The territorial press in the region of present-day Saskatchewan, 1878 to 1905
Drake, Earl Gordon
The title "The Territorial Press in the Region of Present-Day Saskatchewan, 1878 to 1905," requires some preliminary clarification. The word "press" is used to denote newspapers and periodicals collectively. The chronological period encompassed extends from August 25, 1878 to September 1, 1905. This covers the period from the first appearance of a newspaper in the North-West Territories of Canada, to the time when that area with which we are concerned, ceased to be a part of the North-West Territories and became the Province of Saskatchewan and is not to be confused with one of the Provisional Districts of the Territories, which was also called "Saskatchewan", but whose area did not entirely coincide with that of the present Province. The equally active Alberta portion of the Territorial press is excluded because this study is designed primarily as a contribution to the history and background of Saskatchewan. However, this division poses difficulties in terminology, and when the words "North West" and Territories" are used, they must be understood to denote specifically the Saskatchewan half, even though the passage in all probability is equally applicable to the Alberta portion as well. In outlining the history of the press we have had two main aims. There has been, first, the necessity to chronicle the essential facts of their periods of publication, titles, sites of publication, frequency of issue, editors, and legal owners, for each periodical which was issued in this period and place. the fact that there was at this time no legal compulsion to register their business affairs, the disappearance of some of the records which did exist, and the contradiction between some of the extant records, have all combined to make a complete compilation of this impossible. However, the publications about which we have little precise information are few, ephemeral and relatively unimportant, so that a reasonably complete record of this aspect, has been possible. Secondly, we have sought to give this basic skeleton, flesh and blood, by recounting the difficulties, the appearance, the size, and the content of these papers, and characteristics of the men who edited them, and the manner in which the character of the papers changed with the development of the West. In dealing with such nebulous subjects as the style and character of the press in general, it is obviously impossible to set it forth as precise data. Furthermore the fact that there are no known copies of many of the papers in existence, coupled with the physical impossibility of reading every word printed in the papers which are available, has precluded giving a definitive description of each paper, individually. We have therefore attempted by means of a very extensive sampling of all the available papers, to give a general description of the character and development of the press as an institution.