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Title : Morning Morning
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Source : Morning, 29 August 1900, p. 1
Date of creation : 1900
Format : Newspaper
Dimensions : 345 x 220 mm
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Description :

The small religious newspaper Morning was founded in 1900 by the gifted but unbalanced lawyer, Paris Nesbit. The newspaper was initially used largely as a vehicle for his personal views on religion and Adelaide society. Nesbit unashamedly stated that the newspaper was his own voice and would be run 'as Christ would if He were subject to the present limitations of my faculties' (29 August 1900, p. 1). Nesbit and his family - in particular his sister Agnes Benham - were interested in the 'new thought' movement of the 1890s, with its socialism and sexual reform. New Thought emphasises the mental potential of every individual and has some similarities with theosophy. The first issue of Morning had a circulation of 5,000 copies. From 1901 the title was changed to Century.

Early issues of the newspaper contained items commenting on Nesbit's short stint in the Parkside Mental Asylum in 1898, which he felt had been politically motivated by his enemies, including the premier Charles Kingston. Kingston, as well as other political and church leaders, were criticised in early issues of the newspaper, as were various Adelaide lawyers. Nesbit felt particularly strongly about religious hypocrisy. Benham contributed book reviews and periodic articles, mostly on religious topics, during the early life of Morning. Much attention was given by various contributors (many writing under pseudonyms) to Benham and Nesbit's views that ideal marriage relationships weer based on intellectual and spiritual connection. Poems by local and other contributors featured largely, particularly in the early years of the newspaper. Poems by the American theosophist Ella Wheeler Wilcox often appeared and the original title Morning was derived from a poem by the English rationalist agnostic, Matthew Arnold. Under the editorship of Nesbit the newspaper had a strong political stance, advocating the nationalising of the legal profession to enable more access to justice by the poor. Nesbit also suggested divorce law reform and more employment opportunities for women.

After just four months Nesbit handed over the editorship of the newspaper to the printer John Newton Wood who steered the newspaper towards an interest in spiritualism and vegetarianism. Articles by the visiting English spiritualist William Juvenal Collville, who was for a time placed with the local New Church congregation, filled the newspaper in 1901. Visiting lecturers discussing faith healing and local practitioners such as 'Mrs M. Millar, medical clairvoyante' also received coverage. In its later years the newspaper, originally a weekly, was published less frequently.  Throughout its history the newspaper was strongly against the 'White Australia' policy. The final issue in 1909 takes a strong political slant discussing socialism, strikes at Broken Hill and including an article by Catherine Helen Spence about effective voting.

Related names :

Arnold, Matthew, 1822-1888

Benham, Agnes Nesbit

Colville, W.J. (William Juvenal), 1862-1917

Kingston, Charles Cameron, 1850-1908

Millar, Mrs M.

Nesbit Paris, 1852-1927

Spence, Catherine Helen, 1825-1910

Wilcox, Ella Wheeler, 1850-1919

Wood, John Newton

Adelaide Society of the New Church

Parkside Lunatic Asylum


Coverage year : 1900
Place : Adelaide, S. Aust.
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :
Loughlin, Graham. 'Nesbit (Edward) Paris(s) (1852-1927)', Australian dictionary of biography, volume 11, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1988, pp. 1-2



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