Just before going to press with this first edition of the new Emmitsburg News-Journal, we came across the following article published June 14, 1879 in Samuel Motter's first edition of the Emmitsburg Chronicle. We were struck by how close the goals and hopes of the first Chronicle were to the those of the News-Journal. We shall endeavor to live by them.
"For the proper continuity of our record, but without aiming at precision of dates, that it suffice to say as many of our readers already know, that, sometime ago we are printed in circulated as follows:
"In response to repeated suggestions for the publication of the newspaper in Emmitsburg, and the solicitations that the undersigned should undertake the same, he has decided to put forth the subscriptions lists, in order to ascertain what encouragements may be given, and the probabilities for the maintenance of such enterprise. It is proposed to issue a weekly paper with the name above given. The aim will be to make it, exceptionally, a paper for the family circle, of general intelligence, local news, and useful information, as also a medium for advertising. It will be independent throughout; whilst avoiding secularism in religion, and partisanship in politics: you'll be earnest in the defense of truth, justice and honesty, and as far as possible, a conservator of public morals. The Chronicle will be published in a convenient and readable form, at the price of $1.50 a year, payable in advance and subject to the terms common among printers, together with such other minor and necessary details as may hereafter be announced."
In placing it before the public, we hesitate not to say, that we do so with no little doubt and perplexity, lest our readers may not realize the expectations, they have formed. In endeavoring to meet the demands for the publication of a newspaper in her native village, we think we have justly weighed the requirements of the case, and trust that time will prove our efforts have not been in vain. Situated as Emmitsburg is, in one of the loveliest valleys to be seen anywhere, surrounded by mountains and elevated table lands, which the eye never tires of beholding, and been the seat of those institutions of learning - Mt. St. Mary's College and St. Joseph's Academy, so well known throughout the land - is but fitting and proper that it should more and more assert its claims to consideration, and attract the attention and the just recognition of the outside world. Time was when this locality seemed to be regarded as the "Center of Creation," standing still, whilst everything beyond rolled on as if in harmony with the music of the spheres. But the scenes have changed; connected as we have been of late years by railway, and by telegraph, with the progressive
forces of the world's active life, we have yet lacked the power and influence of the press at home, the mightiest lever, when all is said, in the advancement of civilization, refinement and morals, as well as of commerce.
This want, in a humble and unpretentious way, we shall aim to supply. We have opened the way for the spirit of improvement to assert its claims. It will rest, very much upon personal examples, and personal cooperation, to determining in which modes that spirit may prove most efficient.
Our first aim shall be to present the Chronicle as a medium through which the outer world may learn our aims, our hopes and high resolves. We shall not try to amuse our readers with rhetorical flourishes, nor with sonorous sentences, neither shall we indulge in meaningless jests, nor silly observations, but endeavor, in a non-threatening way to give our readers the current news of the time, with such items of local interest as they present themselves: we shall try to practice the recent suggestions of an esteemed clerical friend, substantially, that the value in newspaper is not so much in "what is put into it, as in what is kept out of it."
We invite correspondents from all directions; we offer opportunities for all to give expression to their thoughts, in the way of original articles, of proper length, and whose substance may be adapted to our volumes. We shall keep a steady hold upon the helm, but at the same time extended general invitation to those who regard with favor our undertaking, to lay hold of the oars and help us bring our endeavor into the haven of kind approbation.
In our advertising columns many business will find room for observing the practical results of the political economy, how supply follows demand and its converse, how one resorts to plenty, and that this last must be manifested, before it will be sought after. In a word, that in order to sell effectively, there needs to be a publication, of the articles to be sold, what they are, in the inducements which should attract customers, and finally that judicious outlay to enhance profits, will bring better results, devoid of the action, which modern modes of business make indispensably necessary.
As to the general appearance our sheets may present, we have thought it best to begin in such a form of outward show, as may benefit earnest purposes, with a view to successful efforts, leaving room for permit possible enlargement, as circumstances may require, and justice may accord.
To the members of the press, we extended courtesies usually pertinent to this occasion, and trust we shall meet a kindly recognition.