Thomas Graham


For much of the nineteenth century American newspapermen played important roles in political parties. Most papers were affiliated with or were supported by a particular party, and the editor of the party newspaper was usually treated as one of the ranking officers in the organization. Sometimes editors held public office, but more often they served as advisors, ideologues, and mouthpieces of the party line. Nineteenth-century Florida had several newspapermen of this type. Preeminent among these was Charles Dyke of the Tallahassee Floridian, who guided the Democratic party’s chief journal from early statehood days through the tumultuous era of Reconstruction. Dyke’s retirement in 1882 ended a long and illustrious career, but by then another journalist, Charles Henry Jones, had arrived on the scene to claim the title of newspaper spokesman for Florida Democrats.