I'm reading about current events in 1850s and 1860s California and want to check several newspapers' reporting on the same events. Which newspapers? In addition to the paper local to wherever something happened, I'd check large newspapers that did their own statewide reporting, probably dailies. The major ones I have found so far are the The Sacramento Daily Union (1851-1899) and the Daily Alta California (1849-1891). Were there any other California papers at the time as big as those two?


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A newspaper in Sacramento the capitol of California, probable had a fairly large circulation. If looking for as large or larger papers I figured I would look for larger populations than the city of Sacramento in the state of California.

California was admitted to the Union in September 9, 1850, and was included in the United States Census of 1850 ([see 1850a_31.pdf for California data), which was published in 1852. According to the census there were 7 Newspapers/Periodicals in California in 1850, and only 4 were published daily.

See page 979 enter image description here

The State's population in 1850 was 91,632.

Largest Counties: ( see page 122 )

El Dorado --------20,057
Calaveras --------16,884
Yuba ------------- 9,673
Sacramento ------- 9,087
Tuolumne --------- 8,351
Mariposa --------- 4,379

I concentrated my search on the Counties which had a population larger than Sacramento. I plugged the county names into google with "1850" + "newspaper" and found these candidate newspapers to answer your question.

  1. Mountain Democrat, California's oldest Newspaper established 1851 El Dorado CA.

  2. The Calaveras Chronicle, the first weekly newspaper published in California, was established October 28, 1851, at Mokelumne Hill.

  3. The Weekly California express established Aug 5th 1852, Marysville, Yuba Calif

  4. Marysville herald, Marysville, Yuba Calif. : established 1850

  5. The Daily California express, Marysville, Yuba Calif : established Jan. 14, 1865

  6. The Steamer express, Yuba Calif: established May 1, 1855

Google county searches also turned up this useful link for your research..
Library of Congress

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