National Defender

The National Defender began as a newspaper for the American party. Advertising itself as “A family newspaper, devoted to the perpetuation of the Union and the American cause,” The National Defender initially served the Philadelphia and the Norristown areas, but had changes in publisher and publication location and coverage. The newspaper contains numerous articles that denounce Catholicism and stress the threat of urbanization and immigration. It provided national as well as local political news, and eventually, news of the Civil War as it progressed. Poems, fictionalized stories, and morality tales feature prominently, most of which discuss the proper social locations and roles of women, and laud morality, chastity, and obedience. Many of these same narratives are patriotic, and include racist portrayals of African Americans or Irish immigrants.   Digital Status: ongoing.