|Franco-Americans enjoyed their
newspapers. It seems wherever they went there was at least one French language newspaper
available to them. Certainly the one with the most history was L'Etoile
while the most recent was
Le Journal de Lowell.
There were many others which made an appearance in Lowell over the years.
French language newspaper to appear in Lowell was called La République. It came to life in 1875 and was
published, weekly, by Honoré Beaugrand at 12 Middle Street.
La République did not survive very long and
Beaugrand soon returned to Canada where he founded La Patrie
in 1879 and went on to become mayor of the city of Montréal in 1885.
demise of La République, George Lambert started publishing La Sentinelle in
1880. This weekly was also short-lived. Shortly thereafter, LAbeille, published
by J.-B. Hurtubuse came on the scene. In 1881,
the Compagnie dImprimerie Canadienne-Française (The French Canadian Printing
Company) was established and became proprietor of LAbeille,
which was now published twice weekly.
By 1883 LAbeille had become a daily when along came Charles-H.
Chagnon who began publishing the Journal du Commerce. The two existed until 1885 when both, the Journal du Commerce and lAbeille
The years 1884 to
1886 represent a hiatus in the history of French language journalism in Lowell. Hope returned with the publication of the Gazette de Lowell in
1886. Alas, it survived only nine issues but
this same year LEtoile
sees its first publication on 16 September 1886.
team of LEtoile was a numerous one. Its founding members, Aimé Gauthier, William-A.
Parthenais, Charles-H. Parthenais, Henri-J. Lanthier, A. -C. Cruchet, J. -B. Fréderic,
all members of the Cercle Canadien, were joined by Clovis Belanger, David Parthenais,
former Senator Joseph Hibbard, and Delphis and Pierre Lanthier. In 1889, the weekly LEtoile becomes the
property of the Lepine Company (Aimé Gauthier, H.-J. Lanthier, Clovis Belanger and Maxime
Company controlled LEtoile for 25 years before they sold it to the New England
Investment Company, which was represented by the Réveil Publishing Company who published
Le Réveil, a daily in Manchester, N.H. and the weekly Courrier de
Lawrence. At this time Aimé Gauthier had
retired and had been replaced by Frédérick Dupont and Henri Lanthier had died. Following a disagreement between the three Lepine
Associates, Joseph de Champlain took control of LEtoile and nearly drove it to
ruination. Eventually the courts forced the
liquidation of the New England Investment Company and lEtoile was sold at auction.
Its new owners suspended publication, which allowed it time to establish a base of
operations and new quarters.
LEtoile was a weekly, other publications came and went. For example, in 1889, Le Farceur, published
by H. Courchesne made a brief appearance as well as LUnion, which was published
by Edouard Vincelette who was also the organist at St. Josephs church. In 1890 LUnion
but was not destined to survive very long. About
the same year the National
came to Lowell.
The National was a small daily published by Benjamin Lenthier
and distributed throughout New England. It
echoed the tenets of the Democratic Party and existed for many years. To compete with the National,
LEtoile became a daily in 1893.
was named American Consul to Sherbrooke and passed the reins of the National
to Charles-T. Roy. In the meantime, every now
and then another newspaper would be started but would quickly disappear. For example, in 1901 the Lambert Company published
another La République; and in 1902-03 it published La Revue. In 1908 the Réveil Publishing Company
Réveil and 1910 Alfred Gervais published La Vérité. Le Supplement, published by Le Supplement Publishing
Company, Inc. was also on the scene in 1910.
The last issue
published by this old regime appeared on 9 august 1910.
LEtoile resumed publication on 7 October of that same year and the
offices had moved from 135-137 Middle Street to 463 Merrimack Street. It was at this time that Louis A. Biron took
stewardship of this daily. Founder of
LImpartial of Nashua in 1910, this former reporter for LAvenir National and
LEtoile was now the owner/publisher of what was now the oldest French newspaper
published in New England. The newspaper
continued as a daily until 8 March 1943. The
following day, LEtoile became a tri-weekly until 1955, at which time it appeared
twice a week until it ceased publication and remained in the Biron family until it
published its last issue on Friday, 9 August 1957, its seventy-first year.
It would be
twenty-eight years before Lowell saw its next newspaper.
During this hiatus Le Petit Canada had razed; a sacrifice for
the cause of Urban Renewal, and many Franco-Americans had left the city to settle in the
surrounding areas. As many bemoaned the
absence of a French language newspaper, one man decided that Lowell had to have it now.
In February of 1975 Raymond-J. Barrette, virtually single-handedly created
Le Journal de Lowell. He continued until April 1976 when after
having been struck by an automobile, he was unable to continue and turned over the
newspaper to Albert and Barbara Côté.
stewardship, circulation and the number of subscribers increased and interest in Le
Journal de Lowell blossomed, not only locally but also nationally and internationally. The Côtés continued monthly publication until
December 1995 when due to rising costs were forced to suspend publication.
Lowells French Language Newspapers
La République ~ 1875
Sentinelle ~ 1880
du Commerce 1883
Gazette de Lowell ~ 1886
Courrier Des Etats-Unis ~ 1886
~ 1886 1957
Farceur ~ 1889
~ 1889 1890
National ~ 1890 1895
République ~ 1901 1902
Revue de Lowell ~ 1902 1904
Réveil ~ 1908 1909
Vérité ~ 1910
Supplément ~ 1913 1916
Journal ~ 1916
Le Journal de Lowell ~ 1975 - 1995