
encouragement of Altgeld and Debs, for breaking 
down the civil service. These are all the earmarks 
of the "Majah," and what he couldn't think of was 
supplied by the crazy Western fanatics. 1 -'- 

The Post-Dispatch was, along with William Randolph Hearst's 
New York Herald , perhaps the most influential pro-Bryan news- 
papers of the campaign. -Many of the major Democratic newspapers 


across the country refused to back the nominee of the party. 112 
Bryan paid tribute to the "excellent service" performed by the 
Post-Dispatch , but Bryan's opponents declared that Jones's 
newspaper helped to generate the tone of hatred which 
characterized the campaign: "He made the Chicago platform 

mean all its opponents claimed and more. . . . His hatred 

had blood in it." The St. Louis Mirror warned that Jones 

had become an "Enemy of Society." 11 * When St. Louis merchants 

pinned gold badges on their employees and turned them out to 

parade for gold a few days before the election, Jones placed 

the staff of the Post-Dispatch , all wearing silver badges, along 

the parade route to jeer the procession. Editorially the 

Post-Dispatch asked the gold standard marchers: 

You are wearing a yellow badge. Are you willing, 
in cold blood, to take your place alongside the 
enemies of yourself, your fellow workmen and wage 
earners, and your country? Don't you know that 
the men at the head of this enormous aggregation 
of capital that is solidly backing Republicanism 
and the gold standard spend a large part of their 
time in Europe; that many of them are aliens who 
despise this country too much to become naturalized 
or to vote; that they are hand in glove with the 
money syndicates of Europe; that their speakers 
have advocated the shooting down of American citizens 
who dare to vote against their interests, the capture 
and imprisonment of Mr. Bryan, the Presidential 
candidadate of the masses, and the substitution of 
a "righteous monarchy" for the Republic founded by 
Washington and Jefferson? 11 ^ 

The Post-Dispatch advised the working man to take off 
his gold badge, "throw it in the gutter, spit upon it, and 
stand up like a man and proclaim yourself free." 


On election day the nation divided along sectional 
lines. Bryan carried the South and all but five states west 
of the Mississippi, while McKinley carried the Northeast and 
old Northwest. With McKinley* s victory the Post-Dispatch 
turned abruptly to a sober, conciliatory tone. "Let us have 
peace," it said. 17 Jones did not view Bryan's candidacy as 
a mistake or his defeat as a disaster; instead it was said that 
the campaign had purged the party of traitors and plutocrats 
and had left the party machinery better organized than before 
the election when control of the party was in doubt. -^ The 
reason for the Post-Dispatch 's about face was economic: the 
paper was being boycotted by several local advertisers who 
objected to its editorial policies. Samuel Wilson had warned 
Jones more than a year earlier that if he adopted a pro-silver 
policy he could expect a boycott by "the local plutocratic 
influences (very strong and of wonderful solidarity!) ."H9 
The newspaper had also lost some circulation in the city 
during the campaign, but this had been more than compensated for 
by the large increases in circulation in the countryside. 
After the election Jones made a direct and open appeal to 

advertisers for their patronage, asking whether they could 

afford to ignore the largest advertising medium in the city. 

A second reason for Jones's interest in winning back lost 

advertising was his agreement with Pulitzer, which stipulated 

that he must increase the paper's profits to the level of 1893 


or lose his contract. In order to meet these terms, Jones 
was forced to make cuts in the Post-Dispatch 's expenses, 
including the dismissal of some key employees. -^ 

Another threat to Jones's control of the Post-Dispatch 
was ended in January when the Supreme Court of Missouri, by 
a 3-2 vote, decided that his contract with Pulitzer was binding 
on the board of directors, and therefore Jones could exercise 

complete control of the paper for the duration of his agree- 

ment. The only remaining obstacle to Jones's continuance 

at the Post-Dispatch was Pulitzer's attitude, and, surprisingly, 

Pulitzer was not adverse to seeing Jones remain in control. 

"There is nothing in reason that I would not do if he stayed," 

Pulitzer stated. Despite the fight for control, despite 

the boycott of advertisers, despite Pulitzer's withdrawal of 

the World 's features, Jones had made the paper pay. In addition, 

if Pulitzer were to get rid of Jones he would be faced with the 

task of finding a replacement. However, Jones had decided to 

resign as editor, and did so on June 27, 1897. Negotiations, 

which had begun two months before, led to the repurchase of 

Jones's one-sixth share for the $80,000 he had paid for it, 

plus $45,000 representing one-sixth of the paper's profits 

during Jones's tenure. -* 

Two factors probably dictated Jones's departure. The 

most immediate was the deterioration of his own health and the 

protracted illness of his wife. The other was that Jones 


was not willing to continue a relationship which permitted 

Pulitzer to hinder and harass him, and that would terminate in 

1900 when he might find circumstances unfavorable for a break. 

He reportedly offered to purchase control of the Post-Dispatch 

from Pulitzer, and when he was refused, sold out himself. He told 

a Globe-Democrat reporter before leaving St. Louis that he 

expected to be back in the -business before the campaigns of 

1898, but that he would only return as the editor of his own 
paper. ^-2/ 

In an attempt to regain their health Jones and his wife 
departed shortly for a vacation in Europe which would last for 
more than a year. They spent the winter in the dry, warm 
climate of Egypt, and they were in Rome in the spring when 
the Spanish-American War began. 128 Jones returned to St. Louis 
in July, 1898, and it was rumored that he was attempting to 
resume newspaper work. He reportedly tried unsuccessfully to 
purchase the St. Louis Star , and it was even suggested that 
he was negotiating with Pulitzer again. 129 Jones looked into 
newspaper properties elsewhere but he declared that he would 
not again take a position as a salaried employee, and he could 
not find a newspaper which he could purchase on what he felt 
was a reasonable term. Jones blamed his failure to secure a 
newspaper on the increasing business orientation of the press, 
which he termed "counting room journalism." 


He also complained that the independence of the press 
had been subverted by big business: 

Pressures by the moneyed interests and their 
corporation allies is brought to bear upon 
advertisers and by them transmitted through the 
"business office" of the newspaper to the pro- 
prietors; and the instances are extremely few 
in which this pressure is effectually resisted. 
In most instances there is no desire to resist 
it, for during the last twenty years the moneyed 
interests have not overlooked the importance of 
owning or otherwise controlling the newspaper press 
of the country. . . . Journalists who take 
themselves seriously, who regard the work of 
moulding public opinion as a high vocation, who 
believe in duty and are willing to accept responsi- 
bility, who would rather champion the rights of the many 
than defend the privileges of the few, are 
finding it more and more difficult either to enter 
or to remain in the newspaper field, whether as 
employees or proprietors. -*0 

Sometime in 1898, probably in the fall after his return 
from Europe, Jones suffered what he described as a "breakdown" 
or "nervous collapse." 1 ^ Others called it "appolexy" or a 
"stroke," but it seems probable that his attack was a nervous 
trauma of some sort, for he does not appear to have suffered 

any noticeable physical or mental damage of a permanent 

nature. Whatever his illness, it apparently ended his 

plans for returning to active newspaper work. 

He decided to settle in New York, a city which he had 

always found congenial, taking an apartment at the Dakota 

Hotel on West Seventy-Second Street. In the spring of 1899 

he organized the Lockwood Trade Journal Company, consolidating 


three old properties of Howard Lockwood, the Paper Trade 
Journal , the American Stationer , and Lockwood 's Directory . 
This company published, and continues to publish, the Paper 
Trade Journal , a magazine devoted to the paper industry. Jones 
brought his brother George, who had remained in Missouri in 
newspaper work, to New York as manager of the journal. In 

1904 Jones and his brother purchased another trade magazine, 

Tobacco , and formed the Tobacco Trade Journal Company . 

These properties provided Jones's income for the remainder of 

1 his life. 

Despite the termination of his newspaper career, Jones 

remained active in politics. The United States was technically 

at war with Spain in January, 1899, although actual fighting 

in the war with Spain had ended months before. The Senate 

debate on ratification of the Treaty of Paris which would 

restore peace spotlighted the "new issues" of imperialism and 

militarism which were threatening to displace the issues of 

1896 in the public forum. Jones's friend, William Vincent Byars, 

wrote him suggesting that the Democratic party embrace the 

"new issues," and make anti-expansionism the major thrust of 

party policy. Jones disagreed with this idea, holding that 

opponents of expansion had always lost in American history and 

that the party must acquies to this tendency for growth. "I 

am not myself eager for expansion," he wrote Byars. "I would 

be glad to see the attention of our people restricted to internal 


questions for another hundred years. ™ Jones believed that 
the question of imperialism would be settled before the election 

of 1900, clearing the way for resolution of the domestic 

questions which he had enunciated in the platform of 1896. 

