Place of publication: Richmond, VA
Founded and published by Burghardt Hassel, the German-language newspaper Richmonder Anzeiger served the German community of Richmond, Virginia, for over six decades. Translated in the publisher's block as the "Richmond Advertiser," the paper commenced in 1854 as a four-page weekly, published every Saturday at 198 Main Street. In 1864, Hassel began a daily edition of the Anzeiger, and in 1861 he launched Die Virginische Zeitung ("The Virginia Newspaper") as the daily Anzeiger's Sunday edition.
Born in Kassel on June 23, 1828, Berghardt Hassel left Germany after the Revolution of 1848, immigrating to New York in 1850. He worked for the New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung and then moved to Baltimore for a short time before settling permanently in Richmond in 1852.
Impressively, the Richmonder Anzeiger managed to publish for the duration of the Civil War, with delivery to 26 Southern cities. Hassel was a staunch defender of the Confederacy and used the Anzeiger to urge German support for the cause of the South.
While readership remained low, the subscriber base of the Richmonder Anzeiger included a relatively large portion of Richmond's German population. The 1870 United States census recorded 1,650 German-born citizens in Richmond, and Geo. P. Rowell and Co.'s American Newspaper Directory reported the Richmonder Anzeiger's circulation at 960 in 1872. By 1880, however, number of subscriptions had fallen to 500.
Joined in the newspaper business 1890 by his son, Clothar, Burghardt Hassell ran the Richmonder Anzeiger until his death in September 1912. When Clothar Hassel ceased publication of the Anzeiger in 1917, he cited the loss of advertising as the main reason the paper was no longer financially viable, although the United States' entry into the World War also exposed growing anti-German sentiment in America.
Clothar Hassel continued publishing the weekly Virginische Zeitung for several more years. "With the issue of today," he explained on May 22, 1926, "the "Virginishe Zeitung" ceases to exist." Hassell thanked his subscribers, but explained that "no paper can exist on subscriptions as they do not cover one fourth of the running expenses." After ceasing newspaper operations, he went on to become an insurance salesman. Clothar Hassell died in Richmond on November 11, 1935.