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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
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DUBUQUE OBSERVER. The Dubuque Observer appeared in the city for a few months between 1854 and 1855. The newspaper, published by C.J. Chapline and Company, expressed a strong dislike of the foreign born (the Irish in particular) and Catholics. (1) Following a belief of the time, the paper suggested there existed a Catholic conspiracy to overturn the Republic and Constitution. The paper suggested the "crazy old Pope" was the leader of this conspiracy. The Irish were described as "drunken and militant." Dr. Robert I. Thomas was editor in 1854 but retired in April, 1855, and Thomas, Stradling & Co. were announced as proprietors. (2)

The vile tirades of the paper were rejected by most non-Catholics in Dubuque and Iowa. The presence of the paper, however, suggested the strength of the Know-Nothings which made up part of the new Republican Party. This did not make the new political party attractive to Catholics. (3)



1. Oldt, Franklin T., History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Goodspeed Historical Association, 1880. http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/franklin-t-oldt/history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl/page-11-history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl.shtml

2. Iowa Old Press, Online: http://www.iowaoldpress.com/PUB/PreCWPapers_A-H.htm

3. Gallagher, Mary Kevin. B.V.M. Seed/Harvest: A History of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. Dubuque, IA: Archdiocese of Dubuque Press, 1987