Yet developments seemed to be forcing the "new issues" to 

the fore. The return of prosperity to the West was alleviating 

problems in the farm belt which had fueled the Populist and 

reform movements of the early and mid-1890' s. In an interview 

with the New York Tribune , Jones admitted that the McKinley 

administration would probably get credit for the rise in 

farm prices, but he pointed out that Southwestern cotton 

growers were as bad off as ever and that the agricultural 

community was aware that conditions overseas had more to do 

with the return of good times than anything done by the 

„ *,* 136 

While the causes of domestic discontent were lessening, 

other events were intensifying the debate on imperialism. In 

February the Filipinos rose in revolt against their American 

"liberators," and shortly afterward the Senate ratified the 

Treaty of Paris, making the Philippine Islands a possession 

of the United States. Jones had agreed with William Jennings 

Bryan in hoping that the Congress would adopt a resolution 

promising independence to the islands, but no such declaration 

was forthcoming, instead business interests began to discuss the 

profits which might accrue from an Asian trade station. 


Puerto Rico, which Jones believed would be made a territory 

and prepared for statehood, was put on a. colonial status. Cuba 

was not permitted to assume self-government, but was ruled 

by a United States military government. A bill to increase the 

size of the standing army to a size unprecendented in peacetime 

was introduced in Congress. It was such events that led the 

Democratic party to reject the idea of making the platform of 

1900 a duplicate of the platform of 1896 and to declare imperialism 

"the paramount issue" of the campaign of 1900. 13 ^ 

Jones spoke out against expansionism even though he was 
inclined to believe that it should remain a secondary issue. He 
was particularly opposed to the "McKinley Syndicate's " 
"piratical policy" in the Philippines: 138 

The plain truth is that never since the shot 
was fired at Lexington that echoed around the 
world have men wearing the uniform of the United 
States and standing under its flag been engaged 
in such sorry and shameful business as that which 
has recently occupied our troops at Manila. No 
newspaper heroics can hide the repulsive?.fact that 
there American soldiers, enlisted for a war whose 
avowed purpose was the liberation of Cubans from 
Spanish oppression, used the most powerful and 
deadliest engines of modern warfare for the 
slaughter of half -armed men, who came together 
originally to aid us agaist the Spaniards and who 
believed themselves to be engaged in precisely the 
same work that our forefathers awoke to when Paul 
Revere in his midnight ride summoned them to con- 
flict. And I believe it to be true that this is 
the conviction and the feeling of nearly all thought- 
ful and patriotic Americans. If here, as in England, 
the masses : can be blinded and misled by the news- 
paper and political Jingoes, then it is difficult 
to contemplate hopefully the future of the republic. 
In fact, the republic as we know it will have no 
future. 139 


In March, 1899, Jones wrote an article for the St. Louis 
Mirror , "The Menace of Militarism," in which he argued that the 
debate over imperialism was only one aspect of the larger 
question of militarism. He wrote against the proposal to 
increase the size of the army, saying that such a course would 
lead to the subversion of American ideas and the institution of 
a militaristic philosophy such as existed in Old World auto- 
cracies. He believed that this would mean higher taxes and 
cultural retrogression, and would turn the nation's young 
men into "uniformed loafers." He also pointed out that while 
the Spanish -American War had brought the question to public 
attention, the impulse toward militarism pre-dated the war: 
"The truth is, that ever since President Cleveland used Federal 
troops to invade a State and put down a labor strike, thus 
establishing a 'new precedent,' it has been the settled pur- 
pose of the great interests that have bought the Republican 
party organization, by putting up its campaign fund, to 
increase the regular army and to have it so stationed as to 
overawe the great cities." ° 

However, as late as April, 1900, Jones was declaring that 
the platform of 1900 would be a reaffirmation of the 
declarations of 1896. In a Jefferson day speech he declared 
that "the Democratic Platform of 1900 is already formulated," 
and in a letter to party publicist Willis J. Abbot Jones 
stated, : "There is no need of a long platform this year. The 

■ WttTT^^f«nM t »rei<im«MMg-gflre«>M»^^ 


reaffirmation of the Chicago Platform (which has been burned 

into the hearts and minds of the people) will cover most of 

the ground. The new issues can be covered in a few terse and 

weighty paragraphs." 141 Bryan also favored a second campaign 

on the platform of 1896, but Jones may have been even more 

adamant than Bryan in refusing to make concessions designed 

to win support in the East. When Bryan made friendly overtures 

to New York boss Richard Coker, Jones suggested that Tammany 

might be brought into line by force rather than by conciliation. 142 

Jones did not want the "sulkers or traitors of 1896" to be 

invited as leaders of the party, and stated that it would be 

better to lose with Bryan and the principles of 1896 than to win 

with a policy of expediency." 

At the Kansas City convention it was decided that 

imperialism and the "new issues" would be placed at the head 

of the platform as the leading questions of the campaign. Bryan 

had not favored this. In an article for the North American 

Review published in June he had written, "The issue presented 

in the campaign of 1900 is the issue between plutocracy and 

democracy." Jones had written the draft of the platform 

which was adopted but it is not known if he was responsible 

for the emphasis on imperialism. Senator James K. Jones of 

Arkansas, who had led the fight against ratification of the 

Treaty of Paris the year before, was chairman of the platform 

committee, and it may have been he who induced the change. 


