Edward Rosewater

Edward Rosewater

Infobox Person
name = Edward Rosewater

image_size =
caption = Edward Rosewater
birth_date = birth date|1841|01|28
birth_place = Bukovany, Bohemia
death_date = death date and age|1906|08|30|1841|01|28
death_place =
occupation = Editor, Publisher
spouse =

Edward Rosewater, born Edward Rosenwasser, [Bristow, D. (1997) "A Dirty, Wicked Town: Tales of 19th Century Omaha." Caxton Press. p 93.] (January 21, 1841August 30, 1906) was a Republican Party politician and newspaper editor in Omaha, Nebraska. Rosewater had a reputation for always being "aggressive and controversial", and was influential in Nebraska politics as one of the leaders of the state Republican Party. [(2001) [http://www.nebraskahistory.org/publish/publicat/timeline/rosewater_edward.htm Rosewater, Edward.] Nebraska State Historical Society. Retrieved 6/22/07.]


Born in Bukovany, Bohemia, to a Jewish family, Rosewater immigrated to the United States in 1854.

Abolitionist movement

Rosewater attended a commercial college, and then entered the telegraph with Western Union. He worked in Oberlin, Ohio in 1859 during the celebrated Abolitionist "cause celebre", the Wellington rescue case. During that time Rosewater became closely associated with Simeon Bushnell and Charles Langston, leading Rosewater to immediately sign up for Union forces at the outbreak of the American Civil War. In the spring of 1862 he started serving with the United States Telegraph Corps, staying with General John C. Frémont throughout his West Virginia campaign. [(1888) " [http://www.rootsweb.com/~neresour/OLLibrary/Omaha_book/omaha043.htm Omaha Illustrated: A history of the pioneer period and the Omaha of today.] " Omaha: D.C. Dunbar & Co. Retrieved 6/24/07.]

Later Rosewater was attached to the staff of General John Pope, remaining with him until after the Second Battle of Bull Run. Afterwards he was stationed in Washington. While serving at the White House telegraph office, Rosewater was responsible for sending out President Abraham Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation" on January 1, 1863. [Bristow, D. (1999) [http://members.aol.com/dlbristow/editfite.htm "Hard-Hitting Journalism."] "A Dirty Wicked Town: Tales of 19th Century Omaha."]

Arrival in Omaha

In the summer of 1863 when Rosewater came to Omaha, it was the terminus of the Pacific Telegraph Company. He was the Western Union manager and an Associated Press agent, and soon became the Omaha correspondent for several eastern daily newspapers. Rosewater married Leah Colman on November 13, 1864 in Cleveland, Ohio, departing after the wedding for Omaha, Nebraska where he had secured a home for his new bride.

In the fall of 1870 Rosewater was elected to the Nebraska Territorial Legislature, and the following year founded the "Omaha Bee". [(nd) [http://www.americanjewisharchives.org/aja/FindingAids/Rosewater.htm "Rosewater Family Papers".] American Jewish Archives. Retrieved 6/24/07.] While in the Legislature, Rosewater was credited with creating the first Omaha Board of Education. He was historically regarded as the father of Omaha Public Schools. [ [http://www.historicomaha.com/ofcchap5.htm "Chapter 5"] "Omaha's First Century". Special supplement to the "Omaha World-Herald." Retrieved 9/3/07.]

Under his guidance the "Omaha Bee" supported progressive ideas such as creation of a school board for the Omaha Public Schools and direct election of senators. But at the same time, Rosewater opposed women's suffrage. A period review of his writing style commented that he wrote "concise, pointed, and clear, and in political campaigns, especially, he is an untiring and dauntless fighter." [(1888) [http://www.rootsweb.com/~neresour/OLLibrary/Omaha_book/omaha043.htm ] "Omaha Illustrated: A history of the pioneer period and the Omaha of today." Omaha: D.C. Dunbar & Co. Retrieved 6/24/07.] [(nd) [http://www.unl.edu/nebnews/nnp_bios.html Nebraska Newspapers: Early Nebraska Journalists] . University of Nebraska Libraries. Retrieved 6/24/07.]

Rosewater served on the Republican National Committee in the late 19th century. In 1888 he built the Bee Building, a downtown landmark which was demolished in 1966. He was an organizer for the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition, and was credited with much of the success of that event. [(nd) [http://www.nebpress.com/700/rosewater.php Edward Rosewater.] Nebraska Press Association. Retrieved 6/24/07.] and ran two losing campaigns for a U.S. Senate seat in Nebraska. He passed away at the "Omaha Bee" building on August 30, 1906. [(nd) [http://www.americanjewisharchives.org/aja/FindingAids/Rosewater.htm "Rosewater Family Papers".] American Jewish Archives. Retrieved 6/24/07.]


Rosewater constantly pursued his own version of news, and often got into violent confrontations, with one even being given front page treatment in the "The Day's Doings", a sensationalist New York City journal. In another fight Rosewater was almost killed by a local worker after reporting on that man's secret love affair. [Bristow, D. (1999) [http://members.aol.com/dlbristow/editfite.htm "Hard-Hitting Journalism."] "A Dirty Wicked Town: Tales of 19th Century Omaha."] Rosewater's style and treatment of the news left him open to constant criticism and attacks of his journalism, however, they also lent to personal attacks, more than one of which were anti-Semitic in their nature. [Pollack, N. (1962) "The Myth of Populist Anti-Semitism." "The American Historical Review. 68"(1) October, pp. 77.]


Immediately before his death, Rosewater was involved in founding the American Jewish Committee. After he died suddenly of natural causes, his son joined the AJC in his place. [(nd) [http://www.ajcarchives.org/main.php?GroupingId=1870 "American Jewish History and Jewish Culture."] American Jewish Committee Archives. Retrieved 6/24/07.] In 1957 CBS and the AJC produced a dramatic television show highlighting Rosewater's arrival in Omaha, his anti-slavery attitude and his journalistic style. [(1957) [http://www.ajcarchives.org/main.php?DocumentId=11660 "Ready Mr. Rosewater?"] Produced by CBS and AJC.]

Edward Rosewater's newspaper reporting style led to the "Omaha Bee" being labeled an example of yellow journalism. Critics believed its sensationalized news contributed to tensions resulting in the Omaha Race Riot of 1919. [(nd) [http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0700/resources/0700_1040.html "Yellow Journalism Spikes Tension."] NebraskaStudies.org. Retrieved 6/24/07.]

ee also

* History of Omaha


External links

* [http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0700/media/0701_013302.jpgHistoric photo] of Edward Rosewater.
* [http://www.nebraskahistory.org/lib-arch/research/manuscripts/family/rosewater-family.htm Rosewater Family papers] at the Nebraska State Historical Society

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