The American.

Omaha, Nebraska (1891-1899)

The American. August 6, 1891, Image 1

First page of first issue of The American.
The American. : (Omaha, Nebraska) 1891-1899
Place of publication:
Omaha, Nebraska
Geographic coverage:
  • Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska
  • View more titles from this: City | County
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1891; ceased in September 1899.
  • English
  • Anti-Catholicism--United States--Newspapers.
  • Anti-Catholicism.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00810287
  • Nativism--Newspapers.
  • Nativism.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01033936
  • United States.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204155
  • Description based on: Volume 1, number 16 (August 6, 1891); title from masthead.
  • Latest issue consulted: September 8, 1899.

The American

The American (1891-99) was a nativist newspaper published in Omaha, Nebraska. It was edited by John C. Thompson, and published on Fridays by the American Publishing Co. at a subscription rate of $2.00 per year. Its circulation was described as "not exceeding 3,000," based on the American Newspaper Directory's circulation ratings.

The American was an organ for the American Protective Association, or A.P.A., a secret society noted for being anti-Catholic and, to a lesser extent, anti-immigrant. Established originally in Clinton, Iowa, the American Protection Association often made unsubstantiated claims about the number of votes it controlled. A regular practice was to cite an unfavorable opinion about the A.P.A., and then dismiss it as ridiculous. An example in the November 30, 1894 issue focuses on a short editorial from a Toledo, Ohio newspaper, which described as "absurd" the claim that the A.P.A. had been responsible for President Grover Cleveland's election. The editor of the American refutes this charge at length.

The motto under the paper's flag was "America for Americans—We hold that all men are Americans who swear allegiance to the United States without a mental reservation in favor of the Pope." First page articles in the July 20, 1894 issue include such titles as "Rome Ridden Spain" and "Open Them Up—Closed Convents Should Not Be Tolerated in a Free Country." Serialized fiction, such as "The Nun," "translated from the French," showed Catholicism in a bad light.

During his term as publisher of the American, John C. Thompson was accused of failing to pay personal property taxes, and was subpoenaed by the Omaha courts. Thompson lost the case and was forced to pay a heavy fine.

Provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE