The Albuquerque Newspaper War.
In the burgeoning town of Albuquerque, Sam's career as town marshal coincided with a ongoing battle between the Morning Journal, the established newspaper, and the Evening Review, the upstart. Curiously, both newspapers also took a Republican stance. (The Morning Democrat did not debut until after Sam was relieved of his position.) Both newspapers railed against the criminal element and initially, at least, both stood behind Marshal Sam Blonger. The kind feelings did not last long, however.
Albuquerque Morning Journal, February 9, 1882
The Evening Review will issue its initial number on Monday, the 20th instant. It will be published by W. H. Bailhache & Co, its managing editor will be W. F. Saunders, and its business manager A. L. Bailhache.
Albuquerque Morning Journal, April 19, 1882
The editor of this paper leaves this morning for an extended trip in northern Arizona, and will be away several days. It is his determination to place the JOURNAL in the hands of all the business men of that vast region.
Albuquerque Evening Review, April 20, 1882
Of the three columns of so-called "local" matter in the Journal this morning, one column and a half is copied from other papers, another column is made up of items re-written from yesterday's REVIEW, half of which, at least, might have been published in Wednesday's Journal; one of the remaining six items was published a week ago by this paper; two more are mere office pick-ups of the reporter; another two, incorrect; and the last - the only one of genuine merit in the paper - is "The building boom on Gold avenue gives that street a lively appearance." This is a dissection of the Journal's columns that could be made every day. For news THE REVIEW is the paper.
Albuquerque Morning Journal, April 21, 1882
The local [editor] on the Review, thinking that he would get up a sensation, announced in Wednesday's paper that thirty-five soiled doves from St. Louis would arrive last night and pitch their tent on Railroad avenue. He must have been short of items.
The local editor of the Review lays the flattering function to his soul (we presume he has one) that the JOURNAL copies from his sheet. Whenever the JOURNAL can not furnish reading matter enough without copying from that paper, we will close shop and go west.
Albuquerque Morning Journal, April 22, 1882
Our evening contemporary fills its columns with slurs at the JOURNAL - a pretty good scheme to get his sheet advertised in the leading daily of New Mexico. The free notices we gave him yesterday were bestowed through a charitable spirit, but hereafter we must have fifty vents per line for complimentaries or they don't go.
Albuquerque Evening Review, April 26, 1882
E. M. Bernard is no longer connected with THE REVIEW as carrier, A. L. Bailhache having sole charge of the circulation now.
Albuquerque Morning Journal, April 28, 1882
Many of our readers have no doubt read Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables," wherein the sad history of a galley slave is dedicated. The tender-hearted have wept over the woes of the fugitive, and the philosophic have wondered if such misfortunes could exist in civilized communities. Until yesterday we thought Hugo's story the romance of a vivid imagination, that such suffering would not be allowed where God was recognized, and the story of Jesus had been told. Yesterday unfolded a different story and proved that the boasted humanity of the Rocky mountain region was a lie, and that the people of a city of several thousand professedly civilized people were meaner than the heathen of the Pacific islands, and that Hugo's galley slave was fortunate in falling into the hands of the French people of the past century. The circumstances are these: A workman on the Atlantic and Pacific railroad was stricken down with small-pox. He was slumped into a box car and brought to this city night before last. The rumor went round that a small-pox subject needed attention, and Judge Dan Sullivan, Mr. Elwood Maden and a few others raised a fund to provide for his care and treatment. No room could be procured. All day yesterday the poor wretch lay near the depot without care or attention. No doubt to that poor soul the
[...]ities and misery experienced by Coleridge's Ancient Mariner is a vivid
reality. There he lay shunned and neglected by his fellow men, with a burning sun beating upon his diseased and
tortured body. Fellow citizens, let us not be heathen. Let us not imagine that the accumulation of wealth is all and everything in this life. Let us go to work and provide a home for the sick and distressed among us. In a region much like this, Jesus of Nazareth won the reputation of being of divine origin by kind acts to the poor and suffering. Here we have a flourishing, rich city; two powerful railroad corporations; [?] several benevolent institutions and yet a fellow being is left to die and rot on a public street, without care or attention. It is barbaric. It is an outrage on civilization.
