1840 - 1921
Henry Watterson, an
American journalist, was born in Washington, D.C. in 1840.
Watterson was educated by private tutors because his eyesight was
somewhat defective. Being fond of literature, he decided to enter into the
profession of journalism.
Throughout most of his
life he was known as “Marse Henry.” He served with the Confederate army in
the War for Southern Independence and for a time edited the Chattanooga (Tenn.) Rebel. After
working on newspapers in Alabama, Ohio, and Tennessee, Watterson became an
editor of the Louisville (Ky.) Journal. In 1868 he merged that paper with
the competing Louisville Courier to form the Courier-Journal,
which soon became locally influential and nationally famous.
In his editorials
Watterson argued compellingly for the rights of Black Americans and the
restoration of home rule to the South. In 1876-77 he served in Congress and
vigorously supported S. J. Tilden for President in 1876. Watterson was a
prominent figure at the national democratic convention held in St. Louis in
1888, and was a member on the committee on resolutions. He was sharply critical
of President Grover Cleveland and opposed William J. Bryan and free silver.
His editorials urging the United States to declare war on Germany
earned Watterson a Pulitzer Prize. He supported Woodrow Wilson only
intermittently, bitterly attacking American participation in the League of
Nations. In 1923 a volume of his editorials, edited by Arthur Krock, was