The only major controversy over the platform involved Bryan's 
inslstance that a declaration in favor of free coinage of silver 
be included. Many party members had wished to see this issue 
bypassed since it was no longer a vote-winning question in the 
West and would be certain to alienate the East. 146 

The platform was a failure as a campaign device. The 
anti-imperialism pronouncements failed to arouse the attention 
of a public which had come to consider the acquisition of the 
Philippines and Puerto Rico a settled question. The money 
plank gave the Republicans a weapon to use against their opponent 
and permitted them to avoid a negative campaign of defending the 
administration's expansionist policies. However, no "issue" 
seems to have influenced the conduct of the campaign, except 
the issue of "Prosperity," and there the Republicans held an 
unassailable position. 147 Bryan's defeat was among the most 
decisive in United States history. 

The campaign of 1900 was Jones's last venture into 
politics. Less than a month after the election he and his 
wife sailed for Europe, where they would remain for the rest 
of Jones's life, except for a few brief visits to New York. 148 
On one of these occasions he brought his granddaughter 
Dorothy Martyn, Dora's oldest child, back to Europe with him 

to attend school. She became his frequent traveling companion 

j 149 

during the summers. Jones and his wife spent most of their 

time wandering from place to place, wintering in Egypt or on 


the Italian Riviera and spending the summers in Paris and at 
various German health resorts taking the "cures." In 1906 
he purchased the first of several automobiles he would own, 
a 24 horsepower Panhard. During that summer he made a number 
of "tours" of France, then the world's most automobile conscious 

nation, and the folowing spring he explored the roads of French 

Algeria and Tunesia. In that year his health began to fail, 

and in 1908 he suffered what was probably a heart attack while 

in Egypt. In 1910 he decided to settle down to live the 

life of a country gentleman. He purchased a chateau overlooking 

the tiny village of Dinan on the Ranee River in south Brittany. 152 

He returned to New York in the fall of 1912 for a short 

business trip and then sailed immediately for Italy, leaving 

his wife in New York. On the voyage he caught a cold, and upon 

arrival in Italy he went to the sanitarium of Dr. Oster at 

Ospedaletti. There he was confined to bed. He wrote a short 

i 154 

note to Dora, saying, "I have never felt so sick in my life." 

A week later he wrote: "I am terribly weak but the awful feeling 

of sickness has nearly passed away. I expect to leave my room 

tomorrow for the first time in two weeks .... It has been 

dreadful to be so sick and alone, but such is my fate. I will 

write more fully as soon as I am able. I can hardly hold the 

pen." Two weeks later, on January 27, 1913, he died. 


His remains were returned to New York and placed by the 

■I eg 

side of Eliza Jones in Greenwood Cemetary. Lily Jones sur- 
vived her husband for only two years, dying at a health resort 
in Sharon Springs, New York, in August, 1915. His brother 
George died less than a year later in his New York home on 
January 20, 1916. 158 


St. Louis Chronicle , n. d., clipping, JP. 

Jones to Abernethy, June 22, 1893, JP. 

Jones to Byars, July 11, 1893, Byars Papers. 

Ibid., July 14, 1893, Byars Papers. 


Ibid., July 30, 1893, Byars Papers. 

Ibid., July 31, 1893, Byars Papers. 


DonC. Seitz, Joseph Pulitzer, His Life and Letters 
(New York, 1924), 178-190; Allen Churchill, Park Row (New York, 
1958), 63. ~ 

Seitz, Pulitzer, His Life , 194. 

W. A. Swanberg, Pulitzer (New York, 1967), 182. 


Jacksonville Florida Times -Union . December 12, 1886; 
St. Louis Republic , November 24, December 5, 1888. 


St. Louis Republic , June 6, 1889. 


Ibid ., May 19, 1889. 



Swanberg, Pulitzer , 182; St. Louis Republic , December 11, 





Rochester Post -Express , Lockport Mirror , Albany Times - 
Union , Syracuse Herald , Washington Evening News , St. Louis Globe- 
Democrat , St. Louis Chronicle , undated clippings, JP. 


-••" Pittsburg Post , August 3, 1893, clipping, JP. 

Jones to Abernethy, September 5, 1893, JP. 


Seitz, Pulitzer, His Life , 193-194. 


Walt McDougall, This Is The Life ! (New York, 1925), 142. 


Seitz, Pulitzer, His Life , 194. 


Ibid ., 195. 


