West Virginia Journal
Place of publication: Charleston, W. Va.
Charleston's West Virginia Journal was the product of two Ohio brothers: Edward T. Moore and Samuel S. Moore. Both brothers possessed backgrounds in printing, and Edward had served in the 12th Ohio Infantry during the Civil War- a regiment that saw extensive service in West Virginia. Edward Moore's time in the Mountain State was apparently impressive, for shortly after mustering out of the army in 1863, he and Samuel moved to Charleston. The following year, the brothers launched the West Virginia Journal, a four-page weekly paper published every Wednesday.
The Journal offered a variety of local and national news, poetry, short stories, advice columns, advertisements, and more. The most notable feature of the newspaper, however, was its politics. The Journal was the first Republican newspaper in Charleston and Kanawha County, and the Moore brothers were staunch supporters of Abraham Lincoln and Unionism. Moreover, the newspaper also served as a tool for Unionists seeking to disparage pro-Southern citizens in the Kanawha Valley region. The Journal continued its support for the Republican Party after the Civil War as well.
The West Virginia Journal underwent a number of ownership and editorial changes over the years and served as a springboard for future newspaper editors and Republican politicians. Several years after its founding, George W. Atkinson purchased a share of the Journal. A notable figure in West Virginia history, Atkinson would later serve as editor of the Wheeling Evening Standard and eventually became the tenth Governor of West Virginia as a Republican (1897-1901). Atkinson was later joined in ownership of the Journal by Alvero F. Gibbens, who previously served as an editor for the Parkersburg Weekly Gazette. After the Moore brothers left the Journal in the early 1870s, Gibbens served as the newspaper's editor; Gibbens later became the editor for the Charleston State Tribune and a prominent member of the state Republican Party.
In 1875-76, the Journal changed hands one last time, as W.L. Moore (no apparent relation to Samuel and Edward) took control of the paper. The change of leadership apparently did not augur well for the Journal, and within a few years the newspaper ceased publication.