The St. Louis Leader was the original "great religious daily" of St. Louis, though it flavored its religion largely with Democratic politics. Its putative head and founder was Charles L. Hunt. Dr. J.V. Huntington, then conducting The Metropolitan, a Catholic magazine in Baltimore, was secured as editor-in-chief, and the paper started March 10, 1855, as a weekly and became a daily on October 13, 1856, with a "long, long purse," as was announced, and, for those days, a large staff, including Donald McLeod, William A. Seay, and Edward W. Johnston. The aim was to make it the organ of the Democracy...Mr. Johnston, who has been associated with the Washington Intelligencer, Richmond Whig, and New Orleans Crescent, became editor in 1858, Dr. Huntington retiring, and soon afterward purchased Mr. Hunt's interest; but as the contest for supremacy with the Republican had been won by the latter, the Leader became independent in politics and in a few months was discontinued.
(From the Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri edited by Howard L. Conard, 1901).
Merged with the Evening Pilot in 1856, after which the paper was known as a Democratic party organ. Established the Sunday Leader in 1857. Charles Hunt purchased the paper in 1857 and made Edward Johnson the editor.
Var.: St. Louis Daily Leader.