McDougall, The Life , 243. 


Walt McDougall, "Old Days on the World," American Mercury , 
IV (January, 1925), 24. 


Dreiser, Book About Myself , 469. 


Jones to Byars, August 30, September 13, 1893, Byars Papers, 


Ibid ., August 13, 1893, Byars Papers. 


Ibid ., January 5, 1894, Byars Papers. 


Ibid ., August 19, 1893, Byars, Papers. 


Ibid ., July 31, 1893, August 7, 1893, Byars Papers; 
St. Louis Mirror, May 19, 1896. 



Jones to Byars, August 7, 1893, Byars Papers, 


Ibid . , August 19, 1893, Byars Papers. 


Ibid . , August 14, 1893, Byars Papers. 


Ibid., July 7, 1894, Byars Papers. 


New York World, July 2, 1894. 


Ibid ., July 3, 1894. 


Ibid ., July 4, 1894. 



Seitz, Publizer, His Life , 196. 

New York World , July 5, 7, 9, 10, 13, 15, 1894. 


Seitz, Pulitzer, His Life, 196, 







Joseph Pulitzer to Jones, December 2, 1894, quoted in 
Charles H. Jones, Respondent, vs. Samuel Williams, Florence D. 
White, S. S. Carvalho and the Pulitzer Publishing Company, 
Appellants (St. Louis, 1896), 13. 


Jones to Pulitzer, December 25, 1894, quoted in Charles 
H. Jones, Respondent, 13-14. 


Ibid., 15. 




Ibid., 16. 




Ibid ., 17. 


Original contract, Charles H. Jones vs. Samuel Williams, 
et al . , Circuit Court archives, St. Louis, bundle 866A. Herein- 
after cited as bundle 866A. 


Pulitzer to Samuel Williams, February 8, 1895, quoted 
in Charles H. Jones, Respondent , 32r33. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , February 14, 1895. 


Charles H. Jones, Respondent , 38. 


Pulitzer to Jones, March 16, 1895, quoted in ibid . , 43. 


Charles H. Jones, Respondent , 50. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , October 3, 1895. 


"Affidavit of William C. Steigers, September 28, 1895," 
bundle 866A. 


L. B. Valliant, "Memorandum," bundle 866A. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , December 31, 1895, 


Ibid., March 2, 1896. 


Ibid., July 31, 1896. 




St. Louis Mirror, May 19, 1896. 



St. Louis Post-Dispatch , March 7, 17, April 2, 3, 4, 8, 


Ibid., April 14, 1895. 


St. Louis Mirror , March 5, 1896; Jones to Byars , April 
16, 1895, Byars Papers. 


St. Louis Post -Pis patch , May 3, 1895. 


Ibid., June 23, July 12, 16, 1895. 


Ibid., August 1, 7, 1895. 


"Pertile Springs Platform," draft copy, JP. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 4, 1895. 


Ibid., April 23, 25, May 21, 1895. 


Ibid., April 27, 1895. 


Ibid., May 12, 26, 1895. 


St. Louis Mirror, April 18, 1895. 


St. Louis Post -Dispatch , April 28, 1895. 


Ibid., April 9, May 21, 1895. 


Ibid., Akgust 30, 1895. 




Ibid., April 14, May 6, 8, June 11, 1895, 


Valliant, "Memorandum," bundle 866A. 


Solomon S. Carvalho to Jones, August 31, 1895, quoted 
in ibid . , bundle 866A. 


Ibid., September 7, 1895, quoted in Charles H. Jones, 
Respondent , 56 . 


Ibid., September 10, 1895, quoted in ibid ., 56, 


Jones to Pulitzer, September 14, 1895, quoted in ibid . , 



"Affidavit of Charles H. Jones," bundle 866A. 



St. Louis Post-Dispatch , October 12, 1895. 


Valliant, "Memorandum," bundle 866A. 


Jones to Pulitzer, December 25, 1894, quoted in Charles 
H. Jones, Respondent , 13-14. 


Jones to Byars, April 16, 1895; Lily Jones to Byars, 
April 18, 1896; Byars to Lily Jones, April 20, 1896, Byars Papers. 


Albert Lawson to Byars, June 15, 1896, Byars Papers, 


Ibid., July 5, 1897, Byars Papers, 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , August 6, 15, September 29, 1895. 


Pusateri, Businessman in Politics , 268. 




St. Louis Post Dispatch , April 16, 21, 1896, 


St. Louis Mirror , March 5, 1896; Pusateri, Businessman 
in Politics, 278. 


Charles Chapin, Charles Chapin's Story (New York, 1920), 



St. Louis Post-Dispatch , January 17, 21, February 11, 
June 1 , 1896 . 


