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Illinois Republican History

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Formerly The Star of the West

The first issue was made April 12, 1823. The mission of the Republican was to advcate the cause of the Convention party [which favored slavery in Illinois], and it was their recognized organ. The company was correctly supposed  to be composed of the following named gentlemen, and leaders of the pro-slavery party: Hon. Theophilus W. Smith, the senator from Madison county; Emanuel J. West, member from Madison in the Legislature; and William Kinney, senator from St. Clair. Senator Smith was the reputed editor and furnished the leading editorials. He had, prior to his coming west, considerable journalistic experience in New York, and from that fact, it was supposed, possessed the necessary qualifications to cope with his formidable rival and opponent Hooper Warren and his corps of able contributors to the Spectator. But the sequel proved, however much ability he possessed, his cause was not just, and freedom, right and justice prevailed. Mr. Smith was a smooth, plausible writer. His articles read well, but there was a vein of sophistry running through them that was apparent to the honest seeker after the truth...
The publication of the Republican was continued until July 28, 1824, a few days before the election which by a large majority decided that freedom was the normal condition of the state of Illinois...The mission of the paper was ended and its suspension was sudden, and it was never afterwards revived. 
(From The History of Madison County, Illinois, W.R. Brink & Co., 1882)