The first issue of the Free Press was published March 26, 1824, in Halifax, North Carolina. George Howard, the paper’s original editor, moved the publication to Tarboro in 1826. Following its editor’s political leanings as many papers did at the time, the Free Press had a Democratic slant. In a speech to the North Carolina Press Association in 1881 William Woods Holden recounts an anecdote that Howard, after being challenged about the title’s adjective “Free” when he refused to publish a Whig article, changed the paper’s name to the Tarboro Press. In late 1875 the paper changed hands and was renamed the Tarborough Southerner.
DigitalNC hosts issues of the Free Press from 1824-1844. Later issues can be found on the commercial site, newspapers.com, or on microfilm at select North Carolina libraries and archives.