It is said that coporations have no souls; but the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad
company os a happy exemption to the truism. Late yesterday afternoon [?] of this
incorporaton heard of the unfortunate small-pox patient, who sufferings [...]ed
forgotten by his fellow-men, they took charge of him, and moved him to a place
where he could be taken care of and where he would not breed pestilence in the
community. This action reflects credit on the Atlantic and Pacific management,
and proves that that company wish to do the right thing with its employes.
Albuquerque Evening Review, April 28, 1882
The Journal slops over this morning in a column of sentimental gush concerning that small-pox patient, which is as undeserved an insult to the people who support the paper as it is untruthful. The man was brought into Albuquerque by a friend of his, who, with others, has been constantly with him since his arrival; his wants have been carefully attended to, and he has been under shelter since he came. The object of the Journal in printing such a mass of abusive lies reflecting upon the people of Albuquerque, is hard to understand. THE REVIEW is willing to grant commendation to the officers of the Atlantic & Pacific road, who have secured a tent and medical assistance for the patient, but it fails to see that the corporation has done in this any more than its duty. The sick man was an employe of the company, and his first claim was upon it. The Journal would please its subscribers better if it employed writers who can do their work without the aid of a distorted imagination.
Albuquerque Evening Review, April 29, 1882
The Journal is hardly so humorless to-day as it was yesterday. Even great wits grow dulled sometimes. Seriously, the Journal would do much better if it would condescend to give its subscribers news instead of giving up its local columns to an amateur Artemus Ward, who doesn't know a good joke from a chapter of the New Testament.
Albuquerque Evening Review, May 1, 1882
The Santa Fe New Mexican copies the libelous and lying statement of the Journal about the man who was brought in here the other day ill of the small pox, and taking its cue from the utterly senseless and insulting condemnation of the people of Albuquerque by the Journal, says some very severe things about this city and its citizens. The falsehood of the Journal will travel faster than THE REVIEW's truth in this case, and correction of the lie will in but few cases be obtained, where it has once been published. It would seem from the Journal's abuse of this town and its people that it is preparing to move to Las Vegas, and is trying to make itself solid with its future patrons. It would do a graceful thing now by asking pardon for the outrage it has committed upon the town by which it is supported.
Albuquerque Morning Journal, May 6, 1882
The goggle-eyed slanderer of an evening contemporary was beautifully brought to time in front of Armijo house yesterday by a gentleman who would not brook the insults of his pusillanimous sheet. He took it like a culprit who deserves his punishment.
Albuquerque Evening Review, May 8, 1882
Deputy Sheriff Sam Blonger announces to the reports of THE REVIEW that they need expect no more news from him and that his efforts hereafter will be directed to keeping such information as he may command from this paper. This is gratifying. Hereafter, criminal news published by THE REVIEW will be more reliable. It may be interesting for some to know that Mr. Blonger's dislike of this paper dates from the discharge of a reporter who was formerly weak enough and fond enough of liquid and nicotan
[sic] stimulants to espouse the cause of the officer whenever a dark-looking case came before the public, and the fact is probably of the same degree of interest that this reporter is now employed at the Journal. THE REVIEW is published as a newspaper, and any of its reporters who suppress the news will be promptly scut over to the Journal office with a letter of recommendation.
Albuquerque Morning Journal, May 9, 1882
Thos. Hughes, live editor of the Albuquerque JOURNAL, is in the city, greeting numerous friends. Mr. Hughes, who is a former Kansan, is achieving quite a success in New Mexico journalism, and is well pleased with his surroundings. -
Albuquerque Evening Review, May 11, 1882
Deputy Sheriff Blonger's employes, who are temporarily employed by the Journal to decrease its circulation among respectable people, had a word to say yesterday to the effect that the officer was greatly overworked and needed assistance in the performances of his arduous duties. This is a very neat bit of sarcasm, coming from the Journal, although the point made was evidently entirely unintentional. What is Mr. Blonger's arduous duty and how is it performed? Everybody knows that it is not hunting for dangerous characters or criminals. The Journal states that the people of Albuquerque appreciates this deputy sheriff's services. So they do, but they do not appreciate them as the Journal does. There is a wide difference between what the Journal says and what the people think.
Albuquerque Morning Journal, May 12, 1882
Elsewhere in this issue will be seen the card of Marshal Blonger. When we consider the source of the charges preferred against him we are surprised that he should take any notice of it. As far as the reporter knows Marshal Blonger has given entire satisfaction as marshal of the town and we have never heard of an instance where he has failed to uphold the law and discharge his duty as an officer, except in the one he alludes to in his card.
