Start The Presses

July 1, 1894

Three of the city’s biggest newspapers — The Appeal (founded 1840, first published in 1841), The Avalanche (1857) and The Commercial (1889) — merged to create The Commercial Appeal. In its first edition, its editors described it as Democratic leaning and determined to focus on wrongdoing of public servants.

The best service that can be done a political party is to hold it in the right path and to save it from bad men or evil influences. Every public office should be administered as a public trust …

We shall endeavor to make The Commercial Appeal a clean and wholesome, while a newsy and progressive, paper, moral in its tone and on the side of every cause that promise to promote good morals.

Among the subjects tackled in the debut edition:

  • Voting registration: Voter rolls indicated 4,931 were registered to vote, including 843 who were "colored."
  • Charity: There is in this city, among those who devote time and attention to the affairs of charity, a much felt want for an old woman’s home, where the deserving destitute old women of the city may find a home and shelter from cold and hunger.
  • Crime: Detective Wolff made a rather important arrest yesterday afternoon in the person of Dell Tiffany, a young man with a penchant for soaking diamond rings and bracelets. When the young fellow, who claims to hail from New York, was first arrested he denied any criminal actions and was inclined to brazen the matter out …
    After Dell had been behind bars for some little time he weakened and confessed that a pair of bracelets, set with diamonds, which he pawned yesterday had been stolen …

  • Sports: In baseball, Memphis 8, Nashville 7.
    Memphis made eight errors. Of course, so long as the Champions win nobody need complain how many errors they make … Memphis played putrid ball. That’s a fact.

The first CA, a 20-page Sunday edition, sold for five cents.

Adams and Reese
Adams and Reese