New Orleans Bulletin

Orleans Parish

The New Orleans Bulletin, published daily in four to eight pages from 1874 to 1876, claimed to have the largest circulation of any newspaper in the city at that time. Reporting covered a mix of local, national, and international topics. “Local color” pieces are of particular interest and include accounts of various New Orleans entertainment venues, from the French opera and horse races to boxing matches and billiard halls. Levees and the improvement of the Mississippi River were often discussed, including the system of jetties constructed by engineer James B. Eads in 1876 to stop the river from silting up. Sections on finance, commerce, and marine and river news are found in most issues, as well as a commercial directory and occasional charters for local businesses. News from Mexico and Cuba, countries with which New Orleans had strong commercial ties in the 19thcentury, was also frequently included.

Editors Daniel C. Byerly (ca. 1826-1874) and Page M. Baker (1840-1910) declared that in politics, the Bulletin would oppose “carpet-baggers, scalawags, and usurpers.” Among the politicians it criticized were governor William Pitt Kellogg and state senator William Jasper Blackburn, formerly editor of the Homer Iliad [LCCN: sn85034320], one of Louisiana’s most contentious pre-Civil War Republican newspapers. The tension finally led to bloodshed on December 26, 1874, when Byerly encountered ex-governor Henry Clay Warmoth on a street in New Orleans and began attacking him with a cane. Warmoth had recently published disparaging comments about the Bulletin in another newspaper. In self-defense, he pulled a knife and stabbed Byerly to death.