Inasmuch as the dirty quill driver on the twilight sees fit to attack me in my official character, I take this occasion to make a statement. I know that a refutation of any charge which may emanate from that source would not be accredited by the old residents of this city, who are familiar with the reputation of the writer, but there are others, not acquainted with him, who might be induced to believe what he says, and for that reason only I appear in this card. He charges me with non-performance of duty as marshal of this city. If there is one respectable man out of a hundred in Albuquerque who says that I have neglected my duty, then let him come forward and I will resign the office. In my recollection there is only one instance where I have omitted to carry out the requirements of my position, and that was when I failed to arrest Saunders, local of the evening sheet, on one of his drunken sprees, when he drew his pistol, indulged in indecent language and otherwise made himself obnoxious to the community. During that same spree he visited one of the houses of ill fame in this city and conducted himself in such a way that the proprietress of the place had him put out of the door.
A short time ago an item appeared in the JOURNAL stating that I had, in performance of my official duty, closed up the "Gem," a notorious house of ill fame. On the face of this the sundown sheet attacks me, and has kept it up ever since. But, anterior to this, on March 16, on mentioning the presentation of a badge to me, by the citizens of Albuquerque, he said:
"The badge is one of the handsomest the reporter has ever seen, and there is probably no one who better deserves such a token of esteem from our citizens than Marshal Sam Blonger, who is one of the most efficient officers in the territory, and certainly the best marshal New Albuquerque ever had."
This is the last time I shall take notice of anything that may appear in that obscure sheet, and if any man of standing will prefer and substantiate the charge of non performance of duty as a city official, then I will step down and out. Respectfully,
Albuquerque Evening Review, May 12, 1882
A card written by E. M. Bernard and signed by Marshal Sam Blonger appeared in this morning's Journal. Mr. Bernard is the gentleman who was referred to by THE REVIEW a few days since as having been discharged from this paper.
Albuquerque Evening Review, May 12, 1882
When Deputy Sheriff Blonger takes snuff now, the Journal sneezes. This, for a paper which a month ago had an opinion on the Chinese question, is something of a fall.
Albuquerque Evening Review, May 20, 1882
Yesterday afternoon, W. F. Saunders, of THE REVIEW, swore out a warrant before Justice Martin, of precinct 13, for the arrest of Justice Sullivan, of precinct 12, claiming that he was in fear of bodily harm ensuing to him from the acts of said Sullivan. The case was tried at the office of Justice Martin, in Rancho Seco, at six o'clock yesterday afternoon. Mr. Saunders testified that that morning he was called out of the office of THE REVIEW by Justice Sullivan, who stated in a threatening manner that he wished an unqualified retraction of every thing that appeared in the paper before relating to him, and if this was not made in THE REVIEW of that afternoon, he would and means to compel it to be done. Justice Sullivan claimed that he was excited at the time, and had no intention of inflicting personal violence upon Mr. Saunders. Justice Martin, after hearing the case, dismissed it, imposing the costs on the plaintiff.
Albuquerque Evening Review, June 21, 1882
One of the Journal's prints, Will T. McReight, took occasion yesterday afternoon to exhibit to the people of the west end the depth of degradation to which a man can fall by indulging in a street fight with the woman upon the wages of whose debasement he lives. An outsider interfered in the matter and as is usual in such cases got the worst of it, the woman turning upon him with a volley of abuse and then bursting into tears.
Albuquerque Morning Journal, June 22, 1882
In a very scurrilous article, yesterday, the Review takes occasion, entirely uncalled for, to abuse one of the printers of the Journal office. The attack was very cowardly and
unbecoming, for among those with whom he is acquainted, McCreight is well liked
for his quiet, [...]ious habits. He was the first American journeyman printer in
Albuquerque, and helped in getting out the first issue of the JOURNAL, and since
his connection with this paper has never occasioned any cause for ill feeling
Albuquerque Evening Review, June 22, 1882
McReight and His Defender.
THE REVIEW never indulges in scurrility. It made no attack on McReight. It gave simply a very mild account of a disreputable and disgusting exhibition of the vileness and brutality of a man who happens to be employed in the Journal composing room. This was witnessed by a number of people in the west end, among whom was the president of the Journal Publishing company. To him the paper which is wanton enough to offend its decent readers by such a defense of rowdyism and uncleanness is referred for proof of THE REVIEW's accuracy, if any is desired. This is a newspaper and people who bring themselves as prominently before the public as did McReight may expect to see their names in print.
Albuquerque Evening Review, June 23, 1882
This afternoon about 1:30 W. F. Saunders, editor of THE REVIEW, was assaulted with a club by one, W. T. McReight, a typo, and knocked down and severely bruised. Saunders had been in Basye's jewelry store, and upon coming out walked up toward the Armijo House, and when near the White House Saloon observed three men sitting on a bench, just before he got to them one of the men, who proved to be McReight, jumped up in front of him and struck him with a large club which he carried in his hand. Saunders staggered under the blow, and McReight hit him again on the head, knocking him against a window, and breaking it. Saunders then caught the club and they struggled until some one took the club away from McReight, who immediately struck Saunders with his fist. Saunders was weak from loss of blood retreated into the White House, where McReight followed him, threw him down on the floor and struck him several times in the face with his fist, when Marshal Blonger appeared and took McReight away. The article which occasioned the attack was one giving an account of a fight between McReight and the woman with whom he has been living for some time, and who keeps a disreputable den in the west end.
THE REVIEW is a newspaper, and as such, it proposes to give news, of this or any other
character, and attacks of this sort will not change its policy in that regard one white. McReight will be arrested.
Albuquerque Morning Journal, June 24, 1882
W. T. McCreight, a printer, and W. F. Saunders, editor of the Review, had an altercation on Railroad avenue yesterday afternoon in front of the White House saloon. McCreight was the assaulting party, and gave the other a very severe pounding. Saunders provoked the assault by abusing McCreight, without any provocation, through his paper a day or two ago, and charging him with living upon the wages of a prostitute. McCreight was arrested and gave bonds for his appearance before Judge Sullivan today.
Albuquerque Evening Review, June 26, 1882
THE REVIEW has a word further to say on the subject of the assault made upon its editor by a man whose grievance was that he the truth told about him. This paper was established with the object of giving to Albuquerque what it needed, an honest fearless and truthful newspaper, in the most complete meaning of these words. How its efforts have been appreciated is shown by the rapidity with which its circulation has been increased in the city, as well and south and west of here; by the enlargement made necessary a month after its first issue, and by a second enlargement contemplated for the first part of next month. Newspaper readers and newspaper advertisers have endorsed its course. In the future THE REVIEW shall be what it has been; devoted to the interests of Albuquerque, and courageous enough to give the news and point out abuse without regard to bullying or attempts to subsidize. Those who fear the truth may well look upon THE REVIEW as an enemy.
The case of the Territory against W. T. McReight was dismissed this afternoon by Justice Sullivan, on the ground of a variance between the complaint and the warrant.
Albuquerque Evening Review, June 28, 1882
The Territory Against McCreight.
On yesterday another warrant was sworn out against W. T. McCreight, who assaulted W. F. Saunders with a club on Friday last, Justice Sullivan having dismissed the first warrant on a technical point raised by counsel for defendant.
The warrant sworn out yesterday was placed in the hands of marshal Blonger for execution and was returnable at ten o'clock this morning. The witnesses for the territory were all present and after waiting for more than an hour and the defendant not appearing, district attorney Owen asked for the bond given for the defendant's appearance, in order it might be declared forfeited. The marshal said that he had taken no bond from McCreight and that T. Hughes, of the Journal, had said to him he would see that the defendant was present at the trial. Marshal Blonger then went out after McCreight and returned with Mr. Hughes, who stated that McCreight had sent him the message that he was ill and could not be present this morning. The trial was then postponed until half past three this afternoon.
Albuquerque Evening Review, June 29, 1882
TERRITORY VS. McCREIGHT
The Testimony and the Decision.
The case of the Territory vs. McCreight, charged with a murderous assault on W. F. Saunders, editor of THE REVIEW, which was postponed yesterday morning to half after three o'clock in the afternoon, was tried before Justice Sullivan at the latter hour, district attorney Owen appearing for the Territory. The testimony elicited was in substance as follows:
W. F. SAUNDERS,
Was the first witness put on the stand. He had just come out of Conley & Albright's drug store on the south side of Railroad Avenue and was going in the direction of the Armijo House. On reaching the White House he noticed two or three men sitting on a bench in front of it. Did not know any of them. A man, whom he afterwards identified as the defendant, jumped up and without a word struck him over the head with a stick. Could not identify stick. Was stunned by the blow and his mind was not entirely clear as to what happened afterwards. Remembered struggling with McCreight for possession of the stick, and being on the floor in the White House with McCreight on top of and beating him. Was disabled in the encounter. Could not yet use left eye. Could not tell whether first blow caused this injury. Had had no previous altercation with McCreight. On cross examination, stated that he was editor of THE REVIEW, had lived in Santa Fe before coming to Albuquerque and was from Virginia. No other facts other than those above set out were elicited.
