Morehouse Parish is located in rural northeast Louisiana on the state’s border with Arkansas. European settlement of the area began in the late 1790s under the leadership of the Dutch entrepreneur and Indian agent Philip Hendrik Nering Bögel, who went by the pseudonym Baron de Bastrop. Spanish colonial officials granted Bastrop a large tract of land along the Ouachita River, but he had little success in attracting settlers. The land was eventually sold to Abraham Morehouse, a New Yorker, whose name was given to Morehouse Parish when it was created in 1844. By the late 19th century, the parish’s population had grown to about 18,000. Its economy at that time was based primarily on cotton and lumber.
The Morehouse Clarion was founded in 1874 in the community named after Bastrop. The Clarion was a typical small-town newspaper that advertised itself as “devoted to politics, agriculture, home interests, and the material development of the country.” Edited for most of its history by Andrew Capers McMeans (1849-1900), it was published weekly in four pages. The front page carried general-interest essays and fiction reprinted from other sources. Political reporting and editorials endorsed the Democratic Party but opposed the New Orleans Democratic political machine, including the Louisiana Lottery, a revenue-raising scheme widely regarded as a corrupting influence on state politics. Other notable topics of reporting included efforts to attract immigrants to the area and the post-Reconstruction exodus of African Americans to the North. The paper carried numerous advertisements for local businesses, as well as church news, occasional obituaries, and the minutes of the police jury, the governing body of the parish.
Publication ceased in 1904.