spacer What was The Origional Buffalonian?

Once upon a time there was a Western New York newspaper called The Daily Buffalonian.

On Christmas morning, in 1837, this little sheet made its appearance; weekly, under the auspices of an association of journeymen printers. A little later (winter of 1837-8) it was issued as a daily by F. B. Ward & Co. The anonymous editor was known as George Arlington, probably a pen-name for Thomas L. Nichols. The Daily Buffaloniem appears to have begun in the spring of 1838. It was the time of the Patriot War, and the paper throve on excitement and unscrupulous personal- ities. Nichols left, and started another sheet, the Mercury (q. v.). As editor of the Buffalonian he was succeeded by J. W. Dwinelle, who made it more respectable but less popular. In 1839 it passed to N. B. Stimpson, Charles D. Ferris being its chief writer. On December 11, 1839, David M. Keeler became editor and proprietor of the Daily Buffalonian, at which date, under the same name, it appeared as Vol. 1, No. 1.'' It ceased to be pub- lished soon after. Thomas L. Nichols was something of a figure in his day in Buffalo. A native of New Hampshire, he was 23 years old when he came to this city in the autumn of 183?. He wrote for the Commercial Advertiser, over the pea-name of ''Walter Arlington,'' and sent Patriot War news to the New York Herald. An early Buffalo pamphlet is his ''Address delivered at Niagara Falls on the evening of December 29, 1838, the anniversary of the burning of the Caroline'' (Buffalo: Charles Paxon, 1839). Too free a pea on the Buffalonian, in comments on men and events connected with the arrest and trial of Benjamin Bathbun, resulted in the total wrecking of the office of that paper, by a mob which also planned to tar and feather the editor, but he escaped. In June, 1839, he was arrested for libel, tried and convicted, a part of his sentence being four months in jail- He served his full term in the old jail, on Batavia street (Broadway), meanwhile writing ''A Journal in Jail," which was published in Buffalo in 1840; a silly book. On the eve of his release a benefit was given for him at a local theater. The bills and tickets bore pictures of prison bars, and the performance netted over $1,000. On the day he was set free ''a splendid collation'' was prepared for him at the old Mansion Rouse, but he says he fled to the woods. He soon organized the Buffalonian Free Press Association, capital $10,000, himself editor and director

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spacer The Buffalo Historical Society owns one of the $50 stock certificates signed by Nichols and ornamented with his portrait against prison bars; but nothing came of it. Nichols-for "a certain sum of money"-dropped all action against the wreckers of his office, the Buffaionian suspended and he left town. Re was later employed on a newspaper in Rochester and probably else- where, for he roamed far and wide. In 1861 he issued one number of a weekly newspaper in Now York ''before the attack on Fort Sumter, and when it was hoped and believed peace would he preserved.'' The war nipped his enterprise in the bud; without issuing a second number lie took refuge in England. In London in 1864 he published ''Forty Years of American Life,'' in two volumes; reissued, London, 1874. It contains reminiscences of Buffalo, the Lakes, etc., of some interest. Charles Albert Wilson, who had been a morocco-dresser on Oak street, became employed on the Buffalonian in 1838 and from the nature of his work the claim was afterwards made that lie was ''the first commercial editor'' in Buffalo. He later joined the staff of the Commercial, and was known around town as ''Old Statistics.''

*The Buffalonian. August. 1892. Monthly. Amateur. C. H. Sellers and T. A. Mitchell, editors and proprietors, 490 West avenue.

 

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