Ibid., April 16, 1896. 



Ibid., June 20, 1896. 


Ibid., April 30, 1896. 


Nevins, Grover Cleveland , 684. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , November 23, 1895. 


William Jennings Bryan and Mary Baird Bryan, Memoirs 
of William Jennings Bryan (Philadelphia, 1925), 108; William 
Vincent Byars, An American Commoner: The Life and Times of 
Richard Parks Bland (Columbia, 1900), 234. 


Bryan, Memoirs, 108; "Chicago Platform of 1896, First 
Draft, June 17, 1896," JP. 


New York Times , July 7, 1896. 


Jones to Willis J. Abbot, April 10, 1900, JP. 


St. Louis Post -Pis patch, July 9, 1896. 




Porter and Johnson, Party Platforms , 97-100; "The 
Platform as Adopted," JP. 


Louis W. Koenig, Bryan: A Political Biography of William 
Jennings Bryan (New York, 1971), 188. 


"The Free Coinage Plank," Review of Reviews , XIV (August, 
1898), 1140-141. 


Charles M. Wilson, The Commoner William Jennings Bryan 
(New York, 1955), 209. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , July 10, 1896. 


Ibid., July 11, 1896. 


Ibid ., July 15, 1896; "The National Democratic Plat- 

Chicago Tribune , July 10, 1896, clipping, JP. 

form," JP. 



Paul W. Glad, The Trumpet Soundeth: William Jennings 
Bryan and His Democracy (Omaha, 1960), 172. 


William Jennings Bryan, The First Battle; A Story of 
the Campaign of 1896 (Chicago, 1896), 443; St. Louis Mirror , 
December 17, 1896. 


St. Louis Mirror , March 5, 1896. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , November 11, 1896. 




Ibid., November 12, 1896. 





Ibid., November 3, 4, 5, 1896. 


Williams to Jones, April 30, 1895, quoted in "Affidavit 
of Charles H. Jones," bundle 866A. 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch , November 13, 1896. 


Ibid . , November 7, 1896. 


Jones to Byars, November 7, 1896, Byars Papers. 


Supreme Court of Missouri, "Mandate," filed May 24, 
1897, bundle 866A. 


Seitz, Pulitzer, His Life , 233. 


St. Louis Mirror , September 24, 1896; St. Louis Globe- 
Democrat , undated clipping, JP. 


Ibid . 


St. Louis Globe-Democrat , July 10, 1898; St. Louis 
Mirror , July 14, 1898. 


St. Louis Mirror , July 28, 1898. 


[?] Democrat and Journal , undated clipping, JP. 


James K. Jones to Jones, February 23, 1899; Jones 
"Autobiography," 57. 


Chapin, Charles Chapin's Story . 171; New York Evening 
World , January 27, 1913, clipping, JP. "^ 




"Charles H. Jones," obit., Tobacco , January 30, 1913, 
clipping, JP. 


Jones to Byars, April 7, 1899; Byars to Jones, April 
10, 1899, Byars Papers. 


St. Louis Mirror, March 30, 1899. 


New York Tribune, April 18, 1899, clipping, JP. 



Jones to Byars, April 7, 1899, Byars Papers; Porter 
and Johnson, Party Platforms , 113. 


St. Louis Mirror, March 30, 1899. 


New York Evening Post , February 15, 1899, clipping, JP. 


St. Louis Mirror , March 30, 1899. 


Jefferson Day speech, manuscript; Jones to Abbot. 
April 10, 1900, JP. 


Koenig, Bryan: A Political Biography , 304. 


Jefferson Day speech, manuscript; unidentified news- 
paper clipping, JP. 


Paolo E. Coletta, "Bryan, McKin ley, and the Treaty of 
Paris," Pacific Historical Review , XXVI (May, 1957), 145; Glad, 
Trumpet Soundeth , 74. 


W. J. Bryan, "The Issue in the Presidential Campaign," 
North American Review, DXXII (June, 1900), 753. 



Glad, Trumpet Soundeth , 74; Bryan and Bryan, Memoirs , 




Thomas A. Bailey, "Was the Presidential Election of 1900 
a Mandate on Imperialism?" Mississippi Valley Historical Review , 
XXIV (June, 1937), 43. 


"Outline of Travel," pocket notebook 1910, original, JP. 


Dorothy Martyn is now Mrs. Carl G. Freeman, Bat Cave, 
North Carolina. 


Charles H. Jones, "From Paris to the Desert of Sahara," 
Automobile , XVII (October 10, 1907), 477-480; "Autoing in Algeria 
and Tunis," Automobile , XVIII (October 17, 1907), 527-530; "Auto- 
ing in Northern Africa," Automobile , XVII (November 14, 1970), 739- 


Jones to Dora Jones, December 15, 1907; ibid . , November 
1, 1908, original, JP. 



