Conrad First The Joseph Conrad Periodical Archive

The Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, IL, USA)

7 May 1898

Founded in 1847, the Republican Chicago Daily Tribune became one of the nation's most respected and prosperous newspapers under the direction of Joseph Medill between 1875 and 1899. Heralding itself as 'The American Paper for Americans', the increasingly isolationist Tribune lost ground in the early twentieth century to rival Chicago dailies, including William Randolph Hearst's Chicago Examiner. Despite adding advice columns and cartoons, and waging crusades against political corruption, the Chicago Daily Tribune's circulation had fallen to 188,000 by 1910, forcing a merger with the Chicago Herald in 1918. By 1940, however, it had risen to become the second-largest newspaper in America with a circulation of one million.

Both of Conrad's syndicated contributions to the Chicago Daily Tribune appeared in the Sunday edition. Backed by numerous advertising pages, Sunday editions of fifty pages and more became a feature of American daily papers in the first decade of the twentieth century. A pioneer in this regard, the Chicago Daily Tribune had grown by 1914 to seventy-two pages of features and advertisements, four pages of coloured comics, a sensational 'magazine' section in colour, a 'worker's magazine', and sections on the news, theatre, education, society doings, and sport, all for five cents. During 1917-1918, the Chicago Daily Tribune also published a daily Army Edition, printed in Paris. Of its review of The Rescue on 12 June 1920, Conrad remarked: 'There is in Chicago a paper which habitually jumps on my books with both feet, but this time I must say that the jump is rather lighter than the previous ones. Its final conclusion is that the book is insignificant and from a certain point of view it is no doubt true. The epithet may be applied to anything in the world including even that critical article itself' (CL 7:129).

Davies, Laurence, et al., ed. The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983-2007. 9 vols.
Mott, Frank Luther. American Journalism: A History of Newspapers in the United States Through 260 Years: 1690 to 1950. New York: Macmillan, 1950.
Wendt, Lloyd. Chicago Tribune: The Rise of a Great American Newspaper Chicago: Rand-McNally, 1979.