The Texas National Register was begun at Washington-on-the-Brazos by Washington D. Miller and William H. Cushney with an extra on December 4, 1844, and they continued its publication through October 9, 1845. The Register was well printed and was larger and better edited than most contemporary newspapers. Miller served as editor of this four-column, four-page weekly, which sometimes grew to eight pages in special editions. Under the editorship of Miller and Cushney the National Register became involved in political controversy as a partisan organ favoring the policies of Sam Houston and Anson Jones. Through this newspaper, which enjoyed a large circulation in the United States, Houston and Jones attempted to gain more favorable annexation terms. Editorials in the Register against annexation in the late winter and early spring of 1845 were designed to convince Americans that Texans opposed joining the Union, but Miller's stand excited widespread popular protest from annexation supporters. Anson Jones suffered politically, as he was blamed for the Register's editorial opinions. Because of strong Texan public support for annexation, the press stratagem did not succeed in securing better terms; instead, Miller's newspaper campaign actually hastened annexation. However, it also persuaded some American politicians that the supporters of maintaining an independent Republic of Texas had potential political strength in Texas. The owners sold the National Register to John S. Ford and Michael Cronican when Austin again became the capital of Texas. Ford and Cronican brought the National Register to Austin, where they began printing it under the same name on November 15, 1845. Cushney may have briefly served as editor for the Austin paper. By January 1846 the new owners called the paper the Texas Democrat (see AUSTIN TEXAS DEMOCRAT).
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Marilyn M. Sibley, Lone Stars and State Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil War (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983). John Melton Wallace, Gaceta to Gazette: A Checklist of Texas Newspapers, 1813–1846 (Austin: University of Texas Department of Journalism, 1966).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Carole E. Christian,
“Texas National Register,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 25, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
August 1, 1995