Notation for September 25, pocket notebook, 1910, 
original JP. 


Jones to Dora Jones, January 6, 1913, original JP. 




Ibid . , January 14, 1913, original JP. 


New York Sun , February 24, 1913, clipping, JP. 


Notation for Lily Jones, "Daily Reminder, 1940," 
original JP. 


New York Times , January 21, 1916. 





In 1901 A. S. Mann attempted to revivie the cross-Florida 
canal project and wrote to Jones to enlist his aid. His letters 
reached Jones in Egypt, where he and Mrs. Jones had taken 
residence to escape the cold and dampness of the European 
winter. Jones declined to join Mann in the project, saying: 
"I suppose you know that since my residence in Florida I have 
taken a prominent (or rather an influential) part in shaping 
Democratic party policies, and I am on record as opposed to 
Government undertakings such as the Nicaraguan and Florida 
canals would be." 

An assessment of Jones's place in history is made more 
difficult because he may have been more influential than he 
was prominent. He was not an office holder or a very well- 
known public figure in his own day, and he has been almost 
completely ignored by historians. Whatever influence he had 
on his times was exerted in the realm of ideas through his 
role as newspaper editor and publicist. Jones felt that he 
had played an important part in shaping the attitudes and 
opinions of both the general public and political leaderhsip, but 




he was almost certainly deluded in this exalted opinion of 
himslef . Yet even a critical contemporary writer for the 
St. Louis Mirror could declare that Jones was a primary 
originator of Populist ideology and that he supplied the 
"brains" for the 1896 campaign while Bryan furnished only the 
voice. Whatever his place in moulding the events and ideas 
of his day, it is clear that the times impressed themselves on 

During his years as a magazine writer and editor in 
New York he reflected the prevailing attitudes among intellectuals 
which have come to be called social Darwinism. His desire for 
governmental reform, was typical of the era. His writings 
against Reconstruction were part of a larger body of literature 
which argued that the resolution of the race question in the 
South should be left in the hands of white southerners. 

In Florida Jones was one of a long line of promoters and 
publicists who made a career of stimulating development in the 
tropical frontier state. His cross-Florida canal plan, lobbying 
for harbor development, demands for municipal improvements, 
and defense of railroad land grants were in harmony with the 
attitudes evidenced by Governors Drew, Bloxham, and Fleming 
and with private citizens such as Henry M. Flagler and William D. 
Chipley. The campaign to bring the World's Fair to St. Louis 
and the promotion of Jacksonville's Sub-Tropical Exposition 
were conducted in this same spirit. 

» ™«»«Ki»fJ 



Jones is difficult to assess as a newspaper editor 

because he held ideas which were in part conservative and in 

}§=• ' 

II, part progressive. His practices of personal journalism and 



|| his belief that the editorial page was the heart of a newspaper 

were a continuation of traditional attitudes that had greatly 
diminished even in his own day. Yet his businessman's attitude 
toward the press, his concern with news gathering and wire 
services, and his role in establishing the national press 
organizations placed him aong the innovative editors of the 
Joseph Pulitzer period in American journalism. 

Jones must also be considered as a politician, for he 
Sir was not content to take part in the political process simply 

f|§ as an editor. He became involved in matters of practical 

politics. It is not clear whether Jones ever aspired to public 
office. The Florida election of the United States Senate in 
1887 and the Jones-Francis contest for a place in Cleveland's 
cabinet are instances which indicate that he may have wanted a 
public post on the state or national level. Indeed, it is 
difficult to believe that a man of Jones's vanity would not 
have been attracted by either of these positions, but Jones 
himself denied that he wished to hold office. As an editor, 
he used his position to advance the interests of politicians 
he favored, to attack politicians he did not favor, and to 
promote his own power in politics. He was not without 
principles, but he could repress principle for the sake of 
expediency. However, he does seem to have had a genuine concern 


for the general public good, although there certainly was 
an element of self-interest in adopting popular causes as 
newspaper policy. 

Hopefully, this study of the interaction of an 
individual with the men and ideas of his times will contribute 
to the better understanding of life in the second half of the 
19th century. 



Jones to A. S. Mann, February 9, 1901, Austin S. Mann 
Papers, P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, Gainesville. 

2 St. Louis Mirror, March 5, 1896; July 11, 1898. 

Jones, "Sketch of Life, 1895." 



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— • The Florida Times-Union, Our First One Hundred Years, 1864- 

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letter of Ashley D. Hunt to his wife," Florida Historical 
Quarterly , XXXI (January, 1953), 208-213. 

