The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.XX. Newspapers Since 1860
§ 9. Weekly Papers; The Independent
Independent political thought and discussion were greatly strengthened by the growth of weekly papers which were established or which became prominent just after the war. The Independent, founded as a progressive and liberal religious journal in 1848, had been a powerful anti-slavery force, a leading journal of political, literary, and social, as well as of religious discussion. When Henry Ward Beecher took the editorship in 1861 he said he “would assume the liberty of meddling with every question which agitated the civil or Christian community,” and in doing so he wrote, in this weekly newspaper, and in the Christian Union, now the Outlook, of which he became editor in 1870, some of the strongest editorials in the American press. “It is the aim of the Christian Union to gospelize all the industrial functions of life,” Beecher wrote. These two are but the most conspicuous of a large class of religious journals, more nearly newspapers than magazines, which had much popularity and influence as organs of general discussion through the years of Reconstruction.