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Samuel Bowles

Bowles, Samuel, 1797–1851, American newspaper editor, b. Hartford, Conn. He founded (1824) the Springfield (Mass.) Republican, a weekly. In 1844 it became a daily under the influence of his son, Samuel Bowles, 1826–78, b. Springfield, Mass., who had joined the Republican at 17.

At 25, when his father died, the son took control and soon made the Springfield Republican one of the half-dozen most influential newspapers in the United States. Bowles, by urging the union of all antislavery groups into a single national party, opened the way for the establishment of the Republican party in New England and became one of its most ardent members. He gave complete support to Lincoln and in the Reconstruction period opposed the legislation of the radicals and the carpetbaggers, in favor of milder measures. In later life he traveled a great deal and sent letters about his travels back to his paper. Those of his Western trip of 1865 were collected in Across the Continent (1865), and those of his sojourn in Colorado, 1868, in The Switzerland of America (1869).

See G. S. Merriam, Life and Times of Samuel Bowles (1885).

His son, Samuel Bowles, 1851–1915, b. Springfield, Mass., was the third of the family to edit the Republican. He maintained its high quality by close editorial direction, but did little writing himself.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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