Earliest Asheville Newspaper Now Available On DigitalNC

Early issues of the Highland Messenger, the first newspaper to be published in Asheville, are now available in the North Carolina Newspapers project.  The Messenger began publication in 1840, when there were just a few thousand people living in Buncombe County.  The initial goals of the paper were quite lofty.  Here they are, as stated in the first issue:

“Our paper shall be devoted to Religion, Morality, Science, Politics and General Intelligence, having for its leading object the instruction and advantage of the people, wherever it shall be attentively read.”

Like most papers published in this period, much of the content relates to national news and politics interspersed with a wide variety of features and short pieces, with little space given to local reports.  However, it is possible, through the many advertisements, court notices, letters, and editorials to get a sense of the issues and concerns of the village that would, by the early 20th century, grow into what another paper would come to call the “mountain metropolis.”

The Highland Messenger was nominated for digitization by the Buncombe County Public Libraries.

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