As the leading newspaper in the capital of Texas, the historical Austin American Statesman provides researchers with unique insights into the political, economic, cultural, and social life of this important state, as well as the southwest U.S. from the late 19th through the 20th century. The paper has strong central Texas coverage, especially for political reporting.
Founded in 1871, the newspaper traces its origins back to the Democratic Statesman, which began publication every three weeks beginning in July 1871. The paper began as a semiofficial organ of the state executive committee of the Democratic Party and was the only major Democratic newspaper in Texas at that time. It advocated “straight-out Jacksonian Democracy” during the Reconstruction period of Republican control of the state.
The paper was prominent in the election campaign of 1873, which resulted in the defeat of the Republican regime in Texas. In 1873 the paper began daily morning publication, and in 1914 the Democratic Statesman took over the Austin Tribune.
The newly consolidated paper began to publish each afternoon as the Austin Statesman and Tribune. In 1916, this paper changed its name to the Evening Statesman to reflect a new time of publication. In November 1973, the Austin American was combined with the Austin Statesman to become an all-day newspaper called the Austin American-Statesman.