Thomas Atkinson, Editor, the Crawford Messenger, and Related Families Stuart and Stebbins


In years to come, historians may best remember Thomas Atkinson as a man who recorded a myriad of events of his time in the Crawford Messenger, a newspaper destined to be preserved for posterity. Readers perusing its pages years hence can share the sadness of death and misfortune on the frontier, vicariously sleigh-ride on the snow-filled lanes of Crawford County, view the election campaigns of America’s political giants through the black, snappy eyes of an opinionated pioneer editor and evaluate the literature preferred by the common man of that period.

Thomas Atkinson believed that God had entrusted him with a duty to spread truth, honesty, and high moral character throughout the community. To his countless admirers, this writer, editor, publisher, educator, businessman, and politician was the greatest of all humanitarians: a good citizen. Above all, he left a detailed record of a unique era in American history.

Chapters in the first portion of this book include: The Heritage; Westward Travel; Birth of the Messenger; Frontier Hazards; Patriotism; Thomas Atkinson, Businessman; A Fair and Agreeable Village; Solemn Rites of Passage; Exciting Events and Curiosities; Classifieds: Runaways; Advertisements; Household Hints for the Ladies; Politics; and Epilogue.

The second portion of the book is devoted to accounts of: Salome Weidner, mother of Thomas Atkinson, Jr.; Descendants of Stephen Atkinson I, which covers Generation No. 1 through Generation No. 9; Stuart/Steuart Family History, which begins with Archibald Stewart (born about 1737) and covers Generation No. 1 through Generation No. 7; and, Stebbins Family History, which begins with William Stebbins (born about 1521) and covers Generation No. 1 through Generation No. 14. The transcript of a letter from Sarah Sommers Atkinson to her great-granddaughter (1870), a full-name index, and a bibliography add to the value of this work.

Emily Pritchard Cary

2018, 5½x8½, paper, index, 312 pp.

ISBN: 9780788458583