New Orleans Democrat


The New Orleans Democrat, the official organ of the Louisiana Democratic Party, was established in December 1875 by Robert Tyler (1816-1877), eldest son and former private secretary of President John Tyler. Although he was a leading figure in Pennsylvania politics following his father’s presidency, Tyler’s Southern sentiments earned him enemies, and in 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War, he returned to his native Virginia and accepted a post in the Confederate treasury. Tyler later practiced law in Montgomery, Alabama, served as the state’s Democratic chairman, and edited a Montgomery newspaper. His association with the New Orleans Democrat was brief. After going through various owners and managers, in 1876 the paper came under the control of Henry J. Hearsey (1810-1900), a well-known Louisiana journalist.

True to its title, the Democrat’s focus was on state politics. Political speeches, letters, and other reports on Reconstruction-era topics filled many of its pages. The rest of the four-page daily journal consisted of miscellaneous local, national, and international news, together with market news and advertisements. A regular “amusements” column carried news of plays, operas, concerts, and public balls. Serialized fiction and poetry appeared in some issues. Of special interest are original political cartoons by S.W. Bennett.

The New Orleans Democrat was published briefly as the New Orleans Evening Democrat [LCCN: sn88064615] in late 1876 before changing its title again the following January to the New Orleans Daily Democrat [LCCN: sn83026413]. It was eventually consolidated with the New Orleans Times [LCCN: sn83016550] to form the Times-Democrat [LCCN: sn83016709], which by the early 20th century had achieved national prominence, partly for its Latin American reporting.