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The Great Western History

Prospectus for Publishing “The Great Western”

            Convinced that the present prosperity and future prospects of this section of the State – its flourishing condition, and the inducements that are held out for the investment of capital in the various branches of Agriculture, Manufacture, and the Mechanic Arts; the fertility of the soil, and salubrity of climate, the increase of population, and the thrifty pursuit of life attendant thereon – require, and will sustain, the publication of another paper, the undersigned beg leave to present to a generous and enlightened community The Great Western, as a journal calculated to fully meet the exigency, and give satisfaction to all who may favor it with their patronage.

            The principles of The Great Western will be essentially Whig – Democratic Whig. It will support the cause of constitutional liberty, social order, and the supremacy of the laws with whatever energy and ability the undersigned may possess. Expose corruption, peculation, Jacobinism and demagogueism, wherever known to exist and whomsoever practiced. It will  fearlessly contend for the independence and rights of The People against the stealthy and corrupting encroachments of federal power and patronage, and will be the earnest advocate for honesty, fidelity and true republicanism in government officers, and a thorough and genuine retrenchment and reform in government expenses – in the advocacy of these measures, the undersigned will not be unmindful of the common courtesies of social life, or unjustly wound the feelings of any for an honest difference of opinion; the demon of intolerance is an alien to our bosom, and shall find no favor in our practice, or sully the pages of our journal.

            Having been absent from the State several years past, the undersigned candidly admit that they are unprepared to hazard the expression of an opinion in regard to the extensive systems of internal improvements now being prosecuted by the State. It will require much reflection and a greater familiarity with the resources of the state, and the probable results of the undertaking, to enable them to express an opinion worth the hearing.

            As the perpetuation of the independence of our beloved country , and the increase of its greatness, depend upon the intelligence of its people, our paper will be ever energetic in illuminating the public mind upon all subjects of national concernment; and our strenuous efforts will be to inspire patriotic feelings in the bosoms of our citizens, and thus invigorate them for the fulfillment of their high responsibilities, and make them the strength and glory of the nation. Every measure calculated to advance the interest of the country will meet approval, and find an advocate in The Great Western; and men whose services, talents, and principles merit the favor of freemen will be cordially supported.

            More particularly shall our journal be devoted to the interests of Illinois. Looking upon this state as inferior to none in the Union; marking its vast natural advantages; the enterprize (sic) of its inhabitants; and its rapid advancement to greatness, our paper will ever be the record of events and proceedings which take place within its limits, and will be an efficient auxiliary in carrying out every measure that will further the advancement of the State, develope (sic) its resources, protect its rights, and cherish its institutions.

              The Great Western will be a medium for the diffusion of general intelligence – National and State Politics, Commerce, Manufactures, Mechanics, Agriculture, Congressional and Legislative Proceedings, Education, Morality and Religion, shall all claim attention, and every variety of miscellaneous reading will be embraced within its columns; and thus fit our paper for the gratification of readers of every taste, and while it informs the mind, it will improve the heart.            

TERMS – The Great Western will be punctually issued every week on a fine sheet of imperial paper, and with entire new type, for $3 per annum, payable within the first six months, or $3.50 if longer deferred.

J.R. and H.H. Cannon

Belleville, Illinois

April 25, 1839