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The Reporter and Fredericton Advertiser

The Reporter and Fredericton Advertiser

New Brunswick Reporter and Fredericton Advertiser

The New Brunswick Reporter and Fredericton Advertiser (Fredericton-based weekly newspaper) was first published on 23 November 1844 by James Hogg, an Irish-born Canadian who had received his journalistic training in Saint John with the New Brunswick Courier before moving to Fredericton. Hogg created the newspaper as a family publication that would highlight local and international news, government happenings (which tended to side with the Conservative party), agricultural and mercantile interests, as well as showcase local and international literature.

Known mainly as a poet, and publishing a book of his works in 1825, Hogg dedicated multiple columns of the New Brunswick Reporter to poetry and short stories mainly written by local authors. While Hogg often contributed much of his own work to the paper, there were also reprinted essays and poems from various international papers (from Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Belfast, among others) and many anonymously signed pieces of poetry. Local authors that benefited from publication in the New Brunswick Reporter include Peter John Allan and Julia Catherine Hart, who both gained local notice and later international reputations from their pieces in the newspaper. Gradually diminishing from multiple columns to one, the poetry contained in the New Brunswick Reporter was written by poets from around the world, yet served as a representation of the attitudes and concerns of Conservative New Brunswickers in the 19th century.

In 1866 the paper changed hands because of the accidental shooting of Hogg, which was fatal. His successor was his son, Thomas Henry Hogg, who would run the paper until his own death in 1875. Under the editorship of the younger Hogg, the literary pages were restored to their multi-column length after a hiatus of literary works from the last of the 1866 papers James Hogg published. During this period, the paper did not change much in political or literary content, as it was the younger Hogg's wish to "follow our father's sample worthily" (22 June 1866, 2).

After the death of Thomas H. Hogg, Charles and G. Fred Fisher took over for most of the rest of the paper's run, from 1875 to 1887, keeping with the same basic format that the Hoggs had established, and also including more religious content.

In 1888 the newspaper changed ownership again, and Herman H. Pitts became editor. That same year the publication went through a few title changes associated with the province's preoccupation with temperance. What was known as the New Brunswick Reporter and Fredericton Advertiser changed to the Temperance Journal and the New Brunswick Reporter for the 17 March 1888 publication. After that, it changed to The Reporter and Temperance Journal from 24 March to 29 September 1888, until finally settling on The Reporter and Fredericton Advertiser on 6 October 1888. With these title changes came some changes in content, mainly focusing on temperance and the efforts of the province's Orange Lodges. In the literature pages, poetry was rarely published, as Pitts preferred to publish novel excerpts instead (usually only accompanied by the title and no information about the writer).

The last editor of the paper was William M. Clark who took over in 1902. Clark kept to the same political and religious agendas that Pitts had established at the height of prohibition, and the literary pages still only held chapters of novels for readers. Due to lack of support from readers and advertisers, The Reporter and Fredericton Advertiser ceased publication on 31 December 1902, as it could no longer compete with the more popular daily newspapers that were circulating in the province.

Cassandra Inch, Spring 2010
St. Thomas University

Bibliography of Primary Sources

New Brunswick Reporter and Fredericton Advertiser. 1844-1888.

New Brunswick Reporter and Temperance Journal. 17 March 1888.

Reporter and Fredericton Advertiser. 6 October 1888-1902.

Reporter and Temperance Journal. 24 March 1888-29 September 1888.

Bibliography of Secondary Sources

Canadian Newspapers on Microfilm Catalogue. Ed. Sheila A. Egoff. Ottawa: Canadian Library Association, 1959.

Harper, J. Russell. Historical Directory of New Brunswick Newspapers and Periodicals. Fredericton: Unipress, 1961.