Established on March 7, 1823, the Western Censor & Emigrants’ Guide was launched nearly one year after the appearance of the city’s first newspaper, the Indianapolis Gazette. Begun by two Kentuckians, Harvey Gregg and Douglass Maguire, the Western Censor operated out of a house on Washington Street owned by Gregg.

Western Censor, & Emigrants Guide, Volume 1, Number 15, June 25, 1823.
Credit: Western Censor, & Emigrants Guide

On October 19, 1824, Gregg sold his interest in the newspaper to John Douglass, who had established the Western Clarion in Madison, Indiana, before becoming the state printer in Corydon in 1823. In the fall of 1824, Douglass moved to the new state capital, Indianapolis, and purchased an interest in the Western Censor. Douglass and Maguire, who would later serve as a state representative and Indiana auditor, operated the newspaper until January 11, 1825, when it was renamed the Indiana Journal.

The Western Censor strongly opposed Democratic candidate Andrew Jackson’s campaign for the White House in the 1824 presidential election, which saw Jackson competing for the presidency with John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and William Crawford (Maguire and Clay were friends). The newspaper continued its opposition to Jackson and his followers after the election.

Revised March 2021
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