The Sacramento Union

North side of J Street, between Front and Second Streets

Built 1850


“Our paper will be neutral and independent.” With that pledge, The Sacramento Daily Union released its first issue on March 19, 1851. Of 44 newspapers published between 1849 and 1857, only The Sacramento Daily Union and The Sacramento Daily Bee survived.

Dr. John F. Morse was the Union’s first editor. The doctor cared for victims of the 1850 cholera epidemic. Morse also published Sacramento’s first official history in 1853.

The fire of 1852 destroyed the paper’s original 3-story brick building. Owners built a 2-story brick replacement the following year. To comply with standards set for the 1864 street-raising project, they added a third story.


In 1866, the Sacramento Union hired a young writer named Mark Twain. The paper sent Twain to the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii) for 5 months. Mark Twain wrote a series of popular columns about life on the islands for the paper.