Der Wecker

Der Baltimore Wecker:

Source: Wikipedia

Der Baltimore Wecker was a daily paper published in the German language in Baltimore, Maryland. It was the object of violence in the civil unrest at Baltimore in April, 1861, that produced the first bloodshed of the American Civil War.


Der Wecker was founded by Charles Henry Schnauffer in the fall of 1851. Its founder was before that time one of the editors of the Journal in the city of Mannheim in Baden, Germany, but by taking part in the German revolution of 1848-49 he was compelled to leave his country. In September, 1854, Schnauffer died. His widow continued the publication without interruption. In 1856, Der Wecker was the only paper in Maryland which advocated the principles of the Republican Party. Shortly after the presidential election in 1856, the office was attacked at night by a crowd of lawless politicians, but were prevented by the police from doing serious harm. About this time Der Wecker came into the hands of William Schnauffer, who added a weekly edition to the paper, which soon commanded a large circulation in the counties.

The paper continued on its course until the Baltimore riot of 1861 when, soon after the attack by the mob on the military, the office of Der Wecker (then on Frederick Street) was visited by the same, and completely wrecked, and the building seriously injured. The paper was suspended, and the publisher, William Schnauffer, and the editor, Wilhelm Rapp, whose lives were threatened, were compelled to quit the city, leaving the establishment at the mercy of the infuriated people. As soon as Gen. Benjamin Butler took possession of the city by the armed military, Schnauffer returned and resumed the publication of his paper. Rapp moved to the Illinois Staats-Zeitung. Der Wecker continued throughout the war a firm supporter of the Union cause.

In 1865, Franz Sigel entered into partnership with Schnauffer. This continued for two years, until Sigel went to New York City. Wilhelm Rapp returned from Illinois to edit Der Wecker again in 1866 continuing until 1872 when he returned to the Staats-Zeitung. In the spring of 1873, Schnauffer, after 19 years' service in the establishment, retired, leaving the paper in a flourishing condition in the hands of Blumenthal & Co., who continued it on the same Republican principles inspired by its founder.

Note: The 'Wecker' may be found on microfilm and the Enoch Pratt Free Library