Mississippi Herald, July 20, 1804. MDAH microfilm roll number 21941.
Andrew Marschalk (1767-1838) was the editor and publisher of the Mississippi Herald, one of the first newspapers published in the Mississippi Territory. While in the U.S. Army, he was assigned to Natchez to print the laws of the territory and went on to become a newspaper publisher and public printer. Marschalk brought a small mahogany printing press from England to the United States in 1790 and then brought it to Mississippi in July 1802.1
Andrew Marschalk, Hall of Fame portrait. Accession Number: 1978.10 (Museum Division Collection)
In addition to printing, Marschalk served in the municipal government of Natchez and clashed with several others in the community, particularly George Poindexter who held various posts in the territorial government and went on to become governor. One encounter between the two was described in the Journal of Mississippi History:
Marschalk accused Poindexter of partisanship, indifference, and incompetence while in office. The feud reached its climax when Poindexter stormed into Marschalk’s little newspaper office at Washington on a March day in 1815 and gave him a severe beating with a walking cane. The next month Poindexter attacked again by suing Marschalk for “scandalous, malicious, libelous, unlawfully wicked” editorials. The outspoken journalist was found guilty and sentenced to “a fine of $896.66 or three months in prison until the fine be paid”…None [of the other city printers], however, mixed the job of city printing with politics in the fiery manner of the colorful Marschalk.2
The Mississippi Herald was one of several newspapers published by Marschalk, many of which are on file at MDAH. The portrait of Marschalk pictured above is exhibited with other portraits in the Mississippi Hall of Fame at the Old Capitol Museum.
1 Madel J. Morgan, “Notes and Documents: Andrew Marschalk’s Account of Mississippi’s First Press,” Journal of Mississippi History 8, no. 1 (1946): 146-48.
2 D. Clayton James, “Municipal Government in Territorial Natchez,” Journal of Mississippi History 27, no. 2 (1965): 153.