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WESTERN ADVOCATE

WESTERN ADVOCATE. The Western Advocate was published in Austin between February 1843 and February 1844 and was considered to be a revival of Samuel Whiting's Austin City Gazette, which had ceased publication late in 1842. The Western Advocate was owned by James Webb and edited by George Knight Teulon. It generally appeared biweekly, except for a hiatus in the summer of 1843, when Teulon was ill. At first the paper was greeted warmly by other papers in the Republic of Texas. The Houston Morning Star called it "a neat, well printed and well conducted journal, [which] ably advocates the interests of the West, which, the editor justly remarks are identical with the true interests of the whole of Texas." The Galveston Texas Times spoke of it in a similar vein. However, this state of affairs did not last very long; the Western Advocate soon emerged as the voice of the Western, anti-Sam Houstonqv politics of Texas. To judge by the few surviving issues, reprinted excerpts, and rebuttals of its views by other newspapers, it functioned primarily as a political paper. It carried little local news and few advertisements but stressed whatever national and international news it could glean from infrequent exchanges with other papers. Austin was isolated from the rest of the republic, its population reduced, its business nonexistent, and its few inhabitants determined to hold on to the governmental archives (see ARCHIVE WAR). The Western Advocate opposed Houston's removal of the government from Austin, his naval policies, his Indian treaties, and the armistice with Mexico. Perhaps the most bizarre incident in the life of the Western Advocate was its announcement of an imaginary plot by Sam Houston to turn Texas over to the British. As condemned by the San Augustine Red-Lander for its fantasy, the plot took this turn. According to Teulon, Houston would work to see that Texas was returned to Mexican control, in return for which Great Britain would buy Texas from Mexico. Houston's alleged reward was to receive the title of Marquis of San Jacinto and an annual pension of £5,000 for life. After this story, the Western Advocate languished and was little noticed by its rivals. Sometime in February 1844 Teulon published his final issue, presented a moving valedictory, and announced his intention of leaving Texas. The Morning Star noted the demise of the paper and generously hailed Teulon as one of the "ablest and most indefatigable champions of the people of Western Texas." The Red-Lander later hailed the newly established La Grange Intelligencer as the successor to the Western Advocate, the voice of western Texas.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

San Augustine Red-Lander, November 25, 1843. Marilyn M. Sibley, Lone Stars and State Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil War (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983). Thomas W. Streeter, Bibliography of Texas, 1795–1845 (5 vols., Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1955–60).

A. E. Skinner

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

A. E. Skinner, "WESTERN ADVOCATE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/eew10), accessed September 01, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.