Working Class Advocacy of the 1910s: The Socialist Press Newspaper

The Socialist Press is a weekly newspaper that was published out of Fairbanks in the 1910s. Its earliest issue is dated June 20th, 19142, and the paper’s editor was George Hinton Henry, formerly of the Yukon Press (Tanana). Mr. Henry was bold in his editorial assertions, which evidently caused quite the stir among the Fairbanks community–including among those of Socialist affiliation–for his unabashed critique of individuals, regardless of standing in society; however, Henry was not without support, from the judges who dismissed some of the libel cases brought up against him, to fellow newspaper editors like Frederick Heilig of the Fairbanks Times who occasionally published editorials in his defense1.

Years after publication ceased, Henry’s printing press was shipped to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, from where it was eventually put on loan to the Circle District Museum, given its historical significance as the first printing press in Interior Alaska—said to date from 1893 by import of the Episcopal Church1.

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The first printing press of Interior Alaska1

Although the Socialist Press is selected for digitization by the Alaska National Digital Newspaper Project, all known surviving microfilms of the newspaper are currently of 3rd generation quality, and paper copies are lacking as well. This considered, any private collectors who may have preserved paper copies at home or elsewhere, please contact the Alaska State Library Historical Collections, (907) 465-2925, where we will very graciously accept donations of material, to be digitized and returned promptly to the donor. History will be indebted to your generosity!

 

References

Atwood, Evangeline, and Lew M. Williams. Bent Pins to Chains: Alaska and Its Newspapers. (Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2006), 36, 140.

Nicolson, Mary C., and Mary Anne Slemmons. Alaska Newspapers on Microfilm, 1866-1998. (Fairbanks: University of Alaska, 1998), 81.

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