restricted access “A Catholic Family newspaper” Views the Lincoln Administration: John Mullaly’s Copperhead Weekly

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“a catholic family newspaper” views the lincoln administration 165 “A Catholic Family Newspaper” Views the Lincoln Administration John Mullaly’s Copperhead Weekly Joseph George Jr. When he died in 1915, John Mullaly was an almost forgotten man. Few were still alive to remember that he had played a prominent role in the intellectual life of New York’s Irish during the era of the Civil War. New Yorkers had forgotten that he had become a Copperhead editor in the 1860s, denouncing the Lincoln Administration and even on occasion advocating in his newspaper, the Metropolitan Record, that the South should be granted its independence. But he was much better known to earlier generations. John Mullaly was born in Belfast in 1835 or 1836. He migrated to the United States in the early 1850s, and, before he became editor of the Metropolitan Record in January1859,when hewas about24yearsold, he had alreadyenjoyed an interesting career. He had served as a reporter for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune, WilliamCullen Bryant’s NewYorkEvening Post, and forsixyearson JamesGordon Bennett’s NewYork Herald. He acted as special correspondent forthe Herald on the expeditions which laid the first cable across the Gulf of St. Lawrence. He was also special correspondent on the first three Atlantic cable expeditions of 1857 and 1858, at which time he also served as secretary to the inventor, Samuel F. B. Morse, and to Cyrus W. Field, manager of the company laying the cable.1 165 E Civil War History, Vol. XXIV No.2, © 1978 by The Kent State University Press 1. Catholic News (New York), Jan. 9, 1915; Thomas F. Meehan, “Early Catholic Weeklies,” Historical Records and Studies of the United States Catholic Historical Society, XXVIII (1937), In order to view this proof accurately, the Overprint Preview Option must be checked in Acrobat Professional or Adobe Reader. Please contact your Customer Service Representative if you have questions about finding the option. Job Name: -- /358884t 166 joseph george jr. 244–45. Mullaly’s name was misspelled in the obituary appearing in the New York Times, Jan. 5, 1915. Mullaly’s account of the laying of the Atlantic cable appeared in letters to the Herald in 1857 and 1858, and also in John Mullaly to Archbishop John J. Hughes, Mar. 30, 1858, John J. Hughes Papers, St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers, New York, 112. 2. Catholic News, Jan. 9, 1915; Meehan, “Early Catholic Weeklies,” 245. As early as 1861 Mullaly had obtained the lucrative right to print public documents. He also served as municipal court attendant while still editor of the Metropolitan Record, a political plum obtained by his connections in the Tweed Ring. Like twenty-six other newspapers, the Record apparently folded in 1873 after reformers had destroyed Tweed’s power and cut the advertising of the city government in these papers, a saving to NewYork City of $900,000 a year. See manuscript titled “Copy to Mr. Mullaly approving of his application for the printing of public documents, June 5, 1861,” Hughes Papers; Mullaly to Hughes, Dec. 17, 1861; New York Times, June 27, 1875; Report of the New York City Council of Political Reform, for the Years 1872, ’73, and ’74 (New York, 1875), 31, pamphlet in the New York Historical Society. 3. Meehan, “Early Catholic Weeklies,” 245; Catholic News, Jan. 9, 1915; New York Freeman’s Journal and Catholic Register, Jan. 9, 1915; Historical Records and Studies of the United States Catholic Historical Society, VIII (June 1915), 260; John Mullaly to Rev. J. N. Connolly, Sept. 16, 1895, St. Joseph Seminary Archives. Mullaly’s books were The Milk Trade Of New York And Vicinity, Giving An Account Of The Sale Of Pure AndAdulterated Milk (NewYork, 1853);ATrip To Newfoundland;Its Scenery And Fisheries; With An Account Of The Laying Of The Submarine Telegraph Cable (New York, 1855); The Laying Of The Cable, Or The Ocean Telegraph . . . (New York, 1858); and The New Parks Beyond The Harlem (New York, 1887). On January 29, 1859, Mullaly published the first issue of the Metropolitan Record,commonlyreferred to as the Record, and continued publication until 1873. He then became Commissioner of Health for the city of New York for one term and later a member of the Board of Assessors for two terms. He also played an important role in having the city acquire 4000 acres of land in the Bronx for the purposes of parks and parkways.2 Always interested in science, Mullaly invented, while editor of the Record, a process he called...


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Subject Headings

  • Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 -- Political and social views.
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Biography.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1861-1865.
  • Political leadership -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
  • Presidents -- United States -- Biography.
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