In view of the considerable outlay of hard cash necessary to start the Farmer’s paper, we desire about a thousand, more or less, of our subscribers to come in and pay up arrears. We need the money for the purpose named, or we would not stick in this dun; but, as it is due the office, we know that subscribers don’t want us to apologize for asking them to pay up.
“The Oregon Plowman” — From a prospectus sent us, we learn that Mr. E.M. Waite proposes to publish an agricultural paper in this place with the above name, commencing January next. Coming at this time, and from the source it does, it is entitled to more than an ordinary notice. We certainly do not wish Mr. Waite failure in the proposed enterprise and, in behalf of the forthcoming “Agriculturist,” we extend him a welcome to a good cause. But it occurs to us that this new “Plowman” bodes no good to the cause it seeks to advocate. The farmers of Oregon, as well as Mr. Waite, know well enough that two agricultural papers cannot be sustained in this State; and we all remember that one (the Oregon Farmer), without opposition, has failed; and Mr. W. doubtless calculates on his ability to destroy the Agriculturist. We are satisfied that every farmer in the State would greatly prefer to see one paper well sustained and in a flourishing condition, on a sure foundation, rather than divide their support between two papers, letting them run a sickly, lingering career, neither doing any good. The farmers do not desire to patronize the printers so much as advance their own interests, and this they well enough know can best be done by giving that support to one paper that will make it what it ought to be. In issuing a prospectus at this time, we can see no other purpose of Mr. Waite’s than to embarrass the start of the Agriculturist, hoping to deter our friends from taking hold of the enterprise. Mr. W. proposes to be the special advocate of the State Agricultural Society. He can have no claims to such distinction. Some of the writers for the Agriculturist are now advocating the interests of that Society through the columns of the Statesman, which paper has published more matter for the Society than any other paper in the State, and the Agriculturist will acknowledge no better friend to that institution than itself.
Mr. Waite winds up his prospectus with the following “special” apology:
It may be said by some that the Plowman is started in opposition to other interests, but such is not true: it is known to many that, since April last, I have contemplated starting an agricultural paper. I shall work for success — aim to deserve patronage — and envy no one advantage fairly gained.
It is an old maxim, and true, that “any act that needs an apology ought not to have been done.” It was not known to the public, and much less to the projectors of the Agriculturist, that Mr. W. “contemplated publishing an agricultural paper,” and if any such intention on his part had been made known to the public, by prospectus or otherwise, before the Agriculturist was announced, Mr. Waite should have had a clear field; with our heartiest approval and best efforts to secure his paper the greatest success; but having, in ignorance of his intentions, expended nearly one thousand dollars to start the Agriculturist handsomely, it will not now back out or back down from Mr. W. or any other man. We are at a loss to account for this move to embarrass the Agriculturist on any other supposition than that Mr. A.G. Walling, who ran the Farmer into the ground, is now operating in the name of E.M. Waite — Mr. Waite being foreman of Mr. Walling’s printing office, in Portland.
The Agriculturist will go ahead. It will be a “live paper,” too. We shall make the first a specimen number, and shall challenge criticism from any source. The Oregon Printing and Publishing Company is able to run the paper, and make it worth three dollars a year, if it don’t get a single subscriber. But subscriptions are coming in rapidly, and we have neither doubts nor fear of its future. It will be on exhibition, and entered for a premium, at the State Fair, if all the type get here in time.
Source: Oregon Statesman, September 18, 1865.