History of Early Amateur Journalism in Maryland


MARYLAND IN THE EARLY DAYS of amateur journalism played a very prominent part in its affairs, its activity being largely focused in Baltimore. In August, 1872, a Baltimore A.P.A. was formed with A. H. Canby as President, and C. Taylor Jenkins as Secretary. In 1873 H. F. Powell became President and George Fawsett Vice-President. Next year Jenkins was President. On August 15, 1878, a new organization was formed called the Maryland Amateur Journalists and Literary Association. J. Edgar Wilson was President, J. C. France Treasurer, and M. Lehmayer Official Editor. In 1881 James L. Elderdice became President, and Joseph M. Salabes Secretary. A Frederick A.P.A. was organized in 1882 with Frank A. Doll as President.


The first amateur journal in Maryland seems to have been the Olio, published in Baltimore in 1870 by George H. Daily. It was followed in 1872 by the Baltimore Amateur, issued by A. H. Canby. The same year James S. Calwell published Briars' Journal. Later in the year George Fawsett, afterwards a well known actor, was added to the staff, and the paper's name was changed to the Amateur World. The Young Idea, a large paper, was first edited by Jesse Higgins, and later by E. K. Canby, brother of A. H. Canby. Also in 1872 the Amateur Journal was published by Warfield, Jenkins and Cator, and the Press by H. F. Powell. In 1876 Joseph M. Salabes, one of the most distinguished amateurs of the South, issued the Beacon, and during the next four years 37 papers were published in Baltimore. Prominent among them were the Acme edited by William L. McDowell, afterward a leading Methodist clergyman, the Baltimore Star by M. Lehmayer, the Excelsior by J. Edgar Wilson, and the Jewel by J. C. France, afterwards United States Senator from Maryland. Thomas F. Hitselberger issued the Lone Star in 1876, the Monumental in 1878, and the same year the Manifest, which was a weekly. Percy H. Gladstone was active in Baltimore in 1899.


Outside of Baltimore, in Centerville, James L. Elderdice in 1876 issued the Champion. Elderdice was a leading amateur poet who won the National laureateship in 1881. In Lutherville, John C. Heilig published an amateur weekly called the Bee. In 1878 the Boys' and Girls' Own was published by Charles A. Rettaliato in Frederick, and in 1882 that city became a lively amateur center. Among its papers were the Gleaner, Frank A. Doll, editor; the Eagle, Harry W. Doll, editor; the Aurora, edited by F. B. Phodes, and the Moon by P. McCleery. In 1887 from Towson O. I. Yellott published the Enterprise, in 1890 A. E. Baker issued the Spectator from Embla, and in 1902 from Preston came the Boys' Friend, edited by W. D. Bradley.


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