By: Carole E. Christian

Type: General Entry

The Tarantula was an early newspaper published at Washington-on-the-Brazos in the Republic of Texas between late March or the beginning of April 1841 and January 1842. Anderson Buffington, a member of the recently organized Baptist church in that locality, along with Alfred Brigance, obtained the Emigrant's press after that paper folded, and began publishing this small weekly. Politically, the Tarantula favored Sam Houston. Editor Buffington, who later was ordained a minister, opposed the taverns of Washington-on-the-Brazos and advocated founding a temperance society. The Tarantula had continual difficulty obtaining a sufficient supply of paper. By early 1842 Buffington had quit printing the paper because too few of the town's residents could afford to buy it. Buffington proposed to publish a new paper, the Texas Emigrant, at Sarahville, but there is no evidence that he carried out this project.

Worth Stickley Ray, Austin Colony Pioneers (Austin: Jenkins, 1949; 2d ed., Austin: Pemberton, 1970). 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). John Melton Wallace, Gaceta to Gazette: A Checklist of Texas Newspapers, 1813–1846 (Austin: University of Texas Department of Journalism, 1966). Mrs. Jonnie Lockhart Wallis, Sixty Years on the Brazos: The Life and Letters of Dr. John Washington Lockhart (1930; rpt., New York, 1966). Washington County Scrapbook, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Journalism
  • Newspapers

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

Carole E. Christian, “Tarantula,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 21, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/tarantula.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.