_________ Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Florida's Fighting Democrat . 

Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1950. 



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1877-1893 . Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 


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Newspapers : 

Albany (New York) Times-Union , n. d. 

Cleveland Leader . June 19, 1892. 

Denver Rocky Mountain News , September 1, 1895. 

Fernandina Florida Mirror. September 29, 1883; June 28, 1884. 

Gainesville ^Weekly Bee , June 30, 1882; February 2, 1883; January 19, 

Jacksonville Daily Florida Herald . May; 3, 1887. 

Jacksonville Florida Daily Times . 1881-1883. 

Jacksonville Florida Journal, June 26, July 3, 22, 28, August 28, 1884. 

Jacksonville Florida Times-Union . 1883-1913. 

Jacksonville Morning News . 1886-1887. 

Jacksonville News-Herald . 1887-1888. 

Jacksonville Weekly Florida Times . October 2, 1884. 


Lbckport (New York) Mirror, n. d. 

New York Evening Post , February 15, 1899. 

New York Evening World , January 27, 1913. 

New York Sun, February 24, 1913. 

New York Times , 1884-1916. 

New York Tribune , April 18, 1899. 

New York World , 1893-1894. 

Ocala Banner , April 4, May 23, August 28, 1885; February 19, July 
23, 30, August 6, 13, 20, 27, December 3, 1886; March 25, 
1887; May 18, June 22, 1888. 

Palatka Daily News , May 3, June 6, 11, 12, 13, July 2, 3, 1884; 
December 20, 1885; July 15, 1886; February 3, March 17, 
April 8, 10, 1887. 

Pensacola Commercial , 1882-1888. 

Pittsburgh Post , August 3, 1893. 

Rochester Post Express , n. d. 

Savannah Morning News , December 2, 1881. 

Springfield (Massachusetts) Sunday Union and Republican , November 
17, 1929. 

St. Louis Globe-Democrat , 1887-1897. 

St. Louis Chronicle , n. d. 

St. Louis Mirror , 1893-1899. 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch , 1887-1897. 

St. Louis Republic , 1887-1897. 

St. Louis Star-Sayings , n. . d . . 

||: St. Paul Dispatch , June 24, 1892. 






■"•Wwa 1 -!- ^ r-s tt^ py c 


Syracuse Herald , n. d. 

Tallahassee Land of Flowers , June 8, October 7, 1882; June 21, 1884. 

Tallahassee Weekly Florid ian, 1881-1887 . 

Tallahassee Weekly Tallahassean , July 14, 1886. 

Tampa Weekly Journal , March 14, 24, 31, 1887. 

Washington Evening News , n. d. 

Interview ; 

Freeman, Mrs. Carl G., Bat Cave, North Carolina, September 16, 1972. 

Florida State Documents : 

Acts and Resolutions Adopted by the Legislature of Florida at its 
Twelfth Session , Tallahassee: Charles E. Dyke, 1883. 

Journal of the Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of the 
State of Florida , Tallahassee: N. M. Bowen, .1885. 

Court Records: 

Charles H. Jones vs. Samuel Williams, et al 4 , Circuit Court archives, 
St. Louis, bundle 866A. 


Thomas S. Graham III was born August 11, 1943, in Miami, 
Florida. He was educated in the public schools of Ft. Lauderdale, 
graduating from Stranahan High School in June, 1961. He attended 
Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, for one year, and then en- 
rolled at Florida State University. He received a Bachelor of 
Arts degree in history in December, 1965, and a Master of Arts 
degree in history in August, 1967. From January, 1967, until 
July, 1969, he was a teacher and athletic coach in the secondary 
schools of Orange County, Florida. Since September, 1969, he has 
pursued work toward the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the 
University of Florida. During that time he has worked as a grad- 
uate teaching asssistant and as editorial assistant to the Florida 
Historical Quarterly . 

He is married to the former Susan Rae Kettlety of Orlando, 


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion 
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and 
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 



C C/>W?r» 

Samuel Proctor 
Professor of History 

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion 
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and 
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

^Wi-k,^,, Q Upl^ru^ 

Manning J. Dc 

Professor of/ Political Science 

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion 
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and 
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

E. A. Hammond 
Professor of History 

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion 
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and 
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

,yle N. McAlister 


Professor of History 

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion 
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and 
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

Ancil N. Payne 
Professor of History 

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion 
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and 
is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

Claude C. Sturgill 

Associate Professor of History 

This dissertation was submitted to the Department of History in the 
College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate Council, and was 
accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree 
of Doctor of Philosophy. 

June, 1973 


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