George Wilkins Kendall, who founded the New Orleans Picayune in 1837, was a restless, impatient, and colorful character in an exciting era. For thirty years he guided the Picayune and built it into a powerful force in behalf of America’s westward expansion. Kendall’s vigorous editorials championed the cause of the infant Republic of Texas. When the Texan Santa Fe Expedition was organized in 1841, for the purpose of occupying New Mexico (then still under Mexican rule), Kendall left his editorial chair to participate—and was marched off to Mexico as a captive for seven months when the expedition was overwhelmed at Santa Fe. A few years later, when Kendall accompanied American forces invading Mexico during the Mexican War, he became America’s first war correspondent—reporting directly from the battlefront. His effective “courier expresses” brought the first news of each battle to an eager nation, including President Polk, who often read news of the war in Kendall’s Picayune before hearing it from his field commanders.
|Publisher:||University of Oklahoma Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Fayette Copeland was Professor and Director of the School of Journalism at the University of Oklahoma. His interest in the rollicking “penny press” led to a meeting with Kendall’s daughter, Georgina Kendall Fellowes, who gave him access to abundant family letters, manuscripts, and documents.
Robert W. Johannsen, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was the author of To the Halls of the Montezumas: The Mexican War in the American Imagination.