On November 29, 1861, the Washington Statesman begins publication in Walla Walla. Brothers William Smith and R. B. Smith hire typesetter R. R. Rees to assist them in putting out the four-page, six-column paper. The Smiths are politically independent, but adhere to Unionist sympathies during the War Between the States. In 1864, they will change the name of the paper to the Walla Walla Statesman.
Many of the readers were miners and paid the subscription with gold dust. In December 1865, Democrat William Newell took over as publisher.
Robert A. Bennet, Walla Walla, Portrait of a Western Town: 1804-1899 (Walla Walla: Pioneer Press Books, 1980), 52.
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