It is unfortunate that, of the three newspapers published in Mount Vernon during the Civil War — the Democratic Banner, The Express and The Republican — only the Banner is available on microfilm in Mount Vernon. Apparently, some copies of the Express and the Republican are preserved in Columbus, but, noted Dr. Lorle Porter in “Politics and Peril,” her history of Mount Vernon in the 19th century, The Republican is often unreadable and few copies of The Express survive.
It would be fun to read and compare the three. H.M Ramsey, editor of The Republican, was an abolitionist. Porter speculates that this stand was the reason William Sapp and others funded the revival of an opposing Republican paper, The Express, with Joseph S. Davis as editor. Porter says that too few copies of the Express survive to determine the exact nature of its politics.
And Lecky Harper, in the Democratic Banner, was virulently anti-abolitionist.
Ramsey slammed Davis as a “braggart and an adventurer” and attacked the Banner as “a semi-secessionist sheet” and editor Harper as a “lying varlet.”
Although we don’t have many samples of what Davis and Ramsey were publishing, we do have Harper’s words, and he wasn’t shy about using his editorial forum.
On Feb. 25, 1862, the Banner published a notice that on Feb. 20, H.M. Ramsey had married Maggie Cooper of Mount Vernon.