Name: Peter Klipstine
First Date: 1810; Last Date: 1821
Function: Printer, Publisher
PrecisPublisher of The Virginia Reformer and Herald of the Valley (1819) at Winchester as partner to one Russell (369).
Printer & Publisher Winchester Publisher of The Virginia Reformer and Herald of the Valley (1819) at Winchester as partner to a proprietor named Russell (369). Klipstine was a journeyman who briefly rose to ownership of a newspaper before leaving the trade in the 1820s. He was the second son of a prominent Winchester physician, Philip A. Klipstine, and the only son who remained in Frederick County for his entire life. It seems that he was trained in the office of Jonathan Foster (168) there. But in April 1819, Foster sold his press and paper, the Republican Constellation, to George McGlassin (287), who then brought in a new staff, displacing locally-trained printers Klipstine and Joseph F. Caldwell (073), also a son of a prominent member of this lower Valley community. As McGlassin was not a native of the area, and had recently been dismissed from the U.S. Army for mistreating the men under his command, his acquisition of the Constellation worried some local Republicans sufficiently to organize a competing journal. Both Klipstine and Caldwell would be co-proprietors of that weekly – The Virginia Reformer and Herald of the Valley – in concert with a financier named Russell, with Klipstine acting in that role from April to October 1819, and then Caldwell from October 1819 to April 1820. This Russell was probably Elisha E. Russell, a captain in the county militia who opened a reading room in the hotel/tavern he operated with William Pack at exactly the moment that this new weekly made its initial appearance. With the Republican-leaning readership in Frederick County now divided between the two journals, the survival of each one was decidedly uncertain. So Republican party leaders in the county negotiated an end to this intraparty competition at the close of the Reformer's first volume/year; McGlassin bought the Reformer's subscriber list and merged it into his own; Russell retired from journalism, while Caldwell was offered the opportunity to start a new Herald of the Valley in the Botetourt County seat of Fincastle; yet Klipstine's place in this consolidation scheme remains an unknown. By May 1821, the printer was employed in the Winchester Gazette office of Federalist John Heiskell (210), as the publisher reported his journeyman's marriage with a humorous poetic couplet: Observe the maiden, innocently sweet! She was pure white paper – an unsullied sheet, On which the happy youth, whom Fate ordains, Thus prints his name, and takes her for his pains. However, this is the last evidence found of Klipstine as a printer. He does not reappear in the public record until 1850, then as a tenant farmer in Frederick County. This suggests that he removed his bride to his father's farm outside Winchester and took up its management, and that such employment became the focus of his life after printing. NB: Name also spelled Klipstein in local records; spelling seen in imprints is form used here. Personal Data Born: ca. 1793 Frederick County, Virginia? Married: May 1821 Frances Kemmelmeyer @ Winchester, Virginia Died: after 1850 Frederick County, Virginia? Children: Frances (b. 1821); Susan (b. 1824); Lucy (b. 1831); Leopold (b. 1834). Sources: Imprints; Brigham; Russell, Winchester; Morton Winchester; Federal Decennial Census, 1850; genealogical data from Klipstine family charts posted on Ancestry.com (December 2012).