Thibodaux Commercial Journal
Charles Henry Neuville (C. N.) Dupre and his brother Ferdinand Dupre founded the Commercial Journal [LCCN: sn88064093] in 1903 in Thibodaux, Louisiana, a small town at the heart of south Louisiana’s sugar-growing region. Though Ferdinand set off on his own after a few years, Charles would remain with the Journal until his retirement in 1954, six years before his death. The word “Thibodaux” had been added to the paper’s title by 1915, but its unusual motto was retained: “Think not lightly of never so weak an arm which strikes with the Sword of Justice,” a quote from Renaissance poet Sir Philip Sidney’s The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia.
Originally published in French and English, by the time of World War I, French-language content in the weekly, four- to six-page Journal had been reduced to little more than a “feuilleton” (serialized fiction). The rest of the paper consisted of miscellaneous news, with an emphasis on local topics, including business, education, civic improvements, the south Louisiana oil and gas boom, clubs, churches, charities, fraternal organizations, fairs and festivals, and sports (mostly baseball). A two-column editorial offered Dupre’s opinions on subjects ranging from state politics to movie theaters. It was published adjacent to a regular “Duz U Kno?” column, a collection of random, one-sentence observations possibly intended to stimulate conversation. The Journal also printed advertisements, charters of local businesses, and the minutes of the Lafourche Parish police jury, the governing body of the parish.