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Slocum, Milton (1803–unknown)

Robert Bruce Blake Biography Entry

Milton Slocum, early newspaper publisher, was born in Massachusetts in 1803 and moved to Natchitoches, Louisiana, in the late 1820s. After a short stay there, Slocum, who had learned the printing trade, was apparently encouraged by Joseph Durst to move to Nacogdoches and establish a newspaper. Slocum arrived in Nacogdoches on June 12, 1829. He filed his application for citizenship before the ayuntamiento in June 27, stating that he was Catholic, a printer, unmarried, and twenty-six years of age. One week after his arrival, Slocum's "equipage to print papers" was brought in by "three American youths." On August 4, 1829, the alcalde, José Ignacio Ybarbo, wrote to the political chief to inform him of the publication of a newspaper named the Nacogdoches Mexican Advocate. It is not known exactly when the first edition of the paper appeared, but it was in print by September 4 and thus antedated the Austin Gazette, published at San Felipe de Austin, by more than three months. No copies of the paper, which was written in both English and Spanish, are known to exist, but published excerpts suggest that it was aimed at attracting prospective settlers. The paper ceased publication about the time of the Law of April 6, 1830, which barred further immigration from the United States. Slocum subsequently sold his press to Nacogdoches merchants William G. Logan and Henry Raguet and evidently purchased a plantation; in the censuses of 1832 and 1833 he is listed as a farmer.

Eugene C. Barker, "Notes on Early Texas Newspapers," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 21 (October 1917). Robert Bruce Blake Research Collection, Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University; Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; Texas State Archives, Austin; Houston Public Library, Houston. Douglas C. McMurtrie, "Pioneer Printing in Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 35 (January 1932). Marilyn M. Sibley, Lone Stars and State Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil War (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983).

Categories:

  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Publishers and Executives

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

Robert Bruce Blake, “Slocum, Milton,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 21, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/slocum-milton.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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