Essex County (Ontario) Newspapers


Abner Cheny Morton



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Place of Publication

Sandwich, Ontario


Title Variation

Essex Advocate

Publication Dates




Online Holdings

Essex Advocate

1851: Nov. 20 (Vol. 2: no. 6) 2p. 4p.?; pages 3-4 are probably missing

Canada Advertiser and Essex Advocate

1853: Jan. 20 (Vol. 3: no. 13) (Whole no. 117) 4 p.
1853: Feb. 3 (Vol. 3: no. 15) (Whole no. 119) 4 p.


Canada Advertiser and Essex Advocate (Sandwich), Essex Advocate (Sandwich), Newspapers, Sandwich (Ontario), Windsor (Ontario), Essex County (Ontario)


Canadian History | Public History


Public Domain


The Essex Advocate began publication in early October 1850 in Sandwich. It appeared weekly on Thursdays, and its office was located in Hilaire Guillot’s Brick Store. Its motto was “Where liberty dwells, there is my country” and it branded itself as “The Official Paper”. The editor and publisher may have been A. C. Morton, although his name was not given on the two pages that are still extant. On the political front, the Essex Advocate was definitely a reform movement supporter. Page 2 of the November 20th, 1851 issue was devoted to a detailed attack on the views, character, and actions of Colonel John Prince, the independent (but at this point, conservative leaning) Essex member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada. He was running for re-election against Francois Caron in the December 1851 election.

It is not clear when the Essex Advocate became the Canada Advertiser and Essex Advocate, and whether or not it was a merger of 2 titles or, more likely, simply a name change and broadening of purpose. In any case, the newspaper continued to publish weekly, on Thursdays and still touted itself as “The Official Paper” and the “First Reform Paper Published in Essex”. At this stage, A. C. Morton was definitely the editor and publisher.

The newspaper contains articles on municipal and county issues, as well as accounts of political events. At one such gathering, the reformers now painted a more favourable view of Colonel John Prince. As might be expected, large sections of the paper were taken up with local and regional business advertising, personal and legal notices, including the reprinting of statutes, bylaws, and lists of licenses issued. Court news included information about cases, convictions, and penalties. The rest of the paper was devoted to poetry, prose, and plenty of national and international news reprinted from other newspapers.

The publisher, Abner Cheny (A. C.) Morton, was born in 1815, probably in Vermont. He came from quite a well-known newspaper publishing family. In 1834, he moved from New York to Monroe, Michigan with his parents and siblings. His father, also called Abner Morton, was already a newspaper publisher/printer, and brought his equipment with him to this region. Over the next decades, various family members were involved in editing and publishing a number of newspapers, such as the Monroe Advocate and the Detroit Free Press.

It is not now known why A. C. Morton and his family moved to Sandwich and decided to publish this newspaper. Besides this work, he also did a variety of printing jobs and sold insurance for the Empire State Mutual Health Insurance Company. It seems that by the mid-1850s, the Morton family had returned to the United States. They tended to move around a lot. As well as Sandwich, they lived in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Illinois. It was in Illinois that A. C. Morton died in 1903.

Updated: Katharine Ball, December 2019

Source of our Digitized Holdings

Museum Windsor

To view online at the Internet Archive:

Canada Advertiser and Essex Advocate (Sandwich)



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