S. T. ROSE,
A clerk at E. J. Post & Co's. He saw crowd across the street and ran over. Did not see beginning of the row. Saw two men struggling to get possession of a stick. Saunders seemed to be dazed and not to know what he was about. Someone came up and took stick from McCreight. In the struggle they got into the White House, when McCreight threw Saunders down and commenced beating him in the face with his fists. Marshal Blonger came in and separated them. Had to strike defendant on the arm with his club to effect his purpose.
A. N. WALKER,
who keeps books for T. J. Trask, was next. His testimony was corroborative of Rose's. He did not see the first blow. When he first saw the men, Saunders had hold upon one end of the stick and McCreight the other. Saunders seemed to be in a state of bewilderment. In the struggle Saunders was pushed through a large plate glass in the front window of their store. Saw the stick taken from McCreight. Saw the two men on the floor in the White House, with McCreight on top and pounding Saunders in the face. Some one in the crowd yelled out to take the man off, but others cried out "No, no make him sing out enough." Marshal Blonger a short time afterwards came in and pulled McCreight off. Could not tell how many blows were struck Saunders with the stick.
Stick used was very large, and seemed to be a heavy one.
- - WILSON,
a witness for the defense. Was sitting on the bench in front of the White House with defendant, when Saunders was approaching. McCreight remarked, "There comes the man that I want to see." He then struck at Saunders with a stick he had in his hand. Do not know whether the blow struck him. Do not think he was much injured.
W. T. McCREIGHT,
the defendant. Didn't know whether he struck Saunders on the arm or shoulder. Stick used was larger than the one he then held in his hand. (The stick he then had was about three feet long and about an inch and a quarter in diameter.) Had no intention of injuring him. On cross examination corrected himself and said he had no intention of injuring him for life. Didn't remember having made any threats against him.
District attorney Owen then asked that the defendant be sent on to the next grand jury for indictment, the evidence adduced having sustained the charge. On the other hand, however, T. F. Phelan, McCreight's lawyer, contended that at most it was a simple case of assault, and asked the court to so find. Justice Sullivan took the latter view of the case and fined McCreight $5 and costs. Several of the witnesses for the Territory were not present at the trial. One of them was out of the city and another one came in too late to give his testimony.
Albuquerque Evening Review, July 3, 1882
Mr. [Tom] Hughes' appointment as postmaster at Albuquerque was confirmed Saturday, but he will hardly resume the reins of office for two weeks yet. He has so far decided upon but one of his clerks, N. B. Carden, who will return from Kansas to take the position.
Albuquerque Morning Journal, July 13, 1882
Recent issues of the New Mexican prove that its manager is a miserable whelp, who does not understand the amenities of life, or the courtesies of journalism. Sent down to this territory by his owners in Kansas, he occupies his time in defaming those who would be his friends. His recent attacks on Tom Hughes, one of the stockholders of this paper, are without any foundation, undeserved, and will be fully resented. When Mr. Greene says that Hughes tried to blackmail the Palace, or any other hotel in Santa Fe, he willfully and knowingly lies.
Albuquerque Morning Journal, July 18, 1882
The last number of the Albuquerque Daily Journal comes to us enlarged into an eight column paper, the third enlargement in nine months. The Journal is ably edited by W. S. Burke, a well-known Leavenworth newspaper man for many years, and all his old Kansas friends will be glad to hear of this indication of his prosperity. --
Albuquerque Evening Review, December 12, 1882
THE REVIEW boys are indebted to W. T. McCreight, the new proprietor of the opera house saloon, for a supply of cold beer, sent over this afternoon.
NOTE: According to information available on the Internet, McCreight had been a professional baseball player in St. Louis and after reaching Albuquerque
in 1880, started the town's first baseball team. He apparently later was a co-owner of the
Albuquerque Citizen with Tom Hughes.