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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND LIBERALIST

CLEVELAND LIBERALIST

The CLEVELAND LIBERALIST was the personal organ of Dr. Samuel Underhill, a semiretired physician of advanced rationalist philosophy. Introduced on 10 Sept. 1836, the 8-page, 3-column weekly was nearly as much magazine as newspaper in format, preferring scientific expositions over political manifestoes. During most of its first year, its favorite target was Harmon Kingsbury's Cleveland Messenger, whose campaigns to sanctify the Sabbath were denounced by Underhill as "humbug and quackery." Underhill apparently financed the Liberalist largely from his own resources. While he could accept phrenology as a serious science, he was far ahead of his time in his crusade against the false claims of patent medicines. After more than 100 issues, Underhill announced the suspension of the Liberalist for lack of financial support on 27 Oct. 1838. Within a few weeks, however, he and a partner named Thompson revived it as a semiweekly called the Bald Eagle. Although it printed a prospectus for daily publication, the paper evidently expired early in 1839.