Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Newspaper Archives (1829 - 1922)

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Philadelphia Inquirer Newspaper Archives

One of the oldest surviving editorials in the United States, The Philadelphia Inquirer has preserved American History through years of articles and publications. Despite its early beginnings, the paper gained prominence during the Civil War by both sides.

As the third oldest American newspaper, GenealogyBank’s Philadelphia Inquirer archives are an invaluable resource for genealogy information. Search our online collection to trace stories of your ancestors or build the missing link in your family tree with names, details, and dates.

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Philadelphia Inquirer History

Originally known as The Pennsylvania Inquirer, this publication was founded by John R. Walker and John Norvell in 1829. The initial purpose of this editorial was to focus on the minorities of the city by providing them an outlet to vocalize their opinions and beliefs. Due to intense competition and lack of funding, the two founders had to sell the Pennsylvania Inquirer to Jesper Harding. In 1830, Harding purchased another publication called The Morning Journal. This allowed The Pennsylvania Inquirer to expand in its offerings which turned it into a leading newspaper company throughout all of Pennsylvania. It was during this time, the name of the newspaper was shortened to just The Inquirer.

During the Civil War, this newspaper gained prestige and circulation as a respected neutral resource. The Philadelphia Inquirer served as a reliable source of information for not only the citizens of Philadelphia, but also the soldiers, as well as Confederate generals. It was even requested by the U.S. Government on occasion that the paper have a issue just for the soldiers.

However, after the Civil War, the publication struggled, until the 1970s. The Inquirer regained prominence in the 1970s, 80s and 90s winning 20 Pulitzer Prizes.

Dating back to the early publications, our Philadelphia Inquirer archives online can help you begin your quest in discovering your family history or further build out your family heritage. Search by name, date or keyword to uncover your ancestors!

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