Tuesday, February 3, 2009

German-language press is part of historic Nashville

The Tennessee State Newspaper

While it claimed to be "The Only German Daily and Weekly in City and State," the Tennessee Staatszeitung (literally translated, the "Tennessee State Newspaper") was just one of many German-language newspapers in Nashville and Tennessee less than a century and a half ago.

The Staatszeitung's competitors included the Südliches Post-Journal (Memphis), the German Gazette, the Cumberland Blätter (1863), the Nashviller Journal (1865), the Nashviller Demokrat (1866), the Tennessee Tägliche (1866), Der Emigrant und Beobachter im Süden (1871), and the Tennessee Post (1873).

The Tennessee Staatszeitung's claim to fame - being the only German paper in the state with both a daily and weekly edition - was soon lost, or at least shared, when the Nashville Demokrat launched a weekly edition called the Wöchentlicher Nashviller Demokrat.

German-language newspapers were hailed as vital to that immigrant community's assimilation, at least in this speech given on German-American Day at the Exposition launching Nashville's Centennial Park in 1897. The speech was picked up by the New York Times and is excerpted here.

The Hispanic Nashville Notebook will be posting additional information about the Staatszeitung and Nashville's German community over the next few weeks, thanks to the research conducted by Robert Donald Rogers in his 1975 dissertation The Tennessee Staatszeitung.

1 comment:

  1. This is fascinating - hope Councilman Crafton and his ilk read this. I look forward to learning more.


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