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Publication Name:

St. Louis Beacon

Years in print:

1829- 1832


The name [Enquirer] was changed to the Beacon, [Charles] Keemle and Charles Orr ran the Beacon for several years but then discontinued it in 1832...
With Charles Keemle editing the St. Louis Beacon, Senator [Thomas Hart] Benton had a newspaper to promote himself and his political causes. To keep the paper afloat, Benton worked to have the Beacon publish government announcements and laws, at the expense of the opposition Republican. By the summer the Beacon had the state contract for publishing Missouri laws. The Beacon endorsed both Benton's policies and President Jackson. Keemle quickly found himself in legal trouble when the editors of a rival newspaper, the St. Louis Times, sued him for libel because of the 1830 state election attacks and won its case with a judgment of $5,000. After that scandal, major subscribers and patrons canceled their patronage. 
The Beacon's editorial policy underwent a slow evolution that led to its demise. The Beacon backed Benton and Jackson's opposition to the national bank. The Beacon recorded the terrible quarrel between Major Thomas Biddle and the Jacksonian Congressman Spencer Pettis that led to the deaths of both in a duel. Jackson supporters endorsed R.W. Wells over William H. Ashley to replace Pettis. Wavering, the Beacon appeared to favor Ashley. At that time Keemle announced that his failing health forced him to offer the Beacon for sale. After the election went to Ashley, Benton was furious; the true Jacksonian Democrats had lost the seat. By 1832 the Beacon failed to please any political faction. For the 1832 election, the Beacon supported Jackson but opted to disagree with his bank policy. On November 29, 1832, Keemle stepped down as editor of the Beacon, and its days were numbered. 
(From Rising on the River by Frederick A. Hodes, 2009).

Charles Keemle, owner, purchased the Missouri Advocate and St. Louis Enquirer and changed its name to the St. Louis Beacon, with the first issue appearing March 3, 1829. Subscriptions were sold at $3.00 a year. When the business hit on hard times, Keemle listed it for sale in November, 1831. It is not known what response he got, but after another year, the paper was shut down.

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