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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Western Carolinian

by Wiley J. Williams, 2006

The Western Carolinian was founded in Salisbury on 13 June 1820, with Jacob Krider and Lemuel Bingham as editors. The western counties of North Carolina, more sparsely populated than those in the east, had long needed a newspaper to voice its desire for equal representation in the state legislature and otherwise serve its interests. Salisbury, as the region's largest city, was an ideal location for such a paper. In most antebellum political newspapers, national politics received the majority of the editorial attention, but the Western Carolinian was a leader inFirst edition of the Western Carolinian, June 13, 1820. Image from the State Archives of North Carolina. the movement to increase coverage of state issues. The obvious determination of western North Carolina-so forcefully confirmed on the pages of the Carolinian-led other editors to take sides on these issues, which included the establishment of a public school system and a public college in the west, internal improvements, the convening of a constitutional convention, the need for a state penitentiary, the care of the handicapped, and free suffrage for all white males. Although it changed hands and political affiliations several times, the Western Carolinian remained a strong advocate of the economic growth and political rights of western counties until it ceased publication in 1844.


Thad Stem Jr., The Tar Heel Press (1973).

Additional Resources:

Search the Western Carolinian at the North Carolina Newspaper Digitization Project:  (accessed November 1, 2013).

Chaffin, Kathy. "Early Salisbury newspapers among those online." January 5, 2010 (accessed September 6, 2012).

"State Archives Launches Online Newspaper Collection." Federation Bulletin 30. No. 1. March 2010. p. 4.  (accessed September 6, 2012).

Rumple, Jethro. A History of Rowan County North Carolina Containing Sketches of Prominent Families and Distinguished Men with an Appendix. Salisbury. N. C.: J. J. Bruner. 1881. p.20-22, 323, 330.  (accessed September 6, 2012).

Image Credits:

"The first issue of the Western Carolinian a newspaper from Salisbury North Carolina, published by Krider and Bingham on Tuesday, June 13, 1820." State Archives of North Carolina.

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